Ocean Career: NMSF Project Coordinator

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is a leading voice for US protected waters, is seeking Project Coordinator, a position responsible for ensuring the continuity of critical operations and the achievement of top-priority resource protection projects connected to Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS).

Projects include working with staff and partners on publicly accessible Sanctuary Advisory Council meetings, and an evaluation of the ecological and socio-economic performance of the Channel Islands marine reserves and marine conservation areas.

Part of the larger National Marine Sanctuary System, CINMS protects 1,470 square miles of ocean waters around the five of the Channel Islands off the southern California coast: Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara islands. A special place for endangered species, sensitive habitats, historic shipwrecks, and cultural resources, the sanctuary provides protection through research, education, conservation, and stewardship.

This position is a one-year term position from February 2024 to February 2025. The duties may be primarily provided from any suitable working location (remote from or within the Channel Islands NMS office), with the exception of certain events. Sanctuary Advisory Council meetings must be set up and conducted in person, with locations ranging from venues in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Additionally, vessel-based research trips must be conducted in person.

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

Support of Sanctuary Advisory Council

    • In coordination with the Sanctuary Superintendent and existing Program Support Specialist, plan for, organize, conduct, and follow-up on six bi-monthly hybrid public Sanctuary Advisory Council meetings (March 2024 through January 2025). This includes meeting agenda design, providing session facilitation when needed, consulting with the council’s Executive Committee, preparing and delivering presentations, professionally corresponding with council members and the public, and ensuring meetings are accessible to the public.
    • Assist and guide sub-groups of the Sanctuary Advisory Council, with an elevated focus on helping the Chumash Community Working Group to get started and find productive and appropriate first-year projects, and help launch meetings of the Commercial Fishing Working Group.
    • Assist with membership recruitment process for any 2024 open seats on the Sanctuary Advisory Council.
    • In coordination with the existing CINMS Program Support Specialist, provide onboarding support to fellows and interns, including the CINMS 2024 California Sea Grant Fellow. Throughout the year, provide guidance and training to these individuals related to supporting the needs of the Sanctuary Advisory Council and other projects.
    • Produce service records and an annual report of advisory council accomplishments for fiscal year 2024 (due October 2024), and an end-of-year accomplishments presentation for calendar year 2024 (due January 2025).

Evaluation of Channel Islands Marine Protected Areas

      • In coordination with the existing CINMS Resource Protection Coordinator, schedule and facilitate monthly meetings of the CINMS internal team working on evaluation of the Channel Islands MPA Network. For each meeting, prepare a productive agenda, keep notes, document action items, and track follow-up activities.
      • Closely review Channel Islands MPA change petitions that have been submitted to CINMS or the California Department Fish and Wildlife. Analyze these requests relative to the original goals set for the Channel Islands MPA Network. Consult with CINMS team members to assess (internally document) the merits of each proposal, identify and seek any additional information needed, and evaluate the credibility and feasibility of recommendations received.
      • Assist the Resource Protection Coordinator and Sanctuary Superintendent with progress reporting requirements for keeping ONMS leadership informed, and with information exchange sessions with the Sanctuary Advisory Council.

Research Program Support

        • In coordination with the existing Program Support Specialist, interact with Federal, state, and academic partners and collaborators to promote and track research efforts that meet site resource protection and management needs.
        • Provide logistical and scientific support, as needed, aboard NOAA vessels for a variety of science missions (e.g., seafloor mapping, ocean acoustics, deep sea coral studies, social science, and remotely operated vehicle projects).
        • Provide scientific diving, and field support for ocean acoustic and telemetry studies as well as general survey support. This may include, but not be limited to, deploying and retrieving hydrophones, VR2 receivers, and temperature loggers as well as collecting underwater still and video recordings. Divers are required to obtain a NOAA Dive Certification upon award.
        • Attendance and coordination as required at site, regional, national, and international meetings, workshops, and conferences.
        • Review and summarize literature, provide information syntheses in response to data calls, and information requests from both NOAA and non-NOAA partners.

Required Qualifications:

          • Specific knowledge of and familiarity with sanctuary advisory councils of NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary System. Familiarity and experience effectively communicating with stakeholder groups represented on the Sanctuary Advisory Council, in particular native Chumash people, recreational fishermen, and commercial fishermen.
          • Experience designing effective and meaningful stakeholder group meetings.
          • Experience providing effective and efficient training and guidance to entry level team members.
          • At least one year of knowledge of and experience with local and California marine protected areas (MPAs), including: the design, purpose, goals, and legal/policy foundation of the Channel Islands MPA Network; and the process and reported outcomes to date of the State of California’s Marine Protected Area Decadal Management Review.
          • Experience and ability to research and document professional literature reviews and summaries relevant to the biological, ecological, and socio-economic effects associated with MPAs.
          • At least 6-12 months of experience effectively working with marine stakeholder groups on sensitive management and policy issues.
          • NOAA dive certification required prior to participating in NOAA diver operations
          • Minimum 2 years of experience in the collection of underwater research and monitoring data.
          • Ability to collect biological, geological, and water quality samples and measurements.
          • Tracking and navigation capability to provide geo-referencing to all video and still imagery with expected accuracy of 5 m to 200 m and within 20 m to 600 m.

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

Compensation and Benefits: $60,000 - $70,000 annually based on experience. The Foundation offers a competitive benefits package.

Applications received by February 12th, 2024, will be preferred.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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