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Ocean Vision AI MLOps Research Engineer

Ocean Vision AI MLOps Research Engineer

Founded in 1987 by the late David Packard, MBARI is a nonprofit oceanographic research center advancing marine science and engineering to understand our changing ocean. Located in Moss Landing, California, the heart of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, MBARI offers ready access to the open ocean and deep sea. Ongoing research programs range across autonomous and remotely operated underwater vehicle systems, control technologies, ocean physics, chemistry, geology, biology, ocean instrumentation, and information management. MBARI hosts approximately 200 employees, with shore facilities that include state-of-the-art science and engineering laboratories, manufacturing and electrical fabrication shops, and dock facilities for MBARI vessels.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), along with our collaborative partners*, is seeking a Research Engineer for a multi-institutional, NSF-funded, and Dalio Foundation -funded effort called Ocean Vision AI (OVAI). The OVAI program seeks to address the extraordinary challenge of scaling up our capacity to analyze underwater visual data through a globally coordinated network that enables effective collaboration between human operators and artificial intelligence. OVAI’s platforms, which include a Portal, an expertly curated public database FathomNet, and community science game FathomVerse, will achieve this through application of principles in data science, human-computer interaction, and community engagement. OVAI will accelerate ocean discovery, inform all sectors of the Blue Economy, and lead to effective and sustainable marine stewardship. The Research Engineer will report to MBARI Principal Engineer Kakani Katija (Bioinspiration Lab), who is the lead Principal Investigator (PI) for OVAI.

Primary responsibilities:
• Training and fine-tuning of machine learning models to be shared on the FathomNet Model Zoo and deployed within the OVAI solution space;
• Integration and development of data pipelines between open-source image repositories, FathomNet, and the taxonomic community using in-the-loop foundation models;
• Evaluation of new computer vision models and approaches to be strategically incorporated into OVAI data pipelines;
• Engaging with OVAI technology users and assist with onboarding using existing solutions;
• Facilitate program activities (both in-person and online) including understanding the needs of FathomNet and Portal users;
• Together with the PI and program staff, provide input on OVAI vision, strategy, roadmap, and goals.

Required qualifications:
• A PhD, a Master’s degree and 3 years of related experience, or a Bachelor’s degree and 5 years of related experience is required. The degree can be in Computer Science, Oceanography, or a closely related field.
• Excellent organizational skills. The candidate must be able to pay attention to detail, work independently, multi-task, focus on results, and meet short-term deadlines.
• Proficiency in one or more programming languages that can be used to support the job’s responsibilities (e.g. Python/Jupyter, Java, Scala) and skills in SQL, Docker, Google Colab, and/or AWS SageMaker.
• Experience in training, tuning, and implementing foundation models and other state-of-the-art computer vision approaches.
• Proficiency in MS Office or equivalent macOS products (e.g., Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Keynote),
Google (e.g., Docs, Sheets, Forms, Slides), and other collaborative products (e.g., Slack, Trello).
• Excellent oral and written communication skills that connect the scientific community with the general public.
• Travel to attend meetings, conferences, and workshops may be required.

Ready to apply?

Job Code: OVAI MLOps

Prospective applicants should send a current curriculum vita, a cover letter including reference to relevant training and/or experience, a link to their code repository, and the contact information for 3 references to, or by mail to the below address.

Jessica Chapman
Job Code: OVAI Research Engineer
7700 Sandholdt Road
Moss Landing, CA 95039

Salary range: $100,000-$120,000/year, negotiable based on experience

Status: Fixed-term, 12 months

Extension: Additional 6 months, based on performance

Location: On-site or hybrid, minimum 3 days on-site/week at MBARI

MBARI offers a competitive compensation and benefits package, including medical, dental, vision, short and long term disability, life insurance, 403B retirement plan, and paid time off, such as vacation, holiday, and sick leave.

MBARI is an Equal Opportunity Employer. MBARI considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, age, disability, covered veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.

*Collaborative partners include Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS), Ocean Discovery League (ODL), CVision AI, and Purdue University.