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We recruit and train the best in our field. 

Work at sea searching for marine mammals and sea turtles. Protected Species Observers (PSOs) and PAM Operators (Passive Acoustic Monitoring) are needed for deployment offshore. Job description and requirement details are below. 

TO APPLY: (You must be a US citizen with a US Passport to apply.)

  1. Read the job description and qualification requirements below

  2. Complete our hiring questionnaire

  3. If you answered YES to all the questions, please submit your CV and a letter letting us know who you are and what you're about to

US Passport

PSO Training Course

NMFS & BSEE Approved PSO Training program

Contact us to learn more!

​Training course topics include:

  • HSE and life at sea overview

  • Marine mammal and sea turtle identification

  • Regulatory requirements and documentation

  • Data collection

Our Protected Species Observer (PSO) Certification training courses are specific to US Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico geophysical and geotechnical surveys, with an emphasis on offshore wind development.


Our trainings are reserved for individuals looking to begin an offshore PSO career with Smultea Sciences. Course attendees must be US citizens with a valid US Passport and a four-year degree concentrated in the natural sciences. 

To learn more about the training course, please complete the hiring questionnaire and email your resume/CV to the link below. 

Group & corporate PSO Training

We also provide private and corporate trainings. Please email us for more details and to make arrangements. 

We reserve the right to select course attendees based on qualifications and hiring needs. Obtaining certification as a PSO does not guarantee placement/hiring as a PSO.

All training materials are protected under copyright and may not be distributed or reproduced.

PSO Training
PSO Job Description & Requirements





This is a sea-based field biology position that requires you to work long hours (12 hours daily), odd hours, endure heat, cold, rough seas, sun, rain, insects, and more. You are responsible for knowing the biology and ecology of the local species (marine mammals, sea turtles, birds) and local environment in addition to provided regulatory requirements.


You live and work aboard client-owned vessels and are subject to regulations for specific projects. This position requires you to live on vessels (in shared rooms) for rotations of 4-10 consecutive weeks working 7 days a week, holidays, day and night shifts. On occasion, we also observe from small aircraft or land. 

This work is to ensure project compliance for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to mitigate sound sources or vessel strikes that can potentially impact protected species. We conduct visual and acoustic surveys for protected marine species for clients primarily in the offshore wind industry off the U.S. East Coast in the Atlantic Ocean. We also work in the Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, Arctic, Alaska, and internationally. We aim to keep our level of data collection high and approach this from a scientific perspective while working closely with the client to maintain their objective.

Specifically, PSOs monitor mitigation requirements to ensure no protected species are within a specified exclusion zone around an offshore platform or vessel. You will be expected to:  

  • Accurately identify marine species and their behaviors

  • Collect and catalog very detailed quality data

  • Provide biological expertise to crews

  • Know the regulations and guidelines for each specific project

  • If PAM qualified, you must be proficient operating the hardware, software, and in detecting marine mammals

Other skills and qualities required include:

  • A 4-year degree in one of the natural sciences OR relevant experience as a PSO

  • Good leadership/cooperation skills

  • Regular travel via car, plane, boat, etc.​

  • You need to be ready and capable handling hurried and hectic travel circumstances. You might be asked to rent cars and/or make hotel reservations. Logistics are typically set up for you, but things in this industry can change erratically and you need to be able to “roll with it” and plan quickly. All approved travel expenses are fully reimbursed.

  • You need to be physically fit, able to carry gear, move around boats, and stand for a minimum continuous 4-hour shift.

NOTE: If you are prone to sea sickness, this is not the job for you! 


The following credentials must be submitted to be eligible for deployment:

  • PSO Course Certificate

    • IF you are brand new PSO with no experience you will need to take a BOEM/BSEE/NMFS-approved PSO training course (this training is provided to candidates selected to join our team.)

    • Experienced PSOs must submit a PSO course certificate from a BOEM/BSEE/NMFS approved provider. 

  • BOSIET Certification. BOSIET is the industry standard, satisfying the requirement for ALL projects.  

  • OGUK Medical Certificate. To find doctors in the US follow the link.

  • Negative drug screen within the last year

  • Resume/CV demonstrating some combination of the following for review/approval by federal regulators. NOTE: All PSO/PAM observers must be approved by BOEM/NMFS prior to deployment. An updated resume emphasizing this information is essential:

    • previous PSO/PAM experience, ideally in the Atlantic region

    • comparable observation-based marine mammal data collection experience in an offshore setting (e.g., research, whale-watches sometimes satisfies this requirement)

  • US Passport and legal work status in the US.

  • Resume/CV stating that you have achieved a 4-year degree in a natural science discipline or relevant previous experience as a PSO.


  • List of completed relevant science classes

  • Experience with databases (e.g., Excel, Access, data collection programs) data QAQC, and/or report writing

  • List of marine mammal and sea turtle species seen

  • Experience on the water/vessels (aerial experience observing over water helps too)—listing hours or days of this experience helps (e.g., on a sailboat, fishing boat, research boat, etc.)

  • Experience working with teams in remote or tight conditions (similar to a boat), including sharing housing on shore, bunk rooms on a boat, or remote camping/hiking

  • References of character/experience (names and numbers/emails)


Diversity Commitment

Smultea Sciences is an equal opportunity employer that highly values diversity, equity, and inclusion. Recognizing the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be, we are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills.  

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