Ocean Systems Scientist

Company Details

Building a better future together

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace where innovation and results are a way of life.

EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We seek talented candidates who share our Core Values of Respect, Results, Innovation, Optimism, and Integrity, and support our Commitment to Diversity.  

Healthy oceans are the lifeblood of our planet. But they’re in peril – from climate change, overfishing, habitat destruction and other threats. That’s why EDF’s Oceans program is working to safeguard the oceans and protect nature, while feeding the planet, creating more secure livelihoods, and bolstering more equitable societies for human well-being. One of the greatest threats to the oceans is overfishing, which is why our dedicated team of scientists, economists and fishery management experts are collaborating with partners around the globe to make sustainable fishing the norm. Through our programs in the U.S., Latin America, and Asia Pacific, we draw on strong science and economic principles to advance sustainable fishing practices, forward-looking policies and innovative tools that support the health of our oceans and the people who depend on them for food and their livelihoods.

Overall Function

Under the supervision of the Senior Director of Oceans Science, the Oceans Program seeks a Ph.D. scientist to work collaboratively with other EDF scientists, economists, and program experts to help develop and advocate science-based, economically sound, fair, and equitable environmental solutions, focused on attaining ocean climate resilience.  The Scientist will work closely with scientists from across EDF on large-scale, multidisciplinary issues such as building ecosystem resilience, optimizing co-benefits across complex systems, conducting landscape analyses and system mapping. Research priorities will include identifying strategies to build resilience to climate change across the socio-economic aspects of various fisheries, analyzing management interventions and strategies suited to fisheries in a changing climate, and building sustainable and resilient global food systems.

Key Responsibilities

  • Researching priority topics and carrying out systems analyses to develop a firm foundation for high-impact engagements
  • Creating new approaches and tools that help EDF staff and others solve priority problems and  implement working examples in the field
  • Providing scientific support on priority projects to field staff and partner organizations
  • Working to expand scientific capacity in key regions, including leading and participating in training workshops and peer exchanges
  • Publishing in peer-reviewed literature
  • Participating in scientific and marine conservation conferences and working groups; staying abreast of relevant literature
  • Communicating results to key internal and external audiences
  • Leading and mentoring research assistants, interns, and fellows
  • Taking full responsibility for work planning and project implementation
  • Working effectively and collaboratively with colleagues across EDF
  • Participating in advancing EDF DEI goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values
  • Additional relevant responsibilities as assigned


  • Ph.D. in marine ecology, fisheries science, climate science or related field
  • Post-doctoral experience in applied marine ecology, ocean climate science or related field
  • Strong quantitative skills (statistical analysis, modeling, spatial analysis)
  • Ability to communicate complex ideas to a general audience in writing and orally
  • Field experience in fisheries or marine ecology
  • Field experience working directly with coastal communities, especially with vulnerable populations
  • Demonstrated capacity for carrying out several independent projects simultaneously
  • Experience in strategic planning and research in support of strategic planning; leadership of research projects; presentations at scientific conferences
  • High level of creativity and mastery of sophisticated analytical methods
  • Ability to think at a systems level about complex issues
  • Experience in publishing peer-reviewed papers and presenting at scientific conferences
  • Ability to synthesize, interpret, and communicate scientific data in an advocacy setting and for non-scientific populations
  • Experience in leadership of a research project, mentoring and collaboration
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant’s qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.

Tagged as: scientific support, marine ecology, fisheries science, climate science

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