Program Lead - Monitoring & Science


Reports To: Program Manager – Management Conference

Who We Are

Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) is a non-regulatory program of the U.S. EPA and a division of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. It is one of 28 programs around the country working to safeguard and improve the health of some of the nation’s most important coastal waters.

For more than a quarter century, the MBNEP has worked to promote the wise stewardship of Alabama’s estuaries and coast. To achieve this, MBNEP brings together community members, government agencies, businesses, nonprofits, academics, and other key partners to develop and implement a management plan--a scientific blueprint or long-term plan (the CCMP) prescribing specific actions to address water quality, living resource and community resilience challenges of Coastal Alabama. MBNEP is guided by a Management Conference of more than 300 local leaders and stakeholders.

From large-scale watershed restorations to scientific monitoring, citizen input, local capacity building, invasive species eradication, scientific monitoring, pollution prevention and reduction, and citizen education—MBNEP focuses on protecting what people value about living on the Alabama coast: Access; shorelines; fish and wildlife; heritage and culture; ecosystem resilience, and water quality.

Job Description
The Monitoring & Science Program Lead has 4 primary responsibilities:
1. Build and support the Science Advisory Committee through recruitment of resource managers and scientists who can help guide the development and implementation of a program to measure the status and trends of floral and faunal health throughout Alabama’s estuaries and coast
2. Engage science advisory community in supporting CCMP-related initiatives
3. Provide program development including but not limited to drafting, research, analysis, facilitation, and funding of projects identified in the requisite section of the CCMP and related recommendations from watershed plans
4. Educate target audiences about issues affecting the Alabama coast and activities being undertaken to mitigate stress on coastal resources.

Essential Functions

Science Advisory Committee

• Serve as the key staff liaison for all aspects of committee engagement
• Engage committee members to provide their time, expertise, and updates on matters related to scientific understanding of ecosystem function and services and their status and trends
• Cultivate relationships with committee members and recruit new ones as needed
• Facilitate all aspects of quarterly committee meetings with support from relevant staff members
• Work with committee chairs to plan for and evaluate effectiveness of committee in implementing relevant strategies of the CCMP

Engage Resource Management & Science Sector in Support of CCMP Initiatives

• Cultivate relationships within the resource management and science sector by educating on the value of the MBNEP and building partnerships to continuously improve environmental management across Alabama’s two coastal counties
• Lead the solicitation and development of resources (grants, sponsorships and other in-kind) to support CCMP initiatives
• Identify and recruit resource management and science interests to partner in the development and implementation of CCMP initiatives
• Manage partner relationships through consistent communication of project activities and results
• Proactively seek out new resource management and science partners

Program Development and Implementation

• Work with committee to develop, prioritize, and address data gaps identified in watershed management plans
• Work with Science Advisory Committee to prioritize and develop plans for addressing data and information gaps identified in watershed management plans focusing on key biological, ecological, hydrogeological, and spatial-data assumptions and uncertainties (gaps in data)
• Coordinate the continuous improvement of environmental monitoring programs across the Alabama coast
• Coordinate monitoring activities of all restoration projects; compile, analyze and interpret data to communicate status and trends on a regular basis and ensure the scientific validity of any communications
• Lead development of, review and/or submission of monitoring plans and quality assurance program plans (QAPP) for MBNEP related projects that involve a data gathering component
• Working with Restoration Program, participate in baseline and post-construction monitoring of projects and coordinate with contractors to determine what, if any, additional data is needed to meet project target goals
• Assist with environmental assessments across the MBNEP service area
• Review data from MBNEP-funded contractors and scientists to assure quality control
• Coordinate the application of a watershed condition index as a tool for measuring environmental health at the HUC-12 scale
• Implement the stressor evaluation framework on issues of environmental concern and strategize how best to deliver results of evaluations.
• Create maps using GIS platforms to convey available data on restoration needs and environmental trends across the MBNEP study area
• Prepare and promote SAC recommendations for scalable, standardized, integrated, comprehensive monitoring program and periodic evaluation of program’s effectiveness

Educate Target Audiences

• Use special events, including but not limited to, tours and other site visits to communicate the value of MBNEP’s initiatives
• Produce information and materials to increase the public’s awareness of estuary status and trends in the community using, but not limited to, geospatial maps
• Assist with the planning, design, and implementation of MBNEP publications to report on status and trends of the estuary
• Coordinate, support, and provide program updates to appropriate management conference committees as needed
• Participate in activities to assess/update priority issues that the public perceives are important (assist with gathering community input)
• Assist with the design and execution of workshops, seminars, public meetings related to issues of concern
• Present the results/findings of MBNEP supported projects and monitoring at professional conferences and symposia of state, regional, and national levels
• Coordinate the development and distribution of a periodic State of the Bay Report
• Other technical writing as needed

Qualifications (experience and skills)

• A minimum of 5 years of experience in environmental field assessments, monitoring data analysis or other related fields
• Experience in the use of Geographical Information Systems and database management is required
• Effective communication through cartography is preferred
• Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing to a wide range of individuals and groups
• Ability to work with minimal supervision.

Qualifications (education)

• Minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences (Ecology, Biology, or other related focus)

Additional Information

• MBNEP is a small office, and as such, all staff are expected to participate in various aspects of office management, including but not limited, answering of telephones, preparing purchase orders or requisitions, greeting visitors, organizing inventory, etc.

Closing Date: Position will be open until filled. If interested, please send a cover letter and resume to the attention of: Ms. Roberta Arena Swann, Director, and email to Tiffany England at

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program/Dauphin Island Sea Lab is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. DISL does not discriminate based on race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, or disability.