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16 Mar 2023

Full-Time Scientific Data Analyst

Ocean Associates Inc. – Posted by oai1 Narragansett, Rhode Island, United States

Job Description

Ocean Associates Inc. (OAI) is seeking applicants for a full-time position to provide ecosystem reporting 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.


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).

One of the focal areas of EDAB is Ecosystem Reporting where this position will be focused. The Branch develops several documents reporting ecosystem status and trends (e.g., State of the Ecosystem reports for the two regional councils, Ecosystem Status Report, Current Conditions, Ecosystem Context for Stock Advice, and others). These documents provide climate, environmental, and ecosystem considerations targeted to specific audiences to support individual stock advice, specification setting, and as general communication tools to the general public. Collectively, these documents serve as the backbone of Integrated Ecosystem Assessments (IEAs). The reports describe environmental, social, and economic states and their potential impacts on commercially important fish species, protected species, and the NES LME. These synthesis products are important in supporting ecosystem-level advice critical to NMFS, Councils, stakeholders, and other decision-makers.

Data used in ecosystem reporting incorporates a wide range of disciplines. These reports typically contain climate and oceanographic information such as global climate and regional model outputs, satellite sea surface temperature and ocean color data, as well as observations from ongoing hydrographic and plankton surveys. They also contain relevant data from other fisheries independent and dependent sources such as fish and protected species surveys, and commercial landings data. Ecosystem reporting also attempts to capture human dimensions through social and economic data related to Northeast U.S. Coastal communities.

Additionally, the Branch supports a defined process for evaluating and operationalizing new analyses and data for inclusion in ecosystem reporting products to improve generality, accessibility, testing, documentation, and best practices.


The task includes the following:

  • Coordinate and facilitate implementation of ecosystem reporting projects.Organize and facilitate workshops as needed.

Assist with planning and logistics of program and project team meetings/workshops and help develop agendas, written documents, meeting minutes, presentations, or other materials as required.

  • Assist with ecosystem data processing and analyses to support the development of ongoing and new ecosystem reporting products.
  • Assist with the development and maintenance of automated procedures to improve efficiency throughout the ecosystem reporting process (e.g., data collection and processing, report generation, metadata collection).
  • Assist with the development and maintenance of web interfaces for disseminating ecosystem data and reports.
  • Ensure adherence to NOAA data policies and Public Access to Research Results guidance.
  • Prioritize and organize implementation of recommendations from Clients (i.e., Regional Fishery Management Organizations).
  • Interface between the Information Technology Division (NEFSC/ITD), Clients, and other users to assess needs and develop requirements.
  • Maintain and update documentation and provide user training on new applications as needed. 1. 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.

Start Date: May 1, 2023. Date is flexible.

Location: Work can be conducted on site at one of the NEFSC Laboratories in Woods Hole, MA or Narragansett, RI, or fully remote with in the region. The expectation is to commute to the office 1-2 times per month, and for important meetings.

Travel: Travel may be required as follows: attendance at regional fishery management council meetings, project-related workshops and working group meetings, and presentations at scientific conferences.

Salary and Benefits: This is a full-time position. Wage range is $29-34/hr. Overtime is not anticipated. Comprehensive benefits package.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree preferred or Bachelor’s degree in marine science, fisheries, quantitative ecology, oceanography, or similar with two (2) years of experience (directly related to this requirement.).
  • Experience with data analysis and familiarity with the design, development, and management of relational databases for scientific information.
  • Experience with statistical software, such as R, python, SAS, MATLAB, and others.
  • Experience and understanding of code versioning software, such as Git, SVN, mercurial, and others.
  • Experience with developing documents using plain-text syntax, such as markdown, LaTeX, and others.
  • 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.

  • Ability to work effectively both individually and collaboratively in a team/group setting.
  • Ability to receive constructive feedback and implement appropriate action.

Only qualified applicants that meet minimum experience or background requirements stated above need apply. When applying for this position you will be asked to upload your resume at the end of this online application.

Applicants should submit a resume that includes the following:

  • Cover letter that briefly describes how you meet the required and preferred qualifications listed.
  • Work history for past 10 years or since last full-time education.
  • Education.
  • Previous experience or training with similar requirements.
  • Three professional references.
  • Include your name in the document file name.
  • Upload your resume in readable, not scanned, PDF or Word format (PDF is preferred).

How to Apply

Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 60,000 - 80,000.

Job expires in 84 days.

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