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Teach killer whale bioacoustics with Beam Reach

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Subject: Teach killer whale bioacoustics with Beam Reach
From: Lister <>
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2010 20:38:56 +0000 (GMT)
Please circulate this job description to interested, qualified applicants.
Position: Faculty member

Organization: Beam Reach Marine Science and Sustainability School ?
Location: San Juan Island, WA

Date posted: September 24, 2010
Application deadline: October 08, 2010, 5pm PDT
To apply: send cover letter, CV, two letters of reference, and a teaching portfolio, all in digital format to Scott Veirs,

Description of position:

As a Beam Reach faculty member, you'll get to split your time between instructing under/graduates and conducting your own research. If you'd like to blend innovative teaching of marine science and sustainability with field research on southern resident killer whales, it doesn't get any better than this.

Being a Beam Reach instructor is your chance to co-teach an established under/graduate marine science curriculum ( ) with leeway to pursue your own interests and your students' curiosities. Our 10-week programs in the spring and fall allow you to guide classes of 5-12 students though a bioacoustic exploration of Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKWs) and their environment, spending about half your time on land and half at sea. You'll enjoy residing in the San Juan Islands, teaching at the University of Washington's Friday Harbor Labs (FHL), and conducting research with your students aboard our 42' sailing research catamaran during week-long cruises. Occasionally, additional teaching engagements occur in the summer, like participation in the graduate-level bioacoustics course at FHL coordinated by Chuck Greene.

During the summer and winter, Beam Reach provides you with the resources to implement your own research program. During the summer months when killer whales inhabit the Salish Sea, you'll have access to Beam Reach instrumentation deployed at Lime Kiln State Park (the best land-based killer whale observing in the world) through a collaborative project with The Whale Museum, as well as our at-sea equipment and archived data from the spring and fall programs. While your funding outside of the 10-week programs will depend on your grant-writing success, Beam Reach will assist you year-round: preparing proposals under our non-profit status; grant budgeting, expense tracking, invoicing, and payroll support; providing Foundation and Government grant contacts; maintaining access to University of Washington libraries; and inclusion in relevant permits and existing research contracts like the Northeast Pacific Hydrophone Network ( ) funded by NOAA, WDFW, and others. We also anticipate your involvement in and instigation of new collaborative research efforts (most immediately related to renewable marine power prospecting) with our partners, including The Whale Museum, Orca Network, the Center for Whale Research, Sea Mammal Research Unit Ltd., as well as other hydrophone network members.

While the interplay of your students' research projects and your own research and teaching can be surprisingly synergistic, an additional career benefit of teaching with Beam Reach arises from our practice of marine sustainability science ? helping to solve the environmental problems that most researchers would just study. This attention to applied research and technology, along with class focus on the interaction of science and policy, means that you will rapidly be immersed in the community of researchers, stewards, and business people working on the recovery of the SRKW population. Whether through arranging guest lecturers or attending public comment meetings, you will network with many experts and leaders in the field: employees of the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center or the Northwest Regional Office, members of the National Marine Mammal Laboratory, and leaders of the diverse non-profit organizations involved in the recovery of both the SRKWs and Puget Sound. Our current primary instructor, Jason Wood, illustrates the career benefit of working for Beam Reach: in just four years of teaching with Beam Reach, he went from specializing in African elephant bioacoustics to presenting at International conferences on his work with SRKWs to a full-time job working on marine mammal impact assessment contracts.

The fundamental reason to work with Beam Reach is to affect the lives of your students. Before you apply you should read through our student blog posts (like this recent one -- ) and be sure that teaching with Beam Reach is for you. The 10-week program is an intense, but rewarding one. As you consider applying, remember that you'll be joining an experienced team of teachers who are deeply committed to our students and alumni, and who will be ready to help you improve as an educator: Val Veirs, Scott Veirs, and Jason Wood (who will continue to reside on-Island and assist with Beam Reach).


-- coordinate with other faculty to teach science, sustainability, and sailing in accordance with the Beam Reach curriculum and policies (see the Beam Reach Student Field Guide ? );

-- mentor students and help assess their progress in attaining learning outcomes (see curriculum description);

-- guide the safe operation and maintenance of scientific equipment and sustainable technology;

-- work with students, guests, and captains to achieve their respective educational, scientific, and safety goals.


-- PhD or Masters in science relevant to bioacoustic exploration of killer whales and their environment;
-- at least 2 years effective teaching and advising of under/graduate science students;
-- leadership role in at least two successful field research projects;
-- quantitative skills to teach and study marine bioacoustics;
-- interpersonal skills to counsel students and manage small-group dynamics;
-- strong environmental ethic and active contributions to sustainability.


-- specialization in bioacoustics of marine mammals, ideally killer whales or other cetaceans;

-- sailing and other boat-based experiences;

-- expertise in marine environmental issues of the Northeast Pacific: specifically the Pacific Northwest, West Coast, Baja, and/or Hawaii.
-- U.S. citizen, but International candidates will be considered (and hired through an H-1B visa).


--Spring and fall: $10k-15k per 10-week program, based on experience
-- Winter and summer: Logistical support for acquiring and managing your own research grants (5% overhead rate)


Beam Reach ( ) is marine science and sustainability school that has educated under/graduates about the oceans and conducted research on the endangered southern resident killer whales since fall, 2005. Our 10-week off-campus study programs offer intensive field-based experiences in marine conservation science. Students of all majors begin ashore at the Friday Harbor Laboratories with academic coursework in marine science, then plan and conduct their own research, including data collection during 4-5 weeks aboard our research catamaran (powered by a biodiesel-electric system that enables silent towing of hydrophone arrays). Successful students earn 18 quarter credits from the University of Washington.

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