Fisheries Biologist Support-North Puget Sound; OAI

Job Title: 
Fisheries Biologist Support-North Puget Sound
Job Location: 
Seattle, Washington


The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Oregon-Washington Coastal Office (OWCO) is responsible for implementing the Endangered Species Act (ESA), Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), and Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation Act (MSA). Through programs conducted under each of these statutes, NMFS seeks to protect and preserve our nation's living marine resources through scientific research, fisheries management, enforcement, and habitat conservation. NMFS West Coast Region works closely with tribes, local, state, and Federal agencies, and our stakeholders and partners (e.g., corporations, farmers and ranchers, homeowners, non-profit organizations, trade groups) to find science-based solutions to complex ecological issues. OWCO has a significant ESA section 7 and MSA interagency consultation workload. Contract support is needed for ESA section 7 and EFH consultation and development of consultation documentation adhering to Regional standards and developed according to Regional procedures. 

The OWCO achieves its mission and advances sound stewardship of public resources through a variety of interagency consultations as requested by Federal agencies (or, in the case of the MMPA, citizens who request authorization for incidental take of marine mammals) to help manage, conserve, and protect living marine resources in inland, coastal, and offshore waters of the United States. NMFS branches within this area office respond to a high volume of requests to consult from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Navy, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other Federal agencies and then must document each consultation in a timely manner, including NMFS’ scientific evaluation of the proposed action, a summary of the information on which the evaluation is based, and a detailed discussion of the effects of the action on the species or habitat of concern. 


The objective is to provide program support in conducting interagency consultations under ESA section 7(a)(2), MMPA section 101(a)(5)(D), and MSA section 104-297, including document preparation activities in the North Puget Sound Branch. 


Key tasks include the following: Conduct ESA, MMPA, and MSA program consultation and document preparation activities in the North Puget Sound Branch. In addition to the tasks listed below, the employee will coordinate daily with their Project Officer or Geographic Branch Chief on assignments and work products. Although this position might involve opportunities to consult in the field, this position consists mainly of administrative duties. 

The employee shall provide the following services throughout the period of performance and complete the following projects and deliver them to the NMFS Project Officer no later than the end of the period of performance for each line item: 

  1. Respond to inquiries from action agencies, applicants, and their representatives, and provide pre-consultation technical assistance to action agencies, applicants, or their representatives during regular business hours. Examples of technical assistance likely to be provided include:
  • Initial contact with consulting agency, applicant, or non-federal representative,
  • Explanation of consultation process and information requirements, if necessary,
  • Preparation or review of species lists,
  • Recommendation of conservation measures to minimize adverse effects to listed species,
  • Feedback on draft documents submitted by action agencies,
  • Review of designs or coordination with engineer review of designs, and
  • Site visits to potential project areas. 
  1. Review consultation initiation packages for accuracy and completeness, and develop requests for further information sufficient to support initiating consultation, as needed. 
  1. Consult with action agencies and their representatives or applicants as required to ensure action agency compliance with each statute, as needed. Communicate with Geographic Branch Chief to coordinate NMFS response to each consultation. 
  1. Prepare appropriate documentation for each consultation and follow West Coast Region protocol for quality assurance. 
  1. Work cooperatively with North Puget Sound Branch and OWCO Division members as necessary to ensure efficient completion of work and consistency across the Division.


Start Date:  Contingent on receiving the award for this contract.

Location: OWCO’s offices in Seattle, WA, and occasionally at off-site for meetings, training, and field site visits.  

Salary and Benefits: This is a full-time position, overtime is not anticipated. Salary commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefits package.  


Selected individual(s) must have the following minimum qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university with a major in biological sciences, engineering, or natural resource management, and an emphasis in fisheries, oceanography, social science, natural science, mathematics, or hydrology, plus five (5) years of experience in a related field or combination of such totaling nine (9) years combined education/experience. Master’s Degree in related field plus one (1) year experience or Ph.D. may be substituted for experience.
  • Knowledge and expertise of NOAA Fisheries policies and programs.
  • Experience with planning, and Federal financial management and operations.
  • Expertise related to program and project management, business processes, best practices and procedures, database management, and meeting facilitation.

The applicant must have experience in the following and maintain the following knowledge, skills and abilities during the period of performance:

  • Experience with or knowledge of the requirements of ESA section 7(a)(2), MMPA section 101(a)(5)(D), or MSA section 104-297 and their respective consultation processes.
  • Excellent writing and editing skills for English-language composition.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Computer skills in the most common software applications, including Microsoft Office, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Suite, and email.
  • Experience with, or knowledge of, the requirements of the ESA, MMPA, and/or MSA and the consultation processes described above.
  • Valid driver’s license. 

Additional preferred qualifications include:

  • Experience providing biological, economic, or social analyses to support recommendations for natural resource conservation measures.
  • Experience assessing the impacts of human activities on marine, estuarine, or anadromous species and their habitats as part of a regulatory program.
  • Experience developing policy or procedures for the management and conservation of protected species including marine fish, mammals, or sea turtles.
  • Background in biology, natural resource management, and salmonid and/or marine mammal species.
  • Endangered Species Act Section 7 experience, including programmatic consultations
  • Experience working with tribal governments


If you are interested in being considered for this position, please APPLY THROUGH OUR ADP WEB PORTAL, AT THE LINK AT THE TOP RIGHT OF THIS PAGE.

Only qualified applicants that meet minimum experience or background requirements stated above need apply. When applying for this position you will be asked to upload your resume at the end of this online application.

Applicants should submit a resume that includes the following:

  • Cover letter that briefly describes how you meet the required and preferred qualifications listed.
  • Work history for past 10 years or since last full-time education.
  • Education.
  • Previous experience or training with similar requirements.
  • Three professional references.  
  • Include your name in the document file name.
  • Upload your resume in readable, not scanned, PDF or Word format (PDF is preferred).  

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States, complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire, and successfully complete a federal government background check.  Ocean Associates Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law. 

OAI is a government contractor and is required by law to invite applicants to self-identify their race, gender, national origin, disability status and veteran status. OAI is required to use the information it collects as part of its future affirmative action efforts in hiring. The information is collected anonymously by computer and is not connected to your application. You will see a place to check certain boxes in OAI's online application. Even though the information is anonymous, self-identification is voluntary. You can always check the box that says you decline to self-identify. 

Note:  If you are not selected, your materials may be retained for present or future opportunities. We may use your resume in bidding on a project and if we are awarded the work we will contact you before seeking further applicants. If you do not wish us to retain or use your resume to seek work for you, please let us know in the "Notes" section on the second page of the online application. 

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