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Endangered Species Observers

Various US Locations 

REMSA Inc. Coastal & Marine Division is seeking skilled and experienced Independent Contracting Observers to monitor sea turtles, marine mammals, sturgeons, and birds. REMSA, Inc. has been in business since 1986; our Marine Endangered Species Observer (MESO) Program was established in 1999 to provide service to dredging companies in support of environmental compliance for clam-shell, hopper dredge and other offshore industrial operations requiring compliance monitoring by NMFS approved marine biologists.

A position as an endangered species MESO biologist and observer requires someone who is available to travel on short notice, is able to live aboard an off-shore vessel for periods of time and can physicaly work in nonpermit confined work spaces. A successful candidate understands marine and dredging operations, and is able to perform the physical and detail oriented requirements of the position.



Marine Endangered Species Observers will conduct protected species observations aboard dredging projects and other marine construction projects on various waterways along the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico in the United States. Observers will be required to perform duties in adverse/inclement weather aboard ships at sea for approximately 3-4 weeks at a time. Must be able to work independently and follow technical instructions as required.

* Marine mammal and sea turtle experience is mandatory and the ability to work in various job locations throughout the U.S is a plus.


Duties include, but are not limited to the following:

- Identification of marine animals at distance, up close, and in pieces to the correct species for: sea turtles, marine mammals, sturgeons, and saw-tooth fish.

- Maintain bridge watch for sea turtles and marine mammals during all operative hours

- Physically inspect each dredge load screening basket, and points of intake for evidence of any endangered or threatened species live or dead, in whole, or severely damaged.

- Ability to live at sea for at least 3 weeks at a time

- Report interactions with endangered/threatened species to various government agencies as determined within the project’s specifications.

- Data collection, tagging, biopsies, and record keeping of biological sampling data for sea turtles and other species of concern as determined by the project detailed Biological Opinion and Specifications.



Must be a U.S. Citizen or have authorization to work in the U.S. without sponsorship or restrictions

Must have (or be eligible to obtain) Endangered/Protected Species approval from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)

Must have a valid Driver’s License & Clean Driving Record

Must be able to lift 50 pounds, operate in confined spaces, and climb ladders aboard ships and crew boats

Must have or be able to obtain a Federal TWIC clearance and the physical card in hand prior to accepting any work assignment.



- Bachelors Degree in Marine Biology, Biology, Marine Ecology or similar education with at least one year of specialized AT-SEA experience. Extensive exposure and knowledge through experience will be considered.



- Extensive hands-on experience with sea turtles and/or marine mammals is required for consideration.

- Identification of sea turtles, marine mammals and other protected marine animals to species.

- Data collection, biological sampling, identification of bones and body parts to species, necropsy experience a plus

- Reporting interactions with endangered/threatened species to various government agencies.

- Working independently and able to get along with crew members at sea

- Compliance overseer willing to communicate to regulatory officials, program managers, and difficult persons in a clear, competent and non-confrontational manner.



This is an Independent Contractor position; salary varies with project location and scope of work

Travel expenses to/from project locations are the responsibility of the observer.

Lodging and meals are provided on board at-sea hopper dredge vessels.



Candidates do not need to reside in the local area, but must have a flexible schedule and able to travel to assignments. Candidates living on the East Coast & Gulf of Mexico are strongly preferred.



Interested applicants should send the following application materials:

- Detailed resume documenting all relevant experience, NMFS certifications, education, and skills

- Cover letter outlining why you would be a good fit for this position indicating longevity of deployments and management of diverse situations and conditions. Please indicate if you have worked with REMSA, Inc. before.

Submit all materials as attachments: PDF files or MS Word files via email to:

Erin McMichael, Project Manager,


REMSA Inc. Supports a Drug Free Work Place

EOE of Minorities/Females/Vets/Disability

Posted May 13, 2019

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