Marine Scientist; Oceana

Job Title: 
Marine Scientist
Job Location: 
Washington, DC
Full-Time - Permanent
Application Deadline: 
Friday, December 31, 2021

The Marine Scientist works closely with Oceana’s Responsible Fishing campaigns including to protect and restore fisheries, save the North Atlantic right whale, and improve shark fisheries management. The Marine Scientist serves as an expert on fisheries and protected species issues, provide research to support and further campaign goals, develop written materials including reports, comments and media statements, develop action plans and implement projects, and help to shape the strategy and direction of new and existing campaigns and initiatives. The Marine Scientist have extensive contact with research scientists and representatives of government agencies and other stakeholders. This position reports to the Campaign Director and is based in the Washington, DC office. They must be able to travel as necessary.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Essential Functions:

•    Participate in Oceana campaign and project teams. 

•    Carry out research on Oceana’s campaign topics and other subjects relevant to Oceana’s objectives.  

•    Conduct literature reviews to maintain up-to-date knowledge of relevant science.

•    Analyze documents in support of campaign goals and legal cases. 

•    Provide the scientific foundation for Oceana scientific reports and external communications including drafting and providing scientific quality control on materials such as reports, public comment letters, petitions, outreach materials, and FOIA requests.

•    Gather pertinent information and data and report on findings. 

•    Create advocacy and public documents, including comment letters, backgrounders, position papers, and reports, in support of Oceana campaign goals and non-campaign policy projects.

•    Communicate with outside scientists to generate academic support for Oceana’s work, including scientist sign-on letters and technical peer reviews.

•    Represent Oceana at external events as needed, including conferences, symposia, meetings, and hearings.  

•    Represent Oceana before state and federal management bodies and agencies and at other public events.  This requires attending, monitoring, and testifying before Regional Fishery Management Councils and their advisory committees.  

•    Meet with Congressional and government agency representatives to communicate Oceana’s objectives as needed.

•    Assist communications staff in generating press coverage, including articles, editorials, op-eds, letters to the editors.

•    Serve as a spokesperson for Oceana and its campaigns to various media outlets, conferences and other events as needed. Establish solid relationships with regional Council members and staff, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration staff. 

•    Assist legal staff by evaluating the need for legal support in promoting ocean conservation, aiding in development of potential cases, and by advising and implementing strategies to support litigation.   

•    Undertake additional projects as requested by senior staff and perform other duties for all Oceana departments as needed and or assigned. 

•    Assist in preparation of reports for the Board of Directors and foundations.

•    Manage a varied and high-volume workload and work independently to meet deadlines and accomplish tasks.

Job Requirements

Education and work experience:

•    Master’s degree in a relevant scientific discipline such as marine biology, oceanography, fisheries, or an equivalent of education and experience.

•    Experience drafting advocacy letters and other documents. 

•    Experience working to meet tight deadlines, completing unexpected projects, collaborating with members of a professional staff, and effectively managing a demanding workload. 

Skills and knowledge:

•    Familiarity with marine wildlife and fisheries laws and regulations. Experience with the biology, conservation, and laws pertaining to sharks, marine mammals, sea turtles, fisheries, stock assessments, and Biological Opinions under the Endangered Species Act desirable.

•    Excellent writing, editing, communication, organizational and research skills. Strong ability to write for various audiences with different levels of expertise.

•    GIS and database proficiency preferred, including basic knowledge of statistical design and modeling.

•    Ability to manage a varied and high-volume workload.  Some long hours and travel will be required at times.

•    Ability to handle many tasks simultaneously, with speed, accuracy, and courtesy, show initiative, and exhibit insightful planning and understanding of abstract concepts.

•    Ability to represent Oceana in a professional and responsive manner.

Required Competencies:

Action Oriented: Makes things happen. Takes on new opportunities and tough challenges with a sense of urgency, high energy, and enthusiasm.

Instills Trust: Is able to gain the confidence and trust of others by demonstrating honesty and authenticity, acting with integrity, being consistent and credible.

Manages Complexity: Is able to gather data, analyze situations and uncover root causes to problems.  Can distinguish between what’s relevant and what’s not and to evaluate the pros and cons of potential solutions.  

Nimble Learning: Takes on the challenge of unfamiliar tasks.  Can quickly adapt to new situations and to draw on past successes and failures to solve current problems.  

Oceana values a diverse workforce and welcomes people different from each other in many ways, including characteristics such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, and national origin. Oceana considers all qualified candidates and seeks to recruit from a diverse candidate pool.


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