Posted Date 4 months ago(12/5/2019 2:07 PM)
Job ID
# Positions
Full-Time 40
Security Clearance Level
National Agency Check (Client Initiated)


CSS is recruiting for a full-time Instructor to support the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), in Falmouth, MA.


The Fisheries Sampling Branch’s Northeast Fisheries Observer Program (NEFOP) provides observer coverage of several Northeast and Mid-Atlantic federal and state fisheries. The NEFOP trains and monitors the performance of fisheries observers while sampling onboard commercial fishing vessels from Maine to North Carolina, USA.  Deployment of observers is conducted by an observer service provider. The data that is collected by observers is tracked, edited, audited and uploaded to a master database by NEFOP staff. Data are provided to a variety of end-users and stakeholders for use in fisheries management decision making. The fisheries coverage is split between the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic areas.


The Fisheries Observer Instructor works with the fisheries observers who are sampling onboard commercial fishing vessels from Maine to North Carolina, USA. The data that is collected by observers is tracked, edited, audited, and uploaded to a master database by NEFOP staff. The data is provided to a variety of end-users and stakeholders for use in fisheries management decision making.


In order to provide adequate observer coverage as required, it is necessary to conduct observer training sessions on a semi-regular basis (in-house and road show sessions) to maintain an active observer workforce. Training sessions are required to teach specific NEFOP Observer Program and At-Sea


Monitor data collection protocols and to certify observers/monitors for deployment. NEFOP, At-Sea Monitoring Program (ASM), and Industry Funded Scallop Program (IFS), though new programs and certifications may evolve in response to scientific, management, and industry needs. Training sessions remain an essential component of the overall Observer and Monitor Programs.


Duties will include:

  • Contractor shall be responsible as a Lead Instructor for NEFOP Fishery-specific protocol instructions, and as a secondary instructor for other fishery protocols as needed.
  • Training observers on a number of program protocols, by preparing and delivering presentations and observer materials that effectively teach observers how to use program logs and Instructors may be required to teach various NEFOP components (NEFOP Observer, Industry Funded Scallop Observer, At-Sea-Monitors, end users, etc.).
  • Contractor shall assist in electronic data collection protocols, training and instruct observers in the use of electronic data collection hardware/software.
  • Contractor shall perform training trips as lead instructor during trainings and be able to support all at-sea training session gear types offered.
  • Contractor shall assist with development and updating of training curriculum and presentations
  • Contractor shall assist with the organization and coordination of training materials, supplies, grades, agendas, schedules, logistics, travel, training workshops (local and exportable), safety training and invited participants.
  • Contractor shall perform data debriefer duties (edit data) and become familiar with protocols for all observed fisheries.
  • Contractor shall develop methods to improve training,e. develop new training aids, analyze observer performance and develop training methods including assisting in the development of programs and processes that would enhance data quality and the efficiency of the training program such as; e-learning program; modular training, training trip role, safety training, etc.
  • Contractor shall assist with monitoring observer performance once new trained observers begin training trips, working with NEFOP debriefers to track performance
  • Contractor shall provide student evaluations and continuous feedback to the Training Lead on each training session to include training trip and safety training.
  • Contractor shall work with NEFOP staff in the development of new protocols.
  • Contractor shall communicate with newly trained observers to obtain feedback to be used to improve future training sessions.
  • If not already certified as an observer, and dependent upon the contractor’s certification types, the contractor shall complete observer certification and may need to perform observer duties at sea (up to 5 trips per year) in order to become familiar with protocols, data collection, observer responsibilities and issues observers encounter while working as a government representative in a field setting.
  • Contractor shall assist other instructors with fish collection, fish identification lab sessions during observer trainings and with the Species Verification Program (SVP) as a fish identification specialist including the tracking and entering of data related to the SVP.
  • Contractor shall assist in the organization of marine mammal necropsy labs and sea bird and turtle identification lab sessions during observer trainings.
  • Contractor shall work with other NEFOP staff and outside experts to develop new training tools and lesson plans to include training trip role and safety training.
  • Contractor shall review and/or edit raw data logs for completeness and accuracy; contact observers to verify inconsistencies and solve data recording problems as needed.
  • Contactor shall deploy as needed for shadow trips, trip trainer trips and probation/priority (Data Quality) trips.
  • Contractor may be assisting with all facets of observer safety training, which may include: Coordinates with safety training coordinator, assists with safety training agenda development, co- teaches safety training as requested, schedules pool time, participates in pool exercises, schedules vessels used for safety training with training lead, evaluates observers performances, prepares observer exercises, homework assignments, workshops, quizzes, exam questions, and audiovisuals, reviews and corrects exercises, quizzes and assignments, contacts and schedules industry and in-house participants, prepares training aids, audiovisuals, and gear models.
  • Contractor must be available for periodic overtime and weekend assignments.
  • Contractor may be assigned periodic regional outreach events.
  • Contractor shall be responsible for program development and training of programs consisting of the following: conflict resolution, incident reporting, seaday schedule, vessel selection, fisherman’s panel, port tour orientations, etc.
  • Contractor shall be responsible for program development and training of new and developing programs such as Industry Funded Monitoring (IFM).
  • Contractor shall be responsible for program development and training of Joint Enforcement Agreement (JEA) training.
  • Annually the contractor personnel will provide a brief (10-15 minute) presentation - skill in presenting/speaking, type of materials used, and how well the message was conveyed shall be evaluated.


  • B.S. degree in Marine Biology, Fisheries or a related field.
  • Minimum of one (1) year of relevant experience.
  • Must have the ability to perform at-sea observer-related duties (desired but not required).
  • Previous observer experience (desired but not required).
  • Northeast fisheries (trawl/gillnet/scallop/herring) familiarity
  • Northeast fish and marine mammal species and strong fish identification skills and experience (desired but not required).
  • Higher educational degrees in adult learning, developing training programs, or thesis work (desired but not required).
  • Adult teaching experience or exposure to active training techniques
  • Curriculum development experience
  • Experience as Instructors, trainers and/or curriculum designers
  • Motivated, self-sufficient, independent as well as strong team player
  • Mentoring training or experience
  • Conflict Resolution training or experience
  • Program planning and management in a team environment
  • Developing performance metrics and milestones
  • Working with diverse interagency teams
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Developing and monitoring resource investment strategies
  • Working with marine fisheries information programs or other science-based programs (desired but not required)
  • Strong math skills to assist with subsample protocol training
  • Proficient in current MS Office software
  • Web development, e-learning experience, ORACLE database knowledge, various electronic data collection system familiarity

Required skills, certifications, and credentials:

  • Without NEFOP observing or editing experience, must attend and pass the first available observer training
  • First Aid CPR AED (Red Heart Association or equivalent)
  • Bloodborne Pathogen training.
  • NOAA Safety I, II and/or III Advanced Observer Marine Safety
  • Lifeguard Certification (not required for all positions, but at least 1 person on the training team must poses this certification).
  • Valid driver's license
  • NSC Defensive Driving Course


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