Marine Mammal Science Job Openings

Stranding Coordinator

Job Category: Paid Staff Position
Date Posted:

Stranding Coordinator

Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge – Navarre, FL

Job Description: As Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge continues to grow and move forward in the next phase of our development, we have reimagined the role of our Stranding Coordinator to reflect more of the managerial and scientific duties that are required of this position. ECWR’s stranding team responds to more than 20 cetacean strandings per year and participates in full and partial necropsies, transporting live animals to appropriate rehabilitation facilities, collaborates with partner facilities and networks, and responds to and documents dead sea turtle occurrences within our specific range. While some work will and must be done during “normal business hours” at ECWR property, some can and may need to be completed remotely and/or during unconventional hours in the field. In addition, the Stranding Coordinator must be on-call 24/7/365 to respond to all stranded marine mammals and sea turtles in our response area and to conduct initial exams, provide triage, and help maintain health of the animals in transport. The stranding coordinator will also be responsible for building and expanding the future of the stranding program, in partnership with other staff members, to help ensure the longevity of his/her AND ECWR’s current and future efforts. Below are the anticipated job duties and approximate percentages of each, with the understanding that no two work weeks will be the same and that these responsibilities can change at any time. ECWR expects the Stranding Coordinator to promote a strong and positive team environment both within the organization and with collaborating facilities. This position is fully contingent on continued grant funding, proper reporting to grantors, and positive working relationships with grantors and partner organizations. While interviews may begin immediately upon job posting, this position will only be filled once the appropriate candidate has been located and anticipated grant funding finalized. Interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to apply, with the understanding that it is an ongoing process with an undetermined exact start date.

Necropsies & Data Management (20%)
o Maintains necropsy supplies
o Serves as primary prosector, conducting full and partial necropsies on cetaceans as necessary, following current NOAA guidelines
o Collect, draft, and report essential Level A, B, C, & HI data to the national NOAA database
o Work with state, federal, & partner agencies in processing necropsy samples, entering data into appropriate databases & reporting activities to appropriate permitting agencies to ensure data reporting requirements are met and permit compliance is maintained
o Collect samples, send for processing and data collection or analysis, and properly dispose of animal remains
o Collect data, complete necropsy reports, and document all details & photos for each necropsy

Stranding Responses & Data Management (30%)
o Maintain and acquire stranding supplies
o Work closely with partner organizations, government officials and other non-governmental organizations to coordinate stranding efforts throughout the Emerald Coast
o Build professional working relationships with other agencies, partner organizations, and/or regional stakeholders
o Monitor & respond to 24-hour Stranding Hotline
o Coordinate marine mammal and sea turtle stranding or sighting responses and serve as the lead responder for all marine mammal strandings including all details involved with volunteers, equipment/materials and supplies potentially required, and necessary arrangements for the specific situation’s details such as species or condition
o Collect and document details, photos, etc. for each response as necessary, including proper reporting to NMFS and/or FWC or other agencies as needed

Education & Outreach (15%)
o Representing ECWR & the Stranding Program at outreach and educational opportunities and events across northwest Florida
o Develop and deliver educational outreach efforts at local beaches, piers, and other public locations to engage the public and increase awareness of ECWR’s work as well as increasing public knowledge on marine ecosystems, species, and what to do when an animal may be in distress

Volunteer Management (15%)
o Coordinate & supervise marine mammal stranding team volunteers, including scheduling, training, record keeping, and achievements
o Maintain and develop training opportunities for stranding team volunteers as well as relevant regional stakeholders or partners

Scientific Research & Contribution (10%)
o Consult with other agencies, and as appropriate, contribute to ongoing research through sample analysis or cooperation
o Attend professional development conferences or meetings, as relevant, potentially presenting findings or collaborations at that time
o Collect and analyze scientific data collected from stranding responses in our area, potentially with the intent for publication

Other Management, Development, & Administrative Duties (10%)
o Develops annual budget for the stranding team department, in cooperation with the Executive Director
o Order supplies, according to the established budget and maintain current or future vendor agreements
o Ensure vehicle maintenance is up to date and that all equipment is in working order
o Participate in grant writing, or other fundraising as required or needed
o Social Media & Website Content Contribution
 Updating, editing, and maintaining the stranding related pages and events on the ECWR website
 Create and post interesting and informational social media posts and participating in the management of social media communications
o Develop and submit timely reports as required by ECWR or funding sources
o Cultivate relationships with a diverse population of community members & partners
o Identify and develop relationships with potential community partners
o Communicate and plan with other staff members, especially in relation to off-site work such as strandings, education events, etc.
o Assist in all areas of refuge operations as directed or needed
o Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director

Job Skills, Personality Traits, & Qualifications: Positive outlook and joyful attitude with great customer focus. Ability to multi-task. Be welcoming and engaging to volunteers, visitors, interns, and/or students of all ages/abilities. Creative, organized, professional, project management skills, efficient, self-starter, initiative. Proactively anticipate & efficiently solve problems. Project management skills & desire to learn.

Required Qualifications:
o Bachelor’s degree in biology, marine science, zoology, wildlife ecology or related field.
o Minimum 1 year of hands-on experience in animal care/rehabilitation with wildlife, including marine mammals and sea turtles.
o Minimum 3 years of experience with marine mammal and sea turtle stranding response.
o Experience leading marine mammal necropsies.
o Knowledge of vertebrate anatomy, dissection, and necropsy techniques.
o Comfortable working in and around water and operating vehicles around coastal environments (ie: beach driving, trailering, boat driving, kayaking, etc).
o Must possess a valid driver’s license.
o Proficient in Microsoft Office programs.
o Experience with public speaking (ie: oral presentations) and communication of complex biological concepts (ie: training workshops).
o Strong verbal and written communication skills.
o Knowledge of federal regulations (ie: Marine Mammal Protection & Endangered Species Acts).
o Familiarity with MMPA, NOAA/NMFS, and FWC legislation & local, state, and national stranding protocols.
o Ability to work long hours in between breaks or meals.
o Ability to work under and handle stress appropriately.
o Must be willing to have flexible hours, including weekends and holidays.
o Must be able to work unsupervised and with a team.
o Must be able to lift, push, drag, or pull a minimum of 50 lbs.
o Ability to work in various weather conditions, including extreme outdoor temperatures or situations or severe weather events.

Preferred Qualifications:
o Experience leading sea turtle necropsies.
o Possess a valid boater’s license.
o Experience providing training to volunteers and/or staff.
o First aid/CPR, HAZWOPER, and SCUBA certifications.
o Prior grant writing and research experience.

Additional Qualification: NOAA requires individuals in our Stranding Agreement possess the following:
1. Experience conducting or observing complete necropsies (on a minimum of 6 marine mammal with at least 3 of those necropsies on Code 2 animals).
2. Ability to obtain accurate Level A stranding data & conduct basic tissue sample (Level B) collection.
3. Knowledge and experience complying with Level A data reporting requirements.
4. Knowledge and experience complying with sampling protocols, sample processing, and shipment procedures.
5. Experience responding to a minimum of 5 live marine mammal stranding events.
6. Experience providing triage and/or transport for a minimum of 3 live stranding marine mammals during separate stranding events.
7. Knowledge and experience monitoring marine mammal vital signs.

Please ensure your resume or cover letter describes how you meet these requirements, include the species of marine mammal stranding responses/necropsies and whether you led, assisted and/or attended.

Salary: This job is a full time, salaried position, at $33,488.00 per year.
Reports to: Executive Director
We are committed to providing staff with fulfilling opportunities to learn, grow and make an impact in their local communities. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

After reviewing the required qualifications and ensuring you have those required qualifications, please submit the following:
• A cover letter
• A resume/CV
• 3 professional references
Applications are accepted via email only and may be sent to Crystie Baker, ECWR Executive Director, at Once the interview process begins, qualified applicants will be contacted directly.