Ocean Career: NMSF Community Engagement Specialist

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 Community Engagement Specialist, who will work with the Foundation and NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries in support of developing public momentum for the designation of the proposed Hudson Canyon National Marine Sanctuary.

In 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration directed the Department of Commerce to move forward with the designation process for five nominated national marine sanctuary sites, including Hudson Canyon. This designation effort supports President Biden’s America the Beautiful initiative by expanding the National Marine Sanctuary System, addressing inequitable access to the outdoors and supporting locally-led conservation. Hudson Canyon is the largest submarine canyon along the United States’ Atlantic coast and one of the largest in the world. Rich in biodiversity, Hudson Canyon provides habitat to a remarkable diversity of marine life, including deep sea coral, sharks, whales, and hundreds of species of fishes, sea turtles, seabirds, and invertebrates. Hudson Canyon provides opportunities for numerous recreational activities that support tourism and the local economy. A sanctuary would help foster partnerships for education and research in communities across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

This is currently offered as a two-year term position. Position may be extended based on continued availability of funding. The Community Engagement Specialist, Hudson Canyon supports the scope of a federal cooperative agreement award between the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries that focuses on public engagement in the designation process of new national marine sanctuaries. The position is embedded with Eastern Region Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and the position will initially work remotely in the Greater New York City Metropolitan area, until office space is identified.

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.

What You’ll Do

  • Plan and implement activities, events, and programs that provide opportunities for community engagement with the proposed Sanctuary. Represent the Sanctuary at community events.
  • Conduct presentations for various interest groups to build awareness of the proposed Sanctuary habitats, wildlife, and management activities.
  • Facilitate communication between the Sanctuary Advisory Council and the public on behalf of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, in coordination with the proposed Hudson Canyon National Marine Sanctuary team.
  • Maintain information on the proposed sanctuary website related to meetings, activities, and issues. Prepare written evaluation and reports related to this information.
  • Assist in recruitment of representatives of constituent or user groups, and relevant governmental agencies on the Sanctuary Advisory Council as positions become vacant.
  • Perform other duties, as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four (4) year college or university (preferably in Marine Science, Zoology, Environmental and/or Science Education or a related field).
  • 3-5 years of experience working with natural resource management programs or education, outreach, or volunteer programs.
  • Knowledge and experience managing volunteer programs including planning, recruitment, and administration.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with people who have diverse skills/interests and match those with the needs of the sanctuary.
  • Comfortable with public speaking, including the ability to speak fluently and persuasively about the demands and challenges at the proposed Sanctuary.
  • Excellent writing skills including editing, technical writing, reports, and social media products.
  • Excellent computer skills and proficiency in MS Office components. Competency in both PC and Macintosh computers with skills in MS Office and other business software.
  • Regular attendance required. Candidate must be based in Greater New York City metropolitan area, working remotely until office space is identified. Attending in-person meetings in the surrounding region is expected/required.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience working with state and/or federal natural resource management agencies.
  • Ability to travel.

Why You Will Love Us

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (“Foundation”) is a leading voice for US 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
  • Generous leave policy, plus paid time off the week between December 25 and January 1; and 12 paid holidays
  • 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
  • Commuter Benefits

Location: New York City Area/Northern New Jersey

Compensation and Benefits: $75,000-$82,000/year based on experience. The Foundation offers a competitive benefits package.

Applications received by February 24th, 2024 will be preferred.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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