Career opportunity: Research Technician, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), California, USA

MBARI seeks a Research Technician to join the Ocean Biogeochemical Sensing (OBS) Team. The ocean is facing unprecedented changes due to human activity: temperatures are rising, ocean acidity is increasing, oxygen levels are declining, and nutrient distributions are changing. These changes could have cascading effects through the ocean ecosystem, and impact society. However, the ocean is chronically under sampled, and we are not able to effectively quantify these changes through traditional ship-board measurements. Recent developments in biogeochemical sensors combined with autonomous platforms provide a potential solution to this under sampling problem. We are looking for a candidate with the expertise and excitement to contribute to this impactful area of research.

The main mission of the OBS team is to advance autonomous sensing technology, and help establish a global network of biogeochemical profiling floats and gliders. Such an observing system will allow sustained measurements of key biogeochemical parameters from the open ocean to the coast. This position will support the data management, quality control, and analysis of biogeochemical sensors on underwater gliders and profiling moorings. Additionally, the research technician will help troubleshoot, maintain, and calibrate custom-built pH sensors for these platforms.

The selected candidate will report to Yui Takeshita, and work closely with members in the OBS team and the Chemical Sensor Lab. This is a 1-year term position that may be extended depending on continued funding and job performance.

Primary responsibilities:

  • Developing real-time data processing and monitoring of Spray2 underwater gliders, based on an existing data pipeline
  • Quality control biogeochemical measurements (oxygen, pH, nitrate, and bio-optical measurements [chlorophyll fluorescence and down welling irradiance]) from underwater gliders
  • Aid in deployment and recovery of underwater gliders off of small research vessels
  • Remotely pilot underwater gliders for 5-10 missions per year
  • Conduct routine maintenance, troubleshooting, and calibration of commercial and custom-built pH sensors for underwater gliders and moored systems
  • Work collaboratively with external partners
  • Presenting results at scientific meetings is encouraged

Required qualifications:

  • Strong programming skills for scientific data analysis and visualization
  • Background in oceanography is required, ideally marine biogeochemistry
  • Highly organized, and capable of working independently on multiple projects simultaneously
  • Candidate should be comfortable opening pressure housings, replacing and maintaining O-rings, and have basic familiarity with operating a range of hand tools
  • Strong interest and basic experience with instrumentation
  • Ability to safely lift 25 lbs. of instrumentation
  • Excellent communication skills, and ability to work effectively in diverse, multi-disciplinary teams

Desired qualifications:

  • Proficiency in Matlab
  • Master’s degree in a scientific or engineering field or equivalent work experience
  • Background in marine carbon dioxide chemistry and pH sensors
  • Experience maintaining and calibrating marine instrumentation
  • Ability to safely lift 50 lbs. of instrumentation
  • Basic familiarity with electronics and wiring
  • Ability and willingness to go to sea for specified periods is desired, ranging from half day trips to deploy instrumentation, or up to a week-long research cruise.
  • Experience presenting technical information to a range of audiences
  • AAUS certification

MBARI. More information.

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