Ocean Career: Marine Operations Coordinator at NOAA

This position is located in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) with one vacancy in Key West, FL.

This position is also announced under vacancy number NOS-ONMS-2022-0040, which is open to Status Candidates. You must apply to both announcements if you want to be considered for both.


As a Marine Operations Coordinator, you will perform the following duties:

  • Serve as Vessel Operations Coordinator, managing vessel maintenance and operations, vessel inspections and certifications, staff training and certifications, safety training and drills, incident reporting, and administrative records as defined in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Small Boat Standards and Procedures Manual and other applicable policies/procedures. Ensure operation safety, inspection compliance, life cycle costs and material condition of the vessels and vessel storage facilities.
  • Coordinate and manage marine operations for a national marine sanctuary, including small vessel operations, and planning and leading field operations. Participate in diving activities to support some marine operations.
  • Collaborate with the manager of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) Small Boat Program and assist with maritime facilities assessments and planning. Represent unit in vessel related intra and inter-agency meetings and partnerships as necessary. Serve as liaison to the U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA Office of Law Enforcement, National Park Service, and other agencies with small boat operations in the area. Lead or assist with small boat and related administrative duties (e.g. develop vessel operational plans, preparing reports and requests, use of government purchase card, property management, and safety).
  • Work with field personnel to ensure compliance with ONMS Small Boat Program and NOAA Small Boat Program policies, and tailor specific vessel operations manuals to assess and address current and potential site and region-specific operational risks. Work with program leads (science, communications, and education) and superintendent to develop and implement marine operations plans to support management priorities. Perform and/or oversee vessel maintenance, repairs, and modifications, including the annual vessel Winter Yard Package process. Ensure boat repairs and modifications comply with NOAA guidelines.
  • Certify that crewmembers pass Personal Qualifications Standards. Maintain a safe working environment, ensure completion of required safety training and drills, maintain records and complete required safety assessments, and halt field operations if any safety, condition, crew, or weather concerns arise. Coordinate closely with the Unit Dive Supervisor to coordinate trainings and recertifications that serve both the NOAA Dive Program and the NOAA Small Boat Program. Control and/or provide access for all administrative records as appropriate.


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National to apply.
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
  • Must be suitable for Federal employment.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (www.sss.gov).
  • Qualifications requirements must be met by closing date of announcement.

This position requires a Low Risk Security Clearance.

This position will be filled under the DOC Alternative Personnel System (CAPS). This system replaced the Federal GS pay plan and structure. Under CAPS, positions are classified by career, pay plan, and pay band.

The ZA-3 is equivalent to the GS-11/12.


EDUCATION: There is no positive education requirement for this position.

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: Applicants must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to the next lower grade level in the Federal Service. Specialized experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular competencies/knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. This experience need not have been in the federal government.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations e.g., professional; philanthropic, religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies; knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

To qualify at the ZA-3 or GS-11 level:

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: Applicants must possess one full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the ZA-2 or GS-09 in the Federal service. Specialized experience MUST include all of the following:

  • Participating in vessel operations and/or preventative maintenance of vessels, such as for safety, inspections, repair, and vessel regulation compliance;
  • Participating in the development, delivery, and/or scheduling of training for small boat operators and crewmembers;
  • Assisting with the compliance and regulation of small boat safety standards for training and field operations; and
  • Performing SCUBA diving operations in varying water conditions.

- OR -

SUBSTITUTION OF EDUCATION: Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.M., if related.

- OR –

COMBINATION OF EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: A combination of education and experience as described above. Note: Only graduate education in excess of two full years is qualifying for combination of education and experience.

Salary: $70,545 - $109,924 per year
Application deadline: September 26, 2022

Learn more about this position and how to apply.

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