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Coral Reef Conservation Program Biologist

August 21, 2012


Coral Reef Conservation Program Biologist
 National Marine Fisheries Service, Caribbean Field Office
Boquerón, Puerto Rico


I.M. Systems Group, Inc. (IMSG),, a Federal Government Contractor is submitting a proposal to work with the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program Office located in Boquerón, Puerto Rico.   We are currently looking for a candidate to fill a Biologist position that may become available after contract award.  The NOAA CRCP Biologist in the CFO will support the coordination and implementation of goals and objectives related to fishing, land-based sources of pollution, lack of awareness, and climate change and will collaborate with the USVI Coral Reef Ecologist to address fisheries-related goals, objectives, and plans for Puerto Rico.  Qualified candidates should be available to start work within two weeks’ notice and on or around September 17, 2012.


This position is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 and the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) through the work of the National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Regional Office, Protected Resources Division (PRD), Caribbean Field Office (CFO)

and will continue to provide management capability and the necessary level of professional support to facilitate the participation of the CFO in the CRCP and effectively implement the coral programs and Local Action Strategies (LAS) of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) to enhance the conservation and management of coral reef ecosystems.   This position will also complement other CRCP work in the Southeast Region being done by the Southeast Fisheries Science Center, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Caribbean Fishery Management Council (CFMC), federal and local government partners, universities, and others.



  • Provide technical oversight of internal CRCP-funded projects to ensure the Caribbean Field Office can fulfill its CRCP programmatic duties. 
  • Complete an inventory of completed, on-going, not-yet-started, and potential new fishing LAS projects in Puerto Rico. The review should evaluate current and historical projects, prioritize relevant projects, provide an assessment of completed projects, and provide a schedule for completion of ongoing projects.  The results will be shared with the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER), NOAA CRCP, and HCD, and the CFMC to identify and prioritize next steps.
  • Provide technical expertise and fishery input to support the adoption and implementation of management plans for Culebra, Guánica, Cabo Rojo, and the Northeast Corridor in coordination with DNER
  • Provide technical assistance to DNER toward the development of a strategic enforcement plan for the Maritime Rangers at priority sites in Puerto Rico in collaboration with the CRCP Community Education and Outreach position
  • Participate in the development and implementation of a Puerto Rico-wide seagrass resources characterization and mapping project by providing technical and field support for data gathering and analysis in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and DNER
  • Develop outreach presentations for Rangers and other law enforcement officers to explain the life history of fisheries species and the reasons for size limits and closed seasons, coral mass spawning the stressors that affect it, and the impacts of invasive species such as lionfish.  Hold meetings with small groups of Maritime Rangers and members of FURA to present materials, in particular in priority areas around Puerto Rico.  This project will be conducted in collaboration with the CRCP jurisdictional support position.
  • Attend and participate in Caribbean Fishery Management Council meetings, in particular advisory committee meetings in Puerto Rico as a non-voting member and in the education and outreach program of the CFMC, for the management of sustainable fisheries resources in Puerto Rico.
  • Provide technical expertise in a DNER-sponsored effort to analyze the effectiveness of existing marine reserves in fishery conservation
  • Develop outreach presentation for recreational and commercial fishers and the general public regarding the importance of protecting spawning aggregations in collaboration with the CRCP jurisdictional support position.  Participate in community meetings and other activities to present the information. 
  • Participate in LAS work groups for Fishing, Land-based Sources of Pollution, Lack of Awareness, and Recreational Overuse (and others appropriate to protected resources and fishery conservation) to represent protected resources and fishery management perspectives
  • Provide technical assistance in the areas of marine resource conservation and planning,  and fisheries science/ecology as part of the development of educational products for CRCP projects and the creation of proposals for the CRCP and partner agency programs
  • Assist in the development of internal proposals and project work plans for management projects in the Caribbean Field Office in support of Commonwealth and Territorial coral reef ecosystem conservation and management priorities. 
  • Evaluate proposed water resources development projects in estuarine and marine habitats to determine potential impacts to listed species and their habitat
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of conversation recommendations and/or reasonable and prudent measures that were included in the NMFS biological opinions and the issued permit for the project.



  • Master’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university with at least 20 semester hours in biology, ecology, fisheries biology, or marine biology, including biological and aquatic sciences, natural resource management, fisheries biology, conservation biology, marine biology, landscape ecology, or restoration ecology with experience in tropical systems, or equivalent experience.
  • Strong background in education and outreach, including at least 5 semester hours in communications, education, speech, or public speaking, or experience in the promotion of resource stewardship through stakeholder engagement, or equivalent experience.
  • Fluent in English and Spanish – reading, writing, and speaking. 
  • Demonstrated bilingual written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with non-scientists.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and comply with project deadlines.
  • Proficiency in the use of the Microsoft Office software suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Adobe Design Standard software suite.
  • Experience in research, monitoring, proposal writing and evaluation, and/or project evaluation as it relates to the marine environment preferred.
  • Experience with environmental laws and regulations and/or permitting preferred.


To Apply:

Please submit your resume, the contact information for three (3) references, your salary requirements and a cover letter explaining how your qualifications meet the requirements of the position to with the following subject line NOAA CRCP Biologist : . 


IMSG is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Veteran friendly.

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