Research Scientist / Marine Ecologist
Job Type


CPC seeks a qualified Research Scientist / Marine Ecologist to work at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) located at the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS). This position reports to the Senior Policy Advisor to provide research, education, and field operations.


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Performs tasks such as developing, supporting, coordinating, managing, and evaluating and leading implementation of characterization, monitoring, and research projects and activities designed to meet the management needs of the site.
  • Provide scientific expertise and support, including conducting research and/or monitoring and characterization surveys; sampling and collecting specimens in the field; conducting laboratory tasks and analysis; processing and analyzing scientific data (data entry, statistical analysis, geographic information systems, etc.)
  • Support the planning, evaluation and implementation of characterization, monitoring, and research activities designed to meet the management needs of the sanctuary.
  • Writing scientific reports; assisting with data archiving and records management; collaborating with partners; and conservation or curatorial work.
  • Serves as site liaison to other scientific agencies, offices, and research institutions.
  • Ensures that scientific data and information are effectively maintained and communicated in order to inform policy and management decisions.
  • Support execution of site operating plans and science projects. This may include purchase, maintenance, inventory, and calibration of supplies and equipment for the science program; development of dive, boat, and cruise plans, and submission of associated forms and reports
  • Coordination and implementation of dive operations to meet NOAA dive and safety standards; assistance for the small boat program; collaboration with partners on missions; and performance of in-situ field research and data collection.
  • Participate in site planning activities including developing field projects, grant proposals and budgets
  • Assisting in condition report and management plan preparation and review; and preparation and review of other science planning documents.
  • Review and provide recommendations on assigned site permit  applications and permits, including but not limited to, record keeping, project tracking, applicant briefing, coordinating with other agencies/applicants/permittees, and vessel reporting systems.
  • Participate in research or monitoring cruises and expeditions in a variety of roles, including administrative, scientific, technical, and support. This may require extended periods aboard ship or camping in remote locations.
  • Interpret scientific information for use in outreach and communications programs and provide mentoring for volunteers, interns, and fellows.
  • Support emergency response activities and training and other resource protection programs both internally and with partners.
  • Oversees administrative tasks related to the Research and Monitoring Program.
  • Works with the education and outreach team on the interpretation, production, and where needed, translation of science related educational and outreach materials.

Master’s Degree from an accredited college or university in marine-related sciences, including the Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, or other related. One to three (1-3) years of experience in tropical marine research programs including planning, logistics, and personnel management.

  • Preferred five years of experience planning and executing tropical marine research.
  • Familiar with Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
  • Three years of experience with field data collection in a tropical coral reef environment involving scientific diving.
  • Knowledge of past and ongoing Samoan and Pacific Region coral reef research initiatives required.
  • Knowledge of the NMSAS management structure preferred.
  • Ability to develop and maintain partnerships and serve as a liaison between the sanctuary and other NOAA agencies, the public, partner agencies, and constituent groups.
  • Experience as a scientific or working diver. Must be SCUBA certified (NAUI, PADI, etc.).
  • Experience working on small boats and must be willing to work on both small boats and aboard larger research vessels.
  • Must be able to participate in extended fieldwork for up to 8 weeks per year including, but not limited to live-aboard research and educational vessels, field camps etc.
  • Must be able to obtain medical clearance to work on NOAA research vessels or other appropriate vessels and for NOAA diving requirement.
  • Able to lift and carry up to fifty (50) pounds to assist transporting equipment and gear is required.
  • Familiarity and experience with Samoa culture preferred.

AAP/EEO Statement

CPC is an EEO employer. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.

Other Duties

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Salary Description