Marine Naturalist Position Description:
Each year we hire applicants to fill the position of Marine Naturalist from April to mid-October (start and end dates flexible). Naturalists perform duties as deckhands on whale watching tours, interpretive center guides, kayak guides, and office staff. Schedules will be weighted accordingly based on applicants’ experience and aptitudes.
Kayak Naturalists independently lead tours off the north shore of Orcas Island focusing on the coastal ecosystem and intertidal zone. We rent kayaks and canoes directly on site as well as offer the option to deliver them across the island.
Deckhands on whale watching tours are naturalists for powerboat tours, focusing on marine mammals, birds, and the ecology of the region. Deckhands are also responsible for fueling and cleaning boats before and after trips. Familiarity with vessel safety procedures, public speaking, strong communication skills, and guiding experience are strongly preferred.
We also operate OrcasW.I.L.D., an interpretive center/museum in the town of Eastsound. Naturalists operate the museum, gift shop, and additional kayak rentals in town. When working at the museum Naturalists also must maintain the touch tank and aquarium and oversee children interacting with various displays.
-Providing safe, educational tours to customers
-Educating the public about the marine mammals, birds, intertidal life, geology, ecology, and the natural and cultural history of the San Juan Islands.
-Cleaning and occasional maintenance of kayaking equipment and powerboats
-Providing safety orientations prior to each tour and rental
-Running check-in including collecting payment and processing online transactions
-Office duties including answering phones, checking online reservations, coordinating with guides, customer service, etc.
-When guiding tours effective communication between guides and office staff is critical
-CPR and First Aid Certified (before arrival)
-Completed BS or above in Ecology, Wildlife Biology, Environmental Science, or related field
-Valid driver’s license
-Subject to random drug testing
-TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Card)
-Excellent customer service skills
-Strong communication and public speaking skills
-Self-motivated, enthusiastic, and strong work ethic
-Flexibility and open to an often unpredictable schedule
-Capable of working long hours in physically challenging outdoor environment (expect long hours June-August)
-Previous kayak guide experience strongly preferred
-Experience on powerboats strongly preferred
-Able to communicate and work effectively with customers on the phone and in person
-Able to work independently and as part of a dynamic team
-Able to lift 50 lbs (capable of regularly lifting kayaks from storage racks, lifting kayaks on truck racks, hauling short distances, etc)
-Able to kayak for 3 hours
-Able to tow a kayak