Scientific Analyst – Woods Hole or remote

Ocean AssociatesIinc.
Woods Hole MA or remote
Job Category
Full time Positions
$28-$31/hr DOE
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Ocean Associates Inc. (OAI) is seeking applicants for a full-time position to provide Management Strategy Evaluation support to the Ecosystem Dynamics and Assessment Branch of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, within NOAA Fisheries. OAI is a Virginia corporation established in 2003 that provides consulting and technical services to the U.S. government, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and the private sector. We specialize in scientific program and project management, strategic planning, professional and technical services and stakeholder engagement, supporting government contracts. Background NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is responsible for the conservation and management of our Nation’s living marine resources and their habitats. By developing high quality science and supporting an ecosystem-based approach to management, NMFS provides important services to the Nation, including sustainable fisheries, healthy ecosystems, safe seafood, and protected species recovery. The U.S. leads the world in sustainable fisheries management; as a result, U.S. fisheries are highly valuable and make large contributions to the U.S. economy. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), NMFS works with the eight regional Fishery Management Councils (FMCs) to provide scientific advice on the ~500 federally-managed fish stocks. NMFS stock assessments and other science products are critically important to sustainable fisheries management for assessing the status of fish stocks and predicting future harvest levels, setting sustainable catch limits, and reducing bycatch. NMFS recently codified its commitment to Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management (EBFM) with the release of their EBFM policy and subsequent EBFM Roadmap. The EBFM Policy establishes a framework of guiding principles to “enhance and accelerate the implementation of EBFM within NOAA Fisheries, and in cooperation with NOAA Fisheries partners.” These guiding principles are: implement ecosystem-level planning, advancing our understanding of ecosystem processes, prioritizing vulnerabilities and risk of ecosystems and their components, explore and address trade-offs within an ecosystem, incorporate ecosystem considerations into management advice, and maintain resilient ecosystems. The Ecosystem Dynamics and Assessment Branch (EDAB) conducts a research program focused on developing ecosystem-level knowledge and advice to support informed decision-making. Research conducted by the Branch encompasses climate science, ecology, process-oriented ecosystem research, and marine population dynamics and ecosystem modeling. The Branch is responsible for conducting analyses of the effects of natural and anthropogenic pressures on the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (NES LME). EDAB also develops and applies ecosystem and statistical models to synthesize information on climate, oceanographic, and human-related pressures. These products are provided to a variety of entities to inform decision-making and to support the implementation of regional and national EBFM. These entities include NOAA, other federal and state agencies, Regional Fishery Management Councils (hereafter, Councils), Marine Fisheries Commissions, research colleagues, nongovernmental organizations, national and international treaty organizations in which the U.S. participates, and the fishing industry (both commercial and recreational). The functions of EDAB are divided into four (4) focal areas: ecosystem reporting; ecosystem and statistical modeling; climate and habitat modeling and remote sensing; and Management Strategy Evaluation. This position will focus on Management Strategy Evaluation. The Branch supports the application of Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE), a stakeholder driven process that allows various management procedures to be tested in silico before implementation. This includes the use of analytical tools developed as part of the ecosystem and statistical modeling focal area. The Branch provides technical expertise to management entities, such as a Regional Fishery Management Council, in order to conduct an MSE. A typical application of an MSE consists of using an operating model or set of models that incorporate sufficient complexity to simulate variability in a state process (e.g., fish population, ecosystem or economic dynamics) along with an estimation model to perform a simulated analysis based on virtual data collection. The results of the estimation model are fed back into the operating model based on predetermined management procedures. In this way, performance of alternative management strategies can then be examined across a suite of pre-specified objectives. Stakeholder engagement is critical to clarify objectives and performance metrics, parameterize the human component of the system, and to ensure investment in the process. Tasks: Provide technical support during a Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) (often under tight time constraints) for models developed under Ecosystem and Statistical Modeling Development focal area.Collaborate broadly with NEFSC, Clients, and others as applicable to strategize and prioritize tasks. Coordinate acquisition, formatting, and data quality checking of new information identified by stakeholders and required for MSE model development. Identify and prioritize software in need of updates and maintenance. Update and/or work with software developers to ensure model tools meet MSE needs. Assist with planning and logistics of program and project team meetings/workshops and help develop agendas, written documents, meeting minutes, presentation, or other materials as required. Support communications and outreach activities.Provide written contributions to outreach products, including responses to questions, reports, scientific documents, and web-based communication for audiences both within and external to NMFS. Communicate the results of projects and activities to general and scientific audiences in written and oral formats. Organize and participate in symposia at national and international conferences and workshops.
Master’s degree or Bachelor’s degree with two (2) to three (3) years’ experience (directly related to the individual requirement) in marine science, fisheries, quantitative ecology, oceanography, or similar. Ability to interact effectively and diplomatically with a wide range of stakeholders (fishing industry, recreational interests, environmental NGOs, managers, interested public) during public workshops and meetings. Knowledge and/or experience with R statistical software. Other software such as python, SAS, MATLAB, and others are also beneficial. Experience and understanding of code versioning software, such as Git, SVN, mercurial, and others. Experience in linking existing oceanographic and ecological models or ecological and economic models together is highly desirable. Knowledge and/or experience with population modeling. Familiarity with how stock assessments work.Understand the inputs/outputs of assessment models and how the environment/ecosystem can influence stock processes. Demonstrated proficiency for the following skill sets:Project management for complex and technical scientific programs Coordinating and leading diverse project teams to develop, improve, and achieve project goals Communication both verbally and using written materials (including visual presentations) with a variety of audiences including technical, scientific, and the general public Independent worker with strong time management skills Adaptability to quickly changing priorities and strict timelines Attention to detail Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Ability to work effectively both individually and collaboratively in a team/group setting. Ability to receive constructive feedback and implement appropriate action.
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