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Scientist 8: Willamette Branch and Marine Energy Program Coordination

Ocean Associates, Inc. (OAI) is seeking a Scientist 8 to support the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), West Coast Region, in Portland, OR.

NOAA Fisheries West Coast Regions Oregon Washington Coastal Offices responsibilities focus on protecting species and their habitats along Washington and Oregon coasts, including Puget Sound and the lower Columbia and Willamette rivers. The Offices work to protect species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by evaluating the impacts of proposed federal actions, developing and implementing recovery plans, seeking conservation partnerships with local governments and landowners, and ensuring safe fish passage through federal and some private dams, and designating critical habitat.

OWCO is seeking contractor assistance to aid the project officer in the oversight and delivery of the program needs as defined in the tasks and deliverables outlines in this work statement. The project tasks require contractor support of a moderate to highly skilled nature, through the application of project management, coordination and consultation skills and knowledge and understanding of NMFS regulations.

This is a contract position with OAI, for full-time work. Salary depends on experience. Excellent employee benefits are provided including paid medical insurance, and holiday, vacation and sick leave, and more. The work location will be at the NMFS Oregon Washington Coastal Office, 1201 NE Lloyd Blvd., Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232.

The contractor shall provide technical services to support and facilitate the protection of species and habitats in regulatory processes including: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Licensing and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) leasing; Endangered Species Act (ESA), Magnusson- Stevens Fishery Management and Conservation Act (MSA), Federal Power Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Specific tasks include:

a. Provide assistance with the FERC licensing and BOEM leasing processes for ocean and tidal energy projects in Oregon and Washington and for traditional hydropower projects in the Willamette Basin.

b. Coordinate with and advise stakeholders and applicants to inform the development and evaluation of proposed federals actions.

c. Review study proposals to support the evaluation of FERC license applications and BOEM lease application under the ESA, MSA and other applicable regulations.

d. Assist in the development and review of:

1) Terms and conditions and fish way prescriptions under the FPA.

2) Adaptive management processes.

3) Monitoring programs and protection, mitigation and enhancement plans.

4) Regulatory streamlining approaches.

5) Facilitate the completion of ESA and MSA consultations for the above-described projects and other projects as assigned.

e. Facilitate MMPA authorization with headquarters protected resources division as appropriate.

f. Coordinate with NMFS staff internally to monitor implementation of the Willamette Project biological opinion by the Action Agencies.

g. Facilitate and conduct review of research and monitoring proposals and attend Willamette Project coordination meetings including the WATER Research Monitoring and Evaluation team, Habitat Technical Team and Flow and Water Quality Management team.

h. Manage and coordinate the research take authorization program for the Willamette Biological Opinion including conducting review and approval of research take authorization requests, facilitating the preparation of take authorization requests and modification of research proposal.

i. Maintain accounting of annual and cumulative take authorized under the program to ensure consistency with the incidental take statement in the Willamette Biological Opinion.

j. Support and assist with the completion of consultation for federal actions within the Willamette Branch geography.

k. Participate in events and outreach activities to foster cooperation and collaboration with others and to further NMFS natural resource protection goals with its partners and stakeholders.

a. Draft analyses, both quantitative and qualitative, and text for letters, memos, other documentation and ESA-MSA Consultation Documents for federal actions related to Ocean Energy in Oregon and Washington, the Willamette Project Biological Opinion, Oregon hydropower projects, federal actions within the Willamette Branch geography and other projects as assigned.

b. Draft analyses, both quantitative and qualitative, and text for Annual Take Determination authorization letters, modifications and amendments. These items will be prepared for NMFS staff review and or submittal.

c. Annual report or summary tables from Willamette Project RME permitting database handouts, graphics, tables, and PowerPoint slides for outreach activities.

d. Analyses of effects of Federal hydrosystem on ESA-listed marine species and other technical products as assigned.

e. Attend and participate in FERC licensing and BOEM leasing processes for proposed ocean energy projects in Oregon and Washington and on related committees and task forces. Post meeting summary will be provided to the Project Officer within 5 days of each meeting and will include recommendations for future agendas.

f. Attend and participate in WATER team meetings related to the implementation of the Willamette Biological Opinion. Post meeting summary will be provided to the Project Officer within 5 days of each meeting and will include recommendations for future agendas.

g. Materials for meetings including agendas, handouts, presentations, and/or notes. Meeting materials will be prepared and submitted to the Project Officer for review and concurrence at least 10 working days prior to distribution.

h. Maintain internal technical team calendar for Willamette Project RPA implementation on a continuing, as needed basis.


Selected individual(s) must have the following minimum qualifications:

Bachelors degree or higher from an accredited college or university with a major in a directly related field of study as related to the requirements of the specific task order with emphasis in fisheries, oceanography, social science, natural science, mathematics, or hydrology, plus 6 years of experience in related field or combination of such totaling ten (10) years combined education/experience. Masters Degree in related field plus two (2) years experience or Ph.D. may be substituted for experience.

Additional required qualifications include:

1. Experience in technical writing in biological and ecological disciplines.

2. Strong organizational ability.

3. Ability to work effectively with people with different styles and professional experience.

4. Willingness to and interest in contributing to success of project.

5. Excellent MS Office skills, particularly with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

6. Excellent communication and writing skills.

Only qualified applicants that meet minimum experience or background requirements stated above need apply.

Resumes must include the following:

Work history
Previous experience in a same or similar position with the same or similar requirements
Professional references

If you are interested in being considered for this position, please APPLY THROUGH OUR ADP WEB PORTAL. The link is located on the job opening page of our website located at

Include your name in the document file name.
Sending your resume in readable (not scanned) PDF or Word format is preferred.
When applying for this position you will be asked to upload your resume at the end of this online application.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States, complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire, and successfully complete a federal government background check. Ocean Associates Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law.

OAI is a government contractor and is required by law to invite applicants to self-identify their race, gender, national origin, disability status and veteran status. OAI is required to use the information it collects as part of its future affirmative action efforts in hiring. The information is collected anonymously by computer and is not connected to your application. You will see a place to check certain boxes in OAIs online application. Even though the information is anonymous, self-identification is voluntary. You can always check the box that says you decline to self-identify.

Note: If you are not selected, your materials may be retained for present or future opportunities. We may use your resume in bidding on a project and if we are awarded the work we will contact you before seeking further applicants. If you do not wish us to retain or use your resume to seek work for you, please let us know in the Notes section on the second page of the online application.

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