Large Whale Biologist Needed
Integrated Statistics is looking for a Large Whale Biologist to work with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC). The position supports the Protected Species Branch. The position may begin with a period of remote work to accommodate COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, but will be on-site in Woods Hole, MA after that.
The Large Whale Biologist assists with the collection and analysis of aerial and shipboard survey data, including researching the distribution of right whales and other large whale species in relation to ecological conditions and human activities, and the impacts of those factors on right whale behavior, health, population dynamics, and ecology. The visual survey information collected by NOAA is used to assist in the management of protected species, evaluate the impacts of various human activities on the species, and aid in education and conservation efforts.
DutiesThe Large Whale Biologist will engage in these tasks:
- Participate in aerial surveys for right whales. Flight crew responsibilities include visually scanning for whales from bubble windows, recording sightings data on custom computer software, and photographing whales for individual identification using a digital SLR camera with a telephoto lens. Aircraft ditch training is required.
- Participate in small vessel and shipboard surveys for right whales. Vessel-based duties include visually scanning for whales, photographing whales for individual identification, collecting biopsy samples from select individuals using crossbows, assisting with oceanographic and zooplankton sampling, and supporting unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations. Small boat certification may be requested.
- Manage survey and photographic data. Data processing duties include QA/QC of aerial and shipboard sightings and effort data, evaluating sightings relative to seasonal and dynamic management areas, accurate and timely completion of summary spreadsheets and survey reports, preliminary matching of right whale individual identification images, and maintenance of data processing programs and databases, including an R Shiny application.
- Support scientific and management needs. Writing and policy tasks include analyzing data and preparing presentations for stakeholder meetings, environmental impact statements, biological opinions, scientific manuscripts and stock assessment reports.
- Assist with Protected Species Branch website content development and maintenance, and engage in public education and outreach activities.
- Perform additional occasional duties, such as assisting with whale carcass relocation, supporting disentanglement efforts, and assisting with whale necropsies.
This is a full time position for one year, with the possibility of extension. The position is eligible for the benefits described on the Integrated Statistics website. Some projects will require travel, spending up to three weeks at a time at sea or away from home, including abroad (primarily Canada).
- A Bachelor’s degree in biology, ecology, natural resource management, marine biology, or a closely related field is required. A Master’s degree is desirable.
- At least one full year of experience working on aerial and/or shipboard surveys for right whales or other protected species. Aircraft ditch training, boat trailering, and small boat handling skills are desired.
- Experience with marine mammal visual survey data collection and processing methods, including use of spreadsheets and Google drives.
- Demonstrated programming and database skills, including working with R (and R Shiny), PL/SQL, and Oracle are desired.
- Training and experience in statistical design and statistical approaches for addressing scientific questions.
- Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written (including visual presentations) with a variety of audiences including technical, scientific, and the general public. A writing sample may be requested.
- Ability to work both independently and as part of a team. Track record of success in telework/remote work conditions, and at sea in potentially difficult conditions.
- Strong project management skills, ability to adapt to quickly changing priorities and strict timelines. Attention to detail.
- Driver’s license and passport.
Integrated Statistics is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any classification protected by federal, state, or local law. Consistent with its obligations under federal law, Integrated Statistics is committed to taking affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified women, minorities, disabled individuals, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, and other eligible veterans. For assistance with accessibility of applications, posters, forms, and/or documents, please email the Integrated Statistics office.