Employment Opportunities


Relief Skipper, Term Position

Location: Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, Bamfield BC

Date Posted: 05-Mar-20

The Foreshore currently has three staff: the Foreshore Supervisor, a second skipper/Assistant to the Foreshore supervisor, and a Dive and Safety Officer (DSO). The creation of a Relief Skipper position reflects the growth we have experienced in our visitor numbers, and fulfills a strategic goal at BMSC to offer vessel services and user support seven days a week.

The Relief Skipper will provide support three days a week (22.5 hrs) and will be required to work weekend shifts either alone or with another member of the Foreshore staff.

This position will begin as soon as possible, and run for approximately 12-16 weeks. On site accommodations may be available for rent.


  • Limited Master, Vessel less than 60 GT or Higher;
  • Experience piloting passenger vessels and directing crew;
  • Proficiency in boat operations using navigation systems such as radar and GPS;
  • Ability to interact in a friendly and professional manner with a range of clients, especially children and youth in the K-12 age range;
  • Willingness to assist with regular maintenance and small repairs;
  • Interest in marine biological education and research;
  • Willingness to work safely in all weather conditions, including at night at the discretion of the Foreshore Supervisor;
  • Diesel engine, outboard engine, and hydraulic deck gear awareness;
  • Experience with use of research fishing and/or oceanographic equipment;
  • General boat maintenance including electrical, steering, and hull antifouling systems.


  • Operation of the MV Alta and Barkley Star in Barkley Sound, and occasional offshore trips;
  • Operation of all vessels in the fleet, including deck gear on the larger vessels;
  • Deployment of research sampling gear such as fish trawls, plankton nets, bottom dredges, oceanographic instrumentation, and remotely operated vehicle (ROV);
  • Assist with routine maintenance on all fleet vessels, including the MV Alta and Barkley Star;
  • Facilitating Field Trip Program Boat requests;
  • Assist with the management and maintenance of BMSC moorage facilities;
  • Assist with maintaining gas and diesel supply for BMSC;
  • Fueling of vessels as required;
  • Provide assistance and advice to internal users, BMSC partners, educators, researchers, students, and consulting companies regarding safety and sea site operations;
  • From time to time other Foreshore duties to be determined by the Foreshore Supervisor.

Other skills and knowledge:

  • Knowledge of local waters and ability to interpret weather forecasts, employing best practices for the safety of staff, students, and clients;
  • Knowledge of local marine life and habitats, or willingness to learn;
  • Familiarity with Marine Mammal Viewing Guidelines under the Fisheries Act;
  • Ability to maneuver boats trailers, haul and launch small boats and skiffs;
  • Willing to work a flexible work schedule, early morning, evenings, weekends, and holidays;
  • Safety conscious;
  • Punctual, organized; and professional with the ability to interact with a wide range of clients;
  • Positive attitude, can-do spirit;
  • Resourceful problem solving;
  • Possess a level of academic and institutional awareness;
  • Willingness and ability to work in an unsupervised environment while maintaining productivity;
  • Willingness to put on coveralls and get dirty;
  • The ability to rise above challenges and present positive solutions.

Should you be interested in learning more about this unique opportunity, please forward your resume, a letter of introduction, and the names and contact information for three references, in confidence to:

David Porter
Foreshore Supervisor / Skipper
Email: skipper@bamfieldmsc.com
Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre
Bamfield, BC
Canada V0R 1B0
t: 250-728-3301 ext. 224
f: 250-728-3452

Closing date for applications: until the position has been filled.

Only those candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted.

OverviewFor more than 45 years, Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (BMSC) has supported year-round education and research on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.BMSC is owned and managed by a not-for-profit organization, the Western Canadian Universities Marine Sciences Society, whose members are University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, Simon Fraser University and University of Victoria.Our educational programs focus on marine and coastal environments, and include short programs for middle and high school students, multi-week courses for undergraduate and graduate credit, and multi-day workshops. This facility has been the field station for award-winning teaching and world-class research for decades. Access to pristine coastal waters and forests is a hallmark of BMSC education, and our Foreshore department maintains a fleet of vessels that support our signature hands-on experiential education and research. BMSC infrastructure has just recently undergone a significant renovation thanks to a $3m grant from the federal government and the five member institutions.BMSC is an important member of the local community and works collaboratively with various groups and organizations in Bamfield and the Alberni-Clayoquot regional district, the Huu-ay-aht First Nation, the RCMP, and the Canadian Coast Guard.