Fish Aging Lab Support Specialist

At Saltwater Inc., we believe that high-quality data is vital to the health of our fisheries and oceans: our mission is to provide that data. We are a Women-Owned Small Business and are constantly seeking new team members who share our passion for innovation and environmental wellness. We are currently recruiting for a Fish Aging Lab Support Specialist for an ongoing federal contract that we are performing for the Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). This position assists the SWFSC with the preparation and scanning of CPS and HMS otoliths using FT-NIRS Methodology.

Our ideal candidate is someone with experience working in a laboratory with standard scientific instruments and protocols who has experience aging fish otoliths. This position is to be filled immediately and is part of an ongoing contract in its first option year that extends through September 2023. There is likely two more one-year option periods to follow. The location for this position is at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, CA.


The contractor shall conduct laboratory work to prepare and scan otoliths, maintain equipment, and deliver completed data for data entry. Key tasks include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

    • Polish and/or section CPS and HMS otoliths in preparation for age and growth studies
    • Clean and weigh CPS and HMS otoliths in preparation for FT-NIRS scanning
    • Scan otoliths for an assigned species using a Fourier transform near infrared spectrometer, up to 5000 specimens a year
    • Manage, organize, and archive otolith samples
    • QA/QC generated spectral data and as needed, entry of data into database
    • Support senior scientists/biologists with analysis and research of spectral data for scientific publications and meetings/workshops/ symposiums as required.
    • Ensure laboratory equipment is maintained.

If you experience working in a laboratory with standard scientific instruments and protocols who has experience aging fish otoliths, check out the requirements to the right and apply today!

Saltwater Inc. is proud to be an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.

Qualifications / Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree, or higher, from an accredited college or university with a major directly related in a field of study as related to the requirements of specific task order with emphasis in fisheries, oceanography, social science, natural science, mathematics, or hydrology.
  • Direct experience working in a laboratory environment
  • Experience working independently on a research project
  • Experience using scientific instruments and following standard protocols
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (i.e., Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Access)
  • Good oral and written communication skills

Saltwater’s mandatory employee COVID-19 policy requires proof of Covid-19 vaccination to safeguard the health of our employees and their families.


Salary commensurate with experience.

Saltwater Inc. is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and does not discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, parental status, veteran status, or disability status. We strive to create an inclusive workplace culture to attract the best talent and allow each member of our team to achieve their full potential and maximum productivity. Furthermore, Saltwater Inc. highly encourages qualified individuals with disabilities and protected veterans to apply for positions for which they are qualified and to notify us if there are any needs for accommodation throughout the application process and/or upon hire.

How to Apply

Only qualified applicants with the requisite experience need to apply. If interested, applicants should submit a resume and cover letter that briefly describes how you meet the qualifications listed above and why you would be the best candidate for the job.

We will honor all requests for application confidentiality.

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