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We are hiring

2023-164 Ocean Plastics Science and Research Manager


Ocean Conservancy works to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create evidence-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.


The Ocean Plastics Science & Research Manager will work closely with the Associate Director, Ocean Plastics Research as well as other Trash Free Seas® (TFS) program and Ocean Conservancy teams, external scientific experts and partners to help support and build our growing portfolio of solutions-oriented, ocean plastics research initiatives. The TFS Plastics Science & Research team is leading primary research focusing on numerous facets of the plastic pollution problem, including: 1) microplastics in the human food system; 2) movement of floating debris through river systems out to sea; 3) public opinions and perceptions of the plastic pollution issue; 4) the positive impacts that coastal cleanups have on marine animals; and 5) the impacts of climate change on plastic pollution flows to the ocean. Our team is constantly exploring new avenues and assessing additional research needs; as such, the Ocean Plastics Science & Research Manager will be instrumental in helping devise, catalyze and sustain additional research projects.


  • Provide research and support for new and ongoing plastics science and research projects.
    • Propose, plan and help facilitate research on initiatives that advance scientific insights and conservation outcomes related to plastic pollution.
    • Assist with project-specific research tasks, including (but not limited to) compiling scientific background information, procuring and preparing research tools and materials, assisting with external science partner contract development and management, and identifying research permitting needs.
    • Represent Ocean Conservancy at key conferences, meetings and convenings, presenting information and novel findings from our primary research, and reporting broader convening insights back to the team.
    • Synthesize scientific information to help develop an evidence base for new plastic-reduction policies or strategies.
    • Assist International Trash Trap Network (ITTN) Project team with compiling or developing resources, collecting notes during calls and preparing for meetings or conferences.
    • Help prepare written project updates (reports, presentations, e-mails) to be shared with donors, supporters, collaborators, or within Ocean Conservancy.
  • Function as one of OC’s subject matter experts on ocean plastics science.
    • Maintain a current understanding of the peer-reviewed literature.
    • Attend events and read published documents, with the goal of selecting and sharing top takeaways with the science & research team.
    • Maintain up-to-date archive of peer-reviewed scientific studies that cite International Coastal Cleanup® data.
  • Provide support to develop new and compelling communication assets and respond to scientific information requests.
    • Help research, develop and maintain up-to-date fact sheets, blog posts, infographics, figures, and other scientific materials for journalists, general audiences, or policymakers.
    • Assist with writing reports that combine background on the plastic pollution crisis with policy, waste management, cleanup or other relevant solutions.
    • Communicate important insights about ocean plastics science in a variety of formats including (but not limited to) blogs, action alerts, comment letters to federal or state agencies, presentations, reports, media inquiry responses, social media posts and peer-reviewed publications.


  • Minimum of five years professional scientific experience; prior research on ocean plastics highly desirable.
  • Interest in marine conservation, and in-depth knowledge of marine/coastal ecosystems, human impacts and threats facing the ocean.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to communicate complex scientific or technical concepts to varied and cross-sector audiences.
  • Interest in helping drive collaborative scientific research.
  • Advanced quantitative skills, including organizing and analyzing quantitative datasets, writing code (R, SPSS, or the like) and producing effective data visualizations (tables, figures).
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Highly collaborative mentality, with a record of successfully leading or participating in collaborative research.
  • Firm foundation in and commitment to environmental justice and equity.
  • Willingness to travel, including internationally. up to 20% of the time.
  • Ability to work flexible hours (i.e., occasional evenings and weekends).


  • Advanced degree (MSc or PhD) in a relevant scientific discipline such as marine science, marine ecology, oceanography, environmental science or marine resource management.


Ocean Conservancy is committed to equity in its pay practices and posts expected hiring ranges for each of its positions. Salary minimum is $63,036; salary midpoint is $92,597. The midpoint represents the market rate for a position, and a fully experienced employee may be paid at this level. Compensation will be commensurate with the candidate’s specialty skills, years of experience, location and unique background.  We would welcome the opportunity to connect with potential candidates whose salary requirements may be outside of the expected hiring range.


If you think you’d be a great fit for the job and are interested in joining Ocean conservancy’s team, please apply here.


Ocean Conservancy embraces a hybrid work environment, which allows our staff the flexibility to work virtually and in-person while building strong connections across the institution.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Ocean Conservancy provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

We encourage applicants who have a diverse level and range of relevant skills and experiences to apply. A 100% match is not required. We want to support employees’ career growth and in return, our employees help Ocean Conservancy grow into a stronger, more inclusive organization.


Washington, DC or Portland, OR strongly preferred; other locations will be considered in the following states: AK, CA, FL, MD, VA, WA


Trash Free Seas®

Reports To

Associate Director, Ocean Plastics Research


Full Time

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