JOB TITLE: Research Officer, Maui


REPORTS TO: Senior Program Manager, Maui

LOCATION: Maui, Hawaii; must be authorized to work in the US

STATUS: Full-time (exempt) preferred, part-time (non-exempt) possible; this is a 24-month term position with extension dependent on funding


The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization committed to saving the world’s coral reefs. We work at local, regional, and global scales to keep coral reefs healthy, so they can adapt to climate change and survive for generations to come. As one of the largest global NGOs focused exclusively on protecting coral reefs, CORAL has used cutting-edge science and community engagement for nearly 30 years to reduce direct threats to reefs and to promote scalable and effective solutions for their protection. Our Main Hawaiian Islands team is dedicated to translating science into action by building alliances with and across coral conservation efforts.


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 storm water 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 storm water before it reaches the ocean.

Further mauka in the mid-slope region, we recently launched a major multi-stakeholder project to restore streams and watershed function to reduce the amount of sediment and nutrients flowing to the ocean. We are working with farmers, Hawaiian communities, local nonprofits, private businesses, and the government to pilot watershed restoration techniques that combine modern technology with native vegetation and traditional agricultural practices. We are collaborating with experts to measure the effectiveness of these approaches and share these results and implementation procedures to help inform restoration efforts statewide.

Over the next few years, CORAL plans to leverage the success, knowledge and partnerships we have developed through our conservation projects to scale our impact across the Main Hawaiian Islands.

Position Description

We are seeking a motivated and resourceful individual to support our work on Maui as Research Officer. This role is ideally a full-time position, but we will consider candidates only available for part-time work as well. The Research Officer will ensure the successful execution of a monitoring plan that measures the impact of restoration activities designed to reduce sediment and nutrient pollution in Wahikuli and Honokōwai streams in West Maui. She/he/they will coordinate data collection activities by various parties and ensure protocols are followed to ensure data quality. This position reports to the Senior Program Manager, based on Maui.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Execute data collection for identified components of the monitoring plan. These are anticipated to include:
    • Monitoring sediment posts and erosion pins to measure sediment accumulation or loss from stream banks
    • Track and log in-stream turbidity data and ensure equipment is properly maintained
    • Photographic documentation of before and after pictures of installed restoration BMPs and monitoring of their performance over time
    • Recording survivorship and growth of plants
    • Collecting and analyzing video footage of streams following during storm events
    • Collecting and analyzing rain gauge and weather station data from partners
    • Collecting and analyzing photographic documentation of brown water events
    • Track satellite data from weather stations and turbidity monitors and upload to data storage website
  • Conduct data analysis, and communicate and present results, both visually and verbally; collect and collate data from partners on an as needed basis
  • Develop grant reports, as well as periodic reports for CORAL and stakeholders
  • Plan and prepare for field events and outreach activities; lead volunteers during field events and in data collection
  • Conduct literature reviews and research methodologies
  • Track information and deliverables for grants

Required Qualifications

The minimum required qualifications for this position include:

  • BA/BS degree in a natural science-related field, such as hydrology, geology, environmental science, soil science, or natural resources management.
  • Experience with maintaining, installing, monitoring, and troubleshooting water quality monitoring instruments, including:
    • Field experience with HOBO pressure transducers, turbidity probes, telemetric instrument installation, data loggers, and ISCO sampler units
    • Experience collecting, preparing, and analyzing water quality data
  • 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; 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
  • Strong work ethic and willingness to take ownership for wide-ranging responsibilities while exhibiting the utmost professionalism and discretion
  • A positive attitude, sense of humor, patience, commitment to candor, and desire to be a part of a collaborative team
  • Ability to work in hazardous steep terrain, hiking over several miles to project sites in all types of weather ranging from very hot and dry, to cold and rainy; the ability to swim, snorkel and lift up to 50 lbs.
  • Valid U.S. driver’s license and good driving record
  • Ability to safely drive a 4-wheel drive vehicle over steep unimproved roads
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, including mornings, evenings, and weekends, with willingness to adjust hours to accommodate the needs of the job; ability to work with fast turn-arounds, including mobilizing on short notice in order to document and capture storm events
  • Ability to work from a home office when not working in the field


This is a full-time, exempt, salaried position that offers a benefits package including medical, dental, vision, and disability insurance, 401K match, paid vacation, and paid holidays. Part-time employment available as a non-exempt, hourly position.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please submit your resume and cover letter as one document to with “Maui Research Officer” in the subject line. Application review will be rolling, prioritizing those received before January 21, 2022. Please note that we only have the capacity to respond to applicants with whom we would like to follow up. No phone calls please.

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

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