Indigenous Partnerships Manager

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) develops collaborative solutions to global ocean challenges. Our scientists explore dynamic ocean systems from marine life to environmental conditions to coastal economies. We infuse our learnings into the policy arena and design solutions with fishermen and seafood businesses to protect fishery resources, harvest them responsibly, and market them as premium quality food. We share our discoveries with the public and nurture a culture of leadership in communities that depend on the sea. Our education programs cultivate science literacy and build a foundation of collaborative problem-solving among our next generation of leaders, scientists, community members, and stewards. Each year, we serve over 25,000 stakeholders from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia.

In recent years, GMRI has committed itself to increasing the diversity of its staff and focusing on equity in its partnerships and programs. While working to create partnerships within Wabanaki communities, we have come to appreciate the need to commit more holistically to these partnerships and to reflect that commitment across the organization and in our shared culture. We envision a future where Indigenous knowledge is a valued and integral part of how we approach both scientific work and work with communities. We are in the process of manifesting these commitments in both internal education and training processes and in our program work. As a component of that commitment, we are hiring an Indigenous Partnerships Program Manager to support our institutional transformation and to build strong partnerships with Indigenous communities.

The immediate program opportunity for this position is to embrace two-eyed seeing, the weaving together of Indigenous knowledge systems and western science, through GMRI’s community science program, Ecosystem Investigation Network. The Indigenous Partnerships Program Manager will facilitate collaboration among Indigenous communities, Tribal organizations such as Wabanaki Youth in Science (WaYS), and staff from across GMRI. The community science work will expand GMRI’s Ecosystem Investigation Network engagement of communities in observing the natural world, interacting with researchers around critical ecosystem dynamics, and bringing that knowledge and experience to inform management, restoration, and conservation measures. We are strengthening our community science efforts as a promising pathway for authentic engagement with communities around Indigenous priorities and for broadening the kinds of knowledge systems included in GMRI’s research endeavors.

GMRI is deepening its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the organization, listening closely to staff experience and changing our approach to recruiting, hiring, workplace culture, retention, and program development. In particular, GMRI recognizes our need to understand, confront, and internalize the legacy of colonialism and on-going injustices before we can develop deep and trusting partnerships with Indigenous communities. GMRI is actively pursuing opportunities to advance this work and staff are eager to begin. It will not be the Indigenous Partnerships Program Manager’s responsibility to lead or run this work, but they will play an important role in uncovering opportunities for growth among GMRI staff and programs. GMRI is committed to embracing and supporting this transition and change.

As part of this broader work, GMRI is committed to supporting the final candidate when hired as they find their own voice at GMRI and navigate what may well be a personal transition upon joining GMRI.   We are committed to professional development and will commit resources to both organization-wide needs as well as individual aspirations of staff. We know the transition to a more diverse staff is a journey.

This position is full-time and could be remote or located at GMRI in Portland, Maine.



The Indigenous Partnership Program Manager will work with both the Ecosystem Investigation Network and other programs across GMRI that are currently working with Wabanaki communities (or aspire to do so) to support and deepen their efforts. 

More specifically, responsibilities include

  • Serve as GMRI’s main point of contact with Wabanaki Youth in Science for exploring, developing, and running community science projects
  • Develop and deepen relationships with other Indigenous community groups, Tribes or bands.
  • Explore opportunities for GMRI to engage with Indigenous communities in other areas of our work, such as shellfish restoration, aquaculture development, fisheries management, climate adaptation, and business development.
  • Contribute to GMRI’s commitment to enhance opportunities for Indigenous youth to experience pathways in STEM learning that celebrate Indigenous knowledge.


A wide range of backgrounds are appropriate preparation for this position, but experience in/with Maine’s Indigenous communities is essential. In addition, the position will require project management skills. A bachelor's degree in any field, or equivalent preparation through job experience, is required for this position.

Required skills and experience include

  • At least 5 years’ experience living in or working with one of Maine’s Indigenous communities
  • Experience with two-eyed seeing and a commitment to implementing it through community science engagements
  • Experience serving in a translational role between communities and/or serving in grassroots community organizing
  • Personal commitment to and experience in two-eyed seeing: the integrating of Indigenous and western knowledge systems
  • Exceptional communication skills in all forms and contexts, verbal and written
  • Proven ability to work both independently and collaboratively and to take initiative to bring stakeholders together to solve problems and tackle challenges
  • Knowledge of, and curiosity about, collaboration methods and tools that could be applied to integrating a wide range of internal and external stakeholders into the work
  • Experience with freshwater or coastal fisheries

Other Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in program or project management, including some combination of strategy development, operations, and fundraising, is highly desirable.
  • Working knowledge of the field of community science (citizen science, public participation in science), and ability to contribute to advancement of that field, will be a substantial asset.
  • Lived experience with Tribal/Indigenous languages, cultures, Elders, and knowledge keeper


Diversity and Inclusion

Gulf of Maine Research Institute has a long-standing policy and commitment to providing equal access and equal employment opportunities in all terms, conditions, processes, and benefits of employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status. GMRI's employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status.

Applicants and employees are encouraged to voluntarily self-identify their race/ethnicity, gender, disability status and veteran status to assist GMRI in fulfilling various data reporting requirements of the federal government. This self-identification is completely voluntary, will be kept confidential and separate from your application data, and used only to meet federal reporting requirements. Providing or declining to provide this information will not result in adverse action of any kind.

Salary and Benefits

Gulf of Maine Research Institute offers a competitive salary and benefits package.

Salary: $70,000 to $75,000

Application Instructions

All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and résumé. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue through the closing date of 6/24/22.

Per GMRI’s Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, all GMRI personnel are required to maintain full vaccination status against COVID-19, as defined by CDC, unless a reasonable accommodation is approved.