Ocean Science and Policy Technical Advisor

  • Conservation International
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
  • Oct 25, 2018
Full time Advocacy and Policy Environmental Science - Engineering Fisheries - Marine Science - Aquatic Biology Research

Job Description


The Technical Advisor, Ocean Science and Policy is responsible for managing and advancing the science agenda to inform policy and catalyze effective large-scale ocean conservation, particularly in areas beyond national jurisdiction. The Technical Advisor serves as a technical resource to Center for Oceans and Policy Center staff and partners and communicates scientific results to effectively influence policy development at national, regional and global scales. Job duties incorporate a range of research, technical and policy responsibilities as outlined below.  

Research duties include managing and coordinating research projects, often designed or led by others, that will further CI’s large-scale ocean conservation science agenda.  The Technical Advisor develops research products, tools, and related resources that provide CI staff, partners, and policy makers with the relevant scientific data needed to make informed decisions.  S/he writes and edits technical reports for internal and external parties, including peer reviewed journals, which persuade others to act.

Technical duties include serving as a recognized technical resource to guide projects and investments to most effectively catalyze ocean conservation at scale.  S/he identifies conservation objectives, develops action plans, designs and collaborates on monitoring and evaluation efforts and writes progress reports. The Technical Advisor facilitates technical partnerships, works closely with internal and external project managers and, as directed, plays an active role in building capacity.  S/he creates and maintains resource and communication tools for assigned projects.  As directed, the Technical Advisor provides input into grant writing efforts and frequently contributes to science-related fundraising efforts.

Policy duties include tracking UN negotiations on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction and the Convention on Biological Diversity’s post-2020 marine targets, identify science-backed policy goals and strategies to influence negotiation outcomes.



  • Define and develop research objectives to advance large scale ocean conservation, particularly in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
  • Lead research project design and implementation, including overseeing and supporting field research and data collection.
  • Write reports and develop materials for internal decision makers and external stakeholders. Lead or contribute to 2 or more publications per year in peer-reviewed and highly visible scientific journals. Ensure consistency with CI’s intellectual property rights prior to publication and/or release of data.
  • Develop or contribute to communications materials including presentations of scientific findings for internal and external audiences.
  • Keep up-to-date on relevant scientific literature.
  • Provide periodic reports and assessments on progress against goals for internal and external audiences. Assess progress and refine action plans and outcomes as needed.

Technical advice:

  • Manage technical partnerships within CI and external organizations related to large scale ocean conservation.  Create detailed information and analyses to guide partners in their decision making.
  • Manage, monitor and develop the work of partners. Ensure partners have the technical information and framework they need to achieve action plans and conservation outcomes.
  • Advise on potential and ongoing ocean conservation investments to increase impact and effectiveness.


  • Represent CI at external meetings with partners and at workshops and conferences.
  • Track UN negotiations on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction and the Convention on Biological Diversity’s marine targets for post-2020; Work with the International Policy team to formulate CI positions for science-backed policy goals, and to develop and implement strategies and workplans influence negotiation outcomes to achieve those goals.
  • Develop technical briefings and materials to inform and amplify CI engagement in these negotiations.

Monitoring and Evaluation:

  • Contribute to the development of metrics/indicators and their use in tracking progress toward institutional goals for ocean conservation at scale.
  • Develop cost-effective methodologies to monitor and evaluate conservation outcomes for specific interventions in the field, provide periodic progress assessments and suggest refinements as needed.
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor.


  • This position is based in Honolulu, HI or Arlington, VA
  • Work is performed in a typical office environment.
  • Some travel - up to 25% may be necessary. 
  • Flexibility in work schedule in order to accommodate time differences between HQ and regional offices may be necessary.



  • Master’s degree in environmental science, conservation biology, social sciences or a related field. 
  • Minimum of 6 years work experience in scientific research and/or managing conservation or research projects or initiatives.
  • Proven ability in successfully interpreting and applying scientific information, data, models and approaches to achieve practical results.
  • Proven track record in managing projects.
  • Experience formulating strategy to achieve goals, developing and implementing plans, and reporting on progress.
  • Proven ability to understand, interpret and apply technical and scientific information and data to achieve tangible results.
  • Demonstrated scientific writing experience, including scientific reports and/or publications.
  • Proven ability to work in a team environment and work well across cultures as well as within and across organizations.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.  Highly organized and strong attention to detail. 
  • Demonstrated problem solving skills.
  • Excellent analytical and mathematical skills.
  • Proficient in software systems, terminology, and procedures and skilled in using new software applications.


  • Familiarity with UN negotiation processes

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