We Are Hiring

Ocean Plastics Research Manager


The Ocean Plastics Research Manager works with scientific experts and partners on to design and facilitate research on marine debris, specifically ocean plastics, and actively engages with the external marine science community. Additionally, the Research Manager will represent Ocean Conservancy and the Trash Free Seas (TFS) Program publicly, as a subject matter expert on ocean plastics, via the dissemination of science-based and/or solution-oriented messaging to the general public, diverse media outlets and policymakers. The TFS Program encompasses the International Coastal Cleanup, the Trash Free Seas Alliance®, the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, and International Policy & Finance initiatives focused on plastic waste collection and recycling. The Research Manager will be responsible for managing external, science partnerships to advance our portfolio of ocean plastics research initiatives. The Research Manager will report to the TFS Senior Director, but will also support others involved with the TFS team including development, communications and cross-programmatic work.


  • Works with internal stakeholders and external researchers to develop and manage a comprehensive ocean plastics science strategy to catalyze research on key knowledge gaps that will inform public and private sector policies and solutions.
  • Propose, plan, and facilitate research projects, report preparation, and presentation of findings.
  • Analyze Ocean Conservancy’s historical marine debris dataset to generate new insights and perspectives on trends associated with ocean plastic pollution, regionally and globally.
  • Represent Ocean Conservancy at key ocean science, policy and/or industry meetings by presenting on ocean plastics science and the TFS portfolio of science-based solutions.
  • Maintain a current understanding of the peer-reviewed literature, and function as OC’s subject matter expert on ocean plastics science.
  • Work with academic research partners and manage science consultants of the TFS program.
  • Explore opportunities to develop field research initiatives that advance scientific insights and conservation outcomes.
  • Work collaboratively with Ocean Conservancy Resource Development staff in stewardship of funding partnerships, cultivation of new partnerships and creation of fundraising materials to support program growth.
  • Communicate novel insights about ocean plastics science in a variety of formats including blogs, action alerts, comment letters to federal or state agencies and peer reviewed publications.
  • Provide scientific expertise across all TFS initiatives to ensure strategies and decision making remains underpinned by the best available science.


  • 3 or more years of professional or scientific experience; prior research on ocean plastics highly desirable.
  • In-depth knowledge of marine/coastal ecosystems, human impacts and threats to oceans/coasts, and ecosystem protection and management.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills are essential, as is the ability to communicate complex scientific or technical concepts to lesser informed audiences; a writing sample/test will be requested.
  • Proficient in science communication to cross-sector audiences including the private sector and policy makers; a science communication social media presence is a plus, as is kknowledge of environmental policy issues.
  • Ability to work flexible hours (i.e., occasional evenings and weekends).
  • Excellent interpersonal and verbal communication skills;
  • Highly collaborative with an appreciation of the benefit of a multi-disciplinary team approach.
  • Willingness to travel up to 30%, including significant international travel.


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


To be considered for this position, interested candidates must submit a resume and cover letter to and note position title:  Ocean Plastics Research Manager and #19-26 in the subject line.


Ocean Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, handicap, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. Ocean Conservancy is continually seeking to diversify its staff, particularly to broaden opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy.

Ocean Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer.

  • Portland, OR
  • Trash Free Seas
Reports To
  • Senior Director, Trash Free Seas
  • Full Time

More Open Positions