Marine Debris Project Coordinator - COASST

Title: Marine Debris Project Coordinator – COASST

Classification: Full-time employment
Agency/Organization: University of Washington/COASST

Job Description: The Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) is a rigorous citizen
science organization based in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of
Washington. Now 15 years old, COASST recruits and trains coastal citizens from northern California
north to Kotzebue, Alaska to survey their local beach in a systematic, standardized fashion,
returning data on a monthly basis about the number, identity, and condition of beached marine
birds. Additional data on the state of the carcass, and the conditions on the beach are also
collected. COASST experts independently verify all participant data (i.e., species identification),
making the data immediately useful in science and resource management. At present, almost 800
volunteers collect data as part of the COASST program. All participants are trained in a 5-6 hour
session, and given a set of data collection materials, including the relevant COASST Field Guide and
written protocol. Once data collection starts, COASST interns and professional staff keep in close
contact with each volunteer, making sure (s)he has adequate supplies, is identifying carcasses
correctly, and is continuing the survey at least monthly. Additional enrichment activities, including
refresher trainings and evening public lectures on coastal natural history and conservation are also
available to volunteers and their communities.

In 2013, COASST received a grant from the Advanced Informal Science Learning (AISL) division of
the National Science Foundation to design and implement a new data collection routine focused on
marine debris, while simultaneously developing an educational research study on COASST
volunteers focused on the issues of recruitment and retention in volunteer-based monitoring
programs (such as COASST). As part of this new effort, COASST has an exciting opportunity to
recruit a new staff member who will lead the effort to develop and field-test the marine debris data
collection module.

Responsibilities: The candidate’s primary responsibility is to manage student interns working on
testing protocol elements as well as to manage COASST volunteers in focus groups testing
protocol elements.

Additional responsibilities:
-Integrating with all of the other pieces of the grant project, including: IT, educational research,
evaluation, advisors and consultants, the existing COASST beached bird module and infrastructure,
and COASST volunteers; will be an extremely complex task as all pieces of the existing program
and the new module must fit seamlessly together so that current and new volunteers are never
inconvenienced. This project is also on an aggressive timeline.
-Starting from initial test data collected by COASST interns, and the NOAA and CSIRO marine
debris protocols, develop, draft (including text and graphics), test, and finalize the Marine Debris
COASST protocol.
-Work with focus groups of COASST volunteers to field-test the Marine Debris COASST protocol
and associated mobile data collection app.
-Work with IT team to develop and test mobile and web-based interfaces, including Marine Debris
ID App, Marine Debris Data Collection App, crowd-source Marine Debris Identification Portal,
Harm-to-Wildlife Interactive Map.
-Work with marine debris, marine science, and marine wildlife experts to solicit expert knowledge
to incorporate into the Marine Debris Protocol and Harm-to-Wildlife Interactive Map.

Required qualifications:
-Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Science or a related science and two to three years of work
-Demonstrated experience with sampling design in field biology, natural resources, or
-Ability to work in a multi-tasking, fast-paced environment and respond to both short-term crises
and long-term needs while maintaining a positive, interactive, and team-focused demeanor
-Experience working in a field situation for extended periods of time
-Project management experience, including but not limited to: developing a workplan and timeline
for long-range, multi-task project; staying on time and on budget; positive, effective interfacing
with consultants and specialists
-Communication skills, including but not limited to: writing for professional scientific audiences,
and for public (non-professional) audiences; integration of graphics and text in well-designed
-Experience with course material or curriculum development
-Experience working with volunteer or citizen science organizations, not including K-16 students,
in data collection
-Ability to efficiently and effectively travel locally to alternate work sites as needed; valid driver’s

Desired qualifications:
-Oral communication skills, including experience teaching non-professional audiences
-Experience with database construction and maintenance, and web-interfacing, including
PostgreSQL, Ruby-on-Rails
-Experience with website design and development of web content
-Familiarity with web programming (HTML and content management systems such as Drupal or
-Meeting facilitation
-Professional interaction skills, including but not limited to email, phone, and in-person
interaction with academic and senior scientists
-Proficiency in statistics, including use of statistical software packages (R, SPSS, SAS)
-Experience with focus groups, including design of focus group interaction, data extraction, and
data processing; discourse analysis, and use of software packages (NVivo)

Job location: Seattle, WA

Start date: 12/16/2013
Best consideration date: 11/12/2013
Professional staff grade 7, minimum salary: $44,532

Application process:
No application materials will be accepted by the contact person. To apply, please visit:
(click “Apply for this job” at top left)

Technical assistance:
For technical assistance with the online application, please email or call 206-

Contact person: Jane Dolliver
Contact phone: 206-221-6893
Contact email:

Seattle, Washington
University of Washington/COASST
Jane Dolliver