Science and Advocacy Associate – full time with a comprehensive benefits package
Friends of Casco Bay is hiring a Science and Advocacy Associate. This new position will report to and work closely with our Casco Baykeeper and Staff Scientist to monitor the health of Casco Bay and advocate for actions to improve and protect the environmental health of Casco Bay. This position requires both science and legal/environmental policy skills.
Our Science Program provides much of the data that informs our Baykeeping Program. The Associate position is a role that is designed to bridge and support both programs. The Associate will work on a diverse array of issues, including climate change, stormwater pollution, nitrogen pollution, watershed development, plastic pollution, and other emerging issues. The Associate will help us expand our work to address issues affecting the tributaries that influence the health of Casco Bay. We offer a collegial workplace, a competitive salary, and excellent benefits.
About Friends of Casco Bay
Friends of Casco Bay works to improve and protect the health of Casco Bay, an Estuary of National Significance located in the Gulf of Maine. Our science program monitors the health of the Bay and tracks changing conditions. These data inform what actions we take to advocate for the Bay and how we engage the community in our stewardship efforts.
As part of the Gulf of Maine, and as our data show, Casco Bay is warming more quickly than almost all other marine waters in the world in response to excess greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. We play a leading role in our region to reduce pollution, encourage stewardship, and address the causes and consequences of climate change.
We are home to the Casco BAYKEEPER®, our lead advocate who acts as the eyes, ears, and voice of Casco Bay. We are one of the seven founding members of WATERKEEPER® Alliance, a network that includes more than 300 independent organizations working to protect waters around the world. Thanks to our efforts, industrial pollution has decreased, municipalities are working to reduce sewage and stormwater pollution, and the Bay has been designated a No Discharge Area, making it one of the most protected water bodies in the country.
A Board of 15 Directors oversees the work of Friends of Casco Bay. More than 2,500 households and donors support our organization. More than 500 volunteers assist us in our efforts. We are known as an exceptional place to work, with dedicated, cohesive, long-time staff. We currently have seven full-time employees. We balance our ability to leverage collaborative efforts, funds, and volunteers, with the capacity and capabilities of staff — a talented team, each passionate about our mission. We work to improve and protect the health of this special place for everyone. We are committed to creating a culture and practices that integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into our work.
Our Science Program: Friends of Casco Bay collects long-term data on the health of the Bay. Our Science program consists primarily of two efforts. One component builds on a 30-year dataset that provides monthly “snapshot” conditions at more than twenty sites spread around the Bay. The second collects hourly data from three Continuous Monitoring Stations: one in Portland Harbor, one close to the middle of the Bay in waters off Yarmouth, and one in the eastern end of the Bay in waters off Harpswell.
Our Baykeeping Program: Baykeeping is our mission put into practice: acting to improve and protect the environmental health of Casco Bay. In short, Baykeeping is about reducing pollution and addressing climate change. We work within many coalitions and networks. We analyze and use the law to advance policy. Although this work is primarily at a state and local level, it sometimes requires action at a federal level.
The job of Science and Advocacy Associate
Science: The Associate will work with our Staff Scientist to learn to maintain, calibrate, and deploy our seasonal and continuous monitoring equipment. The Associate will monitor water quality in the field with our Staff Scientist and Casco Baykeeper. Training will be provided consistent with our Quality Assurance Project Plans and protocols. The Associate also will augment the capacity of our Staff Scientist to graph, analyze, and present data to support our advocacy and education efforts.
In due time, the Associate would be responsible for investigating and collecting data related to issues of concern that plague the health of the Bay and its tributaries. For example, this person might be trained to help monitor for PFAS, microplastics, and/or the effects of nitrogen pollution. This person also might help us investigate emergent, unexpected issues such as fish kills and loss of eelgrass.
Baykeeping: The Associate will be expected to engage in legal research and creative problem solving to help advance policy, laws, and regulations. The Associate will help draft comments on Clean Water Act permits that regulate the discharge of pollution in the Casco Bay watershed. The Associate will be expected to work collaboratively within our many networks and partnerships. The Associate will spend considerable time attending meetings and getting to know our community, with an aim toward covering certain topics independently. This position is similar to an associate environmental attorney position. Baykeeping covers many topics and requires a keen ability to quickly master diverse subject matter, identify strategies, and implement solutions. The Associate should possess skills that lean toward that model of work and a willingness to constantly learn and have an open mind. In time, the Associate may be called upon to testify before the legislature, in administrative forums, or at municipal meetings.
The Associate will work at the direction of the Staff Scientist and Casco Baykeeper; all staff report to the Executive Director.
Attributes, Skills, and Experience
Qualified candidates must have the following:
- A background in biology, environmental science, marine science, or a related science
- Advanced legal and/or policy education, preferably a juris doctorate, and/or relevant experience
- Dedication to our mission
- Ability to lift and move items up to 30 pounds without assistance due to the physical nature of our fieldwork
Qualified candidates should demonstrate:
- Strong research and writing skills
- Ability to implement detailed scientific protocols
- Ability to use scientific data and research to support policy changes and action
- Strategic and dynamic thinker and collaborator
- Commitment to study the background of issues and their regulatory context
- Ability to sometimes work outside of normal business hours
- A personal and professional commitment to environmental stewardship and passion for applying that to the mission of Friends of Casco Bay
- Excellent organizational and time management skills; ability to prioritize and meet deadlines
- Clear verbal communication skills
- Ability to work independently and with teams
Qualified candidates might also have:
- Knowledge of state and federal laws, regulations, and policies that affect marine water quality and habitat
- Understanding of the political and legislative process, and how policy, ordinances, and laws are made and enforced
- Relevant field experience, such as monitoring water quality or investigating causes of pollution
- Experience leading field trips
- Comfort with public speaking
- Knowledge of Casco Bay
- Comfortable on the water in variable conditions
Salary and benefits:
The salary range is $55,000 to $60,000/year ($26.04-$28.85/hour), commensurate with experience. We offer an excellent benefits package, including paid vacation time, 13 state and federal holidays, health and dental insurance (employer pays 75% and contributes to a health savings account), paid sick days, life insurance, and retirement plan, including a 4% employer match.
Location and public health expectations
Friends of Casco Bay is located in South Portland, Maine, in the greater Portland region. We currently work using a hybrid model of working from home and working in the office. This is not a “remote” only position. By its nature, this position requires showing up in person at meetings and doing work on the Bay. The Greater Portland area offers a vibrant cultural scene and easy access to the state’s many recreational opportunities. 100% of our staff are vaccinated against COVID-19 and we expect our newest employee to be too.
As soon as possible upon job offer.
A complete application package from interested applicants must include:
- A cover letter citing why you are qualified for the position
- A resume
- A writing sample that you have written, not to exceed 750 words, preferably on a matter of science or environmental policy or environmental law
Email your application as a single PDF document to keeper [at] cascobay [dot] org. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis with priority given to applications received by June 15. Screenings and interviews will be conducted initially by phone and online; finalists will be interviewed in person as CDC guidelines allow. No phone calls, please.
Casco Bay encompasses 14 coastal communities, including two of Maine’s largest cities, Portland and South Portland, and two of Maine’s newest towns, Long Island and Chebeague Island. Casco Bay is both a working waterfront—a port of call for cruise ships, oil tankers, and container ships—and a scenic postcard of historic forts, stalwart lighthouses, secluded anchorages, and many islands.
We work to improve and protect the health of this special place for everyone. We are committed to creating a culture and practices that integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into our work.