The Marine Mammal Center advances global conservation through marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education.
WHAT MOTIVATES OUR WORK
The ocean is in trouble. From the depletion of fish stocks to increasing ocean temperatures, human activity threatens marine ecosystems that are vital to the health of our ocean and all life on earth. As a critical first responder to these threats, The Marine Mammal Center is leading the field in ocean conservation through marine mammal rescue, veterinary medicine, science, and education. Marine mammals are ecosystem indicators, and these animals provide insights into human and ocean health threats. Together, we are taking action today to support a network of scientists and stewards to protect our shared ocean environment for future generations.
To advance our mission, we focus our work in three key program areas:
- Animal Care: With a volunteer force numbering more than 1,200 and the support of a concerned public, the Center is able to respond to marine mammals in distress. Sick and injured animals are treated and rehabilitated at our state-of-the-art veterinary facilities where we care for our patients until they can be released back to their ocean home. Covering a rescue range that spans 600 miles of California coastline and the Big Island of Hawai‘i, the Center responds to more stranded marine mammals than any other organization in the world. Our sought-after experts are deployed locally and internationally to provide technical veterinary expertise and training on best practices ranging from anesthesia to disentanglement.
- Scientific Research: The Center is a major contributor to the global body of research and knowledge about marine mammal medicine and health. Our veterinary experts develop new clinical techniques to improve marine mammal rehabilitation and care, and investigate the reasons why marine mammals strand and how these factors are connected to ecosystem and human health. Our scientists also investigate how marine mammals use and interact with their ocean environment to better understand and protect them from many threats. Learning from every animal we respond to and studying animals in the wild, our researchers identify novel diseases and pathogens, support endangered and threatened species conservation, identify and help mitigate human-caused threats and partner with scientists around the world on collaborative research that utilizes samples and data collected by the Center. Marine mammal health, ocean health and human health are inextricably linked, and our work advances knowledge of all three to benefit us all.
- Education: As a teaching hospital, the Center serves as a vital training ground for veterinary professionals from across the globe, expanding the collective understanding and application of marine veterinary science and conservation. Our innovative school and public education programs build a sense of responsibility through a connection to marine mammals and the marine environment, inspiring future ocean stewards and promoting action to protect the ocean. Each year, these education programs and hands-on trainings reach more than 100,000 children and adults, supporting the next generation of informed scientists and engaged citizens who will care for and ensure the health of our ocean and environment.
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION
The Marine Mammal Center was founded in 1975 by three local citizens: Lloyd Smalley, Pat Arrigoni and Paul Maxwell. Since then, and thanks to their vision, the Center is now a global leader in marine mammal health, science and conservation and is the largest marine mammal hospital in the world. The Center operates physical locations in Sausalito, Morro Bay and Moss Landing, CA, as well as in Kona, Hawai‘i, and has an annual operating budget of $11.5M. A team of 80 staff and 1,200 actively engaged volunteers make the Center’s impact possible and keep the Center operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The Research Data Coordinator works across multiple programs (Veterinary Medicine and Science, Hawaiian Monk Seal Conservation, Dispatch, and Response) to promote collaborative and cooperative research and data sharing efforts and improve and maintain database application functionality and data integrity within the Center’s animal stranding and medical record system. Specifically, the Research Data Coordinator manages specimen and data requests from internal and external researchers, educators, and other requestors. The Research Data Coordinator also focuses on data coordination and management for the diagnostic and pathology laboratory and research teams (CA and HI operations), while working closely with other members of the Research and Data Systems group focused on other areas of our custom-built FileMaker Pro application.
RESPONSIBILITIES + DUTIES
Sample and data request management (~50-60%)
- Liaise with samples and data requestors and the Center’s laboratory and research teams to evaluate request feasibility.
- Develop data queries to identify appropriate samples and retrieve data.
- Ensure requestors receive relevant data in appropriate format.
- Track research sample request progress and ensure requestors provide annual project update.
- Oversee the entry of research results in the patient record.
Database application development, maintenance, and quality assurance/control for laboratory and research activities and purposes (~30-40%)
- Liaise with contracted programmers and the Center’s laboratory and research teams to identify and implement application features that will improve system functionality and efficiency. This includes time working within these functional areas at two of the Center’s four sites (Sausalito and Kona).
- Troubleshoot database-specific issues and provide end-user support, primarily for the laboratory and research teams but also as needed for the hospital and response teams, with rotation of on-call/after-hours emergency support
- Perform real-time and retrospective sample and pathology related data verification and cleanup.
- Ensure data collected for hospital and response purposes meet research needs, where appropriate.
- Develop and maintain training resources and provide application trainings for laboratory and research staff.
- Assist in managing application user accounts, access, and security.
- Assist with metadata documentation and data archiving.
Support various research projects and conduct independent research (~10-20%)
- Develop routines for manipulating, formatting, transforming, compiling, curating, and/or processing scientific data.
- Assist with designing and developing studies, writing funding proposals, and organizing team meetings to discuss projects and other research activities.
- Participate in marine mammal fieldwork and sample/data collection.
- Perform data synthesis and analysis.
- Write up and disseminate study results to scientific and non-scientific audiences (presentations, reports, and publications).
KNOWLEDGE + ABILITIES
- Demonstrated use of biological and/or environmental samples for scientific research.
- Demonstrated knowledge of databases and data management best practices.
- Basic knowledge of experimental design and data processing and analysis tools.
- Approachable and enthusiastic to work with a multidisciplinary team that includes researchers, laboratory scientists and technicians, and database programmers and developers.
- Exceptional attention to detail, especially when entering and checking data.
- Excellent communication and organizational skills.
- Self-motivated individual that works well independently.
QUALIFICATIONS + EXPERIENCE
- At least 3 years of experience conducting biological and/or environmental research
- One or more years of experience in data management and entering, curating, and extracting data from relational databases.
- Master’s degree in biology, zoology, environmental science, or related field.
Additional Preferred Requirements:
- Experience coordinating the design and implementation of database applications, particularly using the FileMaker Platform, by working with programmers and system users to develop entry interfaces, quality control and assurance procedures, security features, and training modules.
- Experience with programming for biological and/or environmental data processing and analyses (e.g., R, Python, MATLAB).
- Ability to sit/stand and use a computer in an office environment for extended periods of time.
- Ability to climb stairs and walk around the facility with some parts only accessible via outdoor pathways.
- Comfortable working in a hospital setting with possible exposure to zoonotic diseases.
- To participate in fieldwork activities, must be comfortable hiking 5+ miles and lifting 50+ pounds.
LOCATION: Marin Headlands, Sausalito, California with occasional travel to the Center’s hospital in Hawaii and for conferences, trainings, and fieldwork.
HOURS: Full-time, 40 hours per week with a flexible daily schedule that will include on-call emergency database support on weekends, holidays, and after-hours. Exempt. Not eligible for overtime.
BENEFITS: Full benefits.
REPORTS TO: Research Ecologist.
Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.