Job Type: Temporary
Salary Details: $17.00-19.00/hr
Deadline: Sep 22, 2023

Position/Project Specifics:

Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission is seeking a highly motivated individual to assist the U.S. Geological Survey as a fish husbandry technician at the Marrowstone Marine Field Station. Understanding the components of morbidity and mortality to populations of wild animals, infectious and parasitic diseases represent important, yet largely understudied factors; likely because their effects often go unnoticed. One approach to assessing the impacts of endemic pathogens is to perform controlled pathogen-exposure experiments on regionally important fishes like pacific herring and salmon.

The primary responsibilities of the incumbent will be to provide daily care and husbandry for colonies of specific pathogen-free marine fish at the Marrowstone Marine Field Station, located in Nordland, Washington. Daily care will involve continued rearing, feeding, tank cleaning, live feed production, and general procedures required in a biosafety level -2 marine fish containment laboratory. Secondary responsibilities will include assisting scientists with ongoing experiments involving these and other fish as well as assisting with laboratory diagnostics on samples from ongoing experiments and field surveillances. All phases of rearing marine larval fish will be performed by the incumbent, including but not limited to the cultivation of live feed (phytoplankton, rotifers, and Artemia), disinfection of tools and laboratory equipment, feeding larval fish, cleaning tanks, etc. The incumbent will be expected to perform fish-rearing duties onsite at the Marrowstone Marine Station, during the weekends and holidays. Duties are essential to ensure fish are routinely fed and remain healthy.

Essential Functions:  

  • Collect and organize biological and habitat samples and collections (such as scales, otoliths, aging structures, other tissues, water quality, etc.).
  • Summarize and input biological or habitat data on field forms, electronic data loggers, and/or desktop computers. May assist with preliminary data summaries and analyses, technical report writing, or database management.
  • Support captive fish rearing activities including spawning, incubating, feeding, sampling, sorting, handling, medicating, anesthetizing, and transporting fish. Monitor the status of facility systems and equipment. Assist in the development, fabrication, construction, and maintenance of systems.
  • Make regular facility inspections including, for example, dewatering equipment, pumps, flumes, gates, tanks, screens, filters, gatewells, and/or tag interrogation equipment. Monitor and maintain water quality levels. Record findings and adjustments made. Respond appropriately and immediately to emergencies.

Knowledge Required by the Position:

At the lower end of the range, employees use knowledge of basic arithmetic, reading, writing, and data collection to perform routine or repetitive tasks. 

At the upper end of the position range, employees use knowledge of the basic principles and protocols of fish biology to make readings, measurements, and observations; execute tests; collect samples, etc.   If complex equipment systems are operated, the employee has the knowledge to perform calibrations or adjustments to achieve desired results. 

Additional Mandatory Skills:  

  • valid driver’s license
  • CPR/First Aid                                    
  • compile and collect neat and accurate data   
  • oral communication skills                  
  • written communication skills
  • repair & maintain equipment

Physical Demands:

The work requires physical exertion such as bending, crouching, stooping, stretching, reaching, climbing ladders, or similar activities. The incumbent should be able to lift up to 40 pounds. Additionally, the work requires above average manual dexterity and coordination, necessary to perform common laboratory techniques and safely negotiate wet floors.

Work Environment:

Work is based at a marine field station located on an exposed peninsula in north Puget Sound. Climatic and weather conditions at the facility can be extreme and include severe rain and wind. The incumbent conducts a combination of office, laboratory, and field work. The office and laboratory are adequately lighted, heated, and ventilated. Temperature and weather extremes may be encountered in the performance of outdoor work. Field and laboratory duties may require the use of special protective gear. The incumbent is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow coworkers, or property with which entrusted.

Minimum Qualification Requirements:

A range of experience and education may be presented.  At the lower end of the range, candidates must present six months of General Experience* OR one year of education above the high school level that included at least six semester hours in any combination of scientific or technical courses.  An equivalent combination of experience and education is also qualifying.

At the upper end of the range, candidates must present one year of Specialized Experience** OR a 4-year course of study above high school leading to a bachelor’s degree with a major or at least 24 semester hours of coursework in any combination of scientific or technical courses.  An equivalent combination of experience and education is also qualifying.

*General Experience is (1) any type of work that demonstrates the applicant’s ability to perform the work of the position or (2) experience that provides a familiarity with biological sciences or the processes of the biological sciences.

**Specialized Experience is experience that equips the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position and is typically in or related to the work of the position being filled


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