Sightings Network Coordinator & GIS Specialist

Company Name: 

The Whale Museum


62 1st Street N.
P. O. Box 945
Friday Harbor, WA 98250

Contact Name: 

Jenny L Atkinson




Job Description: 

Position: Sightings Network Coordinator & GIS Specialist

Location: Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington, USA

The Whale Museum is seeking a person to fulfill the role of Sightings Network Coordinator & GIS Specialist. This is a year-round, full-time salaried position with benefits.

Established in 1979 as the first U.S. museum dedicated to whales living in the wild, The Whale Museum’s mission is to promote stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research.  Our facility is located on San Juan Island, northwest of Seattle, Washington.  This remote island is accessible only by ferry, boat or plane. 

This position works closely with the Executive Director as the Sightings Network Coordinator & GIS Specialist to manage a 60+ year longitudinal marine mammal sightings database, perform data entry and analysis, conduct outreach & promotion to increase sightings reports, manage and fulfill data requests, write and manage grants, and generate data reports. In addition, the sightings database provides long-term scientific data that supports The Whale Museum’s research as well as provides substance for the museum’s education programs and exhibits. Current research projects focus on: maintaining longitudinal data sets that track Southern Resident orcas’ movement patterns through a 40+ year sighting database; 38 years of marine mammal stranding data; over 25 years of vessel monitoring & trends data; acoustics monitoring data; and a museum collections database of artifacts and recorded media. Partnerships with other organizations and researchers are critical to our work. Current partnerships include, but are not limited to, NOAA-Northwest Region, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Transport Canada, WRAS, ECHO, Quiet Sound, and SMRU Ltd.

Qualifications: a Bachelor’s Degree or 3 years’ experience in a relevant field, excellent communication skills (oral and written), excellent attention to detail, fluent in analytical programs such as ArcGIS and R, excellent computer/technological skills (i.e., Microsoft Office particularly Access & Excel), grant writing skills, experience with conflict resolution & public communication, and project management experience; experience with field work is a plus.  A varied skill set and flexibility are major assets. Please note: To be considered, international applicants are required to have an approved Visa and documentation to work in the U.S. at the time of submission. The successful candidate will follow governmental mandates related to COVID-19, i.e., mask wearing and fully vaccinated. Salary varies based on experience and relocation support needs. Benefit package includes: Health Care (medical, vision, dental), Simple IRA Retirement Plan, and Vacation.

The position will start in early 2022 with the opportunity for a brief training period with the outgoing employee. Active review of submitted applications will begin immediately, but applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled. Electronic submissions are encouraged. Please send a cover letter, resume, and three references (either reference letter or contact information for each reference) in a combined PDF to: 

Jenny L. Atkinson, Executive Director

The Whale Museum

P. O. Box 945 Friday Harbor, WA 98250