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Marine Ecologist

Silver Spring, Maryland, US
Closing date
Feb 7, 2023

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Academic / Research
Informatics / GIS
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
CSS is seeking a Marine Ecologist with experience and academic training in marine biology, ecology, and GIS for a full-time, two-year contract position with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) Marine Spatial Ecology Division (MSE) and working with NOAA's Deep Sea Coral Research & Technology Program in the National Marine Fisheries Service's Office of Habitat Conservation. The goal of the NCCOS/MSE Biogeography Branch is to develop information for ecosystem management through research, monitoring, and assessment on the distribution and ecology of marine and estuarine organisms and their habitats. Specifically, the Branch conducts ecological and oceanographic studies that map, characterize, assess, and model the spatial distributions and movements of estuarine and marine organisms across habitats, as well as human use and valuation of marine ecosystem services throughout the United States. CSS is specifically looking for a contractor to design and create a high-level identification guide for deep-sea coral, sponge, and chemosynthetic species and habitats with accompanying information on their sensitivity to offshore activities (e.g., oil and gas development, renewable and alternative energy development, mineral extraction). With images, descriptions, and locations of known important species and habitats, as well as evaluation of their likely sensitivity, this guide is intended to inform management decisions by multiple agencies in every region of the U.S. It will also help users identify areas where permitted activities might take place, while minimizing impacts on known sensitive deep-sea habitats by better informing environmental assessments. This "living document" will be based on existing information from a range of sources, and built to be interactive and easily updated. We seek a candidate who is comfortable working individually and in a team environment; has well-developed analytical abilities; is experienced with GIS; thinks critically and communicates clearly; and has an extensive background in marine science, quantitative ecology, environmental sciences, and/or information management. The successful candidate will join an experienced scientific team at the forefront of developing informational products for resource managers by combining and interpreting multiple data sets in creative ways. The position includes the following core responsibilities:? Provide analysis of biological, ecological, geophysical, and species sensitivity information to characterize the spatial distributions of known deep-sea species, their importance as productive habitats, and their vulnerability to offshore activities ? Augment an existing dataset on deep-sea corals and sponges with supplementary information and metadata from various sources, including detailed species guides and habitat suitability models already available in many regions? Conduct literature, museum, and NOAA information surveys for key taxa associated with chemosynthetic communities, and identify available imagery and descriptions for each relevant taxon? Develop a list of characteristics of deep-sea coral, sponge, and chemosynthetic taxa that contribute to their value as habitat and describe their sensitivity to human impact? Analyze and evaluate data to create high-level descriptions of habitat-forming species and maps of distributions and habitats? Summarize published information on the effects of physical disturbance and contaminants on these species and habitats to draw general conclusions about their potential sensitivity to such factors? Submit compiled datasets, metadata, habitat descriptions, and draft map products to experts for review and update accordingly? Lead writing a technical report to summarize and detail analyses ? Create a visually-appealing online spatial guide to highlight known areas of relatively dense, productive, and vulnerable habitats? Collaborate with and possibly travel to agencies (federal, state, academic) that may provide data or expertise to vet analytical approaches or products

Required Qualifications:? PhD degree OR two years working experience beyond a Master's degree in biology, ecology, environmental sciences, data management, GIS, or a related field ? Excellent and proven written and oral communication skills ? Demonstrated ability to take initiative, work with limited supervision, and manage a large project ? Knowledge of marine spatial ecology ? Proficiency in word processing, database, and spreadsheet applications (e.g., Microsoft Office and/or Google applications) and use of statistical analysis tools. ? Relevant experience or academic training in GIS, especially ArcGIS Preferred Qualifications and Skills:? Experience with deep-sea ecosystems, especially corals, sponges, and/or chemosynthetic species. ? Understanding of the effects of human activities on marine ecosystems? Relevant training in statistics and experience in multivariate statistics About CSS: CSS is predominantly a Federal Contractor and is subject to following the terms of Executive Orders. CSS requires all Employees (Direct, Indirect, government, state, and commercial), including employees working from home/remotely, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved exemption. Exceptions to the COVID-19 vaccine requirements may be provided to individuals for religious beliefs or medical reasons. Requests for an exception must be submitted to the CSS HR Department. CSS is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer who provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regards to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or genetic information. In addition to federal law requirements, CSS complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

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