Research Operations and Science Communications Specialist

Cardinal Point Captains, Inc. (CPC) is seeking an experienced and qualified individual to serve as a Research Operations and Science Communications Specialist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary (WSCNMS). WSCNMS conducts scientific research, monitoring, exploration, education and outreach activities with the goals of preserving submerged resources and providing awareness of national maritime heritage.  The hired role will be focused on science communications, field research, and public engagement. Thus, the ideal candidate will have experience communicating science to public and professional audiences through a variety of media, be familiar with GIS and statistical software, and have experience supporting remote sensing (multibeam sonar and satellite imagery), diving, and other scientific field operations in support of Great Lakes conservation. 

  • Support science activities and manage multi-partner projects at the sanctuary. These may include remote sensing surveys, historical research, geographic information system analysis, data management, vessel operations, and/or SCUBA diving. Additional tasks include cruise planning and preparation, participating in field work (up to five projects a year, 1-12 days each).
  • Provide content for science communications. Tasks include developing new content for web pages, exhibits, publications and other public facing communication efforts.
  • Develop, coordinate, and support field outreach events and public events highlighting the science data and work of the WSCNMS (5-10 events a year, 1-3 days each).
  • Develop social media content and other education and outreach products (fact sheets, brochures, and digital products) to communicate science data to the public. Manage sanctuary social media presence.
  • Identify research grants and write proposals.
  • Support science activities including research, communication, and outreach at other Great Lakes sanctuaries (10% of time).
  • Conduct historical research and write public facing materials, including National Register of Historic Places nominations and similar documents.
  • Performs tasks such as coordinating, overseeing and conducting natural science or maritime archaeology operations. Projects may include biological, physical and human use characterization and monitoring above water, in the water column and for benthic research projects designed to meet the management needs of ONMS and its partners. 


  • Possess a Master's Degree or PhD in a related field (Marine Resource Management, Archaeology, Communications, Education, History, etc.)
  • Experience conducting historical, archaeological, and Great Lakes research, including research/scientific diving and other on-water operations (e.g. survey operations)
  • Experience working aboard and knowledge of safe small vessel operations
  • Experience with research, data management and organizing and planning research projects
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience communicating research/science to technical audiences, students, divers, and the public through writings, public speaking, traditional media, web sites, exhibits, and social media
  • Experience developing presentations, education/outreach materials, and interpretive materials
  • Ability to plan and coordinate multi-partner field projects on multiple spatial and temporal scales
  • Experience mobilizing research cruises, including tracking personnel and paperwork, purchasing and organizing field gear, and coordinating with research vessel operations staff and crew
  • Able to lift and carry up to fifty (50) pounds to assist transporting equipment and gear 
  • Preferred: Current SCUBA certification (NAUI, PADI, etc.), meeting the standards established by the program’s diver certification process (which meets the standards set by NOAA and the American Academy of Underwater Science), or able to immediately participate/pass NOAA Diving training course, and maintain throughout duration of employment

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.