Science Associate

Washington, DC, United States 🇺🇸

About Us

Nearly one billion people currently do not have enough to eat. The demand for food is projected to increase 70 percent by 2050 as the population grows to an expected nine billion. An often overlooked solution to this problem is our oceans. A fully productive ocean could provide one nutritious meal a day for 700 million people, or 13 to 15 percent of the animal protein produced on the entire planet. Moreover, wild-caught ocean fish uses no land, needs negligible amounts of water, is the lowest cost per pound to obtain, and provides human health benefits.

Unfortunately, ocean productivity is drastically declining due to overfishing, destructive fishing practices, marine habitat loss and pollution. If action is not taken to reverse this trend now, wild seafood may soon disappear as a major food source for a hungry planet. There is good news, however: restoring wild seafood is achievable and there are many examples of fish rebounding under science-based management, which is also surprisingly feasible. Science gives us clear direction about how to manage fish recovery. Fish will recover if we –

  • Set reasonable fishing quotas and reduce industrial overfishing.
  • Reduce bycatch (the incidental catch of non-targeted animals).
  • Protect marine habitat, both in preserving biodiversity and ecosystem health, as well as from the harmful effects of marine pollution.

Oceana is headquartered in Washington, DC and has offices in New York City, NY; Juneau, AK, Portland, OR, Monterey, CA, City of Belmopan, Belize; Brussels, Belgium; Brasilia, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Copenhagen, Denmark; Lima, Peru; Manila, Philippines; Madrid, Spain; The legal entities in Belize, Brazil, Spain, and the United Kingdom follow the host country’s regulations and, as a result, are incorporated as independent entities.  Oceana boasts a worldwide staff in excess of 200 full time professionals and an annual operating budget of approximately $43 million dollars.


General Summary

Oceana seeks a Science Associate to work with our Chief of Strategy and Chief Scientist on global campaign projects to provide credible research and polished writing regarding ocean science and policy on a wide range of topics such as fisheries, pollution and plastics. Candidates should have a strong background in both written communication and quantitative skills, which they will apply in rapidly preparing accurate briefing notes, and working with spreadsheets and scientific literature reviews. The associate may also assist with making cold calls, cultivating relationships and organizing logistics. Candidates must show impeccable attention to detail and cross-cultural sensitivity in working with international collaborators.

This position is full-time and must be in-person in our Washington, DC office.  Start date is as soon as possible. If necessary, applicants must be able to procure their own visa in order to be eligible to work in the United States.

Applications are reviewed as they are received.  For best consideration, please submit materials in March 2017. Be aware that your cover letter is viewed as a writing sample – please highlight why your experience is a good fit for this position and include the dates you are available.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Essential Functions:

  • Participate in Oceana campaign and project teams.
  • Carry out research on Oceana’s campaign topics and other subjects relevant to Oceana’s objectives. 
  • Conduct literature reviews to maintain up-to-date knowledge of relevant science.
  • Analyze fisheries management and conservation documents in support of campaign goals and legal cases.
  • Gather pertinent information and data and report on findings.
  • Write reports and compile presentation materials for a non-technical audience.
  • Communicate with outside scientists to generate academic support for Oceana’s work, including scientist sign-on letters and technical peer reviews.
  • Represent Oceana at external events as needed, including conferences, symposia, meetings, and hearings. 
  • Assist in preparation of reports for the Board of Directors and foundations.
  • Manage a varied and high volume workload and work independently to meet deadlines and accomplish tasks

Job Requirements

Education and work experience:

  • Master’s or Bachelor’s degree in Science, especially in Ecology or Marine Biology
  • International or cross-cultural experience
  • Familiarity with marine plastics research through on-the-job or educational experience
  • Familiarity with marine fisheries science or natural resources management
  • Comfort working independently in an office environment

Skills and knowledge:

  • Organized, proactive, attention to detail
  • Adaptable to changing plans in a dynamic work environment
  • Strong oral and written communication skills