Marine Debris Monitoring Specialist


Genwest Systems Inc., an equal opportunity employer, is currently accepting applications for the Marine Debris Monitoring Specialist to support our clients at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) Marine Debris Program (MDP), which is headquartered in NOAA’s Silver Spring, MD offices.  This position is funded for up to 4 years through Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding.


The Marine Debris Monitoring Specialist position will be located in Seattle, WA. Telework options will be considered for a portion of the normal work.


OR&R ( is a program office in the National Ocean Service that responds to threats in order to protect and restore coastal resources. OR&R provides interdisciplinary scientific response to releases of oil, chemicals, contaminants, and marine debris as well as protects and restores NOAA trust resources. As a division within OR&R, the Marine Debris Program focuses on investigating and addressing the negative impacts of debris in the marine and coastal environment.


The successful applicant will support MDP staff in managing the Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP), an initiative that engages NOAA partners and volunteers to survey and record the amount and types of marine debris on shorelines. The successful applicant will spend the majority of their time working closely with MDP’s  Monitoring Coordinator (located in Seattle) on day-to-day tasks to support the implementation of a national marine debris shoreline monitoring survey (see Key Tasks below). They will also support the MDP Science Team on additional projects and tasks as needed (e.g., grant reviews, literature reviews, strategic planning support).


  • Become fluent in the MDMAP protocol and database
  • Network with other Federal and non-Federal entities regarding tools, techniques and programs being implemented
  • Assist in management of a national marine debris shoreline monitoring survey
    • Participate in regularly scheduled calls between the national survey contractor and Science Team
    • Train others, as needed, in MDMAP data collection protocols (may involve travel)
    • Conduct survey data QA/QC verification and support data management
    • Assist with development of Federal (and other) partnerships for remote sites
    • Assist with tribal/native liaising for survey sites on tribal or native lands
    • Develop data visualizations and report cards for each region (in coordination with or based on requests from MDP’s Monitoring Coordinator)
    • Work with the MDP Monitoring Coordinator and Communications Team on outreach products to communicate MDMAP efforts and results (blogs, newsletters, one-pagers, short communication pieces, etc.)
    • Support strategic projects to reduce barriers to participation, promote greater impact of monitoring data, and support long-term retention of partners and participants (e.g., training videos, translation of materials, participant engagement)
    • Assist with environmental compliance process for MDMAP efforts
  • Participate in relevant conferences, regional workshops, and/or professional meetings
  • Participate in other MDP Goal Teams as needed (i.e., Science, Coordination)
  • Support for additional MDMAP tasks and projects as they emerge and are defined


The successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate the listed qualifications in their resume and interview:

  • Master’s or equivalent relevant work experience in environmental science, ideally in one or more of the following preferred sub-disciplines: environmental monitoring, quantitative analysis, coastal ecology, environmental statistics, aquatic toxicology, environmental chemistry.
  • Experience with an environmental monitoring and/or community science program(s).
  • Demonstrated skills in managing environmental data and databases, including QA/QC and compilation of data in preparation for analysis.
  • Excellent oral communicator with demonstrated experience working with a variety of stakeholder groups and strong writing skills.
  • Strong computer and statistical skills.
  • Self-motivated, energetic, strategic thinker.
  • Ability to work and travel independently.
  • Experience working on geographically distributed interdisciplinary teams.
  • History of success in team-based project execution, working as both lead and contributor.
  • Demonstrated flexible and proactive approach to problem solving.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and execute long-term projects, including setting timelines and milestones and balancing priorities.
  • Experience with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) such as ESRI, ArcGIS, QGIS or other GIS applications preferred.

Applicants must be willing to travel and have strong skills in understanding and communicating complex scientific concepts, problem solving, and working effectively and patiently as part of high performing, high expectation teams that include diverse views and opinions.


Compensation will be determined based on the experience and qualifications of the successful applicant in combination with contract budget, but is expected to be in the range of $55,000 – $75,000 per year. The position is also 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.


Please submit your application, including any cover letter (optional), resume (less than 4 pages), and 3 references to Please include these materials in a single .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) attachment with your name included in the .pdf file name. Also, if submitting by email please include the words, Marine Debris Monitoring Specialistin 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 before January 5, 2024.