Pacific Northwest Protected Species Observer/Passive Acoustic Monitoring Technician

Department: Endangered Species Observer
Location: Seattle, WA

A.I.S. Inc. is recruiting trained and experienced PSOs/PAM operators to join our team of observers for several potential upcoming projects in the Pacific Northwest. The primary purpose of these individuals is to reduce the potential for injury or harassment of protected species throughout the course of industry activities, by monitoring for protected species and implementing mitigation measures as project guidelines require. The potential work varies depending on the project. It may involve land based monitoring during pile driving activity, observation from small vessels that return to port each night, or require living offshore, for weeks at a time. During observations a schedule will be divided among the designated staff so that observers do not work more than 4 consecutive hours without a break and that they don’t work no more than 12 hours in a day. Work is estimated to be available starting mid August. Candidates will be selected based on their experience identifying and documenting Pacific species of marine mammals, sea turtles, and birds.



  1. Monitor a designated area for protected species for up to 4 hours at a time.
  2. Communicate protected species sightings and detection to the Lead PSO
  3. Accurately record sightings and complete logs associated with daily sighting activities.
  4. Accurately record and code data on standardized forms. Self audit data prior to submission.
  5. Operate and maintain field equipment including Garmin GPS, binoculars with reticles, range finder, high resolution digital camera with video capabilities, thermal imaging camera.
  6. Operate and troubleshoot PAM equipment including tow cables, hydrophone arrays, headphones RF transmitter, Fireface audio interface, Rackmount PC, buffer interface unit and thermal imaging software
  7. Accurately detect and localize protected species using PAMGuard

Compensation: $17.00 – $20.00 per hour (commensurate with experience). Travel expenses to and from the staging location will be reimbursable.


  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in one of the natural sciences and a minimum of 30 semester hours or equivalent in the biological sciences (may be waved if demonstrates good performance in previous PSO duties)
  2. Applicants should have at least one year of full-time, or equivalent part-time technical experience in observing protected species and/or using acoustic monitoring equipment.
  3. Ability to identify North Pacific species of marine mammal, sea turtles, and birds.
  4. All candidates must be NMFS/BOEM approved or have enough experience to be approved to work as a PSO.
  5. Experience working on vessels – applicants must be in good health, physically fit and capable of standing for 4 hours, climbing and descending ladders to access monitoring stations, focus continuously alternating with the naked eye and binoculars and to safely navigate slippery surfaces at boat ramps and on deck. Candidates will be required to pass a physical exam (including eyesight and hearing test) clearing them for sea duty prior to deployment.
  6. Offshore Survival and Safety Training is required. Basic Offshore Safety Inductions and Emergency Training (BOSIET) and Helicopter Underwater Evacuation Training (HUET) certifications will be given priority.
  7. Knowledge of computer software applications including: Microsoft Office Suite.
  8. Experience filling out data forms in the field and compiling data in tabular and graphical form.
  9. Candidates must be able to communicate clearly and concisely in English, both verbally and written


  1. This job will require work on weekends and holidays, and some longer/earlier/later than normal work days.
  2. Professional, personable and positive! Candidates will be living in close quarters with individuals of various industries during the course of this project. It is essential that they be well mannered and proud to represent A.I.S. Inc.
  3. Ability to work outdoors in adverse weather conditions including rainy and windy conditions, heat and cold.


To Apply: Please submit a resume, a cover letter detailing your PSO experience, 5 professional references (name, e-mail address and phone number), and any applicable credentials/certificates. Click the link below to complete our application and submit the required documents.

More information:

VEVRAA Federal Contractor

Request Priority Protected Veteran Referrals

Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled

Additional questions regarding the position can be directed to Jay Litchfield at 508-990-9054.

For more information please visit the AIS, Inc. website