Microplastics Fellow – Temporary
Posted: Open to internal and external applicants
Reports to: Conservation research manager
Status: Full-time/non-exempt, temporary, one year position; specific dates based on start date (anticipated August 2020 through August 2021)
Hours of work: Variable schedule: typically Monday through Friday, 40 hours per week, flexibility desired for evening or weekend hours around fieldwork and other events.
Date needed: August 2020
Applications due: Monday, July 27, 2020, end of day
The research program within the Seattle Aquarium’s Conservation Programs & Partnerships department launched 25 years ago and includes projects focused on everything from sea otter foraging in Washington, to coral reef health in Hawaii, to the prevalence and impact of microplastics. We are seeking a full-time, temporary microplastics fellow to lead development of our microplastics research throughout the Salish Sea.
- Establish scientifically rigorous field sampling in the Salish Sea, including QA/QC protocols.
- Establish a scientifically valid method to quantify and qualify microfibers and other microparticles building on best practices from the latest literature, which may include a combination of FTIR, Nile Red dyes, and other methods.
- Coordinate staff and supervise volunteers involved in microplastics research and monitoring projects.
- Lead the development of scientific publications, reports, blogs and other communication materials.
- Share results of our monitoring program with the scientific community and public at conferences, meetings and other events.
- Coordinate the Northwest microplastics research and monitoring community to facilitate development of standard methods and best practices, and encourage data sharing through convening meetings and leading working groups.
- Work with the Marketing Communications team to develop clear, compelling communication materials for use on our web platforms and/or print materials.
- Participate in public speaking and engagement opportunities as they arise, including through Seattle Aquarium in-person and virtual events (e.g., Lightning Talks, Lunch ‘n Learns).
- Comply with all safety protocols, especially with regard to the activities that take place in the lab and in the field. Additional safety protocols are in place for all staff working on-site during the COVID-19 pandemic; trainings and other materials will be provided during the onboarding process.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
Required skills, abilities:
- Strong analytical, written and oral communication skills.
- Experience in microplastics research and monitoring methods.
- Demonstrated experience with relevant univariate and multivariate statistical methods, particularly with ecological field monitoring data.
- Experience leading the development of a research project, including field sampling design and data analysis.
- Experience organizing and running workshops in person. Experience facilitating virtual workshops and meetings a plus.
- Strong organizational skills, an ability to prioritize and consistently meet deadlines, and a high degree of professionalism.
- Familiarity with Microsoft 365 (Outlook, Word, Excel, Access, OneDrive), virtual meeting platforms (e.g., Teams, Zoom) and internet browsers.
- Self-motivated, self-directed and proactive in seeking guidance when needed.
- Demonstrated ability to be productive in a remote work environment and to advance projects without direct, daily supervision.
Experience, education and certifications: We will consider various combinations of relevant experience and education in order to meet minimum requirements.
- Masters in a relevant field, such as chemistry, toxicology, biology, zoology or marine biology.
- Two years of professional experience in marine research and monitoring (or related field).
- Experience leading scientific publications and communicating results to scientific and public audiences.
- Experience in partnership building and management.
- Experience supervising staff, volunteers or students.
- Anticipate 50% time on-site in Seattle Aquarium facilities and 50% time working remotely from home or in the field.
- Travel within Washington state (less than 25%).
- May be sitting for long periods of time (i.e., 4+ hours in front of a computer screen or microscope).
Pay and benefits:
$55,000 annually, paid at rate of $26.44/hour based on 40-hour workweek. Full-time staff are eligible for the Seattle Aquarium’s comprehensive benefits package to include medical, vision, dental, employer-funded health reimbursement account, medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts, life insurance, long-term disability, 403b retirement fund with employer match, access to a subsidized ORCA pass, a family plus membership and generous paid time off.
How to apply:
The Seattle Aquarium is a progressive, equal opportunity employer that values a diverse workforce. Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) applicants are highly encouraged to apply. Upload a résumé and one-page cover letter detailing interest and relevant experience through our online application.
Please let us know if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for this job.
Note: Must pass a background check, upon job offer, to be eligible for this position.
About the organization:
The Seattle Aquarium is a respected authority on Puget Sound, the Salish Sea and the world’s one ocean. Our passionate staff increases awareness and drives the change needed to preserve and protect our marine environment through a variety of channels including: a compelling exhibit experience and engaging daytime and evening events; conservation education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds; community outreach to underserved populations; research that advances understanding of animals in our care and their counterparts in the wild; advocacy and policy work; an award-winning volunteer program; strong and consistent marketing efforts; and more.
We’re noted for our collaborative, communicative and team-oriented working environment. Our values, developed in conjunction with our staff, include commitments to adopting and promoting sustainable practices; creating awe-inspiring experiences; constantly learning and improving; fostering an inclusive community; maintaining scientific credibility through evidence-based practices; and honoring our unique place by using our location and history as a lens for larger understanding.
Proudly accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, we’re the eighth-largest aquarium in the U.S. by attendance and we welcome over 850,000 people through our front doors each year. Guided by our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, we’ve developed a master plan to substantially increase in size and impact by opening a new exhibit building, the Ocean Pavilion. Our current annual budget is $18 million.