At the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, we apply innovative, science-based solutions to combat the unprecedented threat to our oceans represented by climate change and other human activities. The Center's Fisheries Science and Emerging Technologies (FSET) Program delivers the scientific data fisheries managers and conservation leaders need to make responsible and informed decisions about some of the ocean's most ecologically- and economically-important species. Through the development and utilization of cutting-edge technology, FSET delivers sound data on key factors including: movement patterns, biology, life-history, population structure, and response to acute or long-term stressors'all of which are necessary improve the management and conservation of threatened and data-poor species. We work pioneer new technologies and methodologies that address these data deficiencies and provide timely answers to pivotal management and conservation questions. Also integral to FSET's success are the strong relationships we have forged with industry partners within commercial and recreational fisheries, as well as state and federal management entities.
We are seeking a full-time Research Assistant to assist with field work primarily related to sharks and secondarily to sea turtles, and to provide data collection and analysis support for several ongoing projects within the Fisheries Science and Emerging Technologies research program of the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium.Position will be primarily based in southeastern Massachusetts with work taking place in and around Cape Cod, Boston, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket.
The position includes funding for 5 months, from approximately mid-May through mid-October, with the potential for extension contingent on funding and performance. Exact start and end dates are flexible, but must be available to begin by June 1, 2020. This is a full time temporary position with an estimated end date of October 17, 2020.
Assist with research and data collection for several field-based projects, including, but not limited to:
- The investigation of the spatial ecology and behavior of coastal and pelagic sharks
- The post-release monitoring of sharks and sea turtles following interaction with fishing gear
- Assist with and/or lead land-based observation of fishing activity and tagging of sharks
Assist with at-sea sampling including:
- Rod and reel, gillnet, and longline fishing
- Tagging target species
- Recovering tag packages
- Deploying, downloading and maintaining monitoring equipment
- Responding to turtle entanglements
- Collect, input, and organize data
- Build and program tag packages for deployment on target species
- Clean, store, and prepare field gear
- Assist with cleaning and maintenance of a research vessel
- Collaborate with scientific and fishing industry partners to schedule and coordinate field work
Secondary Job Duties
- Create maps, figures, animations, and other tools to visualize data
- Contribute to study outreach to multiple audience types
- Contribute to study deliverables as needed
- Represent the Fisheries Science and Emerging Technologies program to scientific and industry partners, the public, and potential donors
Minimum Training and Experience
- Requires an undergraduate degree in Marine Science, Biology, Fisheries, Zoology, Ecology or related discipline.
- Master's degree or extensive (4+ years) field research experience strongly preferred.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Must have extensive boating and fishing experience, including the collection of data at sea
- Must have own transportation to and from field sites on and around Cape Cod, MA and Boston, MA
- Must have ability to work flexible hours, including nights, weekends, and multi-day trips
- Demonstrated ability to work independently in the field in many weather conditions required
- Demonstrated ability to interact with commercial and recreational fishermen
- Experience with electronic tagging, both regarding the technology and deployment of these units on fish, strongly preferred
- Extensive background and previous experience in marine fisheries strongly preferred
- Detail-oriented and meticulous
- Must be resourceful, with excellent problem-solving skills required in the field
- Experience driving a small boat preferred
- Familiarity with statistical analysis programming (R strongly preferred) and GIS software preferred
- Demonstrated ability to get along well with other team members for prolonged periods of time in tight quarters and shared spaces
- Passion and commitment to conducting research with fisheries management and/or conservation value
- Highly collaborative, cheerful attitude and excellent work ethic