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Fisheries sonar technicians (short term)

Jobs Available
Expiration Date: 

The Prince William Sound Science Center (, a non-profit research and education institution located on the shores of Prince William Sound in Cordova, Alaska, is seeking two field technicians for a fisheries management related position focused on the use of imaging sonars for counting fish passage in the Copper River.

Duties:  Operate and maintain a pair of imaging sonars at a remote field site, maintain and facilitate data telemetry, and enumerate fish passage.

Approximate term: 6 weeks: approximately 5 weeks in the field and 1 week of mobilization/demobilization.  The positions will begin on May 1.

Background:  Prince William Sound (PWS) is located in the northeast corner of the Pacific at 60° N and includes an intricate network of maritime glaciers, rain forests, offshore islands, barrier islands, wetlands, and freshwater and marine systems. PWS has 4900 km of shoreline and is surrounded by the Chugach Mountains that reach 4,300 m and contain the most extensive system of tidewater glaciers in North America. Most of the land area is in or adjacent to the Chugach National Forest. Of the five PWS communities, only Valdez and Whittier have highway access to the main road system. Access to Cordova is by boat or plane. The community is served regularly by Alaska Marine Highway System ferries and an airport that receives daily commercial airline traffic. Commercial salmon fisheries are the cornerstone of the local economy.

The Copper River is the largest point source of freshwater to the northern Gulf of Alaska, and the Copper River Delta is the largest contiguous wetland on the Pacific coast of North America.  The Copper River salmon fishery is the first major salmon fishery of the year to go to market and commands a price premium; the high fat content of Copper River salmon is particularly prized.  The PWS Science Center and the Copper River / Prince William Sound Marketing Association have cooperatively deployed sonars in the lower Copper River delta since 2016 to aid in rapid fisheries management decisions by Alaska Department of Fish & Game managers during the crucial early part of the fishery.

Responsibilities and Qualifications:  The technicians will be responsible for the deployment, maintenance and operation of two imaging sonar systems (Tritech Gemini 720is), related data logging computers and hardware for networking and telemetry. The sonars will be deployed at a temporary remote field site (boat access only) on the Copper River Delta near the confluence of the Clear Martin River and the Copper River (60° 22.231’N, 144° 54.124’W). Technicians will be required to live at the remote field site in a tent-based camp for the duration of the active monitoring phase (approximately five weeks).  

Candidates should be capable of working and living in remote locations under physically challenging conditions including cold, rain, wind, and in proximity to large mammals (brown bears and moose). Applicants must be able to occasionally lift 60 lbs.  Candidates should be familiar with the use and operation of sonars for fisheries applications, and proficient in the use of small boats.  Knowledge of computer networking is also preferred. Bear safety training/experience will be an asset, and a bear-safety refresher will be provided. Successful candidates will have previous firearm safety training experience and will be comfortable safely carrying and operating a firearm.

Applicant must be authorized to work in the United States for any U.S. employer.

Salary and benefits:  Salary is dependent on experience and is competitive with state and federal technician salary scales. Unemployment insurance and workers compensation are included.

Application Process: To be considered, please submit a résumé and the names of three references with their contact information via email to Rob Campbell, Prince William Sound Science Center,

Review of applications will begin February 11, 2019. Positions are open until filled. PWSSC does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, marital status, or mental or physical disability.