Marine Mammal Science Job Openings

Position: Soundwatch/Be Whale Wise Coordinator

Job Category: Paid Staff Position
Date Posted:

Established in 1979 as the first U.S. museum dedicated to whales living in the wild, The Whale Museum (TWM) promotes stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research. The Soundwatch Boater Education Program was initiated in 1993 by TWM to reduce disturbances to marine wildlife caused by irresponsible boater behaviors. This innovative program educates boaters on guidelines and regulations for marine wildlife through shore-based education, reinforces the learning experience through on–the-water educational patrols, monitors vessel activities to characterize vessel trends, and evaluate existing guidelines and laws. The main focus of our work is the endangered Southern Resident killer whales (SRKWs) but there are other marine mammal species of importance in our region, including Transient killer whales, Minke whales, Humpback whales, Fin whales, Harbor porpoise, Dall’s porpoise, Harbor seals, Steller sea lions, and many other cetacean and pinniped species. A key component of Soundwatch is the transboundary Be Whale Wise Program.
The Coordinator oversees all aspects of the Soundwatch and Be Whale Wise Programs including, but not limited to: coordination of seasonal field operations; small vessel operations/maintenance, Be Whale Wise education/outreach on marine stewardship; maintenance of the program long-term data sets and database; preparation of program reports; training, mentoring and coordination of volunteers, interns and seasonal contract employees; assistance with grant writing/fund raising; collaborate with partner monitoring programs, the whale watch industry and federal and state marine mammal management and enforcement teams. The successful candidate should understand and have experience with U.S. and Canadian recovery priorities related to the endangered SRKWs. The Coordinator reports to TWM Executive Director and works cooperatively with other museum staff. This position is classed as year-round, full-time Management/Administrative with field work responsibilities.
The successful candidate will have:
• Bachelor’s Degree plus 7 years’ experience in a relevant field, specifically marine mammal research in the wild
• Minimum 4 years’ experience in small vessel operations, with previous experience operating around marine wildlife. Familiarity with VHF radio use and etiquette. Washington State Boater License required
• Experience in education and/or outreach
• Strong knowledge of marine ecosystems, marine mammal biology and natural history, specifically the endangered SRKWs and the Salish Sea
• Strong verbal and written communication skills necessary for public interaction, conflict resolution, department planning, grant writing and project management experience
• Team player with excellent interpersonal skills, able to interact effectively with staff & board, interns/volunteers, visitors, members, and the public
• Ability to multi-task and work flexible schedule, specifically some weekends and evenings
• Ability to collect and synthesize information; effective problem solving skills
• Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
• Ability to lift 40 lbs. or more and to stand for long periods of time
• Excellent computer/technological skills (i.e., database management, ArcGIS, Microsoft Office)
Salary range is $63,000-68,000 (varies based on experience, relocation support needs and start date). Benefit package includes: Health Care (medical, vision, dental), Simple IRA Retirement Plan Contribution, Paid Time Off and Holidays.
HOW TO APPLY: Please submit a PDF file containing your letter of interest, resume and at least three references. Your letter of interest must address (1) examples of accomplishments to illustrate your experience for this role; (2) your philosophy about the position; and (3) insight into what draws you to The Whale Museum’s mission at this time in your career. Please Note: International applicants required to have approved Visa and documentation to work in the U.S. at the time of submission. Please email your PDF package to: Jenny L. Atkinson, Executive Director, The Whale Museum – email:

Equal Opportunity Employer. Hiring decisions are not made based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, protected veteran status or any other legally protected group status.

The duties listed are to give prospective applicants a better understanding of the position. This is not a comprehensive list of job duties.

Position open: November 7, 2023. Deadline: Open until position is filled.

Please send to: Jenny L. Atkinson, Executive Director, The Whale Museum, P. O. Box 945, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 or email: