Opportunity

Ocean Career: Fisheries Extension Agent at Lynker

Lynker is contracting a Hawaii Fisheries Extension Agent position located at the NOAA Inouye Regional Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. The position is in the Habitat Conservation Division (HCD) of the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO).

HCD works to protect, restore, and promote stewardship of marine and coastal habitat that supports fisheries and conserves protected resources. HCD also works to increase partnerships with local agencies, stakeholders, and organizations. These partnerships help HCD to provide technical assistance to achieve mutual conservation and management goals.

Position Background

Coral reef resources continue to decline from cumulative impacts associated with climate change, land based sources of pollution, and unsustainable fishing practices. In 2006, during a series of public meetings and fisher’s forums in Hawaii, the public voiced interest in receiving help from marine resource managers on issues related to coral reef resources. Several challenges were identified that hindered collaboration among coral reef stakeholders, including mistrust, difficulty with the exchange of accurate information, and difficulty in building relationships among stakeholder groups. In response, the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and NMFS HCD collaborated to develop a Hawaii Fisheries Extension Agent position, to improve trust, communication and collaboration. The agent is similar to agriculture extension agents, who have a long history of providing similar services to local farmers.

The goal of this position is to advance the sustainable use of coral reef resources. In order to accomplish this, the agent must establish trust among stakeholders as an unbiased source of accurate information. User groups in regional and stakeholder communities respond better to one-on-one interactions, rather than to large, formal meetings. The agent will meet with these smaller groups to provide accurate and factual information about issues of interest. Issues vary greatly with different stakeholders. Therefore, the agent must be knowledgeable on a wide range of topics and be willing to seek the information if it is not known or available.

The agent serves as a liaison among the fishing, management, and scientific communities. Examples of serving in this role might include attending a fishing club meeting to discuss proposed regulation changes; responding to scientists requesting help in recruiting fishers to donate samples; or designing projects and materials to encourage, monitor, and evaluate sustainable fishing behaviors. By interacting directly with communities, the agent will help communicate about the urgent need to protect coral reef resources and assist stakeholders to contribute to research and management processes. The agent should plan to spend time on difficult subjects including, but not limited to, fishing licensing, marine managed areas, and sustainable fisheries management.

Task Descriptions

  • Works under the guidance of a HCD federal project lead, including providing input to develop annual work plan and proposals for the project, funded by NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP).
  • Formulates a variety of approaches to gain the trust and confidence of fishers and other resource users and shares information of mutual interest to fishers and marine resource managers.
  • Fosters favorable relationship with the local fishing community throughout the State, by hosting 4-5 Scientists and Fishermen Exchange (SAFE) Meetings per year.
  • Serves as a liaison and neutral information conduit among the various groups performing fishery outreach activities. These include federal and state governments and non-governmental organizations.
  • Attends regular meetings of fishing clubs (e.g., casting, boating, trolling and diving) and other fishing related organizations to address topics of concern for fishermen.
  • Arranges meetings with clubs, other organizations, individuals, and/or resource agency personnel to provide discourse that is more detailed, or to promote discussion and information sharing.
  • Attends meetings and events at night, on weekends, and/or on holidays when necessary.
  • Serves as a member of fisheries related groups, such as Fisheries Local Action Strategy Hawaii (FLASH), attends annual meetings, and provides input from the Fisheries Extension Agent Program.
  • Travels throughout the State to attend approximately 8-10 fishing tournaments, community events, and outreach activities per year.
  • Develops and produces reports, articles, outreach material, or guidance documents for fishery-related issues.
  • Assists with the development and implementation of shared internship programs with partners including, but not limited to, federal, state, educational, non-profit, and private organizations.
  • Assists with projects and programs to mitigate the interactions between protected species (e.g., corals, monk seals, green sea turtles) and resource users (e.g., anglers, divers).
  • Maintains monthly check-in calls or meetings with DAR Fisheries Manager and the HCD federal project lead.
  • Consults and provide expertise on nearshore fisheries related projects, especially those that would benefit from involvement with the fishing community.
  • Implements an annual Hawaii Fisheries Extension Program Evaluation to collect input from partners on effectiveness of the program and to solicit recommended changes (e.g., consideration of transitioning the position to a State agency).
  • Attends HCD Staff and HCD Coral Reef Team Meetings to provide updates on Fisheries Extension Activities and contribute to Coral Reef Team activities.
  • Provides insight and participates in nearshore fisheries related projects identified by the Community Based Social Marketing Working Group at the IRC.
  • May travel to the continental United States to attend professional development trainings or conferences, based on the availability of funding and approval.
  • Initiates new innovative projects and concepts to support sustainable coral reef fisheries management.

Requirements

Required:

  • Bachelor’s degree in marine science, coral reef or fishery management, coastal management, or related field, plus three years of related experience
  • Self-starter with ability to work in a team environment and independently excel at taking initiative on all tasks
  • Knowledge of issues confronting coral reef conservation and fishers perceptions
  • Knowledge of nearshore fishing techniques and practices in Hawai’i
  • Demonstrated ability to build relationships with fishers, management, community, non-profit organizations and external partners
  • Ability to plan, lead, and facilitate meetings with fishers
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, including the ability to tailor delivery to the specific target audience, especially local communities
  • Experience using Google apps, such as Google Drive, Forms, Meets
  • Strong social media skills
  • Technical writing skills and ability to synthesize technical information
  • Travel will be required to neighboring islands and might be required to the continental U.S. (e.g., professional trainings, symposia
  • Work will be required on some weekends, evenings, and/or holidays

Preferred:

  • Master’s degree in marine science, coral reef or fishery management, coastal management, or related field
  • Experience working with state and federal agencies, Native Hawaiian communities, academia, and nongovernmental organizations
  • Experienced with Adobe Photoshop and InDesign or willingness to learn
  • Training in and application of Community Based Social Marketing techniques
  • Open to constructive input to improve work performance and willingness to learn

About Lynker

Lynker Technologies, LLC is a growing, Hub-zone certified small business specializing in professional, scientific and technical services. Our continually expanding team combines scientific expertise with mature, results-driven processes and tools to achieve technically sound, cost effective solutions in hydrology/water sciences, geospatial analysis, information technology, resource management, conservation, and management and business process improvement.

We focus on putting the right people in the right place to be effective. And having the right people is critical for success. Our streamlined organization enables and empowers our talented professionals to tackle our customers’ scientific and technical priorities – creatively and effectively.

Lynker offers a team-oriented work environment, competitive salaries and benefits, and the opportunity to work in a culture of exceptionally skilled and diverse professionals who embrace sound science and creative solutions.

Lynker is an E-Verify employer.

Lynker Technologies is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply.

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8502 SW Kansas Ave
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