Marine Biologist (OFRP); A.I.S., Inc. (AIS)

A.I.S., Inc. (AIS) is a national scientific services firm supporting maritime activities requiring certification of compliance with environmental regulations as well as collecting data for use by Federal, State, Municipal, and other government agencies along the US coastline. AIS is recruiting Marine Biologist to support the OFRP (Oceanic Fish Restoration Project) to work at sea collecting and recording data and biological samples for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFCS) aboard vessel participants in the Gulf of Mexico and Southern Atlantic.

The Oceanic Fish Restoration project is intended to reduce fishing pressure during critical spawning periods for HMS (highly migratory species) that may have been adversely affected by the DWH oil spill. The project is helping restore both target and non-target fish species, by giving them time to grow and reproduce during the volunteer break from fishing. Longline fishermen participating in this project are selected through a voluntary bidding process requiring them to carry federal observers. The selected participants fish January through June using modified buoy, greenstick, and drop gear. Observers collect invaluable information on catch, bycatch, gear configurations, and location data. 

Click to Learn More about Becoming a Fisheries Observer

Observers’ record detailed information on the gear and fishing activity of the vessels while collecting biological samples. Observers work on deck on vessels ranging from 30’ to 90’ on trips roughly ranging from 1 to 30 days collecting data on fish catch and bycatch, and incidental takes such as marine mammals, seabirds, and marine turtles. Training will occur over 2-3 week period and consist of remote online training at the candidates home, and in person training in Miami, FL.  Observers are deployed from ports throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic states.

Training includes instructions on sampling protocols, gear, fisheries, fish identification, marine mammal/sea turtle identification, and safety.

This is a challenging job and candidates must be mentally prepared to be away from home for multiple days, and must be physically able to handle heavy lifting, working odd hours, and long days in rough seas. Observing provides an excellent career in marine biology, as observers are widely recognized as being excellent field biologists. A broad range of advancement opportunities are available to those who demonstrate appropriate capabilities. Those opportunities include, but are not limited to, project management, field supervisors, and fieldwork in other programs.

Compensation: Observers will be paid an hourly rate and total compensation will vary depending on employee’s availability and fishing effort AIS benefits package includes health and dental insurance, vacation, sick and holiday benefits.

Potential additional compensation consists of performance incentives, service awards, fitness center reimbursement, and referral bonus.

Travel is reimbursed in accordance with federal travel guidelines at an hourly rate along with compensation for miles accrued on a personal vehicle as well as per diem at the specified Government rate.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in one of the natural sciences and a minimum of 30 semester hours or equivalent in the biological sciences
  • At least one undergraduate course in math or statistics.
  • All relevant course work must have been performed at a level acceptable for credit at the candidate’s academic institution.
  • Experience with data entry on computers.
  • Observer candidates must be U.S. citizens, or be legally authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Candidates must be physically able, as determined by a licensed physician’s certification to perform observer duties.
  • Your own transportation is required.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • At-sea experience
  • Coursework with dichotomous keys


  • Applicants must be currently living, or be willing to live in the area of Dulac, LA


If you would like to apply for one of these exciting new openings, please click the following link to submit the following information.

  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter detailing sea and fish experience.
  3. At least 5 professional references (name, email address and phone number)
  4. Unofficial copies of your college transcripts with conferred date.

All documents must be submitted for your application to be considered.

If you have any questions pertaining to this opening please feel free to call William Byrd at or 774-762-7019.