Laboratory & Research Specialist (Temporary Position)

Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Gloucester Point, Virginia
Up to $14.00 per hour, commensurate with experience
Feb 16, 2018
Position # T0549V
Institution Type
Specialized Institutions

The primary focus of the Multispecies Research Group (MRG) within the Fisheries Science Department at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) is the collection, analysis and generation of fisheries data in support of resources management and ecological conservation activities in the Chesapeake Bay and along the US Atlantic Coast.

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science invites qualified applicants to apply for the Temporary (40-hour week) Laboratory & Research Specialist position located in Gloucester Point, VA.


The Laboratory & Research Specialist position will support the mission of the MRG through involvement in field sampling and laboratory processing.

The position’s core responsibilities will be related to the preparation and the execution of the NEAMAP spring 2018 survey cruise that is to be conducted by this program as well as to the laboratory processing of the field generated biological samples.

Responsibilities will also include (but not limited to):

  • Inventories necessary supplies and equipment for research cruises. Transport, stowage and configuration of all survey materials to the chartered fishing vessel.
  • Assists with implementation of all necessary catch processing procedures at sea, including proper use of all the catch processing equipment and troubleshooting of that equipment.
  • Assists with the execution of all ancillary data collection protocols (net monitoring, tow tracks, site identification and atmospheric and hydrographic monitoring.
  • Conducts laboratory processing of fisheries related samples, such as hard parts for ageing and fish stomachs for diet determination.
  • Participates in the other MRG field surveys as needed.

Required Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in a related field or the equivalent combination of education, training and or experience.


  • Knowledge of laboratory procedures as related to age determination of fishes as well as to the processing of fish stomachs to support diet determination, with the ability to record length, weight, sex and maturity from fish at sea.
  • Basic knowledge of the various protocols used by the trawl monitoring surveys, including catch processing, net monitoring, hydrographic and atmospheric data collection.   Familiarity with electronics and in particular automated catch data equipment including: Scantrol measuring boards, Marel motion-compensated balances, FEED software and rugged computer equipment.
  • Working knowledge of scientific principles and the scientific process, especially as they relate to fisheries-independent monitoring surveys.
  • Working knowledge of personal computers and Microsoft Office Suite software, among others.
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to work effectively as a collaborative team member.
  • Ability to work on a commercial trawling vessel chartered for scientific research and stay on-board the vessel (overnight) for multiple weeks at a time. Ability to successfully perform duties, often under adverse conditions (heavy seas, high winds, precipitation), for multiple weeks at a time, with the ability to resist motion sickness or at the minimum “work-through” bouts of motion sickness.
  • Ability to lift 60-75lb baskets of fishes repeatedly over a 16-18 hour work day on a moving vessel.
  • Ability to pass the VIMS at-sea survival training exercise.


  • Demonstrated experience using Microsoft Office Suite or comparable applications.
  • Experience performing aquatic field sampling and data collection using standard fishery techniques in the field as well as the laboratory.

Preferred Qualifications:


Working knowledge of the fauna of the Mid-Atlantic Bight, Southern New England and the Chesapeake Bay, particularly with respect to their identification and biology.


Experience with electronics and in particular automated catch data equipment including: Scantrol measuring boards, Marel motion-compensated balances, FEED software and rugged computer equipment.


The College of William & Mary values diversity and invites applications from underrepresented groups who will enrich the research, teaching and service missions of the university. The College is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and encourages applications from women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

The College of William & Mary is committed to providing a safe campus community. W&M conducts background investigations for applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include reference checks, a criminal history record check, and when appropriate, a financial (credit) report or driving history check.

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