Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


Job Board

Alaska Operations Manager
Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
Polar Field Services
  • Other

The AK Operations Manager oversees operations of Battelle ARO Fairbanks office and warehouse including inventory management, supervision of full time and seasonal operational staff, and coordination of field science support. The AK Operations Manager is a  key position on the Battelle ARO contract and member of the Battelle ARO PMO and PFS management team. A successful candidate will have experience in field operations, people management, and administration of complex systems. It is a 40-hour position based at the PFS office in Fairbanks, AK.

        Essential Duties and Responsibilities


  • Oversee Fairbanks warehouse operations; ensure building is maintained and kept tidy/orderly.
  • Supervise operational staff that currently consists of three full time employees and a variety of seasonal employees annually (camp staff, Toolik helicopter coordinator, etc.) Provides identification of labor needs, hiring, daily tasking, delegation of responsibilities, and performance evaluations. 
  • Oversees inventory operations; ensuring that equipment and materials are secure, maintained, and tracked per Battelle ARO guidelines. Through purchasing or repair, ensures adequate equipment and materials are on-hand to support field season requirements. 
  • Responsible for management of shared procurement accounts for execution of operational and science support. This includes executing procurements, establishing vendor relationships, and tracking costs against POs. Examples include but are not limited to: Fairbanks’s hotels, local Fairbanks’s material vendors, Toolik user days, Toolik helicopter schedule, truck rentals and issue, and utilities for the Fairbanks office. 
  • Works with science, construction, and operation staff to collaboratively plan for field camps including site selection, general camp organization and lay-out, camp mobilization, safety and risk mitigation, structure set up, staffing, food sustenance, considerations of shipping and storage, travel logistics, and electricity/water/waste systems. Serve as the field liaison between PFS camp staff and researcher leads as needed.
  • Works with maintenance division to oversees truck operations including issuing, tracking, insurance compliance, maintenance scheduling, and recommendations for fleet replacement. Coordination of all rental operations for research and construction needs are executed from the Fairbanks office. 
  • Represent AK operations as main POC to external entities such as other PFS teams, Battelle ARO team members, NSF, and other stakeholders. Includes participating in weekly meetings, preparing reports and presentations, and forecasting outyear budgetary estimates for the NSF. 
  • Uses word processing, spreadsheet, database, and scheduling software applications to prepare correspondence, reports, schedules, and other documents related to the project. Maintain web-based Alaska documents, inventories, calendars, and tracking systems.
  • Responds promptly to all phone and e-mail communications. The PFS Fairbanks office maintains a 24/7 emergency contact during the Arctic field season. Provides scheduling and participates in coverage. 
  • Maintains open communication with local communities and vendors, UIC Science, IAB, Battelle ARO, and other agencies and researchers regarding support for projects.
  • Develops and maintains SOPs for AK operations
  • Completes submissions on behalf of AK Operations for the NSF weekly report. 
  • Provide input and information for Annual Program Plan (APP) budget and the annual End of Season report.
  • Participates in science proposal and season plan review process when requested. 
  • Adheres to Health, Safety and Environment policies in planning and execution of activities.
  • Serve as the Alaska office main POC for Alaska HSE program including the following:
    • Advise on OSHA. Acquire training as needed.
    • Advise on Hazardous Materials issues. Acquire training as needed.
    • Advise on science Risk Assessments.


Required Qualifications:

  • Minimum 10 years supporting or managing remote field operations
  • Minimum of 5 years supervisory experience
  • Must be a US Citizen or green card holder to meet contractual requirements
  • Fully vaccinated against Covid-19 
  • Broad management and   leadership experience, specifically leading remote teams and operations, and matrixed multi-skilled organizations
  • Understanding of remote field operations
  • Ability to execute independently in a dynamic and fast-paced environment
  • Risk Management
  • Ability to work Strategically and tactically
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Excellent written, oral, and presentation skills
  • Detailed oriented
  • Strong Microsoft Office suite skills
  • PMP Certification is required - employment is contingent upon receiving the certification within 6 months of the hire date.


Other Requirements: 

  • Regular and predictable onsite attendance as well as availability to work extended hours, including afterhours/weekends and on-call.
  • Regular ability to travel for 1-2-week periods.
  • Possession of current and valid US passport; or the ability to obtain one.
  • Current and valid driver’s license with insurable Department of Motor Vehicle record (parking violations, minor driving offenses excluded).

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge of polar environments 
  • Knowledge of remote fieldwork, logistics, and science support 
  • Familiarity with different regions of Alaska
  • Experience working within or collaborating with indigenous communities


Work Schedule:  

  • Ability and willingness to work varied field operations schedules (up to 12+ hours per day), including split-shift, part-time, pre-dawn early mornings, evenings, and weekends.

Required Travel:  

  • Expected travel: 0-2 trips within the Arctic and 1-4 stateside trips annually to PFS headquarters, NSF, science conferences, etc. (each trip 3-7 days). 
  • The position requires willingness to travel to Arctic field sites for up to 2 consecutive weeks annually. 


Work Environment/Conditions

 This position may require business travel and potential deployment to the field while the majority of the time involves working at a desk in an office environment. The telephone and computer are the major elements of communication. Some remote/telework as needed or approved. PFS work locations in Littleton and Alaska are dog friendly.

Outdoor working conditions are challenging, and temperatures may be extreme and exceed -40F (or +100F and buggy). When at field sites, employees will sleep in tents, dorms, or other types of community housing. Food may come from restaurants, self-made or from a cook. Showers, laundry, and other typical amenities may be restricted or eliminated. Transport may include but is not limited to aircraft, trucks, and snow machines. Work may be performed at high altitude.

Physical Demands/Requirements:  

Must be able to perform the minimum physical requirements to perform all duties and responsibilities as defined by management.



The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all requirements, activities and skills required of staff members. This job description may change at any time.


Contact APECS

APECS International Directorate
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research
Telegrafenberg A45
14473 Potsdam
Email: info(at)

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