Climate Engagement Specialist
Portland, ME Climate Center
Job Type


The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) develops and delivers collaborative solutions to global ocean challenges. We are dedicated to the resilience of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and the communities that depend on it. To learn more, visit 

The foremost global ocean challenge is climate change as it represents an existential threat to coastal communities as we know them. Through the work of GMRI’s Climate Center, we aim to empower coastal communities to thrive in a warmer world by leveraging climate action from the local to the global level. We do this through a user-centered science-engagement-solutions framework for delivering climate services to coastal and marine stakeholders. 

GMRI is seeking applicants for a Climate Engagement Specialist to work under the supervision of Gayle Bowness, Municipal Climate Action Program Manager within GMRI’s Climate Center. The incumbent will join a rapidly growing Climate Center team that is working to integrate and elevate the climate-related work across the organization while charting new directions for us to provide climate services to coastal communities and blue economy businesses across the region. In partnership with external stakeholders, the incumbent would work closely with other GMRI staff—including our Business Climate Action Program Manager, Communications Team, Community Team, and Education Team—to: 

  1. Develop climate vulnerability assessments to advance stakeholder understanding of their climate-related risk exposure,
  2. Develop climate adaptation, mitigation, and/or action plans,
  3. Build climate literacy through innovative, inclusive education and outreach programming. 

In the near-term, the incumbent will be a project lead for a recently-awarded NOAA project focused on ushering in a new era of climate-smart working waterfront communities in the State of Maine. A core goal for the Climate Engagement Specialist is to provide coastal communities and blue economy businesses with the knowledge, tools, and confidence they need to build climate resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Importantly, the incumbent must engage in these complex issues with a positive attitude, be capable of characterizing climate impacts in relation to broader community contexts, and show competency in developing relevant plans to guide community climate action.

This position enjoys full support for two years thanks to a mix of funding from the aforementioned NOAA award and generous philanthropic and competitively-awarded foundation support. Like peers in the organization, the incumbent will be involved in fundraising to sustain this position, with increasing responsibility for doing so over time. 


  • Support and/or lead stakeholder engagement aspects of the Climate Center’s funded proposals (e.g., Climate-Smart Working Waterfront Communities). 
  • Forge and sustain relationships with regional planning, municipal, civil society, and business leaders to identify and support their community engagement needs. 
  • Work with coastal communities and blue economy businesses to understand the sources of their greenhouse gas emissions and their climate-related vulnerabilities, and support them in identifying relevant climate action. 
  • Convene community members – from targeted stakeholder groups to the general public – to understand to elicit their values of and vision for their community, while raising awareness of climate-related risks and opportunities. 
  • Develop written products (e.g., climate adaptation/mitigation/action plans; white papers and reports; blog posts; social media) in support of stakeholders’ climate-related priorities, to raise awareness about GMRI’s Climate Center, and to build climate literacy among diverse constituencies.
  • Cultivate partnerships with relevant organizations to bring best practices in climate engagement to coastal communities and blue economy businesses. 
  • Facilitate engagement events and workshops – including all logistics, recruiting, execution, follow-up, and evaluation. 
  • Collaborate with internal partners to develop and/or support climate engagement programming. 
  • Contribute, or potentially/eventually lead, in the development of funding proposals to federal and state government agencies, foundations, etc.
  • Build your own personal expertise—and share that internally and externally—around climate risks to and adaptation and mitigation measures in the region, nationally, and internationally.
  • Travel to and present at, as appropriate, program events and workshops, project team meetings, regional stakeholder meetings, and relevant conferences.
  • As a non-profit organization, incumbent will support the development team through community outreach and events. 

Other General Responsibilities:

  • Support public outreach, media, and other engagement activities related to the Municipal Climate Action Program portfolio in partnership with the Communications Team.
  • Participate in Development events, including but not limited to engagements with organizational supporters.
  • Participate in project team meetings and workshops.
  • Participate in program and GMRI staff meetings and activities.
  • Seek out and participate in professional development programs.


Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline, such as environmental science/policy, climate science/sustainability, or municipal planning.
  • Working knowledge of best practices in climate communication, climate-related vulnerabilities, adaptation measures, and mitigation actions.
  • Experience leading and facilitating public presentations and programming.
  • Experience convening stakeholders to elicit a range of perspectives and drive towards consensus and/or climate action-related outcomes. 
  • Strong listening skills. 
  • Experience organizing program/event logistics and evaluating program/event outcomes.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, as well as experience communicating results in a wide variety of formats (e.g., blogs, videos, social media) targeted to specific audiences.
  • Self-starting and comfort seeking out external collaborations and partnerships.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a collaborative team.
  • Eligible to work in the United States.

Other Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in a relevant discipline with 1-3 years of relevant work experience.
  • Familiarity with Gulf of Maine climate projections. 
  • Advanced knowledge of best practices in climate communications and action planning.
  • Experience conducting climate vulnerability analyses. 
  • Experience working with municipalities to develop climate action plans. 
  • Experience securing competitively-awarded external funding.

Diversity and Inclusion:

GMRI 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: $60,000 to $65,000

Application Instructions:

All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and résumé. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the successful candidate has been selected.  Application deadline is December 4th, 2022.

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.

Salary Description