UIC Alaska

Protected Species Observer - UIC Science

Research & Scientific
Location : Location
Travel Requirement
50% - 75%
Additional Locations
US-AK-Dutch Harbor


Company Overview
Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation (UIC) is the village corporation of Barrow, Alaska and is recognized as one of Alaska's top 10 companies with approximately 4,000 employees nationwide and revenues above $700M annually. UIC is projected to grow substantially in the coming years to become a top 3 company in Alaska by 2030. 

As a proud Alaska Native Corporation, our success brings growth and benefits to our Inupiat shareholders. The size and diversity of our operations means we have a broad variety of career opportunities. We recruit only qualified people looking to join a workforce characterized by strong leadership, competent and hard-working staff, and a superior work environment with a focus on career development, great wages and benefits.


The Protected Species Observer will sail aboard one of four ocean-going tugs embarking from Dutch Harbor, AK, traveling to Oliktok Point, AK and returning to Dutch Harbor, AK. Embarkation dates will be staggered beginning on/about 15JUL24 and disembarking no later than 26AUG24. This position requires the completion of a two-day PSO training course prior to departure. This work is in support of ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. (CPAI) summer barging. The Protected Species Observer will be responsible for marine mammal observations, data collection, and entry of data into electronic data sheets throughout the voyage.  The Protected Species Observer will also familiarize vessel personnel with special operating procedures, applicable regulations, and mitigation measures while underway.

Duties will also include being able to identify species of all marine mammals that occur in the area and knowledge of their behavior. The Protected Species Observer will be responsible for determining if a listed marine mammal has been disturbed, harassed, harmed, injured or killed and if so, will report the incident to NMFS immediately.

The Protected Species Observer will be expected to work outside of normal business hours; typical work schedule is 12 hours per day while underway, and 8 hours per day while training/onboarding.  The ship is a moving platform and exposure to seasickness is possible.


Essential Functions


The Protected Species Observer will support CPAI’s summer barging program by diligently monitoring for marine mammals near the vessel during all operations including start-up, transit, screeding, and other activities as specified in the Letters of Concurrence (LOC).


Specific duties and responsibilities are as follows:


  • Monitor all marine water within the indicated monitoring zone for the presence of listed species. Upon identification of a listed species, PSOs will have the ability and authority to order appropriate mitigation response, including shutdowns, to avoid takes of all listed species. If a take occurs, PSO are responsible for immediately reporting the occurrence to NMFS using provided contact information.
  • PSOs are required to keep a record of observations, vessel activity, vessel speed, wind force and visibility during each shift. Data forms will be submitted electronically.
  • Vessel logistics can be extremely fluid (e.g., weather, ice conditions, schedule changes, etc.) and Protected Species Observers must be flexible.
  • Duties will generally be performed on the bridge
  • It is expected that the Protected Species Observer gain an understanding of shipboard operations and safety, as well as science activities, the tools used for data collection, ultimate data products and its availability to the public as well as the overall goal of the mission.
  • At the end of the voyage, the Protected Species Observer will provide a final report
  • Maintain appropriate records and report on activities as assigned under their oversight responsibility. Participate in daily planning meetings if requested.
  • Pre-cruise training and orientation with UIC Science will occur one week prior to vessel departure.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Knowledge and Critical Skills/Expertise:

  • Experience in subsistence hunting, including whaling and other marine hunting activities.
  • Strong oral and written skills to communicate with stakeholders regarding the vessel’s activities.
  • Functional knowledge to effectively perform e-mail management and reporting
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Word, Office, and Adobe programs
  • Team player to develop strong relationships with staff and ship crew members


Required Experience:

  • Ability to travel on an ocean-going vessel and perform office work
  • Ability to test for and pass a non-DOT pre-employment drug screening and must follow all Non-DOT Drug and Alcohol testing program requirements.
  • Have personal ID, in the form of a valid driver’s license or passport.
  • Able to communicate in English verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to work effectively with people from a variety of backgrounds
  • Ability to speak and/or understand Inupiaq language is strongly preferred.


Physical Demands:

  • Repetitive and prolonged postures involving standing, sitting, twisting, squatting, kneeling, stooping, and reaching to full range from above the head to the deck.
  • Employee must always have good balance and coordination to safely walk over catwalks, enter/ exit hatches, and over uneven and/or slippery surfaces.
  • Different docks have various combinations of barge drafts and river stages which make it necessary to step across, up, down, or over an obstacle to gain access to the dock from the barge or from the barge to the boat or from the boat to the dock.
  • Employee must have ability to sit and/or stand for at least 6-hour shifts, walk for prolonged periods, handle (lift, carry, push and pull) various materials and tools, climb ladders, stairwells while working in inclement weather.
  • Must be able to work in cold/hot weather while wearing required PPE (e.g., life preserver, respirators, goggles, etc.).
    • Must be able to lift at least 50 pounds.
  • Prior ship experience of at least one thirty-day cruise aboard a large ship, including a party of 25 individuals is highly desirable. 
  • Speak and understand the Inupiaq Language.
  • Prior Protected Species Observer position experience.
  • Resident of Northern coastal Alaska Indigenous Community.
  • Have or receive a current cold water offshore survival training certification.

Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs

All employees must pass Non-DOT pre-employment drug screening and follow all UIC Non-DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing Program guidelines and requirements.

If working on a DOT project, employees must pass a DOT pre-employment drug screening and follow all DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing Program requirements.


Important Notice

Candidates must pass a background check in order to fill this position.

UIC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), persons unable to complete an online application should contact UIC HR for assistance.

UIC considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, physical or mental disability, family responsibility, marital status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, veteran's status or any other legal protected status. Pursuant to The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act 43 U.S.C. Sec. 1601 et seq., and federal contractual requirements, Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation, may legally grant certain preference in employment opportunities to UIC Shareholders and their Descendants. EOE/AA/M/F/D/V





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