Department: Programs

Reports to: Project Manager

Status: Full-time, exempt employee

Position Location: Maui – must be located on Maui, or on another Hawaiian island and able to travel to Maui intermittently

About the Coral Reef Alliance

The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is a non-profit, environmental NGO focused on saving the world’s coral reefs. CORAL combines science-based solutions with effective community-driven conservation. CORAL is actively expanding the scientific understanding of how corals adapt to climate change and using that information to develop conservation strategies to give corals around the world the best chance of surviving climate change. To discover more about CORAL’s work to save the world’s reefs, click around our website.

Our Work in Hawai’i

CORAL has more than a decade of experience working in the Main Hawaiian Islands on coral reef conservation. Currently, our work focuses on our Clean Water for Reefs Initiative, with an emphasis on preventing land-based sources of pollution from entering streams and groundwater which eventually lead to the ocean.

In West Maui, our work focuses on restoring natural filtration processes within watersheds. We take a “ridge to reef” approach to restore the natural function of an ahupua‘a (watershed) to filter stormwater and absorb nutrients, sediments and other chemicals. At the shoreline (makai), we provide guidance to shoreline property owners, the tourism industry, and Maui County on how to implement reef-friendly landscaping using low impact design (LID) to naturally filter stormwater before it reaches the ocean. 

Position Description

CORAL is seeking a motivated and resourceful individual to support our work in Maui Nui. The ideal candidate has analytical strengths and the ability to problem solve. This role will be vital to ensuring successful execution of conservation strategies within the Clean Water for Reefs Initiative. The Maui Research Coordinator will work closely with the Maui Program Manager and Project Manager in implementing a three year grant awarded by NOAA Coastal Zone Management (CZM) office to restore portions of the Olowalu Stream on Maui and restore two ancient fishponds in Molokai. 

This role has autonomy over the research portions of the project and has the ability to make decisions based on expertise she / he brings to the team. The Research Officer may oversee a Field Technician for additional support in implementing the monitoring program.

This position is an exciting opportunity to join a growing team working on cutting edge conservation strategies that will create lasting benefits for coral reefs in Hawaiʻi and across the globe.

General Responsibilities

  1. Coordinate field logistics and deploy and install monitoring equipment
  2. Conduct literature review and research methodologies and consult experts when needed
  3. Purchase and maintain research equipment 
  4. Develop, update, and maintain research databases and monitoring schedules 
  5. Work with development team to create visualizations of findings 
  6. Plan and prepare for events
  7. Assist in grant reporting and track information and deliverables

Detailed Work Plan

In partnership with community partners and the CORAL team, the CZM Research Coordinator is responsible for the following deliverables associated with the CZM grant. CORAL is responsible for providing the Research Coordinator with the tools and means necessary to carry out these deliverables. 

  • Scout and GPS locations for native planting, purchase and install monitoring equipment
  • Conduct aerial photography surveys and use surveys to inform restoration activities (coordinate through contractor or conduct using a drone)
  • Basic water quality monitoring within streams, fishpongs, and lo’i kalo (includes purchasing equipment, identifying parameters, and implementing a monitoring schedule)
  • Evaluate and document conditions of restoration sites after any large storm events 
  • Conduct bathymetric mapping of two fishponds to showcase sediment accumulation and invasive algae before and after restoration, using data to inform plan for removal
  • Deploy sediment traps, temperature sensors / data loggers (HOBO and Tidbits) and conduct turbidity monitoring; implement monitoring schedule
  • Monitor sediment grain size change and perform core sample analysis
  • Train community partners on monitoring methods 
  • Maintain databases and analyze data to work with team in communicating results of data to partners and community

Required Qualifications and Skills

The minimum required qualifications include BA/BS degree in a physical science-related field, such as geology, marine biology, environmental science, soil science, and hydrology. 

Additionally, the Research Officer must have:

  • 3+ years of experience
  • Excellent organizational and prioritization skills, including developing and maintaining research plans and coordinating with multiple collaborators.
  • Resourcefulness and ability to work proactively; ability to complete tasks independently, efficiently, and in a timely manner; and the ability to work effectively with a remote team.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to effectively communicate with individuals from a variety of disciplines, cultures and backgrounds. 
  • The position requires the successful candidate to have a valid U.S Driver’s license and good driving record. 
  • The position requires that the successful candidate be able to perform field work in hot dry and sometimes wet conditions, as well as the ability to swim, snorkel and lift 50 lbs. 
  • Flexibility and willingness to work in situations of flux; ability to work in a fast turn-around environment.
  • Strong work ethic and willingness to take ownership for wide-ranging responsibilities while exhibiting the utmost professionalism and discretion.
  • Ability to work in a home office.
  • Someone based in West Maui or Molokai preferred. Must be based in Hawaiʻi.
  • Authorized to work in the USA.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ability to think analytically and problem solve and a willingness to ask questions
  • Commitment to process excellence, efficiency and accountability
  • A sense of humor, commitment to candor and desire to be a part of a collaborative team
  • Patience and exceptional listening skills 
  • Energetic, hard-working, and a team player
  • Presents a positive, enthusiastic, professional image both internally and externally
  • Discretion with confidential information

Working Conditions

The Research Officer may work in variable weather conditions, at remote outdoor locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, coastal and marine environments and vessels, and under physically demanding circumstances that may require considerable physical exertion and/or muscular strain. Work conditions may require international and domestic travel including to remote island areas, the mainland US, neighboring and other islands or nations. Additionally, the work may be performed independently without day-to-day supervision.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should submit their resume and cover letter as one document to with “Maui Research Coordinator” in the subject line.  

Please note that due to the volume of applications expected, we are not able to respond to each individual applicant. The position will be open until filled, an immediate start date is preferred.

Compensation and Work Schedule

This is a full-time exempt position compensated within a salary range of $5000 – $5500 monthly. CORAL offers a compensation package including medical benefits, 401k matching, generous paid time off packaging, 12 holidays, Employee Assistance Program, and more. Additionally, we offer a mileage reimbursement program for personal vehicle use.

We offer a flexible working schedule where the successful candidate can set their own working hours as long as they are able to attend necessary meetings.

The Coral Reef Alliance is committed to workforce diversity. Qualified applicants will receive full consideration without regard to age, race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, health status, or national origin.

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