Careers at SkyTruth

Current Positions

Big Data Engineer

Big Data Engineer

Job Description
SkyTruth is seeking an engineer to join the team that is building Global Fishing Watch which is a partnership of SkyTruth, Oceana and Google dedicated to saving the world’s oceans from ruinous overfishing [Wired]. We believe that better data and radical transparency applied to global commercial fishing fishing fleets will drive better policy and more effective management, protecting the world’s wild-caught fisheries from long term collapse and environmental destruction.

Your job will be to operationalize execution of machine learning classification algorithms which characterize the movements of fishing vessels extracted from time series position data detected by satellite. We have assembled a data set containing many billions of vessel position reports from 200k+ vessels, from which we derive behaviors based on movement characteristics and publish a dynamically updated map of global commercial fishing activity.

You will work with a globally distributed technical team including several 20%-time engineers at Google and a team of academic researchers publishing peer-reviewed articles using your work. And everything is being open sourced.

What You’ll Do

  • Extend and improve existing data pipeline built using hadoop, luigi and bigquery
  • Design and implement new data pipeline components using hadoop, spark, cloud dataflow, tensorflow
  • Architect and develop dynamic cluster scaling architecture with cloud dataproc
  • Implement performance monitoring and metrics with stackdriver
  • Collaborate with data science team to design and implement machine learning classification algorithms at scale
  • Design and build tools for analysts to use to manually classify time-series data
  • Perform ad hoc statistical and data mining analyses
  • Publish internally developed tools as open source projects
  • Handle architectural and design considerations such as performance, scalability, reusability and flexibility issues
  • Review the technical design and perform code review of other developers’ work
  • Implement APIs for data access and data distribution
  • Help choose the right technology stack for the next generation data platform

What to Bring

  • Experience with scalable data architecture – e.g. Hadoop, Apache Storm, Cascading, Cloud Dataflow etc
  • Python experience (most of or existing tools are in python)
  • Experience working with big data and machine learning techniques
  • Ability to work in a distributed team
  • Knowledge of Database/RDBMS systems such as PostgreSQL MySQL
  • A passion for the project mission

Nice to Have

  • Experience with google cloud platform
  • Experience with machine learning tools such as scikit-learn, caffe, tensorflow
  • Open source collaboration experience
  • gdal and other spatial tools
  • Java, Scala, R

About SkyTruth and Global Fishing Watch
SkyTruth is a not for profit, remote sensing and big data company with a mission to protect the environment by making more of it visible. In 2014 we launched an ambitious project called Global Fishing Watch which uses satellite tracking to detect when and where commercial fishing is happening in every ocean around the world, in near real time. Our goal is to help save the oceans from damaging overfishing through greater transparency across all large commercial fishing operations in every country of the world. We plan to accomplish this through cutting edge application of machine learning and big data tools, media and outreach impact created by project partner Oceana, and technology depth provided by project partner Google.

About the SkyTruth Team

SkyTruth is a small group of dedicated people using remote-sensing technologies to help protect the earth by making more of the impacts of human activity visible to the people who live there. We use scientifically credible satellite images and other visual technologies to create compelling pictures that vividly illustrate environmental impacts, and provide these pictures and supporting data to environmental advocates, policy-makers, the media, and the public.


  • Health care, 403(b), paid vacation
  • A better world to live in

About Shepherdstown

SkyTruth is located 70 miles north-west of Washington DC on the Potomac river in a charming little town called Shepherdstown.   Home to nationally acclaimed arts and film festivals, and a small liberal arts university, this small town is packed with creative and technical people that support 15 great places to eat in the 4-block historic downtown, 3 independent coffee shops, an independent book store, and a rockin’ live music and film venue in the Old Opera House (“Music and Entertainment since 1910″). Just 90 minutes from downtown DC by car or commuter train, we have all the amenities of a big city within easy reach, without actually having to live there.

SkyTruth is located in Shepherdstown because when your mission is global monitoring with satellites, you can live anywhere you like.  The SkyTruth founders chose Shepherdstown because that’s where they and their families wanted to live.  When you come to visit, we’re certain that you will want to live here too.


Send us a resume and cover letter to Tell us why you want to work for SkyTruth and what projects we are doing that are of particular interest to you.