Microalgae Lead Technician Position Description

Puget Sound Restoration Fund (PSRF) works to restore abundant marine resources and our connections to them through a diverse portfolio of in-the-water projects throughout Puget Sound. The main focus of our restoration is living marine habitat and species, using structure forming species (Olympia oysters, bull kelp) and habitat enhancing species (pinto abalone). Long-term, we work to restore and maintain a healthy marine system that feeds and sustains us all. Our team of 19 staff works to advance our mission of designing, testing and spearheading in-water actions to restore Puget Sound’s marine habitats, species, and waters – for people and place.

We are seeking a Microalgae Lead Technician to join our team at the Kenneth K. Chew Center for Research and Restoration (Chew Center) that we operate at NOAA’s Manchester Research Station on the Kitsap Peninsula, Washington. The technician will lead microalgae production – a critical foundation of the many research and restoration efforts centered at the Chew Center.

The successful lead technician will be committed to marine restoration, be detail-oriented, have strong communication skills, and be capable of completing physically demanding projects. They will regularly be expected to work independently to accomplish program objectives, see tasks through accurately to completion, and to maintain clean, organized hatchery facilities. The work environment at the Chew Center is such that the lead technician should expect to work outside year-round for a portion of each day, be able to lift 50 pounds, to climb step stools and ladders, work in cramped spaces with wet, uneven flooring and sustain moderate noise levels. The lead technician is required to adhere to all NOAA on-site protocols related to COVID safety; the Chew Center is a smoke and drug-free station. PSRF is a team environment, and they will have support across PSRF staff to ensure tasks are successfully accomplished. As a small organization, we grow and evolve each time we bring on new staff. Accordingly, we will seek to integrate the lead technician’s suite of existing skills and talents into the position.

This is a full-time, salaried position; salary range is $45,000-$50,000, commensurate with qualifications and experience. The lead technician will receive PSRF’s suite of competitive benefits. The location of the position is at the Chew Center, with period travel to meetings at the PSRF main office on Bainbridge Island (8001 Day Road West, Ste. B, Bainbridge Island, WA), and to other meetings and field sites throughout Puget Sound, as needed.


  • Lead all aspects of microalgae culture [90%], including:
    • Maintaining stock cultures by adhering to sterile transfer techniques
    • Preparing sterile media and all required chemical solutions, which requires working with an autoclave
    • Producing harvest scale quantities of algae through both bag continuous culture systems and batch culture systems
    • Distributing algae for feeding
    • Perform daily assessments to monitor algae growth cycles and overall health, requiring keen attention to details
    • Maintain equipment and areas dedicated to algae culture
    • Organize inventory and order supplies needed for microalgae production
  • Assist in construction and on-going maintenance of microalgae culture systems
  • Assist PSRF researchers and collaborators with data collection and field work for PSRF projects and other related research [10%].

Minimum Requirements

  • 4 years of experience, or Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent combination of education and experience) showing evidence of ability to perform stated responsibilities and familiarity with marine science, conservation and/or restoration
  • Willingness to work one weekend per month (on average), late-night and holiday shifts, including overtime on short notice to meet operational needs
  • Strong interest in marine ecosystems, environmental restoration and conservation
  • Ability to thrive while working independently
  • Ability to work as part of a team, and contribute to the development of an inclusive and accessible working environment
  • Ability to prepare written communications and perform data recording/entry
  • At least 21 years old and have proof of COVID-19 vaccination

Recommended Qualifications

  • Experience with microalgae and sterile transfer protocols
  • Experience with aquatic organism care or culture, laboratory equipment maintenance, and/or marine aquaculture
  • Experience with carpentry and plumbing
  • Demonstrated experience with microscopy, general laboratory equipment and procedures
  • Careful laboratory skills and attention to detail

PSRF recognizes that people build skills through all sorts of experiences, and welcome applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds. We warmly welcome candidates from backgrounds that are underrepresented in marine science and restoration to apply. We seek to create an inclusive and equitable work environment at PSRF and in our work with partners, and are committed to supporting and retaining staff. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

To apply

Please email a resume, cover letter and names of 3 references to Jodie Toft (jodie@restorationfund.org) by October 2nd, 2022.