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Lead Surveyor - Ocean

Bathymetry | Alameda, CA | Full Time

Job Description

About Us

Saildrone designs and manufactures wind and solar powered autonomous surface vehicles called Saildrones, which make cost-effective ocean data collection possible at scale. We are working with governments, civic agencies, foundations, universities, and private companies around the globe to drive better information about our oceans and seas - be it in mapping out the ocean floor, collecting new CO2 data in hard-to-reach areas, counting biomass to establish fishing quotas, or detecting and stopping illegal fishing and trafficking. We believe that better inputs in planetary models in turn yield better outputs and that the new insights gained in weather forecasting, carbon cycling, global fishing and climate change will have tremendous impact on humanity. We are based in Alameda, CA and are backed by Social Capital, The Capricorn Investment Group, Lux Capital, and The Schmidt Family Foundation.

This is an exciting opportunity with a fast-growing team at the cutting-edge intersection of big data services and autonomous hardware. You will be an integral part of a high-performing multi-disciplinary delivering high impact for humanity and future generations.

Job Description

 Saildrone is seeking an experienced, certified hydrographer responsible for the management of all tasks for the assigned survey(s). Supervises all team members in the performance of their duties including data QA/QC, equipment setup/calibration, data acquisition, data processing, equipment maintenance, and production of final deliverables/report. Lead Hydrographer is the final certifying signature that the survey has been completed according to the specifications set out in the contract.


Role Responsibilities

 As a Lead Hydrographer - Ocean, your primary responsibilities will include direct oversight of bathymetric surveys, including survey line planning, mission preparation, mission execution, training of survey watchstanders, and successful completion of surveys. Additional responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:


  • Coordinating and directing contracted survey watchstanders in their roles and responsibilities.
  • Communicating with customers and applicable Saildrone personnel regarding the status of the survey, troubleshooting and resolving issues to ensure schedules are maintained.
  • Providing daily survey updates in the Saildrone Mission Log for the team and customers  
  • Serving as a member of a collaborative team for development and testing of new vehicles, sensors and procedures
  • Working with Bathymetry Technical Program Manager, Bathymetry Operations Manager and Bathymetry Data Manager to ensure mission success
  • Keeping up to date on latest IHO and national data standards and survey procedures


Required Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in Hydrography, Oceanography, Geomatics, Remote Sensing or related discipline
  • 5 or more years experience leading hydrographic/bathymetric survey teams as lead surveyor
  • 5 or more years of experience processing bathymetric/hydrographic data with Qimera or CARIS
  • Familiarity with Kongsberg multibeam systems and Seafloor Information System
  • Familiarity with acquisition software such as HYPACK or Qinsy
  • Possess excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Highly detailed/organized
  • Keeping up to date on latest IHO and national data standards and survey procedures
  • Interest and passion for new technology applications for ocean mapping


Desired Skills and Abilities

  • Category A Hydrographer Certification
  • NSPS-THSOA Certified Hydrographer
  • Licensed as a Professional Land Surveyor or Engineer
  • Experience using uncrewed surface vehicles or other autonomous systems for survey operations

Location: This position is remote friendly. Only candidates with proper permits to work in the United States can be considered.  


  • Medical, dental and vision plans for you and your dependents.
  • Active sailing classes: become a certified skipper on boats up to 35ft!  (once COVID safety allows)
  • Short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building for SF residents
  • Enhanced paternity / maternity programs
  • Competitive benefits including excellent medical, discounted gym, life insurance, 401k plan

Catch up on the latest news about us:

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

In accordance with Saildrone’s mandatory employee COVID-19 vaccination policy, please be advised that all employees are required to be vaccinated to safeguard the health of our employees and their families, our customers and visitors and the community at large.

 Any unsolicited resumes/candidate profiles submitted through our website or to personal email accounts of employees of Saildrone are considered property of Saildrone and are not subject to payment of agency fees.