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11 Nov 2022

Full-Time Social Scientist

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

Job Description

Ocean Associates Inc. (OAI) is seeking a Social Scientist for innovative study of the impacts of climate change on sea scallop fisheries and fishing communities in the Northeastern U.S. This position would support the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), Social Sciences Branch (SSB). 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.

The vulnerability and resilience of fishing communities to the effects of climate change is dependent on their adaptive capacity in relation to both social and environmental exposure. Several important North Atlantic fisheries are at risk from a combination of ocean acidification (OA) and increased temperature. Of these fisheries, the Atlantic sea scallop fishery extending from Maine to North Carolina is the second highest revenue fishery in the U.S., worth more than $533 million, and is the largest wild scallop fishery in the world. The regional economy and fishing community dependence on the sea scallop fishery for social and economic well-being is profound, and this species is highly vulnerable to OA.

The aim of this study is to provide a regional projection of changes in the sea scallop fishery to inform fishery management and allow communities that rely on Atlantic sea scallops to plan and become more resilient to future change. This work will provide recommendations to management to assist scallop industry stakeholders and managers adapt to changes in the fishery that may result from projected OA and temperature changes.

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s (NEFSC) Social Sciences Branch has need for social scientist support to analyze socio-economic indicators of fishing community vulnerability and resiliency to changing management and environmental conditions. The NOAA Fisheries Community Social Vulnerability Indicators (CSVIs) will provide the baseline from which socio-economic projections and models will be developed.

General duties may include collection and synthesis of socio-economic data and information on the impact of ocean acidification and warming ocean temperatures on fishing industry participants and coastal communities dependent on the Atlantic sea scallop fishery.


  • Evaluate the social and economic well-being of fishermen and coastal communities dependent on the Atlantic sea scallop fishery.
  • Evaluate the impact of ocean acidification and warming ocean temperature on fishermen and coastal communities dependent on the Atlantic sea scallop fishery.
  • Conduct interviews and participate in focus group workshops with stakeholders, virtually and in-person.
  • Synthesize academic and gray literature on the regulatory history of the Atlantic sea scallop fishery in the Northeastern U.S..
  • Synthesize existing NEFSC socio-economic data on fishing fleet behavior to understand how it might change in response to increasing ocean acidification and ocean warming.
  • Collaborate with a multidisciplinary team to develop socio-economic models that will inform policy decision making about the adaptive capacity of the Atlantic sea scallop fishing industry.
  • Develop and maintain documentation and metadata.

Start Date: ASAP

Location: A combination of on-site location (Narragansett, RI) and/or remote.

Travel: Travel to fishing communities in the Northeastern U.S. and to professional meetings is necessary. However, virtual participation may be required due to Covid-19 and other restrictions.

Salary and Benefits: This is a full-time position; overtime is not anticipated. Salary is commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefits package.


  • Advanced degree in a social science field including, but not limited to: anthropology, sociology, economics, human geography, marine affairs, or statistics.
  • Knowledge and experience in quantitative and qualitative research methods including, but not limited to statistical analyses, interview techniques, in-person/online data collection, and quantitative and qualitative data analysis.
  • Proficiency in analytical software such as R, R Studio, SAS, and SPSS.
  • Proficiency in geo-spatial and statistical analysis.
  • Training and experience in textual content analysis and software such as MAXQDA.
  • Ability to work independently and with a multidisciplinary team.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in written and oral communication.
  • Ability to receive constructive feedback and implement appropriate action.

Desired Skills/Qualifications

  • Interest in working with fishermen and other stakeholders.
  • Experience or training in fisheries, marine or natural resource management.
  • Interest in the impact of climate change on humans dependent on marine resources.
  • Experience working with NEFSC fisheries data.

If you are interested in being considered for this position, please APPLY THROUGH OUR ADP WEB PORTAL, AT THE LINK AT THE TOP RIGHT OF THIS PAGE.

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: Not Disclosed.

Job expires in 71 days.

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