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Research Technician

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Moss Landing, California
Closing date
Nov 25, 2023

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Career Level
Education Level
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type
Non-Government Organization/Non-Profit

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute


MBARI seeks a Research Technician to join the Ocean Biogeochemical Sensing (OBS) Team. The ocean is facing unprecedented changes due to human activity: temperatures are rising, ocean acidity is increasing, oxygen levels are declining, and nutrient distributions are changing. These changes could have cascading effects through the ocean ecosystem, and impact society. However, the ocean is chronically under sampled, and we are not able to effectively quantify these changes through traditional ship-board measurements. Recent developments in biogeochemical sensors combined with autonomous platforms provide a potential solution to this under sampling problem. We are looking for a candidate with the expertise and excitement to contribute to this impactful area of research.


The main mission of the OBS team is to advance autonomous sensing technology, and help establish a global network of biogeochemical profiling floats and gliders. Such an observing system will allow sustained measurements of key biogeochemical parameters from the open ocean to the coast. This position will support the data management, quality control, and analysis of biogeochemical sensors on underwater gliders and profiling moorings. Additionally, the research technician will help troubleshoot, maintain, and calibrate custom-built pH sensors for these platforms.


The selected candidate will report to Yui Takeshita, and work closely with members in the OBS team and the Chemical Sensor Lab. This is a 1-year term position that may be extended depending on continued funding and job performance.


Primary responsibilities:

• Developing real-time data processing and monitoring of Spray2 underwater gliders, based on an existing data pipeline

• Quality control biogeochemical measurements (oxygen, pH, nitrate, and bio-optical measurements [chlorophyll fluorescence and down welling irradiance]) from underwater gliders

• Aid in deployment and recovery of underwater gliders off of small research vessels

• Remotely pilot underwater gliders for 5-10 missions per year

• Conduct routine maintenance, troubleshooting, and calibration of commercial and custom-built pH sensors for underwater gliders and moored systems

• Work collaboratively with external partners

• Presenting results at scientific meetings is encouraged


Required qualifications:

• Strong programming skills for scientific data analysis and visualization

• Background in oceanography is required, ideally marine biogeochemistry

• Highly organized, and capable of working independently on multiple projects simultaneously

• Candidate should be comfortable opening pressure housings, replacing and maintaining O-rings, and have basic familiarity with operating a range of hand tools

• Strong interest and basic experience with instrumentation

• Ability to safely lift 25 lbs. of instrumentation

• Excellent communication skills, and ability to work effectively in diverse, multi-disciplinary teams


Desired qualifications:

• Proficiency in Matlab

• Master’s degree in a scientific or engineering field or equivalent work experience

• Background in marine carbon dioxide chemistry and pH sensors

• Experience maintaining and calibrating marine instrumentation

• Ability to safely lift 50 lbs. of instrumentation

• Basic familiarity with electronics and wiring

• Ability and willingness to go to sea for specified periods is desired, ranging from half day trips to deploy instrumentation, or up to a week-long research cruise.

• Experience presenting technical information to a range of audiences

• AAUS certification


Ready to apply?

Job Code: OBS Research Tech


Please submit a cover letter, including reference to relevant training and/or experience, and a curriculum vitae by e-mail to, or by mail to the below address, or by fax to (831) 775-1659.



Jessica Chapman

7700 Sandholdt Road

Moss Landing, CA 95039


Salary range: $60,000-$80,000/year


MBARI offers a competitive compensation and benefits package, including medical, dental, vision, short and long term disability, life insurance, 403B retirement plan, and paid time off, such as vacation, holiday, and sick leave.


MBARI is an Equal Opportunity Employer. MBARI considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, age, disability, covered veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.

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