Ocean Career: Saildrone Hydrographic Surveyor

At Saildrone, we sustainably explore, map, and monitor the oceans to understand, protect, and preserve our world. We provide real-time access to critical data from any ocean on earth, 24/7/365, and use proprietary software applications to transform that data into actionable insights and intelligence.

Our fleet of uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs), powered by renewable wind and solar power, have a minimal carbon footprint and operate without the need for a crewed support vessel. Saildrone works with governments, civil agencies, foundations, universities, and private companies around the globe to drive better information about our oceans and seas—from sailing into the eye of a category 4 hurricane to obtain new data about how storms intensify, collecting new CO2 data in hard-to-reach areas, and counting fish biomass to inform sustainable fishery management, to mapping the ocean floor and reducing illegal fishing and drug trafficking. As a result of our work, Saildrone has been included on Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies, earned an Ocean Awards’ Innovation Award, won Best Tech For Good from the Timmy Awards, and was recognized by Andreessen Horowitz’s American Dynamism 50 list of the Top 50 Companies Kickstarting American Renewal. Our first-annual Atlantic hurricane mission with NOAA was included as one of The New York Times’ 21 Things That Happened for the First Time in 2021 and Popular Science's 100 Greatest Innovations of 2021.

We are based in Alameda, CA, with offices in Washington DC and St. Petersburg, FL, and operate our missions worldwide. Saildrone is backed by top-tier investors in the frontier tech and sustainability sectors, including Social Capital, Capricorn, Lux Capital, BOND Capital, and Emerson Collective.

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.

The Role

Saildrone is seeking a Hydrographic Surveyor responsible for supporting the collection of deep water bathymetric data utilizing an uncrewed survey vehicle. In this role, you will participate in the collection, monitoring, analysis and interpretation of marine survey data.


The Hydrographer will perform duties to include data QA/QC, equipment setup/calibration, data acquisition, data processing, equipment maintenance, and production of final deliverables/reports. Additional responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Participate in the bathymetric survey project from assignment to completion
  • Assist the Lead Surveyor (Ocean) with project reporting tasks as needed
  • Stand watches monitoring a range of sonars/sensors on a fleet of saildrones operating internationally, plan routes and communicate with drone pilots and mission Lead Surveyor to meet survey objectives and standards
  • Communicate with applicable Saildrone personnel regarding the status of the survey, update survey plans, troubleshoot and resolve issues, to ensure schedules are maintained
  • Ensure all established field procedures are followed and that they uphold Saildrone’s standards of data collection
  • Ensure compliance with company standards, industry standards, and local regulations, while identifying opportunities for continuous improvement of the company’s processes and procedures
  • 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
  • 3 or more years experience in the Survey or Geoscience industry as a survey professional
  • 3 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
  • Ability to work irregular hours, rotating weekends, and shift work.
  • Candidate is detail-oriented with a disciplined approach to communications, processes, and projects.
  • Experienced problem solver unafraid of learning new skills and technologies.
  • 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/B Hydrographer Certification
  • NSPS-THSOA Certified Hydrographer
  • Experience using uncrewed surface vehicles or other autonomous systems for survey operations

Physical Requirements

  • Work is performed on a computer and requires ability to operate a keyboard and other peripheral devices.

Location: This position is Remote friendly. West Coast is preferred.


  • Medical, dental and vision plans for you and your dependents.
  • Short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building for SF residents
  • Enhanced Parental Leave Programs
  • Competitive benefits including excellent medical, life insurance, 401k plan

A reasonable estimate of the current range is $79,400-$99,300 annually.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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