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Seattle Aquarium

Ocean Policy Associate

Posted:                       Open to internal and external applicants.  

Reports to:                 Senior ocean policy manager.

Status:                        Part-time, hourly, term-limited position.

Duration:                    September 2022 to June 2023.

Hours of work:          This position will work up to 30 hours per week. The specific schedule will be agreed on between the person in this position and the supervisor.

Date needed:             September 8, 2022.

Posting expires:        Open until filled. Preference given to applications received by Monday, July 11, 2022, end of day.


Please read this posting in full. In order to be considered applicants must include a writing sample as well as a cover letter addressing the items listed at the end of the posting.


Position description:

The ocean policy program within our Conservation Programs and Partnerships (CPP) department is seeking a part-time ocean policy associate to support the Seattle Aquarium’s growing policy work through June 2023. The position will have the opportunity to work directly on policy and advocacy related to the 2023 Washington state legislative session, which runs from January until April, as well as work on federal policy priorities. The work accomplished during this period will help the Seattle Aquarium realize our vision to emerge as a pro-active leader in conservation, both in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

On the state level, issues of focus are likely to include plastic pollution, salmon recovery, orca recovery and environmental justice. On the federal level, issues of focus are likely to include climate change, environmental justice, wildlife and ecosystem protections and plastic pollution.


Essential functions:

  • Research, track, analyze and report on environmental issues and proposed policies at all levels of government, particularly Washington state and federal.

  • Support multi-faceted policy campaigns. Tasks are likely to include writing comment letters, drafting and delivering testimony for legislative or agency hearings, developing public outreach materials, developing blogs and social media messages and writing email action alerts.

  • Track evolving legislation as it moves through the Washington state legislature or Congress; identify opportunities for action or influence and monitor changes that are proposed through amendments.

  • Summarize and report on scientific studies and literature, and draft legislation regarding conservation issues related to the Seattle Aquarium’s conservation priorities. Develop talking points and position statements grounded in scientific evidence. Potential issues include marine debris and pollution, salmon recovery, climate change, environmental justice, ocean acidification, coral reef conservation, marine protected areas, aquaculture, offshore renewable energy, orca recovery and water quality.


Additional responsibilities:

  • Provide support for external presentations and talking points on ocean policy issues and actions.

  • Work with the public relations and marketing departments to develop clear, compelling communication materials, including web content, fact sheets and more.

  • Participate in meetings and phone calls with our partners in the policy arena.

  • Provide policy updates for Seattle Aquarium board, staff and volunteers through presentations, handouts, intranet posts, and other documents.

  • Depending on availability, as well as comfort and safety in light of COVID-19, may have the opportunity to make occasional day trips to Olympia to attend hearings, deliver testimony or participate in meetings and/or Environmental Lobby Day(s).

  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Required skills, abilities:  

  • Very strong written and oral communications skills, including an ability to effectively tailor information for diverse audiences (e.g., writing letters directed to agencies or legislators about science and policy issues, explaining policy positions and supporting science in brief, digestible formats for public audiences and writing blogs on science and policy topics for a public audience). 

  • Familiarity with current environmental policy issues in the Salish Sea and beyond, especially salmon recovery, plastic pollution, environmental justice and/or climate change.

  • Experience with literature reviews and online research.

  • Team player with strong interpersonal and collaboration skills and a service-oriented work ethic.

  • Strong organizational skills, an ability to prioritize and consistently meet deadlines self-directed; a high degree of professionalism; proactive in seeking guidance when needed.

  • Skilled at using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and internet browsers, and comfortable using video conferencing tools (e.g., Teams, Zoom).

  • Demonstrated ability to be productive in a remote work environment and to advance projects without direct daily supervision.

  • Self-motivated with a demonstrated passion for the Aquarium’s mission and values.



Experience, education and certifications: We will consider various combinations of relevant experience and education in order to meet minimum requirements. 


  • A minimum of three years of experience that demonstrate an understanding of ocean conservation issues, legislative processes and policy and management approaches in the Salish Sea and beyond.



  • Three years of experience that demonstrate an advanced understanding of legislative and rule-making processes at the federal level, Washington state legislative processes (similar to what could be acquired through a master’s degree in public policy or public administration and/or a previous job or internship with an advocacy organization, lobbying firm, state agency or legislative office).



Working conditions:

  • The role is currently hybrid within Washington state and can be performed on-site or remotely if that remote location allows at least one to two days per week on-site for team meetings and special events. A computer will be provided. The person in this position will need to have regular and reliable access to their own phone and internet access for working remotely. Staff working remotely are subject to the Seattle Aquarium’s telecommuting policy.

  • On-site work is performed at a computer workstation in an open office environment.

  • Be comfortable using a computer for up to four hours at a time. 

  • Occasional local travel (less than 5%) as comfort and safety allow in light of COVID-19.


Pay and benefits: $21−25/hour, depending on experience. Please include salary expectations in your materials. Part-time staff are eligible for the Seattle Aquarium’s part-time benefits package to include medical, vision, employer-funded health reimbursement account, flexible spending account, an Aquarium Family Plus membership and access to a subsidized ORCA pass as well as paid sick time.


$21.00 - $25.00 per hour

How to Apply

How to apply: The Seattle Aquarium is a progressive, equal-opportunity employer that values a diverse workforce. One of our core values is fostering an inclusive community and we want our staff to reflect our community. To that end, we encourage diverse candidates to apply, including but not limited to Black, Indigenous and People of Color applicants and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

To be considered for this position, interested candidates must upload the following three items via our online application, available at

  • A one to two page cover letter detailing:

    • Your interest in this specific position.

    • Relevant experience.

    • A brief description of how you think about DEIJ (diversity, equity, inclusion and justice) in your work.

    • Your anticipated availability (i.e., any details you can provide on available days/hours).

  • A policy-related writing sample that you sole-authored, preferably a policy memo, blog post, op-ed or policy letter (rather than an academic publication or scientific journal article).

  • A résumé.

Please let us know if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for this job by emailing us at

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 habitat experience and engaging daytime and evening events; conservation education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds; community outreach to marginalized populations; conservation research that advances understanding and informs decision making; 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 habitat building, the Ocean Pavilion. Our current annual budget is $20 million.


*Regarding COVID-19:

Open daily, the Aquarium prioritizes health and safety for our staff and visitors, embracing science to guide our operations. We maintain high standards of cleanliness and all high-touch surfaces (like windows, railings, restrooms and elevators) are continuously cleaned.


Please note, all Aquarium staff and volunteers must provide proof of vaccination or approved medical or religious exemption by date of hire. If you have questions about this policy or for information regarding the exemption process, please contact the Human Resources department at  



We anticipate the following recruiting schedule for those candidates who are selected for consideration. The following dates are preliminary and subject to change. We will work with candidates to set interviews that work for all involved. If hired, relocation assistance is not available.     


  • Application review will begin immediately. 

    • Application deadline: Open until filled. Preference given to applications received by July 11.

  • Interviews, virtually using Zoom: Late July 2022.

  • Start date: September 8, ideally.

Seattle Aquarium
1483 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98101

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