Now Hiring Marine Science Instructors!

O’Neill Sea Odyssey Marine Science Instructor Job Description

Application Deadline: Open until filled

Location: Santa Cruz, CA (in-person)

Compensation: $21-$22/hour. Starting rate will vary based on Spanish language fluency.

Status: Part-time, seasonal

Benefits: As a part-time and seasonal position, this job is not eligible for benefits

Reports to: Skipper and Program Manager

Summary: O’Neill Sea Odyssey (OSO) is seeking a Marine Science Instructor with excellent outdoor teaching skills, a strong background in experiential education, and a passion for connecting multilingual learners and underserved youth to the ocean. This individual is a flexible team player who is patient, personable, has a great rapport with kids, and understands the significance of adhering to safety protocols. The Marine Science Instructor will work with fellow instructors, Skippers, the Program Manager, and other OSO staff to deliver programming to 4th through 6th-grade and special needs students on the water and in the classroom.

About O’Neill Sea Odyssey: OSO is a local ocean education nonprofit 501(c)3 based in the Santa Cruz Harbor in Santa Cruz, California. O’Neill Sea Odyssey’s mission is to provide a hands-on educational experience to encourage the protection and preservation of our living seas and communities. OSO primarily serves underserved 4th through 6th-graders and special needs students on board the Team O’Neill Catamaran, and shoreside at the Jack O’Neill and Harry Hind Education Center in the Santa Cruz Harbor. Students are taught marine
science concepts and ocean stewardship ethics that align with state and federal education standards. The program is free-of-charge and each class completes a Student Action Project to contribute to the flourishing of their home watershed. For many students, this is their first experience being out on the water.

At OSO, we value a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace where all employees and volunteers, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability, feel valued and respected. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.

Specific Responsibilities:

● Program Delivery: Teach three stations (marine biology, marine ecology, and navigation) in English and Spanish at sea and on land using OSO’s curriculum. Facilitate pre and post-student and teacher/group leader surveys. Enter data and facilitate basic setup and cleanup of teaching materials. Work a 7.5-hour day with two consecutive classes of students.
● Adhere to Safety Protocols: Ensure the safety of students, chaperones, and staff by adhering to OSO’s safety protocols. Follow safety directives communicated by the Skipper, Program Manager, and Senior Deckhand.
● Outreach: Participate in tabling events, engage the public in interactive conservation activities, answer general questions, and provide feedback to the Program Manager.
● Volunteer Engagement: Support volunteers in their chaperone duties, answer questions, and provide additional direction.
● Participate in Training and Development: Participate in staff enrichment activities and incorporate best practices into day-to-day instruction. Stay informed on the latest science and research with respect to marine science and environmental education.
● Punctual and Dependable: Report for work on time, provide advance notice of the need for absence, and manage time and the program schedule effectively.
● Flexible Team Player: Respectful of colleagues and make valuable contributions to help the team learn and grow together. Identifies problems and solutions; thrives on new challenges and adjusts to unexpected changes.


● Spanish language fluency (strongly recommended)
● Experience working with Bicultural, Multilingual Learners, and diverse learning audiences.
● Experience teaching in an outdoor and/or informal learning environment with a public speaking component (i.e. camp counselor, youth group leader, classroom teacher, tour guide, or similar).
● Sailing/boating experience
● Degree in a relevant field OR similar experience
● Ability to follow instructions and policies outlined to ensure a safe experience for all participants.
● Ability to teach the curriculum as described and adapt appropriately for student needs.
● Candidates must be able to pass a background check and drug test (including cannabis) per US Coast Guard requirements, provide proof of a negative TB test, and be vaccinated against COVID-19.
● Ability to lift 60 lbs. and bend, run, and jump. Must be able to stand for 3-hour periods.
● Ability to manage diverse weather conditions (wind, rain, direct sun).

To Apply: Please submit a resume highlighting relevant experience OR a short video answering the following questions:
● Please share your background as it relates to the O’Neill Sea Odyssey Marine Science Instructor role.
● Please describe an example of a time when you felt you really connected with your students and the aspects of that experience that made it successful.

Resume and video submissions can be sent to, subject line “Marine Science Instructor Position.” Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Translate »