Marine Assistant – Antarctica
- Job reference:
- BAS 20/13
- Contract type:
- Antarctic Contract
- Up to 18 Months (Winter)
- £24,272 per annum initially. Additionally, upon completion of a successful tour, you will receive a bonus of up to 10%.
- We offer generous benefits
- Antarctic employment pool team
- Antarctica - Rothera
- Closing date:
- 31 March, 2020 11:59 pm
British Antarctic Survey is offering a unique opportunity as a Marine Assistant in Antarctica.
What is about?
BAS are looking to appoint a marine assistant to run the ongoing biological and oceanography time series, which includes leading the tasks of aquaria and chemistry lab maintenance, CTD profiling, seawater sampling, sediment trapping, iceberg scouring, ice observations and biological monitoring and collections together with supporting other sampling and diving activities.
Who are we?
British Antarctic Survey (BAS) delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Its skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that uses the Polar Regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet. Through its extensive logistic capability and know how BAS facilitates access for the British and international science community to the UK polar research operation. Numerous national and international collaborations, combined with an excellent infrastructure help sustain a world leading position for the UK in Antarctic affairs. British Antarctic Survey is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). NERC is part of UK Research and Innovation www.ukri.org
We employ experts from many different professions to carry out our Science as well as keep the keep the lights on, feed the research and support teams and keep everyone safe! If you are looking for an opportunity to work with amazing people in amazing places then British Antarctic Survey could be for you. We aim to attract the best people for those jobs.
The main role of the marine assistant is to run the ongoing biological and oceanography time series, which includes leading the tasks of aquaria and chemistry lab maintenance, CTD profiling, seawater sampling, iceberg scouring, sediment trapping, ice observations and biological collections together with supporting other sampling and diving activities.
HSE IV/Advanced European Scientific Diver or sport equivalent (3 star CMAS).
- Maintenance of aquaria.
Small flow-through aquaria enabling holding of live specimens. These need regular repair, back-flushing, logging of temperatures and prevention of excess ice build up.
- Sea water sampling.
Regular seawater samples will be taken from a site close to the research station as part of a long running programme looking at seasonal patterns and year to year variation in temperature, chlorophyll and nutrient concentration. Samples are taken by water bottle from a small workboat in summer, and through holes cut in the fast-ice in winter. They are analysed in a small chemistry lab on base. In addition there is a regular profile taken with a CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth) probe to 500 metres. These data are important for detecting changes and feedbacks in the physical and biological oceanographic systems. This will also support work by visiting scientists who take extra water samples for specific projects.
- Iceberg scouring.
Annual survey of a series of markers from 5-25 m depth adjacent to the station in South Cove. Recording identity of markers hit by icebergs and replacing these with new markers. Period photography of each grid square (enclosed by markers) in support of projects. Monitoring, maintenance and switch over of memory cards on remote camera at Badger Butress (which photographs calving and iceberg transits around Sheldon glacier).
- Ice observations.
Regular measurements are taken of the extent, thickness and type of ice and are essential for interpreting the data from the water sampling and sediment trapping programmes. As with the related programmes continuation of this long term data set is of great importance.
- Support of marine biology programmes.
The main role of the assistant marine biologist is to run the routine programmes. Occasionally, however, the other marine biologists at Rothera require assistance either within the laboratory or for field work.
- Collection of material for UK scientists.
Every year BAS receives a number of requests for both living and preserved biological material for research. Specimens are to be collected whenever possible while diving or from the shore, though usually live material is collected at the end of summer. We have a simple but effective system for transporting living material to the UK, and a refrigerated aquarium for holding material at Cambridge. You will be expected to accompany the live material to the UK on the ship at the end of your stay in Antarctica, which means a diversion through South America on the way home is not possible with this post.
- Biological monitoring.
Together with the marine biologist you will undertake a comprehensive programme of biological monitoring through SCUBA diving. This includes serial documentation of settlement onto experimental slate panels and reproductive activity.
- Seabird and marine mammal work.
A small amount of regular observation and census work on seabirds and marine mammals will be required.
- Personal projects.
It is anticipated there will be some time available for a small individual research project to be undertaken. This will necessarily match the overall programme of research at Rothera, but will not be of sufficient size to be suitable for a higher degree.
Please quote the following reference for any queries: BAS 20/13
Closing date for receipt of applications form is: 31st March 2020
Interviews are scheduled to be held on: Wednesday 10th June 2020
As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting equality in careers in science, we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of activity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. People from ethnic minorities and disabled people are currently under-represented and their applications are particularly welcome.
Antarctic deployment involves working in a remote and harsh environment where adaptations to working, living and recreation areas are not achievable to a level that might be expected in the UK. There is a Genuine Occupational Requirement to be physically capable of negotiating rough, icy and snowy terrain as well as being mentally resilient and medically fit.
Skills are listed as either Essential or Desirable. Desirable skills importance rating in parenthesis (1 is high, 5 is low)
Communication skills - a) oral skills b) written skills
- Fluent in written and spoken English language - Essential
- Ability to get on in a small, tightly-knit team for extended periods - Essential
Computer / IT skills
- Word processing - Desirable 
- Spreadsheet use - Desirable 
- HSE IV/Advanced European Scientific Diver or sport equivalent (3 star CMAS) - Essential
- HNC / HND / BSc (or equivalent) - Essential
- Degree in a marine science - Desirable 
- Experience of working in marine environment - Desirable 
- Experience of remote environments - Desirable 
Skills / Experience
- Small boat handling - Essential
- Water chemistry - Desirable 
You can apply for this job online or you can print off the application forms, fill them out by hand and mail them.
Apply by post:
If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, you can print the application form(s) and post it back to us.
Please ensure you complete all required sections of the application form(s) and include a Cover Letter and a copy of your CV.
When posting your application, ensure there is sufficient postage.
- Application form
- Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire
- Polar Service Application Medical Form
- Diving and boating experience
- Publication History – Additional Questions
- Send your completed application forms to:
- Human Resources Team
British Antarctic Survey
High Cross, Madingley Road
If you need more information
- Email: [email protected]
- Telephone: +44 (0)1223 221400
- Facsimile: +44 (0)1223 362616
The information you provide during the application process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application, to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements where necessary or, in the case of the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire, to help BAS meet its equal opportunities policy.
The British Antarctic Survey will not share the information you provide with any third parties, and the information will be held securely by the British Antarctic Survey whether the information is in electronic or physical format. Please note that the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire will be detached from your application prior to the short-listing of candidates for interview.
Unsuccessful applications will be securely destroyed 6 months after the end of the recruitment process (or 1 year after the end of the recruitment process in the case of Marine Staff and AEP. The applications of successful applicants will be retained as part of their personnel file.
Further information can be found in the information notice of NERC, our parent body.