Ocean Career: NMSF Communications Manager for Restoration

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is a leading voice for US protected waters, is seeking a Communications Manager, a new position, designed to play a key role in supporting public awareness of deep sea habitat restoration in the Gulf of Mexico, funded through the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s (Foundation) cooperative agreement with NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation (OHC).

The Gulf Restoration Communications Manager will support public awareness of the activities of the Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities (MDBC) restoration portfolio in the Gulf of Mexico. The MDBC Portfolio includes four interconnected projects working to better understand and restore damage to deep sea coral communities caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This person in this position will manage all public facing communications related to MDBC restoration activities, including drafting and reviewing web stories, press releases, social media posts, and other forms of popular press and media. The Gulf Restoration Communications Manager will also lead the coordination of communications efforts across 30+ partners, including the facilitation of a monthly MDBC Communications Team meeting. The partners that contribute to this restoration work include other NOAA offices and federal agencies, academic and scientific institutions, and non-profit organizations. The Manager will be responsible for the implementation of the project communications strategy and key messages, including developing communications plans for each restoration expedition, or “cruise,” in the Gulf of Mexico throughout the field season (approximately March to October), approximately 8-15 expeditions per year.

The person in this position reports to the Program Operations Manager, Restoration, but coordinates day-to-day activities with restoration portfolio staff from OHC and the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. The position is currently offered as a fourteen-month term position, with the opportunity for extension based on availability of funding.

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is committed to a culture of inclusion, equity, and belonging. We are dedicated to attracting and retaining a diverse staff. We honor experiences, perspectives, and unique identities, and welcome the contributions that you can bring to the dedicated team. With a diverse team of employees, we can grow and learn better together and achieve our mission to protect the health of the ocean, coasts and Great Lakes for current and future generations.

General Restoration Portfolio Communications Management:

  • Lead monthly MDBC Communications Team meetings and manage email listserv to ensure consistent messaging across all partners, track approval processes, provide support and updates on stories/projects, communicate restoration milestones and successes to be featured in media, etc.
  • Ensure all public-facing MDBC communications pieces and media follow messaging guidelines and media crediting guidelines.
  • Draft web stories, articles, press releases, and social media posts & work with relevant office/partner to get it approved & published according to that partner’s guidelines.
  • Review web stories, articles, press releases, and social media posts written by partner offices/organizations and coordinate necessary review and approval steps.
  • Field media and partner inquiries, connecting inquiries to subject-matter experts within the portfolio and/or providing information as needed.
  • Coordinate with project managers and subject-matter experts across the portfolio identify news-worthy stories, website and social media content, and which distribution strategies to implement.
  • Track MDBC-related communications products & publications to evaluate impact and reach.
  • Provide information and be responsive to requests from Foundation Headquarters.

Cruise Communications Planning & Media Coordination:

  • Coordinate with the MDBC Vessel Operations Coordinator to distribute and collect photo releases from cruise participants, and identify a communications staff member to serve as the “content collection lead” (CCL) for each cruise.
  • Lead the development of a communications plan specific to the objectives and activities of each cruise with support from the cruise lead (“field party chief”) and CCL.
  • Collaborate with partners from the Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute/University of Rhode Island InnerSpace Center and MDBC staff to plan telepresence broadcast schedules, scripts, content, and staff roles based on communications plan and cruise objectives.
  • Participate on cruises as content collection lead when available (at least one cruise each year - approximately 10-20 days at sea sometime between March - October)
  • Following each cruise, coordinate with the CCL to ensure that all media is collected and archived, documenting necessary metadata (photographer, location, credits, etc.)
  • Following each cruise, coordinate with field party chief & data manager to ensure that cruise summary one-pager is completed.
  • Work with InnerSpace Center staff to develop “highlight reel” (1-3 mins max) for each cruise.

Required qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in a related field from an accredited four-year college or university or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Minimum three (3) years of related experience.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated experience in writing, storytelling, and science communication.
  • Distilling complex science topics into stories and language that are accessible to the general public while working with subject matter experts to maintain integrity of information and follow required messaging guidelines.
  • Experience fielding press inquiries and connecting with media outlets to share or pitch stories.
  • Strong photography and videography skills.
  • Experience with photo and video editing, and proficiency with editing software.
  • Ability to coordinate and communicate across multiple teams and partners, strong interpersonal skills and ability to build collaborative relationships.
  • Desire to take full ownership of assigned projects and ability to work independently.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines at once, multi-tasking and re-prioritizing as needed.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A Master’s degree in a related field from an accredited four-year college or university or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience with ocean exploration tools, technologies, and concepts, such as seafloor mapping, remotely operated vehicles, autonomous underwater vehicles, habitat characterization, etc.
  • Graphic design skills, such as the development of infographics.
  • Demonstrated experience with all types of social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and associated analytical tools.
  • Proficiency in written Spanish.
  • Excellent public speaking skills.

Why You Will Love Us

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (“Foundation”) is a leading voice for U.S. protected waters, working with communities to conserve and expand those special places for a healthy ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes. The Foundation works in close partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to increase stewardship of our ocean and Great Lakes through on-the- water conservation projects, and education and public outreach activities, and by support for research. Together, we safeguard species and the places they call home, and support coastal communities and economies.

  • Dedicated and passionate staff committed to marine and Great Lakes Conservation
  • Two weeks paid annual leave, plus paid time off the week between December 25 and January 1; and 12 paid holidays
  • Two weeks paid sick leave
  • Health benefits: Medical with an FSA option; dental, and vision
  • Foundation paid Life and Disability Insurance
  • Preparing for the Future: 403(B) with employer contribution after one year of service

Compensation and Benefits: $75-$85K/annually based on experience. The Foundation offers a competitive benefits package.

Applications received by April 22nd will be preferred.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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