New England Aquarium
  • Research
  • Boston, MA, USA
  • Full Time Temporary/Seasonal

The New England Aquarium is seeking an Assistant Scientist, Aerial Observer to participate in aerial surveys for whales, dolphins and sea turtles in outer continental shelf federal waters off Massachusetts and Rhode Island, an area proposed for offshore alternative energy development. Duties will include serving as an observer on all aerial surveys; quality checking data; coordination with the chief scientist and flight crew; and analysis of vertical photographs for the detection and identification of marine mammal and turtle species.  The majority of fieldwork will be aerial, although there may be opportunities to get involved in shipboard surveys with collaborators depending on contract opportunities. This is a grant funded staff positioned set to end in September 2019. Additional service may be afforded only if additional grant funding is secured.

*This position requires experience with aerial surveying. All others need not apply.* 

Office schedule will be Monday -- Friday, 9:00 AM -- 5:00 PM.
Flight days will require irregular hours and some long days. Occasional weekends and holidays will be required.
This is a temporary position with an estimated end time frame of September 2019. 


  1. Participates in all aerial survey activities, including observer logistics, scientific data collection, monthly reporting, photographic and data analysis.
  2. Assists with monthly reports, final annual report writing, and data analysis.
  3. Survey safety equipment and camera maintenance, preparation and in-flight troubleshooting.
  4. Follow safe operational requirements for every survey area, maintains flight and data logs, assists data quality checking and assurance, assists summarizing data and reports.
  5. Photo-analysis of digital imagery for species detection and identifications, data processing and analysis.
  6. Conducts data quality checking and assurance.
  7. Helps to oversee budgeting and spending for the program.
  8. Performs other position-related duties, as assigned.

Minimum Training and Experience

  • A or B.S in Biology or related science, M.S with comparable experience preferred.
  • A minimum of one year of marine mammal aerial survey flight time
  • Ditch training certified
  • CPR/First Aid certification
  • Field and lab safety and safety awareness training
  • Good communication and coordination skills
  • Meeting deadlines for data and report deliverables
  • Specialized photographic skills and photo-identification experience
  • Attention to detail for proofing and quality checking data
  • Ability to spend long hours performing photo analysis in the office
  • Comfortable flying in a small aircraft (cannot get motion sickness)
  • Valid driver's license

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Participation in right whale, other large whale, and turtle aerial research programs
  • Maintaining and purchasing aerial survey equipment
  • Familiarity with digital photography equipment and field use
  • Computer skills, especially excel, access, word

For more information and to apply online please visit: 

New England Aquarium is committed to diversity in the workplace and is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer as defined by the EEOC.

New England Aquarium
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