Coastal Ecologist for NOAA NCCOS, Beaufort, NC

NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) seeks highly qualified candidates for a Coastal Ecologist position on an interdisciplinary research team of contract and federal employees. The position will support the NOAA NCCOS Marine Spatial Ecology Division (, which is a nationally recognized scientific research program that conducts spatial ecological analysis, statistical modeling, ecological forecasting, and predictive mapping to support marine ecosystem management, conservation, and spatial planning. The candidate will be employed via a contract to work in person as part of the Coastal Resilience, Restoration, and Assessment Branch located in Beaufort, North Carolina.

We seek candidates with experience in field-based ecological research and application of remote sensing techniques in coastal environments to help advance the utility of remote sensing for monitoring natural and nature-based features in coastal ecosystems. A strong background in marine sciences is preferred with specific experience in field monitoring and assessment surveys, as well acquiring, processing, and analyzing remotely sensed data.

Core Responsibilities

  • Conduct remote sensing surveys in a variety of coastal ecosystems, including salt marshes, oyster reefs, tidal creeks, and kelp forests using methods ranging from uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) to acoustic imaging.
  • Conduct in-situ ecological surveys using traditional methods, including transects, quadrats, net sampling, and GPS.
  • Spearhead data management and analysis using a suite of quantitative approaches to conduct accuracy assessments, detect change in indicator metrics, develop univariate and multivariate statistical models and generate visualization products.
  • Synthesize and interpret outputs and protocols in the context of applied management, conservation, and restoration scenarios.
  • Contribute to peer-reviewed publication(s), presentations, and reports.



  • Master’s degree in ecology, environmental sciences, biology, oceanography, conservation, or related field
  • Knowledge of marine science and coastal ecosystems
  • Experience conducting statistical analyses in R, Python, Matlab, or equivalent
  • Experience conducting geospatial analyses in ArcGIS
  • Ability to perform fieldwork in remote and harsh environments, often on small boats, and lift over 50 lbs
  • Experience with standard productivity software platforms including but not limited to Microsoft Office (i.e., MS Word, MS Excel, MS Powerpoint) and the Adobe Creative Suite (e.g., Photoshop, Acrobat, Lightroom, Premier Pro)
  • Highly-organized, detail-oriented, and able to multi-task and manage time to achieve project objectives, meet deadlines, and work independently and collaboratively.
  • Non-U.S. citizens must possess current documentation authorizing employment in the United States and meet the minimum security requirements for access to federal facilities
  • A National Agency Check and Inquiries (NACI) background check and fingerprinting will be required.

Preferred skills:

  • Experience conducting remote sensing in coastal ecosystems
  • Experience conducting geospatial analyses in ArcGIS
  • Experience in two- and three-dimensional image analysis techniques like photogrammetry or video annotation
  • Experience conducting ecological synthesis, such as literature reviews and meta-analyses
  • Strong organizational and data management skills including experience working with large data sets and computationally complex tasks;
  • Demonstrated excellence in written and oral scientific communication
  • Experience with small boat operations
  • Scientific research diving experience (AAUS or equivalent)

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