Protected Species Observer jobs: Find out more

What it is like to work as a Protected Species Observer (PSO)? If you're looking for a job in marine biology and you have a sense of adventure, this might be the role for you!

Our PSOs are truly passionate about the environmental work they do. Read on to find out about what the job involves, amazing offshore experiences, Protected Species Observer training, and our team's qualifications and different paths into the role. 

Meet Cassi, Kevin, Sara and Grace, (or if you're looking to send us your resume, you can find contact details below).



What is a Protected Species Observer?

PSOs monitor protected species during industry activities like offshore wind farm development and energy exploration surveys, to mitigate for potential impacts to those protected species.

The team at RPS has provided multi-disciplined, in-field environmental support to offshore projects for 20 years. As of 2020, we've supported every developer in the US, providing services to 90% of the active offshore lease areas. We also work on projects around the world, such as Australia's first offshore wind project, Star of the South.


What is a PAM Operator?

PAM stands for Passive Acoustic Monitoring. PAM systems are an effective tool for monitoring marine mammals, especially where visual surveys are not sufficient. RPS is a leader in providing the latest technologically advanced, field-tested PAM systems, as well as highly trained in-house PAM Operators. 


RPS supports new PSOs to get their training and certifications. Find out what Cassi learned from her training experience, the craziest thing she's ever seen in the ocean, and why she thrives working offshore.


Cassi Frey PSO offshore birthday.jpg


Kevin previously worked for the Department of Environmental Protection in Florida, but was hungry for outfield work. He has now been a PSO since 2019. He talks about making a positive impact on the environment via his role, being a voice for the protected species he monitors - and some of his adventures and achievements as a PSO!

Photo: Kevin offshore (right), with close-up of new friends (left)




Sara started out as an Emergency Medical Technician, but has now been a PSO for 14 years. She tells us about life at sea, HUET training, weather phenomena and seeing a blue whale as her very first protected species sighting.


Sara Davis, a Protected Species Observer with RPS, on board ship

PSO Sara Davis


Grace started out working in aquariums before becoming a PSO and PAM operator. She's now been in this role for almost 10 years. Find out how she got into the swing of PSO work, and why she loves being a PSO. She shares her advice for working in small teams (and sometimes small spaces), as well as making lifelong friendships! 



Learn more: Meet some of our project managers

The team are supported by a dedicated office-based team, all experienced ex-PSOs or marine project managers. They handle client liaison, logistics and other essential project work. Like the PSOs and PAM operators, they have some amazing stories of their own! Read interviews with some of the team (created for International Women's Day 2022) here:

Stephanie Milne

Katie Gideon

Kathryn Roy



#pso careers on social media

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Interested in applying? Or want to ask a question?

We're always interested in hearing from new shipmates! Our US team are currently hiring: We welcome new and experienced applicants that are able to work in the United States. New candidates should have a biological sciences background, as well as that all-important sense of adventure!

If you'd like to get in touch, contact us at

And if you haven't already seen it, be sure to check out our Protected Species Observer page to learn more about what we do.


Looking for other RPS jobs? Visit this page.

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