Research Associate II/III (OOI CGSN Data QA/QC Lead)

Woods Hole, Massachusetts
Jul 25, 2018
Aug 24, 2018
Ocean Science
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost


The Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department is searching for a Research Associate to join the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Coastal and Global Scale Nodes (CGSN) team. This is a full time, exempt position eligible for benefits.



The CGSN Data QA/QC Lead is primarily responsible for assessing the quality of oceanographic data from OOI/CGSN moorings and vehicles, reporting any quality issues, and working to improve data quality through changes in instrumentation, infrastructure or processes.  OOI is an NSF funded project with the purpose of providing infrastructure and instrumentation to measure physical, chemical and biological processes for the scientific community.



  • Responsible for the Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) for all OOI/CGSN science data from three instrumented ocean observatories (~15 moorings, 2 AUVs, and multiple gliders).
  • Develop and implement quality assurance processes and protocols applicable in the lab and the field.
  • Analyze physical, chemical and biological data from oceanographic instruments on the OOI infrastructure.
  • Design, develop and document tools or scripts as needed to analyze/plot data from instruments or collections of instruments for quality assessment.
  • Communicate data quality flags and data annotation to end users via a web-based database application using a combination of automated and manual data assessment tools.
  • Quantify the results of data quality assessment and system performance as metrics and graphs for high-level reporting purposes.
  • Implement improvements to data collection (instrument configuration, orientation, protocols, etc.) based on data analysis and feedback from subject matter experts
  • Respond to science community requests/questions related to data availability, data access, data quality and instrument configuration and status.



  • Monitor real-time and recovered data for quality assurance during integration and test, and deployment.
  • Develop automated processes for comparing mooring-collected data and ship-collected data (e.g., meteorology, CTD casts, water samples) for data validation.
  • Participate in at least one deployment cruise a year to support at sea data validation
  • May be responsible for the testing, calibration, and trouble-shooting of laboratory and scientific instrumentation.
  • May engage in written and oral communication of results in publications or at conferences.
  • Other functions deemed necessary by supervisor.



  • Master’s degree and relevant experience in a related field (e.g.,
    oceanography, physics, chemistry, biology, or a related geophysical
    science). Applicants with a PhD will also be considered. In the
    absence of a graduate degree, considerable related work experience
    is required.
  • Experience/familiarity with PC, Mac, and Linux computing platforms
  • Basic scientific programming including proficiency with common data analysis software (e.g., MATLAB, Python, UNIX shell scripts, etc.).
  • A demonstrated background processing oceanographic data, preferably from chemical or biological instruments.


Education and experience will determine level of hire.



  • Practical experience with scientific instruments, particularly oceanographic instruments
  • Experience with large data sets and databases.
  • Skilled at both written and verbal science communication.
  • Demonstrated ability to work creatively and independently, and take initiative.
  • Proficient in time management skills to prioritize tasks, manage people, and meet schedule constraints.
  • Motivated individual with attention to detail.
  • Creativity to come up with innovative solutions for process improvement.
  • Education/experience in engineering is a plus.


  • United States citizen or permanent resident.
  • TWIC Required
  • Sea Duty Required


Physical duties for this position include but are not limited to, ability to lift between 25-50 lbs independently; carry 0-10 lbs, Visual abilities to include near vision. Hearing requirements include the ability to hear and respond to instructions, work with others, hear, talk and travel.  Other physical tasks include mostly standing, occasional standing/walking. Other occupational requirements include handling oceanographic instrumentation and shipping containers. Physical duties are subject to change.


May work at least 8 hours per day and, at times in excess of 12 hours per day, 7 days per week. Sleep and work hours can deviate from those on land. May be expected to work on watch schedule (such as 8 hours on and 8 hours off or 12 hours on and 8 hours off) for all or part of a cruise or to work as hours are needed to accomplish the planned work. May need to travel during holidays and for long distances to and from foreign ports. May experience rudimentary living and working conditions, with shared and basic living quarters and laboratories. May experience bad or extreme weather conditions, including heavy seas, winter weather or hot, tropical weather. Work on deck may occur in both hot and cold conditions around the clock. Sea conditions will lead to active ship motion. Should be able to climb steep and vertical ladders and able to enter and exit compartments through hatches, doors, and sills. Should be able to carry heavy gear and participate in the loading and unloading of the ship as well as in the activities on deck and in the labs during the cruise. Shipboard environment may include: confined areas, shared sleeping quarters (berths) and bathroom facilities, small and basic berthing, fixed meal times and basic menus. Modest levels of heating, cooling, ventilation, and illumination, limited or no email and internet access and limited off-duty and recreational facilities (library, lounge, movies). May be exposed to potential allergens and irritants, including paint fumes. May experience constant and intermittent loud noises, and slippery and uneven surfaces.


WHOI is a member of the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC). We are sensitive to the issues of dual career candidates and we will work with applicants to address them. Please visit HERC - for more information.

WHOI is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer/Disabled/Veterans/M/F. We encourage Veterans and those with Disabilities to apply. Applications are reviewed confidentially. Applicants that require accommodation in the job application process are encouraged to contact us at (508) 289-2253 or email for assistance.