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Assistant Scientist


Assistant Scientist Employment

SEA hires Assistant Scientists on a rolling basis when positions become available. We welcome inquires at any time. If you are not familiar with SEA's programs and mission, please read through our website before reaching out.

Please contact ( if you are interested in these positions. Starting in February 2020, for applications to be considered, they must include the following:

  •     One-page cover letter detailing the applicant's interest, qualifications, and availability
  •     One-page resume
  •     Contact information for 3 references (applicants will be notified before references are contacted)

Ideal candidates for SEA's Assistant Scientist positions have experience teaching at the college level, experience working with oceanographic equipment on research vessels, strong sailing skills, and a Bachelor's or Master's degree in marine science or a related field. Priority is often given to those candidates who are able to participate in up to three cruises per year for a year or more, have sailed on tall ships, have experience in shipboard networking, programming, and maintaining oceanographic instruments, as well as analytical chemistry and reef survey experience. We try to fill positions at least 6-12 months in advance, but openings sometimes occur on short notice. The work is demanding, but exciting and rewarding for those who enjoy teaching and life at sea. Training as an Assistant Scientist is an excellent opportunity to learn the basic theory and sampling techniques of all the major disciplines in oceanography.

Assistant Scientists are watch standers with the primary responsibility of conducting and teaching safe lab operations and deployments. Other duties include troubleshooting equipment, processing and analyzing data, mentoring students, interns, and each other, working closely with the Chief Scientist to accomplish science and learning objectives. Assistant Scientists will also collaborate with Mates to safely operate the vessel, teach safe sail handling and basic navigation principles, lead maintenance and cleaning efforts, and be a supportive member of the shipboard community.

Working aboard SEA's Sailing School Vessels requires our team to live in close quarters with coworkers and students. Each crew member has a bunk with a small area for their possessions, and marine heads (bathrooms) are communal. Meals are prepared by Stewards and students, and are served family style. Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated, especially those medically necessary. Everyone on board is expected to participate in cleaning efforts. Connectivity on SEA vessels is limited, which means almost no internet access during semester programs.

While traveling to new places is one of the highlights of working for SEA, we also expect all crew to work in shipyard/maintenance periods in addition to sailing semester trips. We also expect that crew will participate in non-traditional programs shorter than semester trips that sometimes have missions and goals that diverge from the typical SEA Semester. These include leadership training for business groups, fundraising sails for voyagers and alumni, high school programs, and other educational programs. We work with a multitude of organizations on these shorter sails, and frequently have new programs.

Trips are grouped together to create contracts that work for both the programmatic needs of the vessels and their crew. All scientists start with a short term contract which is typically a 2-3 month period on board the vessels. After that, scientists can opt to work either a long term (with the approval of the Science Program Coordinator) or to continue with short term contracts. Crew members on a long term contract work at least 180 days (not continuous) in a 12 month time period, making them eligible for SEA's health, dental, and vision benefits.

We are fortunate that SEA attracts such skilled, enthusiastic, and dynamic scientists and we strive to retain them. Advancement opportunities exist for Assistant Scientists as they gain experience and skills.

Please Note: All crew must have the legal right to work in the U.S.