Marine Program Assistant; The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

Job Title: 
Marine Program Assistant
Job Location: 
Block Island, Rhode Island
Full-Time - Temporary
Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, March 2, 2021


Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable.  One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 74 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.

The Nature Conservancy has been working on the Island since 1972, and officially launched the Block Island Program in 1991. The Nature Conservancy’s strength lies in its strong partnerships, local staff with extensive knowledge of Block Island’s ecology, and our use of proven, science-based strategies. With the help of partners, donors, and volunteers, the Island’s community-based conservation program has made significant progress in the last three decades with more than 47% of Block Island conserved for the benefit of people and wildlife. In recent years, TNC has initiated long-term monitoring of the Great Salt Pond, a large coastal salt pond, to become more knowledgeable of its ecological functions and values. This effort is part of our larger commitment to provide sound science and engagement opportunities to strengthen protection of Block Island’s unique natural resource.


The Marine Program Assistant is responsible for assisting the Block Island Marine Program with scientific activities involving multi-gear fisheries surveys, water quality monitoring, salt marsh monitoring; leading summer nature walks and other stewardship activities; overseeing volunteers and performing office duties. This seasonal position will provide vital assistance to ensure this collective body of work is done effectively and efficiently.


The Marine Program Assistant is supervised by the Great Salt Pond Scientist. This is a 15-week position beginning on May 24, 2021 through September 3, 2021.  It is a full-time, temporary position (35 hrs. per week and COVID permitting), with an opportunity to extend through September. Housing may be available.


  • Responsible for assisting in all facets of Great Salt Pond monitoring program.
  • Assist with projects including beach seine surveys, fisheries assessments, water quality monitoring, and salt marsh monitoring.
  • Assist with data collection, data entry, and management.
  • Lead nature walks and tours as assigned to educate the public about local natural history, conservation heritage and The Nature Conservancy's mission on Block Island.
  • Assist in orientation, training, and guidance of volunteers and youth groups.
  • Ability to work long hours in the field, including weekends on occasion.    
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations for long periods of time in isolated settings, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.                
  • Requires considerable physical exertion and/or muscular strain. 


  • High school diploma or GED and 6 months of related experience.             
  • Experience operating various types of equipment in a safe and efficient manner.
  • Must be able to obtain related licenses or certifications as required (e.g. First Aid, CPR).


  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Enrolled in an undergraduate program, or a recent graduate (2017-2021) of Biology, Conservation, Environmental Studies, Marine, Ichthyology or related field, or equivalent.
  • Knowledge of aquatic ecosystems and fish assemblages. 
  • Ability to work in a team environment and maintain a positive attitude despite physical adversity while working for long periods of time in the field or in between projects.
  • Boating experience.
  • Lifeguard experience.
  • Ability to obtain a driver’s license.
  • Experience with scientific research and data entry and handling.                                                   
  • Experience working independently and meet deadlines.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to complete tasks within assigned timeframes.
  • Proven leadership abilities.
  • Excellent communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills.
  • Proven ability to deal with the general public in a friendly, outgoing & professional manner.


This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with the Conservancy's Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered "high risk drivers." Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee's motor vehicle record.


To apply to position number 49341,  submit resume (required) and cover letter as one document using the upload buttons. Applications will be reviewed in the order they’re received and the position will remain open until 11:59pm on March 2, 2021.

Click “submit” to apply for the position or “save for later” to create a draft application for future submission. Once submitted, applications cannot be revised or edited. Failure to complete required fields may result in your application being disqualified from consideration.

If you experience technical issues, please refer to our applicant user guide or contact applyhelp [at]

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process.

Please note that all jobs are automatically removed once the application deadline passes. Jobs without a deadline are automatically removed after 30 days.