Instructional Designer/Training Specialist - Seattle, WA; Mobile, AL; Silver Spring, MD


Genwest Systems Inc., an equal opportunity employer, is currently accepting applications for an Instructional Designer/Training Specialist. This position will primarily support our clients at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) and will be based from NOAA offices at Seattle, WA; Mobile, AL; or Silver Spring, MD.

Position Background:

This position supports the DPP mission to ensure NOAA, NOAA partners, and coastal communities are better prepared for, respond to, and recover from coastal hazards and disasters including natural and human caused events such as hurricanes and major oil spills.  DPP mission activities are subdivided into six task categories (or topic portfolios):  Continuity of Operations (COOP), Exercises, Incident Management Team Coordination, Lessons Learned/Continuous Improvement, Training, and Recovery.  The DPP headquarters office is located in Silver Spring, MD and includes the NOAA Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center (DRC) located in Mobile, AL.  Organizationally, the DPP is part of the NOAA National Ocean Service’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R).  The DPP Training Specialist will also work closely with OR&R’s Emergency Response Division (ERD) based in Seattle, WA.

Position Duties:

The NOAA Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) Instructional Designer/Training Specialist assists in the development and implementation of a comprehensive training program to support the NOAA Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) as well as partners both internal and external to NOAA, such as the United States Coast Guard (USCG).  This position will contribute to and help lead course development primarily for adult learners working with scientists and disaster preparedness experts, and will also support broader DPP mission activities such as exercises and disaster coordination/support.

Primary Tasks may include the following:

  • Applying learning and adult learning science best practices to advance the quality of NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration products and services.
  • Designing and developing learning products and services that support disaster preparedness and the use of NOAA science, data, and tools to better prepare responders within NOAA and external to NOAA.
  • Provide guidance, leadership and expertise on course development and delivery.
  • Work with subject matter experts in the DPP and across NOAA to design and develop mission-focused training courses with appropriate, clear and concise training content.
  • Develop curriculum and delivery methods for classroom and web-based (synchronous and asynchronous) training and workshops.
  • Work independently as a task leader with subject matter experts, trainers, and technical specialists to understand learning audience needs, analyze content and learner tasks and environment, and identify training strategies (including learning objectives, appropriate learning approaches and delivery mechanisms) to achieve course goals.
  • Bring innovation, efficiency, and technical acumen to the instructional design and development process, recommending appropriate instructional approaches and technologies, scoping and prototyping products, developing and coordinating graphic and multimedia inputs for public facing learning products that support the work of OR&R.
  • Develop testing/evaluation instruments (formative and summative) to determine the effectiveness of the instructional strategies.
  • Coordinate and support OR&R training logistics and activities locally, regionally, and nationally.
  • Facilitate, deliver, and provide training and/or presentations as needed.
  • Coordinating rigorous training needs assessments for future strategic planning.
  • Track and analyze course feedback, resulting in tangible improvements to course material, delivery, and student experience.
  • Participate in and provide subject matter expertise to the OR&R Training Team.
  • Research and evaluate training courses and programs offered elsewhere that may be beneficial to building enhanced response, recovery, and resiliency expertise within NOS, NOAA, and other partners and stakeholders.
  • Coordinate and support the planning and facilitation of non-training specific meetings (such as post-incident or exercise after-action activities) by taking and distributing notes/minutes, writing reports, and tracking action items and tasks to completion.
  • Contribute to creative outreach and information sharing efforts related to training activities.
  • As part of the core DPP team, assist with other activities as needed to include serving as part of the NOS Incident Management Team for disaster coordination, assisting with exercises and workshops, and adding capacity to support emergency operations where applicable and needed.

Qualifications and Skills:

The successful candidate will be evaluated based on their ability to demonstrate the listed qualifications and desired skills in their resume and interview.

Successful candidates for the DPP Instructional Designer/Training Specialist will have expertise in instructional design, adult education, e-learning, instructional technology, and have experience conducting and facilitating training and/or teaching adults.  Proven experience in course development, teaching adults, scientific education, and disaster response is a plus.  Recognizing that people do look to evolve their career and career choices, exceptional candidates will be considered even if they lack some of the specific requirements and experience identified.  Training activities will include in-person and virtual as well as development of on-line training modules.


  • Bachelor’s Degree with experience (at least 2 years of adult education or training preferred) or an advanced degree such as a Master’s Degree in one or a combination of the following fields: Instructional Design, Adult Learning, education, emergency management, environmental science, biological science, physical science, geographic/geological sciences, meteorology, urban or coastal planning; engineering, economics, public administration, public health, or political science.
  • Demonstrated skill applying a variety of learning technologies to meet specific learning needs, developing solutions based in sound learning theory and training industry practices.
  • Experience conducting training needs assessment scaled to meet project needs and scope to recommend appropriate instructional and technical solutions.
  • Demonstrated ability to implement and provide technical assistance internally and with partners in the design, development, delivery, and use of online and blended learning products.
  • Knowledge and experience developing content for adult learners.
  • Previous experience teaching or training adult learners.
  • Ability to travel periodically throughout the U.S. and U.S. Territories to support training activities, meetings, workshops, and other mission support activities. Typical travel for this position is expected to be 4 to 5 trips annually of 3 to 5 days in duration.
  • Self-motivated and be able to work both independently and in a team setting, and have a strong desire to innovate and identify areas for growth and improvement in the training program.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, be proficient with oral and written communications, and be able to coordinate and collaborate effectively with various organizations, professions, and backgrounds.
  • Experience and skills with virtual communications and ability to effectively work with staff remotely through email and video teleconferencing to accomplish project objectives.

Beneficial Experience and Knowledge, but not specifically requirements:

  • Demonstrated experience in leading teams and developing dynamic training materials and/or adult learning content.
  • Work in environmental science, planning or policy, coastal management, marine/estuarine ecosystems, or a related field.
  • Certifications/accreditations in education and/or emergency management.
  • Knowledge of Continuity of Operations (PPD-40), the NIMS/Incident Command System (ICS) or exercise planning or execution.
  • Knowledge and experience in the technical and educational applications needed by professionals working in coastal science, planning, and management positions to address coastal inundation issues with communities.
  • Expertise in developing video-based instructional material.
  • Experience developing and administering courses in a learning management system and supporting learner interaction through collaborative learning tools.
  • Experience working with state and federal agencies, including familiarity with the administrative, accessibility, and security requirements of government web products.
  • Experience with American Disabilities Act, Section 508 web compliance.
  • Experience working with Adobe Captivate, Adobe Captivate Prime, Camtasia, Google Meet, Adobe Connect, and WebEx.


Compensation will be determined based on the experience and qualifications of the successful applicant in combination with contract budget. The position is eligible for a full-time benefit package that includes health insurance, paid personal and holiday leave, 401(k) program eligibility, and employee disability and life insurance.

Application Guidance:

Relevant experience and certifications should be included in resume.  Applicants may include a one page cover letter describing your experience that relates directly to the job duties stated in this posting.

Applicants should include three references that can confirm your experience.

To Apply:

Please email a resume and 3 references to Please include any cover letter, your resume and references in a single .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) attachment with your name included in the .pdf file name. Also, please include the words, “Training Specialist” in the subject line of your email.

Applicants selected for interviews will be contacted via email. The position will remain open until filled, with priority given to applications received by September 30, 2022.