Position Title: ROV Instructor/Technician
Company/Organization: Pennington Marine Science Center owned and operated by the Western Los Angeles County Council, Boy Scouts of America
Location: Camp Emerald Bay, Santa Catalina Island, CA

Summer Positions: June 5 – August 13, 2022
Application deadline: March 5, 2022
Number of Positions: 1

About the position:

The ROV Instructor/Technician will report to the Director of the Pennington Marine Science Center and work closely with the Senior Aquarist. They will primarily teach an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) Ocean Exploration class to scouts aged 11-17 in the Scouts BSA program. This is a very hands-on ocean exploration curriculum, taught outdoors and requiring students and instructor to have strong swimming skills and love of the water. They will be expected to obtain a lifeguard certification during the training week and act as supervision when students are in the water during their class. The instructor should be knowledgeable in all aspects of SeaPerch function, assembly, operation, and repair and will be solely responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the ROVs and class materials.

In addition, the ROV Instructor/Technician may be asked to teach Oceanography merit badge, among other marine science classes, depending on weekly schedule. They also work part-time in our aquarium, giving tours, supervising touch tanks, performing exhibit interpretation, and helping maintain the appearance of exhibits. The individual in this position may occasionally participate in some accessions of specimens for the aquarium such as fishing, tide-pooling, or snorkeling. Like other camp counselors onsite, the ROV Ocean Exploration Instructor is expected to participate in camp wide duties such as daily flag ceremonies, serving meals in the dining hall, attendance and participation in campfire skits and other camp duties as assigned. Staff uniforms BSA Scouting-specific.

About the ROV Ocean Exploration class:

This 2.5 hour, 5 days/week ocean exploration class focuses on teaching basic principles and history of ROVs, enabling students to build/assemble non-electrical ROV components, pilot ROVs, perform underwater wildlife surveys, and understand the process and importance of peer-reviewed marine science. The class is not a robotics-focused class, but the instructor should be knowledgeable in all aspects of Sea Perch function, assembly, operation, and repair.

Summary of Position and Responsibilities:
  1. The position is a temporary 3 month position beginning June 5 and going to August 13. Only candidates who are able to reside onsite for this time period will be considered. Housing is provided.
  2. Reports to the Director of the Pennington Marine Science Center and may also work under the Senior Aquarist.
  3. Responsibilities:
    • Teaching Marine Science Education classes (lesson plans and training will be provided)
      • ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) Ocean Exploration
      • Oceanography Merit Badge
      • BSA Oceanographer
      • BSA Aquarist
    • Responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the ROVs and ROV class materials
    • Public engagement and the facilitation of group tours
    • Other duties as assigned


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skills, and/or abilities required.
  • Education
    • BS/BA in Robotics, Computer Science, Engineering, Marine Biology, Biology, Zoology, Environmental Science, Education or other related discipline or be working towards the aforementioned degrees
  • Experience
    • Knowledge of function, assembly, operation, and repair of simple ROVs
    • Familiarity with SeaPerch ROV
    • Professional robotics or educations experience is a plus
  • Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
    • Desire to ability to work with kids ages 11-17
    • Desire and ability to instruct
    • Ability to obtain First Aid, CPR, lifeguard certifications during training week
    • Ability to work effectively with co-workers
    • Ability to speak effectively to groups or individuals
    • Ability to climb up and down stairs
    • Ability to lift 50 lbs
    • Ability to read and interpret documents i.e. safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals
    • Strong organizational skills

Physical Demands & Work Environment: The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, sit, walk, reach, and talk or hear. Must be able to perform repetitive motions 75% of the time. Must be able to lift 50 lbs.

Pay Rate: $320 a week after deductions (room and board are provided for the duration of the position). Taxes will also be deducted based on your W4. Travel stipend for transportation to and from the island is available. Pay rate subject to change with minimum wage increases. Interns may be eligible to apply for a $1000 scholarship that can be used to support their education.

Perks of the job:

Working at Camp Emerald Bay at has its perks! Besides living on beautiful, sunny Catalina Island, in your free time, you are able to borrow mountain bikes, make pottery/leatherwork, shoot archery/shotguns/rifles, swim, snorkel, hike, and borrow any of our many different kinds of small boats (rowboats, kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, mini motorboats, 15ft sailboats). At your own expense, you may sign up for a convenient staff SCUBA class to get your open water, advanced, rescue or other dive certifications in some popular kelp forest dive sites!

About the aquarium facility (Pennington Marine Science Center):

The Pennington Marine Science Center is owned and operated by the Western Los Angeles County Council of the Boy Scouts of America and is located at Camp Emerald Bay on Catalina Island. The mission of the Pennington Marine Science Center (PMSC) is to provide education, promote exploration and inspire conservation of marine ecosystems, emphasizing Catalina Island. The Center supports this mission by using its exhibits, classrooms and proximity to the ocean to teach the Oceanography Merit Badge (OMB), BSA Oceanographer (BSAO), BSA Aquarist (BSAA), and ROV classes. These courses are taught by the marine educators and teach fundamental concepts of oceanography, how to setup and care for an aquarium, conservation and stewardship of the ocean, and various other topics. The Pennington Marine Science Center is home to our 6,000 gallon aquarium full of local marine fish and invertebrates, collected by the Director/Curator, Senior Aquarist, and Aquarists over the spring, summer, and fall. This aquarium showcases the local marine life, acts as teaching aids, and inspires thousands of visitors every year.

About the Camp and Location (Camp Emerald Bay):

The Pennington Marine Science Center is owned and operated by the Western Los Angeles County Council of the Boy Scouts of America and is located at Camp Emerald Bay on Catalina Island. The camp’s mission is to build good people through outdoor education so that they will develop values, acquire leadership skills, and become stewards of our world. Located on the Western end of Catalina Island, camp is remote, with limited access to the towns of Two Harbors and Avalon. Two Harbors is 7 miles away (30min drive) and Avalon is 26 miles away (2 hour drive).

The summer is camp’s busiest time of the year when we may have as many as 700 scouts and scout leaders staying in camp during a week. The work week runs from Sunday at noon to Saturday noon. There are eight sessions a day with four before lunch and four after. Each one lasts approximately 1 hour with a 20 minute break between sessions.

Application Instructions:

To apply for this position, please email the following documents in PDF format to [email protected] following the naming convention listed in parenthesis.
  • Cover letter (Su2022_LastName_FirstName_CoverLetter.pdf)
  • Resume (Su2022_LastName_FirstName_Resume.pdf)
  • Unofficial transcript (Su2022_LastName_FirstName_Transcript.pdf)
  • Contact information for three professional references (Su2022_LastName_FirstName_References.pdf).
    • Include name, title, phone number, and email address for every reference.
    • Letters of recommendation are not required to apply.

If your application is incomplete, you will not be considered for the position.

Please direct questions regarding the position to:
Lora Johansen
Director/Curator, Pennington Marine Science Center
[email protected].com
310-510-1795 x36