Opportunity: Software Engineer

The Benioff Ocean Initiative at University of California, Santa Barbara has extended the application period for a Software Engineer with an interest in AI and data science to support their marine technology projects.

This position is ideal for applicants with a working knowledge of programming languages like Git and Python, and experience with Google Cloud Platform tools.

Apply here by the next application review window on May 9, 2021.

Date published: 2021/02/08

Software Engineer at the Benioff Ocean Initiative (Assistant/Associate Specialist) 

The Benioff Ocean Initiative (boi.ucsb.edu) is a marine science research group at the University of California, Santa Barbara that leverages university-powered science and technology research to create tangible solutions to problems that impact ocean ecosystems and human communities.

The Benioff Ocean Initiative seeks a Software Engineer to support select marine technology projects. The person appointed will work closely with senior investigators and specialists from the Benioff Ocean Initiative and collaborating institutions to develop data-centric software products and manage the organization of data across the Initiative. 

The applicant must be willing to balance a diverse portfolio of responsibilities and technical roles, and appreciate the challenges and opportunities that come with working in a small, flexible, and agile team. While all work takes place in a research-centric environment, primary emphasis for the position will be on applied environmental problem solving and not on generating peer-reviewed publications. 


  • ● Acting as the development lead for SharkEye (www.sharkeye.org), an AI-enabled drone monitoring program for studying great white sharks. Responsibilities may include:
    ○ Building a prediction pipeline in Google Cloud Platform for running video files stored in Google Cloud Storage through a computer vision model developed with Salesforce’s Einstein Vision API.
    ○ Designing and developing a web service for uploading, organizing, and downloading data housed in Google Cloud Storage.
    ○ Working with project partners and community stakeholders to publish the web service and design a next-generation version of SharkEye.
    ● Leading image data collection, annotation, and computer vision development work as part of the Benioff Ocean Initiative’s Clean Currents Coalition (www.cleancurrentscoalition.org), an effort to combat plastic debris in rivers. Responsibilities may include:
    ○ Building and managing tools for conducting data transfers and uploads to a collaborative dataset of river plastic imagery housed in a Google Cloud Storage space.
    ○ Overseeing the organization and publishing of the dataset online.
    ○ Designing annotation protocols and managing a team of image annotators.
    ○ Partner with external researchers to design and implement preliminary computer vision experiments for detecting objects present in river-based imagery.
    ● Assisting with the expansion of shipping report cards in Whale Safe (www.whalesafe.com), which may include scaling up existing code and infrastructure that is used to analyze ship tracking data.
    ● Assisting with additional software engineering work for other Benioff Ocean Initiative projects as needed, including the maintenance of existing in-house APIs.
    ● Helping grow the Benioff Ocean Initiative’s engineering staff and network of pro bono engineers, and formalize the organization’s team engineering protocols.

The University is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and service as appropriate to the position.


Basic Qualifications: 

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent degree in a relevant field (computer science, engineering or environmental/biological sciences) AND five years of experience in software engineering, data science, or other closely related discipline is required at the time of application


Master’s degree or equivalent degree in a relevant field (computer science, engineering or environmental/biological sciences) is required at the time of application

Additional Qualifications: Working knowledge of Git and Python, or a similar programming language.

Preferred Qualifications:
● Demonstrated ability to work across disciplines, with external partners and non-technical professionals.
● Demonstrated experience with Google Cloud Platform tools and cloud infrastructure.
● Confident with SQL and data management.
● Experience developing computer vision models and using standard machine learning frameworks such as Tensorflow or PyTorch.
● Experience in organizing professional engineering work on a team and helping grow an engineering team.
● Understanding and acceptance of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.

View the full job posting here.

Apply Now!

Apply by May 9, 2021 for consideration.

Begin your application here.

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