Relief Captain

State University of New York at Stony Brook
Closing Date: 
Mar 31, 2019

The Relief Captain, in coordination with the R/V Seawolf Captain, is responsbile for all aspects of R/V Seawolf vessel operations and maintenance at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University. This position will be responsible for assisting in ship operations alongside the R/V Seawolf Captain. The Relief Captain will also be responsible for operating the R/V Seawolf as the sole Captain on board for many cruises. On occasion, the Relief Captain will be required to assist with operation of one of the other smaller SoMAS vessels. The Relief Captain is assisted by full-time technicians, and additional crew members as needed (as filled by other staff positions, temporary deckhands, or hired students).


The Relief Captain is responsbile for the safe operation of the School's research vessel R/V Seawolf, the maintenance of the research vessel, and the effecetive support of the School's need for a platform from which to conduct research and educational activities at sea.


The sucessful incumbent will have excellent customer service and interpersonal skills, exercising strong organizational and time-management skills with an exceptional attention to detail. Essential for this role is the adeptness to work independently as well as part of a team with a collaborative approach to problem solving.


  • Serve as Relief Captain on SoMAS's primary oceanographic research vessel, the 80' steel hulled R/V Seawolf.
  • Responsible for all aspects of safe vessel operations.
  • Ensure the safety of boat operation, passengers, scientific personnel, and crew.
  • Ensure compliance with all maritime, US Coast Guard and other regulatory agency safety specifications, inspections, and certification requirements. 
  • Ensure safe and sound condition of ship and all ship's gear.
  • Ensure appropriate ship support when, where and as required to best accomplish research & educational objectives of SoMAS, SBU, and other users of the vessels.
  • Perform bottom trawling and other research activities in manners that are respectful of habitat and sea life conservation.
  • Responsible for maintaining logs of all boat activities, and when serving as Relief Captain, submission of daily Captain's reports to SoMAS Fleet Manager and, as necessary, other SoMAS personnel. ​​


General Vessel Operations:

  • Responsbile for overseeing operation of shipboard scientific equipment, instrumentation and sampling apparatus, shop machinery, tools, and bottom trawling equipment by vessel and scientific personnel, ensuring proper personal safety and care of equipment is exercised. Familiarize R/V Seawolf users with at-sea safety policies, procedures, and equipment. Provide assistance/assume duties of SoMAS small vessel operation as needed. 


Repair and Maintenance:

  • Inspect and perform at-sea operational maintenance and repairs of the ship, engines, and electrical systems. Repair damaged trawl nets and tow cables. Responsible for the training of Deckhands for operation of equipment, shop machinery and tools with regard to personal safety and care of equipment. 



  • Responsible for supervising full-time technicians, temporary deckhands, student crew during at-sea operations. As needed, conduct seminars to students on seamanship and safety.


  • Other duties or projects as assigned as appropriate to rank and departmental mission.

Required Qualifications (as evidenced by an attached resume):

  • Bachelor's degree (foreign equivalent or higher). 
  • In lieu of the Bachelor's degree, four (4) years of directly related full-time experience, or a combination of higher education and experience totaling four full-time years may be considered.
  • Five (5) years at-sea shipboard experience in coastal waters to include at least one (1) year serving in the capacity as vessel master or captain in open waters.
  • Documented experience conducting bottom trawl fishing in a Captain's capacity.
  • Ability to undertake fieldwork in varying conditions and be comfortable handling sampling gear for fieldwork processes (i.e while trawling - pulling in the sampling gear by hand, hauling sampling buckets on and off the boat, carrying needed supplies to and from the boat and/or van, etc).
  • US Coast Guard Master-Near Coastal license, 100 tons or more, licensed to carry passengers.
  • Must possess or acquire and maintain CPR, First Aid, and AED Certification.
  • Must have, keep and maintain the appropriate valid NYS Driver's License; have a motor vehicle record which is free from major violations or a pattern of repeat violations. (***Out-of-State Applicants, see "Special Notes").


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master's degree (foreign equivalent or higher).
  • Prior at-sea experience aboard an oceanographic research vessel.
  • Firsthand knowledge of Long Island Sound, Block Island Sound, the Mid-Atlantic Bight past the continental shelf break, New York Harbor, coastal waters of New Jersey, and the Hudson River. 
  • Experience with maintenance and repair of diesel engines and other mechanical/electrical systems and operation of on-board oceanographic equipment.
About Employer: 

Stony Brook University, home to many highly ranked graduate reseach programs, is located 60 miles from New York City on Long Island's scenic North Shore. Our 1,100-acre campus is home to 24,000 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students and more than 13,500 faculty and staff, including those employed at Stony Brook Medicine, Suffolk County's only academic medical center and tertiary care provider. The University is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and co-manager of nearby Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), a multidisciplinary research laboratory supporting world class scientific programs, utilizing state-of-the-art facilities such as the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, the National Synchrotron Light Source, and the Center for Functional Nanomaterials, and the New York Blue IBM BG/L+P supercomputer, owned by Stony Brook and managed by BNL. Stony Brook is a partner in managing the Laboratory for the Department of Energy, and is the largest institutional scientific user of BNL facilities. As such, many opportunities exist for collaborative research, and in some cases, joint appointments can be arranged. 

Contact Information: 

For a full description, or to apply online, visit: (Req. # 1900504)