Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission – Fisheries Laboratory Technician

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Group Definition: Fisheries Technicians perform duties related to the protection, preservation, propagation, and sampling of fish species and the preservation or enhancement of their habitat. They use knowledge of procedural requirements and processes to support the technical work of their unit. They provide practical technical support to research, operations, or program administration efforts.

Position/Project Specifics:

Conduct laboratory procedures to process fish hard structures such as vertebrae, fin rays, and otoliths for determining the age of fish. Laboratory tasks will include dissection of fish to remove hard structures, thin sectioning hard structures and preparing using other techniques for microscopic examination to determine age of fish based on standard age assignment criteria. Using of other laboratory equipment such as near infrared spectrometer to scan hard structures for spectral data. This position does not require supervisory or management duties. Position requires successful completion of a Bachelors degree in biology or environmental science.

Essential Functions: (The functions listed below are characteristic of the type and level of work associated with this group and pay band. They are not all-inclusive. Individual positions may perform some or all, as well as other similar work.)

  • Make standardized observations such as species identification, length, weight, behavior, growth, survival, reproductive condition, and/or signs of parasites, diseases or pathogens, fin clips or tags.
  • Collect and organize biological and habitat samples and collections (such as scales, otoliths, ageing structures, other tissues, water quality, etc.).
  • Summarize and input biological or habitat data on field forms, electronic data loggers, and/or desktop computers. May assist with preliminary data summaries and analyses, technical report writing, or database management.
  • Perform precision ageing of various fish species in a laboratory setting. Record age and growth data in the appropriate format.

Knowledge Required by the Position:

At the lower end of the range, employees use knowledge of basic arithmetic, reading, writing, and data collection to perform routine or repetitive tasks.

At the upper end of the position range, employees use knowledge of the basic principles and protocols of fish biology to make readings, measurements, and observations; execute tests; collect samples, etc. If complex equipment systems are operated, the employee has the knowledge to perform calibrations or adjustments to achieve desired results.

Additional Mandatory Skills:

  • fish ageing (scale, otholith, other)
  • compile and collect neat and accurate data

Additional Desirable Skills:

  • literature search/review
  • fish species ID skills
  • using fish keys
  • specific software skills (spreadsheet, word processing, database, GIS, statistical)
  • oral communication skills
  • written communication skills

Physical Demands:

The work is largely sedentary. There is some walking and bending and lifting of materials and supplies. This job is microscope intensive and involves long periods of sitting or standing in one spot.

Work Environment:

The work is performed in a laboratory environment, with adequate heating, lighting, and ventilation.

Offers of employment with PSMFC are contingent upon candidates being fully vaccinated from COVID-19 (unless eligible for exemption under a reasonable accommodation).


Minimum Qualification Requirements:

Candidates must present a 4-year course of study above high school leading to a bachelor’s degree with a major or at least 24 semester hours of coursework in any combination of scientific or technical courses. An equivalent combination of experience and education is also qualifying.

  • Specialized Experience is experience that equips the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position and is typically in or related to the work of the position being filled.

As indicated in the Position/Project Specifics, this position requires successful completion of a Bachelors degree in biology or environmental science. Preference will therefore be given to candidates able to display these qualifications.