Program Specialist – Alaska Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program

We are recruiting an Alaska Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program Specialist for a federal contract we are bidding on in support of the Alaska Region (AKR) Protected Resources Division to provide veterinary and health expertise as well as education and outreach. This position will start October 1, 2022 and end September 30, 2023 with the possibility of up to two one-year contract extensions.

If you are passionate about working with and protecting marine mammals, this may be a position for you. This job will be located in Juneau, AK, and is part-time. The approximate required hours will be 1,026 hours not to exceed 1,282 hours per contract year. The selected candidate will work closely with AKR Stranding Program Coordinator, Entanglement Coordinators, Alaska Region staff, and with the Alaska Stranding Program Network Members (Network) to provide veterinary, necropsy, and disentanglement support as well as education and outreach.

Our ideal candidate has experience performing necropsies, is exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable in veterinary practices, specifically with marine mammals, is well-versed in various disentanglement techniques, and has done educational outreach work. Experience with diverse teams including public and subsistence users is a must.


  • Identify needed sampling and necropsy supplies for the Stranding Network;
  • Assist in coordinating or leading marine mammal necropsies throughout Alaska;
  • Transfer biological samples collected from stranded marine mammals to labs and state veterinary pathologist for analysis following network protocols and standard operating procedures;
  • Obtain/maintain Co-Investigator role on NMFS MMHSRP permit as a large whale entanglement responder (level 4);
  • Coordinate/assist with large whale entanglement responses in Alaska as requested by the Large Whale Entanglement Coordinator;
  • Prepare for large whale entanglement responses by obtaining, maintaining, and distributing entanglement response gear;
  • Lead or assist Steller sea lion disentanglements in coordination with the Stranding Program Coordinator and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game;
  • Serve as a health specialist on interagency Pinniped Entanglement Working Group and perform follow-up actions;
  • Purchase sedatives and other medications for pinniped disentanglement response;
  • Assist with the development, contribute to, and/or distribute proper documentation, health reports, or publications associated with these activities;
  • Communicate with the Stranding Network and NMFS Office of Law Enforcement as necessary to accomplish various tasks;
  • Write or assist with 2-4 articles for the two Stranding Program newsletters per year;
  • Complete all level A forms, regional forms and all necropsy reports for which they are lead in a complete within 30 days;
  • Assist with annual summary reports (including tables, charts, and histograms of species totals, locations, dates, cause of death, and findings of human interaction);
  • Assist with requests for stranding and entanglement data including maps, tables and figures for reports and presentations.
  • Assist with determining fishery assignments for stranding events where fishery interaction has occurred and add this information to stranding data;
  • Coordinate UME-related activities and fulfill the role of on- or off-site coordinator if requested, including leading meetings and developing recommendations for UME responses and future activities;
  • Participate in carcass surveys or necropsies as part of identified or potential UME investigations;
  • Work with other veterinarians or experts to analyze available health data to help determine cause of death or illness in UME cases;
  • Document UME-specific information in summary reports or case closure-related documents.


Saltwater Inc. is 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.


  • Experience working with diverse teams, public and subsistence users.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Experience with Marine Mammal health and necropsy including evaluating human interactions.
  • Experience with large whale and pinniped disentanglement responses.
  • Must have Veterinary (DVM / VMD) and DEA licenses
  • Must be able to obtain/maintain Co-Investigator role on NMFS MMHSRP permit as both a large whale entanglement responder (level 4 or higher) and pinniped disentanglements.
  • Experience with MS Office and Arc GIS.
  • Must have CPR & First Aid certification.


Salary commensurate with experience.

How To Apply

Only qualified applicants with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM / VMD) and 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.

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

Please send your resume and cover letter to Savannah Afoa at

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