Port Captain/ Manager of Program Operations

university of washington logo

Published Apr 12, 2022 10:30 AM by The Maritime Executive

Work Schedule First Shift

Req #:    204928
Job Location:    Seattle Campus
Closing Info:    Open Until Filled 
Salary:    Salary is commensurate with education and experience. 
Shift:    First Shift 
Notes:    As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. 

The School of Oceanography fosters continued advancement of the ocean sciences, solutions to problems of societal relevance, and public awareness of the marine environment. It is at the forefront of creating knowledge and understanding about the ocean through observation, theory, modeling and technological innovation. The School focuses on learning and discovery, equipping students with knowledge and insights, scholarly methods, scientific tools and communication skills.

The School of Oceanography promotes diversity and inclusivity among our students, faculty, staff, and public. At the University of Washington, diversity is integral to excellence. We value and honor all experiences and perspectives, strive to create welcoming and respectful learning environments, and promote access, opportunity and justice for all. We are committed to ensuring the safety of crew members, science team, and anyone who interfaces with our research vessels. Thus, we are seeking candidates whose experiences have prepared them to fulfill our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and can engage thoughtfully with people from a wide spectrum of backgrounds.

The Manager of Program Operations / Port Captain is an integral  member of the shore-based management team responsible for operating the School of Oceanography’s two research vessels – the US Navy owned Global-Class R/V Thomas G. Thompson and UW owned Coastal-Class R/V Rachel Carson.  These vessels are an important component of the US Academic Research Fleet - operated through the UNOLS (University National Oceanographic Laboratory System) framework -  and their operation is critical to seagoing research and educational programs within the University of Washington.  The Manager of Program Operations / Port Captain supervises the Assistant Port Captain and is the shoreside supervisor for all shipboard positions.


Port Logistics

• Identify and work with ship agents in ports
• Hire shore-based assets such as cranes and forklifts
• Manage shipping needs with crew and scientists
• Coordinate crew and scientist arrival and departures
• Ensure port utilities and supplies are arranged (garbage, potable water, sewage, fuel, ships stores, etc)
• Hire necessary vendors/contractors
• Create and manage the in-port schedule


• Serve as shoreside administrative supervisor for crew - both permanent and temporary positions (up to 75 positions at any given time); approve time and attendance, leave, onboarding, etc.
• Ensure both vessels are properly crewed
• Maintain crew schedules / identify crew change dates
• Maintain crew documents and ensure crew have proper training
• Recruit / hire new crew
• Plan and coordinate promotions / staffing permanent positions
• Manage the USCG drug testing program and ensure compliance
• Plan and organize crew arrivals and departures to include entry requirements for foreign countries
• Create policy with the crew and for the crew
• Address low to mid-level HR issues

Cruise Planning

• Work with scientists to plan their assigned cruise
• Ensure the ship is capable of conducting the planned work and coordinate with crew to setup the deck(s) appropriately
• Collect equipment information to ensure proper ship and shore support for mobilization and demobilization
• Assist science party with transportation, port entry, etc.
• Assist with Covid19 testing prior and after self-isolation periods


• Ensure all ship documents are valid and updated
• Manage and maintain vessels’ Safety Management System (SMS) which include the requirements of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP), and the Drug & Alcohol Testing Program.
• Coordinate inspections with the USCG; assist with ABS annual surveys (Port Engineer has the lead).
• Conduct internal ABS office and ship audits as well as coordinate ABS external office and ship audits
• Schedule and oversee the MarOps Safety Committee
• Manage bridge equipment inspections
• Ensure all inspection findings are addressed and closed
• Request waivers and extensions as needed
• Serves as Alternate Designated Person Ashore (DPA)

Other duties

• Coach / mentor Assistant Port Captain
• Financial management: Act as purchase card holder; reconcile transactions; review and approval port costs for payment.
• Maintain the crew training budget
• In coordination with the Manager of Marine Operations, support and participate in appropriate UNOLS committees and/or activities (RVOC, Safety Committee, etc)
• Oversee monthly maintenance reports


A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of three years of vessel management; operations and scheduling; budget development; personnel administration, and fiscal management.  Familiarity with the various requirements of cognizant regulatory bodies (USCG, ABS) concerned with research vessel operation.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


• Three years experience leading or supporting complex oceanographic operations over a wide geographic range.
• U.S. Coast Guard license as Master (any tonnage)


• Applicants must hold a U.S. passport.
• Subject to drug testing per the random chemical testing program

Application Process:
The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

Applicants considered for this position will be required to disclose if they are the subject of any substantiated findings or current investigations related to sexual misconduct at their current employment and past employment. Disclosure is required under Washington state law.

Committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

The University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 or [email protected]

Governor Inslee's Proclamation 21-14.2 requires employees of higher education and healthcare institutions to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless a medical or religious exemption is approved. Being fully vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. As a condition of employment, newly hired employees will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination. View the Final candidate guide to COVID-19 vaccination requirement webpage for information about the medical or religious exemption process for final candidates.