Research Associate

ECS Federal, LLC
Fairfax County, Virginia, US
Jun 17, 2021
Jun 27, 2021
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type
ECS is seeking a Research Associate to work in our Remote office.

Job Description:
The Southeast bio-economic, length-age structured tool (SE-BLAST) is a collaboration between the SERO and the SEFSC. The SE-BLAST user inputs bag limit, size limit and fishing season regulations and the model uses an angler trip demand equation based on survey data to project the total number of recreational trips and the value of the trips. The number and size of each fish caught per angler for each projected trip is simulated based on a stock assessment model. The harvest per angler and in total is then projected based on the bag limit, size limit and season in effect at the time of the trip. This recreational fishing mortality is then combined with assumptions about commercial and natural mortality and recruitment to project the stock structure in each period. The output of the model for each simulated period includes the total number of recreational trips, the total value of the trips, the total catch, the total harvest, the total discards, and the length and age totals for the stock. The model is currently calibrated to gag grouper (Mycteroperca microlepis) in the Gulf of Mexico. However, the model is designed to be easily adapted to other species.

The objective of this project is to complete work on a new version of the SE-BLAST that will allow for modeling of a two-sex fish stock. This is an extension to the work previously conducted to develop an R-based one-sex gag model in accordance with simplifying assumptions made during the previous SEDAR 33 gag stock assessment. Gag is a unique species that does not follow the traits of other protogynous species very closely; however, there is a push by assessment biologists to incorporate males into the measure of reproductive potential, rather than assuming female only SSB. Furthermore, completion of a two-sex model will increase the usefulness of the SE-BLAST for estimating changes in other species as well. Finally, this project will provide support for the rollout of the existing one-sex gag model, including providing a complete and up to date set of software documentation for that model.


Complete development of and deliver a fully functional R-based bio-economic recreational fishing simulation tool to explicitly model a two-sex fish stock. This is an extension to the existing SE-BLAST. The software shall be fully organized, commented, and documented in accordance with the same standards used for the existing SE-BLAST and must be formatted as an RStudio Project.
Engage with necessary stock assessment experts and biologists to ensure the simulation tool operates in a manner consistent with the best scientific information available.
Present final model results to a diverse set of stakeholders.
Provide consultation and answer questions pertaining to open issues related to the one-sex model, including updating and finalizing the suite of software documentation previously provided; however, this shall not supersede the primary objective of delivering the two-sex model.

Required Skills:

Bachelor's Degree
At least 2 years of work experience in data analysis, statistical modeling, or fisheries stock assessment activities
Good written and oral communication skills, ability to communicate with a variety of audiences
Experience working independently, strong time management skills, attention to detail
Experience with mathematical modeling, data analysis and statistical modeling, and stock assessment modeling is preferred
Experience with R software is strongly preferred, as the current model has been coded in R
Familiarity with Stata is desirable but not essential

ECS is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate or allow discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law. ECS promotes affirmative action for minorities, women, disabled persons, and veterans.

ECS is a leading mid-sized provider of technology services to the United States Federal Government. We are focused on people, values and purpose. Every day, our 3000+ employees focus on providing their technical talent to support the Federal Agencies and Departments of the US Government to serve, protect and defend the American People.

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