Director, Ocean Science in Philomath, Oregon at Sea-Bird Electronics

Date Posted: 10/12/2019

Job Snapshot

Job Description

Job ID: SEA000249

About Us

Sea-Bird Scientific was formed in 2010 by the union of Sea-Bird Electronics (Bellevue, WA), WET Labs (Philomath, OR) and Satlantic (Halifax, NS) (wholly owned subsidiaries of Danaher Corporation (NYSE: DHR)). Through the combination of the Sea-Bird Electronics, WET Labs and Satlantic product lines, Sea-Bird Scientific is the world’s leading provider of advanced technology for oceanographic research. The Sea-Bird Scientific group of company’s design, manufacture and market oceanographic instrumentation and systems that enable the world’s leading scientists to push the boundaries of ocean knowledge. Sea-Bird Scientific works with a global network of international representatives and partners to serve customers in more than 30 countries around the world. Our dedicated team is comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds and interests with a common goal of serving the world’s oceanographic community with leading edge technology and solutions. We offer an entrepreneurial environment that is team-centered, customer-driven, quality-focused, and growth-oriented. Working at one of the Sea-Bird Scientific Company’s locations gives you access to a robust career development process and challenging "stretch" opportunities.

Sea-Bird Electronics is an EEO / AA employer.  Sea-Bird Electronics does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender (sex), gender identity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by law.

For more information regarding our company’s, please visit the Sea-Bird Scientific website at 


Purpose of Position:

As the Ocean Science Director, you make scientists successful.  You have a passion for accelerating the understanding of natural waters. As a co-practitioner with the scientific community, and as a leader of a team of scientists, you form a critical bridge. You represent the realization of the leading edge of science and understand the importance of bringing people along in the adventure. 

Sea-Bird Scientific’s strength is the fusion of science and technology. You are an advocate for the advancement of science and work cross functionally to develop an early technology roadmap – balancing what could be done with what should be done in light of strategy and the most valuable, unsolved customer problems. 

This position can be based out of one of the Sea-Bird Scientific sites in Bellevue, WA or Philomath, OR and may have direct reports in both sites.

Essential Functions:

People & Talent Management

  • Develop and mentor direct reports and team members to reach their next career goals and to increase understanding of customer expectations and operating environments; further strengthening their ability to be co-practitioners to the community we serve

  • Build and develop a highly-engaged, high-performing, growth-oriented organization

  • Ensure the team is doing the rights things (focusing on the critical few) and doing things right (applying applicable processes from our DBS toolkit to reduce friction)

  • Motivate associates to perform at their highest levels

  • Work closely with internal functional teams across a wide breadth of the organization including marketing, sales, service, support, product management, science, technology and operations 


  • Work directly with our customers to provide data quality that exceeds requirements for understanding climate level change in our oceans; at times this may include traveling to customer sites / ocean going vessels

  • Work with scientific customers to improve their measurements, contributing to their success by diagnosing issues and if something isn’t right, acting on behalf of Sea-Bird to make it so. This may involve prescribing changes in characterization/calibration, measurement methodology, data correction, or as appropriate driving cross-functional teams to undertake changes in instrument design 

  • Custodian of maintaining strong cross-functional relationships with key members of the scientific community by helping map customers to appropriate contacts at Sea-Bird and planned collaboration opportunities in partnership with Sales, Product Management and Service

  • Partner with Sales and Product Management to drive scientific partnerships in China

  • Grow the global impact of Sea-Bird Scientific University 

  • Act as a liaison, communicating customer needs to appropriate departments

  • Further ocean science and promote understanding of Sea-Bird’s solutions by attending conferences, speaking engagements, writing papers, developing posters, etc.

Innovation & Growth

  • Lead our scientists and CTO, providing support, focus and development 

  • Own the development of the early technology roadmap; create process muscle and clarity regarding what early technology is being developed and why

  • Lead team of scientists who will participate directly on cross cross-functional product development teams, ensuring impactful contributions

  • Drive improvement for Sea-Bird’s calibration capabilities and other Sea-Bird differentiators

  • Deepen our calibration capabilities, continually improving and applying to new technologies

  • Partner with Engineering, Product Management and Sales, consulting on science and providing VOC as needed

Other duties as assigned.

Job Requirements


  • Understanding of key sensor physical attributes: sample rate, time response, noise floor, cross sensitivities, accuracy and precision
  • Understanding of sensor calibration: primary standards, traceability, error estimates
  • Understanding of calibration mathematics: curve fitting, optimization, parametric equations
  • Experience with Matlab and ability to code in other languages such as C or Python
  • Familiarity with typical software (or equivalent software) such as Microsoft Office; familiarity with, JIRA and Confluence desired
  • Experience presenting at scientific conferences and workshops; Excellent communication skills: written and oral
  • Ability to travel to both our locations, support conferences, meet with customers, and other business needs as required, travel estimated at 10-25% of time
Other Related Experience:
  • Field use of Sea-Bird Scientific instruments
  • Experience working closely with instrumentation
  • Experience designing instrumentation
  • Experience with electronics, optics, and/or chemistry
  • Principle investigator or co-PI within field or related field
  • Grant writing within field or related field
  • Scientific boards / community boards within field or related field
  • Author/co-author scientific papers within field or related field
  • Development of an oceanographic toolkit/product/sensor
  • Science communication training.
  • Teaching experience
Key Competencies:
  • Managerial courage, self-awareness and decisiveness; understands when it is critical to commit the organization to a course of action
  • Willingness to share dissenting opinions, enriching discussions so that the best solution is developed
  • Strong problem-solving and analytical skills; able to leverage the knowledge of subject matter experts to come to a point of view and navigate a path forward
  • Strong process orientation
  • Solution orientated perspective, able to identify multiple options regardless of constraints
  • Cross functional collaboration, understanding that we win when we play well together

Physical Demands
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to reach with hands and arms. The employee is constantly required to sit. The employee may occasionally squat, turn/twist, or reach.  The employee is constantly using hands to: finger, handle, feel or operate objects, and computer keyboards. The employee is occasionally required to walk, stand, climb, balance, stoop, bend, kneel, crouch or crawl, and talk, hear, and smell. 

The employee must occasionally lift, carry, push or pull up to 20 pounds.

Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. 

Work Environment 

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 work environment consists of an indoor, work or home office environment with good ventilation, adequate lighting, and low noise levels. At times this role will be required to be in non office environments (e.g., ships, boats, coast lines) that include exposure to water, uneven and/or moving surfaces.

The duties listed in job descriptions are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to the position. The job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the employer and requirements of the job change.

External hiring into this position is contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment drug screen and background check and possible credit history review.

Sea-Bird Scientific is an equal opportunity employer.

The purpose of this description is to assist in ADA compliance and is not intended for other purposes such as collective bargaining, or compensation.

Danaher Corporation Overview

Danaher is a global science & technology innovator committed to helping our customers solve complex challenges and improve quality of life worldwide. Our world class brands are leaders in some of the most demanding and attractive industries, including life sciences, medical diagnostics, environmental and applied solutions. Our globally diverse team of 71,000 associates is united by a common culture and operating system, the Danaher Business System, which serves as our competitive advantage. We generated $19.9B in revenue last year. We are ranked #162 on the Fortune 500 and our stock has outperformed the S&P 500 by more than 5,200% over 25 years.
At Danaher, you can build a career in a way no other company can duplicate. Our brands allow us to offer dynamic careers across multiple industries. We're innovative, fast-paced, results-oriented, and we win. We need talented people to keep winning. Here you'll learn how DBS is used to shape strategy, focus execution, align our people, and create value for customers and shareholders. Come join our winning team.
Danaher is committed to competitive compensation that typically has key components including base salary, variable annual incentive compensation based on personal and company performance, and long-term incentive.


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