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Job Details

Small Research Vessel (R/V) Captain

Government and Military

Education Research Analyst




The Small R/V Captain assists the Marine Fleet Coordinator in all aspects of waterfront operations at Palmer Station. At times, there will be two Small R/V Captains on station. Through the voice of the Marine Fleet Coordinator, the waterfront team act as the resident professional mariners on station, advising Station Management on all aspects of marine operation. Their duties consist of operating and maintaining a fleet of fifteen active small boats, plus a number of reserve vessels, and executing all aspects of maritime training and safety for Station residents.

Position Responsibilities:

  • Maintains accountability for, commitment to, and involvement with personal, co-worker, community, and project safety as a constant priority
  • Provides information and assistance to the Marine Fleet Coordinator on various marine oriented concerns as part of a team of two to three professional mariners on Station.
  • Operates and maintains a fleet of an average of fifteen active small boats, including inflatable boats and outboard motors assigned to the two large research vessels in the program.
  • Operates vehicles and equipment to launch and recover the small boats via trailer and assists in maintenance of said equipment, including, but not limited to, inboard diesel, hydraulics, outboard motors, inflatable boats, and rigid hull inflatables
  • Provides training and oversite for station personnel in marine safety which may include basic seamanship, dead reckoning and electronic navigation, radio protocol, small boat handling, creating a float plan, rough weather operations, sea ice operations, vessel safety, cold water survival, deployment of oceanographic systems, trailering vessels, procedures for conducting operations in remote settings, and other topics as needed
  • Maintains records of daily operations including vessel logs, situation reports, fuel usage, equipment maintenance, vessel launch/recovery, and turnover reports
  • Assists Marine Fleet Coordinator in preparing and maintaining documentation for Palmer Station boating operations, including JHA’s and Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Maintains stock and records of extensive spares inventory in order fully support the scientific program.
  • Performs timely inspections of safety, lifesaving, firefighting, and other emergency equipment.
  • Responsible for mooring maintenance
  • Responsible for the safety and cleanliness of various shop areas
  • Interacts with the National Science Foundation (NSF), military and other agency officials, via phone and in person in a professional manner
  • Performs other duties as required

Required Education, Experience, Certificates and Licenses:

  • USCG Captain’s OUVP license
  • Minimum three years of experience acting as Captain
  • Minimum of two years of experience driving motorized small vessels
  • Minimum two years of experience maintaining small vessel systems and hulls, or equivalent
  • Experience in commercial marine operations such as merchant marine, fisheries, or boatyards
  • Demonstrated experience with coastal navigation, electronic navigation, and dead reckoning

Expected Skills and Competencies:

  • Comprehensive knowledge of small vessel operation, trailering, troubleshooting and maintenance
  • Proven ability to repair and troubleshoot engines and/or machinery including 4-stroke outboards, diesel, and inflatables
  • High level independent problem-solving and multi-tasking skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; strong customer service skills


  • USCG 25-ton (or higher) Captain’s license
  • Experience working on vessels with customers and/or students
  • Emergency Medical Technician, offshore or field medic training
  • College level coursework in marine or a science-related field
  • High-latitude experience is a plus
  • Experience transporting, handling, deploying and retrieving oceanographic sampling equipment

Physical and/or Other Requirements:

  • Willingness and ability to deploy to Antarctica for extended periods
  • Successful completion of Medical and Dental examinations required by the NSF for deployment to Antarctica
  • Successful completion of drug screening and background check required by employer
  • Successful completion of Federal Background Check required by the NSF
  • Must be willing and able to lift and move items, parts, assemblies, and equipment up to the safety regulation maximum as required by the position.
  • Must be willing and able to perform physical activities including heavy lifting, climbing in and out of equipment, crawling, and working outdoors in extreme cold as required by the position.
  • Must participate in community programs, such as “house-mouse” (chores), “daisy-picking” (cleaning-up around the station), recycling efforts & safety objectives.
  • Valid Driver’s License issued in the United States
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain facility credentials/authorization. Note: US Citizenship is required for facility credentials/authorization at this work location.

Amentum is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our hiring practices provide equal opportunity for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex, gender, national origin, age, United States military veteran’s status, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, family structure, medical condition including genetic characteristics or information, veteran status, or mental or physical disability so long as the essential functions of the job can be performed with or without reasonable accommodation, or any other protected category under federal, state, or local law.

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