North Carolina Sea Grant provides research, education, and outreach opportunities relating to current issues affecting the North Carolina coast and its communities. It is an inter-institutional program of the University of North Carolina System established to optimize the environmental, social, and economic potential of the state, while maintaining long-term viability of coastal and marine resources, by funding high-quality research, extension, and education programming and related communications efforts.
Essential Job Duties
This Specialist will serve to support the development, expansion, and diversification of the North Carolina aquaculture industry, including shellfish, finfish, and algal species. The Specialist will accomplish this purpose through education and outreach, technology transfer, and applied research activities.
The Coastal Aquaculture Specialist is embedded in the coastal region to develop and maintain close working relationships with marine and freshwater aquaculture stakeholders.
This position is located in Morehead City, North Carolina
1. Work independently as well as closely with other individuals and entities to facilitate the expansion of sustainable and profitable state-level aquaculture industries (shellfish, finfish, aquatic plants, algae) through activities including but not limited to:
- Developing and regularly updating needs assessments to determine the needs of aquaculture stakeholders, as well as identifying emerging issues.
- Maintaining and establishing working relationships with existing stakeholders.
- Establishing public-private research partnerships that address specific, current limitations in aquaculture production, such as new and/or refined technologies that reduce mortality risk for aquaculture species, increase crop diversification, and optimize production efficiencies.
- Conducting policy research needed to make final decisions on specific questions regarding impacts to and from aquaculture.
- Increasing the understanding of the social, economic, and political issues associated with aquaculture.
- Working and integrating within Sea Grant team to leverage expertise in workforce development, economic assessment, water quality, etc. to benefit the North Carolina aquaculture industry.
2. Support aquaculture industry education and development through activities that include, but are not limited to:
- Assisting in development and organization of the annual N.C. Aquaculture Development Conference.
- Working closely with Carteret County Community College to establish a shellfish farming training program.
- Maintaining and expanding web-based information resources, working with Sea Grant communicators.
- Serving as a technical resource for the stakeholder associations such as the N.C. Shellfish Growers Association.
- Consulting with and providing information to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission, and other appropriate agencies, such as NOAA’s aquaculture enterprise.
- Collaborating in local, state, regional, and federal shellfish partnership efforts such as the North Carolina Shellfish Initiative.
- Participating on various appropriate committees.
3. Develop and monitor annual plan of work through activities such as monthly reporting, annual eSeaGrant extension project reporting, and annual self-evaluation, and through tracking of objective performance-based measures of success including but not limited to:
- The number of aquaculture industry stakeholders who modify their practices using knowledge gained as a result of Sea Grant activities.
- Measuring the economic impact of Sea Grant’s role in aquaculture (e.g., job creation and retention).
4. Participate in Sea Grant planning meetings and interdisciplinary projects.
5. Review ad hoc minigrant requests, core institutional research proposals, and final reports.
6. Assist university and agency researchers in proposal development, project implementation, and project reporting.
7. Develop extension and applied research proposals, soliciting project funding from external and internal sources.
8. Provide story topics and technical expertise for Sea Grant communications products.
Master’s degree in aquaculture, marine science, biological sciences or related natural resource field.
Three or more years of experience in aquaculture research, education, outreach, and/or technology transfer.
Departmental Required Skills
Ability to self-motivate, to work independently and as a member of a team, and to develop annual plans of work which have measurable outcomes.
The ability to communicate both orally and in writing, particularly as it pertains to interpreting/translating research-based technical information for the understanding and use by aquaculturists, coastal managers, and the public.
Proficiency in word processing, data manipulation and analysis, and communications computer skills.
Experience in securing external funding for aquaculture-related applied research and education projects.
Experience in developing productive partnerships and collaborations among aquaculture producers, seafood dealers and processors and consumers.
Frequent travel required in order to establish and maintain successful relationships with various stakeholders. Overnight and weekend travel as necessary.