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Washington Sea Grant (WSG) has a Full-Time, Temporary, Project position available for an Aquaculture Specialist.
The Aquaculture Specialist will advance sustainable aquaculture in Washington by providing technical assistance on aquaculture practices, interactions with marine and estuarine ecosystems, and business management. The position also will engage in outreach strategies to educate the public about aquaculture practices in Washington and the scientific basis for sustainable aquaculture. The primary responsibilities will be to support WSG-led efforts to establish an ecosystem-based management collaborative for shellfish aquaculture in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor, coordinate a West Coast aquaculture hub comprising state Sea Grant programs in the region, and develop scientific and educational foundations needed for a future commercial kelp and seaweed aquaculture in Washington. Reporting to the Assistant Director for Outreach, the incumbent will work closely with WSG’s outreach and communications staff, research scientists, public agency representatives, and aquaculture practitioners.
The Aquaculture Specialist will be an integral member of WSG’s outreach team addressing challenges and controversies associated with aquaculture. WSG currently leads a project focused on interactions between shellfish aquaculture, burrowing shrimp and eelgrass with the aim of establishing a collaborative, ecosystem-based approach to managing shellfish beds and public tidelands for multiple private and public benefits. In this context, the Aquaculture Specialist will act as WSG’s operational lead, collaborating with university and government researchers; federal, state and tribal resource managers; coastal community leaders; and the public. The position will also serve as WSG’s coordinator for a West Coast aquaculture hub comprising Sea Grant programs in California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska; which will require collaboration with regional representatives of federal agencies and the aquaculture industry. Washington does not yet have a policy and regulatory framework in place for kelp and seaweed aquaculture; however, a growing interest in establishing new businesses is being met by WSG training and educational opportunities, as well as applied research into issues that will advance this potential new economic sector.
Dimensions and Impact to UW:
WSG is housed within the UW College of the Environment and is a unique unit with federally designated responsibilities for all of Washington to support ocean-related research, education, outreach and communications. WSG serves the state and the region by providing technical assistance to coastal users and managers, engaging the public in activities that promote ecosystem health, educating students of all ages, and encouraging science-based solutions to marine issues. The Aquaculture Specialist serves as a university expert, connecting Washington citizens, government and non-governmental organizations, and businesses with current UW research, faculty, students and other university resources.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Washington Coast Shellfish Aquaculture Study (50%)
- Serve as WSG’s operational lead for the project, coordinating staff roles, relationships with research partners, and the activities of a public/private working group.
- Contribute, as a primary author, to a summary report on prior research relevant to managing public and private tidelands in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor.
- Create web-based and printed outreach materials from the content of the summary report (including an online bibliography and fact sheets).
- Design and implement a series of online webinars and/or in-person workshops to engage a working group in assessing the potential for an ecosystem-based management collaborative in the two bays.
- Coordinate engagement in the project by other Sea Grant programs as a pilot demonstration of cross-state collaboration on aquaculture issues along the West Coast.
West Coast Aquaculture Collaborative (20%)
- Establish a simple structure for communicating and collaborating across four state Sea Grant programs, the National Sea Grant Aquaculture Team, and the NOAA Fisheries Office of Aquaculture.
- Plan and facilitate three quarterly video conferences to promote cross-program engagement with other extension staff.
- Participate in the coordination and planning of one in-person integrated fisheries and aquaculture meeting of West Coast Sea Grant extension staff.
WSG Outreach (30%)
- Seaweed and kelp aquaculture outreach: Participate in two seaweed workgroups (“conservation/habitat benefits” and “marketing opportunities”) formed by cohorts from WSG trainings; support video conferences, workshops and events addressing issues in kelp and seaweed aquaculture; and assist in producing related outreach materials.
- Master's degree related to fisheries or aquaculture sciences, marine biology, environmental policy or coastal/marine resource management.
- A minimum of one year of prior applicable professional experience.
- Demonstrated capacity to manage demanding workflow and competing deadlines; initiate, manage and complete complex projects with minimal supervision; attention to detail and process; and work effectively with diverse constituencies.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills, with the ability to communicate effectively and to interpret technical information and translate it accurately into nontechnical language.
- Strong leadership, organizational skills and problem solving abilities.
- A commitment to the mission and core values of Washington Sea Grant.
- Familiarity with the Willapa-Grays Harbor ecosystems and aquaculture operations.
- Experience facilitating video conferences using WebEx, Zoom or other commonly used systems.
- Experience in ecological data analysis and interpretation.
Working Environmental Conditions
Time will be divided between the Seattle campus office and work activities in Pacific and Grays Harbor Counties. Workload demand requires periodic evening and weekend hours. A driver’s license and the ability and willingness to travel locally and regionally are required.
This position will be open until filled with priority for applications received by July 20th, 2020.
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