Job Summary

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is currently searching for a Research Associate to join the Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry Department. This is a regular, full-time, exempt position, and is eligible for benefits.

A Biogeochemical scientist/data analyst is sought to contribute to projects studying ocean biogeochemistry using sensor-based ocean observing systems. A central role for the Research Associate will be to contribute to the Biogeochemical Argo (https://biogeochemical-argo.org activities at WHOI, as part of the larger WHOI Argo effort (

The internal working title for this position could be either Research Associate I, Research Associate II, or Research Associate III. The final level of the position will be determined commensurate with the selected candidate’s level of education & experience.

Essential Functions

The successful candidate will join a team pioneering advancements in ocean observations and the development of innovative data products. Responsibilities will include management and quality control of biogeochemical data collected by autonomous oceanographic platforms including Argo floats. Additional tasks will include sensor testing and evaluation, assisting with float pre-deployment checkout, coordinating cruise opportunities, and organizing and archiving cruise validation datasets. The successful candidate must be able to work well in a team, and with national and international partners including contributing to co-authored manuscripts for peer review and reports for internal and external audiences.


  • As deemed necessary by supervisor

Education & Experience


All Levels:

Candidates should have at least a Bachelor’s degree in Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering or related field. Prior coursework in programming and experience with oceanographic instrumentation is highly desirable.

Research Assistant II:

Bachelor’s degree in related field, or Bachelor’s degree in non-related field plus two years’ related experience, or Associate’s degree in related field plus three years’ related experience, or High School diploma or equivalent plus five years’ related experience.

Research Assistant III:

Master’s degree in related field, or Bachelor’s degree in related field plus three years’ related experience, or Bachelor’s degree in nonrelated field plus five years’ related experience, or Associate’s degree in related field plus six years’ related experience, or High School diploma or equivalent plus eight years’ related experience.

Research Associate I:

Bachelor’s degree in a specifically related field with minimal experience, or evidence of appropriate skills gained through experience in the absence of a formal degree.

Research Associate II:

Master’s degree in a specifically related field with minimal relevant experience, or Bachelor’s degree in a related field with several years of relevant experience, or demonstrated competency as a Research Associate I, or significant, progressive independence and skill development as a Research Assistant III, or Senior Research Assistant levels or equivalent positions on the other technical ladders, or equivalent experience in the absence of a formal degree.

Research Associate III:

Ph.D. in a related field, or Master’s in a related field with several years of relevant experience, or Bachelor’s in a related field with more than five years of experience. In the absence of a formal degree, considerable equivalent work experience is required. Successful candidates will have demonstrated the technical skill, motivation, independence, and creativity necessary to complete difficult tasks.


  • Understanding of ocean biogeochemical cycling including carbon, oxygen and nutrient cycles in the context of large-scale ocean circulation
  • Technical training or practical experience in programming (Python, Matlab or similar)
  • Hands-on experience with oceanographic instrumentation and biogeochemical sensors
  • Ability to multitask and meet strict deadlines
  • Ability to work independently
  • Strong communication and organization skills

Special Requirements

Must be able to obtain a TWIC card.

Physical Requirements

Physical duties for this position include but are not limited to, regular lifting of up to 50 lbs. Visual abilities to include near, far, peripheral, depth perception, and ability to distinguish basic colors. Hearing requirements include the ability to hear and respond to instructions, communicate effectively in loud areas (pier/dock, warehouse). Other physical tasks include occasional prolonged standing/walking; use of hands for basic /fine grasping and manipulation, repetitive motion, reaching above and below the shoulders, pushing, pulling, kneeling, bending, twisting, and stooping. Other occupational requirements include talking, traveling, working around others, and with others. Will be exposed to dust or other irritants and electrical/mechanical/power equipment hazards. Physical duties are subject to change.

Sea Duty

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 sh ip 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.

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