Director of Conservation Research and Chief Scientist




Organization: The Monterey Bay Aquarium (AZA Member)
Location: Monterey, CA, United States
Job or Internship: Job

Director of Conservation Research and Chief Scientist

The Monterey Bay Aquarium seeks to recruit a Director of Conservation Research and Chief Scientist.

Since its opening in 1984 on Monterey's historic Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium's mission has been to inspire conservation of the oceans. It is consistently ranked as the best aquarium in the United States for its innovative exhibits and unsurpassed visitor experience, and is home to more than 35,000 animals and plants in nearly 200 galleries and exhibits. The aquarium is a showcase for the habitats and sea life of Monterey Bay and California's Central Coast - one of the world's richest marine regions.

The aquarium has since its founding been committed to a rigorous program of scientific research involving key habitats and marine species, notably California sea otters, Pacific Bluefin tuna and great white sharks. It has grown to become one of the leading ocean conservation organizations in the world, largely on the strength of research, policy and advocacy programs that are grounded firmly in science. In addition to its research programs, the aquarium's main conservation initiatives include the widely recognized and influential Seafood Watch sustainable seafood program; collaborations with science and policy leaders at Stanford University, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and other institutions; and advocacy on behalf of ocean policy issues at the state, regional and national level.

The aquarium has become a trusted voice on ocean issues because of the rigor and integrity of its own research programs, and its integration of science to expand the aquarium's visibility and policy influence to support its conservation priorities. The Director of Conservation Research will join the newly formed Conservation and Science Division to lead our conservation research program, working closely with the other key departments within the division (Seafood Watch and Policy). The Conservation Research group works to synthesize and communicate the scientific results of its work and to deepen the strategic partnerships that help advance the aquarium's conservation mission.

Position Summary

The Director of Conservation Research and Chief Scientist reports to the Vice President of Conservation & Science and is responsible for managing and providing oversight and strategic direction to the Aquarium's Conservation Research Program and partnerships (currently focusing on sea otters, Pacific Bluefin tuna, and white sharks). This position also serves as the Aquarium's chief science advisor and principal point of contact for issues related to marine and conservation science and research. In this capacity, the position facilitates, develops and supports multi-institutional collaborations that conduct and/or promote marine conservation research. The Director develops and implements mechanisms to assure rigor of scientific research initiatives and programs that support the Aquarium's programmatic and conservation imperatives, provides scientific advice on major conservation and policy initiatives, generates funding to help support research, and assists with institutional short and long-range planning.

The broad objectives for the Director of Conservation Research and Chief Scientist are as follows:

• Direct, promote, evaluate and create marine research opportunities that advance the conservation of identified regional populations, species, communities or systems. Oversee administration of the Conservation Research Program, including setting goals, preparing annual budgets and supervising managers and support staff. Serve as the Aquarium's principal point of contact for issues related to marine conservation science and research, and be responsible for ensuring scientific accuracy of Aquarium products and messages.

• Oversee and design mechanisms to ensure scientific rigor of Aquarium supported science, acting in a chief scientist capacity, including but not limited to arranging for external science advice or review and serving as chair of the Aquarium's Research Oversight Committee.

• Successfully create and maintain formal and informal collaborations with other research groups and institutions to advance mutual conservation research goals, including multi-institutional relationships/partnerships with MBARI, Sea Otter Research and Conservation (SORAC) collaborators, Tuna Research and Conservation Center (TRCC) and pelagic research groups.

• Provide scientific research support to all Aquarium work groups requiring such support; promote and facilitate on-site research opportunities for outside investigators.

• Provide scientific advice to Aquarium leadership and programs on major Conservation and Science Division and Aquarium-wide initiatives, particularly the Policy and Seafood Watch programs.

• Remain actively informed about important and emerging science relevant to the Aquarium's policy, conservation and research initiatives and efforts, including fishery and ecosystem science, ocean pollution and health, climate change/ocean acidification, wildlife rehabilitation and population studies, and nearshore ecology.

• Work with Husbandry Division to identify priorities and support meaningful husbandry research and publication.

Qualifications:

Ph.D. in marine science or conservation.

Demonstrated record of accomplishment in marine ecological research or conservation research. Experience working with policy and advocacy players to apply science to conservation policy solutions.

At least 5 years' experience in program administration, including personnel and budget management, short and long-term goal setting, program development and evaluation.

Experience/Competencies: Demonstrated capacity to enthusiastically communicate and execute a progressive science vision that advances the Aquarium's long term goal of ocean ecosystem health. Outstanding oral and written communication skills with ability to convey science to the public in a compelling fashion. Excellent leadership skills, with demonstrated ability to create and lead motivated and effective teams as well as work with colleagues in a team-oriented environment. Excellent interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to work effectively with a very diverse audience, including but not limited to Aquarium staff and volunteers, visitors, members of the public at large, Aquarium and academic colleagues, donors and board members. Experience and comfort speaking to the news media. Experience writing grant proposals and successfully competing for public and/or private research funding.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is committed to diversity and invites individuals who bring a diversity of culture, experience and ideas to apply.

Please apply online at: https://montereybayaquarium.snaphire.com/index