Job Title: Program Coordinator, Hawaii Island

Department: Main Hawaiian Islands Program

Reports to: Senior Program Manager, Hawaii Island

Location: Hawaii Island, USA; must be authorized to work in the US

Status: Full-time, exempt employee

About the Coral Reef Alliance

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’s Clean Water for Reefs project addresses land-based sources of pollution such as sedimentation and sewage. Our Hawaii Program leads the effort of addressing sewage impacts from cesspools to humans and coral reefs.  With a mission to empower local communities with quality-assured data and to remove sewage from the shoreline, CORAL leads the Hawaii Wai Ola Citizen Science network and the Puako Clean Water for Reefs project. We operate with a collaborative network of organizations and individuals from academia, industry professionals, government, and community members. This new position will help expand our current program and contribute to the efforts of the Clean Water for Reefs program. 

Position Description

The Program Coordinator is a dynamic position that works directly with the Hawaii Island Senior Program Manager to help advance CORAL’s goals and project objectives, and contribute to strategic planning and implementation. The ideal candidate is highly organized, has strong partnership-building abilities, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to work both independently and as part of a team. They will have a willingness to learn new skills and approach tasks with enthusiasm. Background knowledge in sanitation, wastewater, or community-driven projects is helpful but not required.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Oversee South Kohala Regional water quality sampling: coordinate between volunteers and laboratories, lead monthly field events, maintain/store equipment, data tracking and management.
  • Coordinate partnership meetings and outreach for Hawaii Wai Ola and Hawaii Island program needs; secure venue, take meeting minutes and action items, follow-up with attendees as needed.
  • Develop communications and outreach material to advance project needs; co-develop Clean Water for Reefs Puako newsletter; manage Hawaii Wai Ola social media stories and posts; manage email communications and data requests; contribute to reports, slide decks, and training materials. 
  • Lead field sampling events, coordinate field teams, and oversee regional data management; lead training events and train volunteers under the Quality Assurance Project Plan; oversee laboratory purchasing and equipment maintenance; increase frequency of monthly sampling and expand the citizen science network to new regions. 
  • Track work plans and expenditures to meet grant and project goals and deliverables.
  • Help maintain strategic partnerships and collaborate with individuals, government officials, NGOs, communities, and other stakeholders in a respectful and curious way to advance CORAL’s objectives.

Working Conditions

This position involves working outdoors in various locations on Hawaii Island, including but not limited to 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.

Minimum Qualifications

The Program Coordinator is expected to possess the necessary knowledge and skills to manage day-to-day activities and work effectively across multiple cultures and contexts to achieve coral reef conservation goals. The minimum required qualifications for this position include: 

  • BA/BS degree in a relevant field; an equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered
  • At least three years of relevant experience in the Hawaiian Islands coordinating field events, data management, working with local communities and collaborating between networks 
  • At least three years of experience working with communities in Hawaii, including knowledge of Hawaiian ecosystems and aloha aina values
  • Previous field experience; guiding, leading, coordinating field excursions following project design; standard operating procedures and QA/QC protocols 
  • Experience with two or more of the following: water quality monitoring, coral reef ecology, underwater coral reef monitoring including remote sensing and GIS, coastal conservation, natural resources management and/or policy
  • Excellent collaboration skills and cross-cultural sensitivity, with ability to build consensus with individuals in other countries and across organizations 
  • Demonstrated experience in desk-based research skills (e.g., synthesizing existing documents, preparing written reports, etc.) 
  • Prior experience or willingness to learn tracking budgets across multiple grants and projects 
  • Commitment to CORAL’s mission, and ability to work independently without day-to-day supervision 
  • Excellent organizational and prioritization skills; ability to efficiently and manage day-to-day responsibilities over multiple and diverse projects simultaneously 
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to effectively communicate with audiences from a variety of disciplines, cultures, and backgrounds Ability to work a flexible schedule, including mornings, evenings, and weekends with willingness to adjust hours to accommodate the needs of the job
  • Valid U.S. driver’s license and reliable access to a vehicle required
  • Physical abilities required for this position include the ability to swim, snorkel, and lift up to 50 lbs. 
  • CORAL requires all employees to be fully vaccinated prior to the start of employment unless they are prequalified by HR for exemption from this requirement.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working internationally and with coalitions and diverse and interdisciplinary teams
  • CPR/First Aid certified 
  • Scientific Diver certification 
  • Lab experience 
  • Proficient in Microsoft Excel, data management, tracking, and analysis
  • Sanitation and water quality experience


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.  Compensation is commensurate with experience.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should submit their resume and cover letter as one document to with “Hawaii Island Program Coordinator” in the subject line.  Application review will be rolling, prioritizing those received before August 25, 2022. Please note that we only have the capacity to respond to applicants with whom we would like to interview. No phone calls or follow-up requests 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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