Salish Sea Research Center-Senior Researcher

$65,000 - $75,000 yearly
  • Northwest Indian College
  • 2522 Kwina Road, Bellingham, WA, USA
  • Jul 02, 2024
Full time Education Science

Job Description



Salish Sea Research Center-Senior Researcher


OPENED DATE:      February 2, 2024

REVIEW DATE:      Every two weeks

CLOSING DATE:     Open until Filled

START DATE:         As soon as possible

LOCATION:             NWIC Lummi Campus

SUPERVISOR:         Director of the SSRC

SALARY:                  $65,000-$75,000


The salary placement upon hire will be based on the selected candidate’s education and relevant work experience as outlined in the job announcement and the established salary schedule for the classification of position to be filled. This position is funded by NSF Grant Award # NSF 1840199.



Indian Preference applies – except as provided by the Indian Preference Act (Title 25, U. S. Code, Section 473), NWIC supports and provides equal opportunity employment and educational opportunities, regardless of race, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, physical or mental disability or status as a special disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era.


Northwest Indian College invites applicants for a full-time research position on Lummi campus at the Salish Sea Research Center (SSRC). The SSRC is a 4,200 sq. ft. research center with a variety of equipment and instruments, including an Agilent LC-MS/MS and two research vessels. The SSRC works with our tribal partners to focus on community-identified research and increase the presence and influence of Native American leadership in marine sciences. The SSRC provides the facility for world-class research, and its mission complements and enhances the efforts of research at Northwest Indian College.

The Salish Sea Research Center is in search of a dynamic individual to contribute to studies focusing on water quality and harmful algae in the Salish Sea and surrounding freshwater watersheds. Our work addresses marine issues that impact Indigenous communities in the region. With a history of harmful algae events, the SSRC actively monitors both freshwater and marine systems for harmful algae and biotoxins, employing microscopy, genomics, and chemical analyses. The ideal candidate will play a key role in community-identified projects utilizing remote sensing and GIS analysis to improve detection of harmful algae events and integrate water quality and spatial data. This involves the application of remote sensing and GIS techniques to detect, map, and monitor harmful algae dynamics in aquatic ecosystems. As part of a collaborative team consisting of scientists from tribal, academic, state, and federal backgrounds, the scientist will have ample opportunities to propose original research using remote sensing and GIS to enhance our understanding of harmful algae and biotoxins in the Salish Sea and their potential impact on humans and wildlife.



Primary Duties      

The senior researcher will work directly with Dr. Melissa Peacock at the Salish Sea Research Center on projects related to the impact of Harmful Algal Bloom (HABs) species and their biotoxins on marine food security. Duties will include:

  • Utilize remote sensing data (satellite, aerial, or drone-based imagery) to detect and monitor harmful algal blooms in various water bodies.
  • Develop algorithms and tools for the processing, analysis, and interpretation of remote sensing data to identify and quantify HABs.
  • Collaborate with interdisciplinary teams to integrate remote sensing data with environmental models and other data sources to predict and understand HAB dynamics.
  • Employ Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques to enhance spatial analysis and visualization of harmful algal blooms.
  • Produce reports, publications, and presentations to communicate findings to both scientific communities and stakeholders.

·         Mentoring of undergraduate student interns on projects.

·         Community engagement events.

·         Any other duties as assigned.

Work Environment:

The work environment for this position is primarily within the laboratory, although some outdoor field sampling may be required. Outdoor work could involve exposure to moderate levels of heat cold, and humidity or rain. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.




The chosen applicant may supervise two or more student interns who are conducting research and may carry out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the college’s personnel policies and applicable laws.


QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED to perform this position successfully:

Minimum Qualifications

  • A Ph.D. in Remote Sensing, Geographic Information System, Environmental Science, Oceanography, Ecology, or a related field.
  • Proficiency in remote sensing data analysis tools (e.g., ENVI, ERDAS, QGIS, ArcGIS) and programming languages commonly used in data analysis (Python, R, MATLAB).
  • Strong background in image processing, machine learning, and statistical analysis methods as applied to remote sensing data.
  • Demonstrated experience in studying algal blooms, aquatic ecology, or related fields.
  • Proven ability to work in multidisciplinary teams and excellent communication skills to convey complex information effectively.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with hyperspectral or high-resolution imaging systems.

·         Familiarity with data fusion techniques combining remote sensing data with in-situ measurements.

·         Experience with tribal communities.

·         Experience with supervising and facilitating tribal and/or minority student research projects.

·         Experience leading research projects including grant reporting.


Interested individuals should submit the following application materials directly to the NWIC Human Resources Office only. 


  1. Cover letter addressing how you meet the position qualifications
  2. NWIC Application
  3. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) form
  4. Current and complete professional resume
  5. Three letters of recommendation from college sources, employers, or individuals who have firsthand knowledge of your qualifications for the position (professional references)
  6. If applicable to the position, provide copies of certificates/licenses/credentials
  7. Copies of college transcripts for highest received degree (official copy requested at time of hire)


The job announcement and application materials are available online at or may be requested from and submitted directly to:


Northwest Indian College

Human Resources

2522 Kwina Road

Bellingham, WA  98226-9278

Telephone: (360) 392-4230

Fax:  (360) 392-4290