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Chief Science and Education Officer

Alaska SeaLife Center

Management Staff


Contact: Allison Fong, The Foraker Group
Located in the city of Seward, the Alaska SeaLife Center opened its doors in 1998 with a mission to generate and share scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency was incorporated in 1990 as the Seward Association for the Advancement of Marine Science (SAAMS). The Alaska SeaLife Center is the only facility in Alaska that combines a public aquarium with marine research, education, and wildlife response, and is the only permanent marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation facility in Alaska.

Job Summary

Date Posted:   3 weeks ago Closing Date:   July 31, 2021
Location:   Seward, AK Salary: $100,000.00 - $135,000.00 Exempt; salary
Status:   Full time
Benefits:
The Alaska SeaLife Center offers a competitive benefits package.
How to Apply:
To apply, email your credentials to ASLCsearch@forakergroup.org. Applicants should include a resume and cover letter describing interest and qualifications. For questions, contact lead recruiter Allison Fong at ASLCsearch@forakergroup.org. Communications will be treated in confidence, and resumes will be accepted until position is filled. Resume reviews begin immediately.

Job Description

Position Profile

Chief Science and Education Officer | Alaska SeaLife Center | Seward, Alaska

 

The Position: Chief Science and Education Officer

The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) seeks an experienced and collaborative leader to serve as its Chief Science and Education Officer (CSEO). As a new position at ASLC, the CSEO represents an investment in the growth of the science department and the importance of collaborative science and education programs. The Chief Science and Education Officer will partner with the CEO, Board, and staff to set and execute a vision for science at ASLC, including generating funds to support ASLC’s growth. The ideal candidate will be a relationship builder with demonstrated experience cultivating and maintaining lasting collaborations and partnerships. They will not just embrace the Alaska SeaLife Center’s scientific and educational mission, but also demonstrate an ability to share that mission internally and externally, furthering the impact of ASLC.

 

The Organization

Located in the city of Seward, the Alaska SeaLife Center opened its doors in 1998 with a mission to generate and share scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency was incorporated in 1990 as the Seward Association for the Advancement of Marine Science (SAAMS). The Alaska SeaLife Center is the only facility in Alaska that combines a public aquarium with marine research, education, and wildlife response, and is the only permanent marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation facility in Alaska.

With an annual operating budget of $8 million dollars, ASLC generates revenues from a combination of visitor admissions, grants, and donations. It has a core staff of 75 year-round employees and grows to over 100 in the summer with seasonal staff and interns. The Chief Science and Education Officer’s team consists of seven full-time education staff including a Senior Education Manager, and three PhD-level scientists, two research associates, and one research administrator.

 

Alaska SeaLife Center Programs

Three primary programs serve ASLC’s mission. The CSEO has direct responsibility over the science and education programs and collaborates with the wildlife response program.

·       Science Program: ASLC’s science program is committed to understanding the role of marine mammals, birds, and fish (upper trophic level species) in the arctic and subarctic marine ecosystems, and to generating scientific knowledge relevant to resource management and policy. Science projects focus on Alaska marine life and environments but reach globally with international collaborations.

·       Education Program: The Alaska SeaLife Center serves as a window into the world of marine science providing visitors with exhibits and programs designed to foster ocean literacy and stewardship. ASLC education programs connect people of all ages to Alaska’s marine ecosystems in meaningful ways, offering year-round programs online and on-site for students and teachers to engage with ASLC scientists and researchers.

·       Wildlife Response Program: The Alaska SeaLife Center is the only institution authorized under federal permits to rescue and rehabilitate stranded marine mammals in Alaska. The main goals of this program are to learn from live and dead stranded animals to better understand wild populations and to maintain capacity to respond to natural or manmade disasters.

 

Alaska SeaLife Center Strategic Priorities

The Alaska SeaLife Center is currently operating under a 2021-2026 strategic plan. The incoming CSEO will be part of the leadership team executing the plan. Long-term strategic priorities include:

·       Leadership: Become a respected nonprofit organization with sound governance and a reputation for achieving results.

·       Sustainability: Build a sustainable organization with a predictable mix of funding, while operating efficiently.

·       Partnerships: Become a partner of choice for organizations that will help us achieve our mission.

·       Engagement: Maintain a passion for the Alaska SeaLife Center in stakeholders especially within Alaska and Seward.

 

The Chief Science and Education Officer Leadership Opportunity

Creating this new senior leadership position represents the commitment of the Alaska SeaLife Center to invest in and grow the science department and to amplify the importance of collaborative science and education programs. At this exciting time, the CSEO will partner with the CEO, board, and staff to set and execute a vision and strategy for science at the Center. The ideal candidate will build on ASLC’s niche position in Alaska marine science, establishing shared goals between education and science departments that encourage collaboration and maximize outreach with all of the Center’s various audiences.

The incoming CSEO will lead a team of experienced educators and scientists who will look to the CSEO for collaboration, mentoring, and leadership. The CSEO will be part of the Alaska SeaLife Center’s senior management team and will demonstrate a Center-wide understanding that engages all ASLC staff members in the mission. The CSEO will foster a collaborative atmosphere among departments, motivating people to work across disciplines toward integrative results.

The CSEO will be a relationship-builder who cultivates strategic partnerships across Alaska and with other research facilities, aquariums, and agencies to generate and share scientific knowledge of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. To advance the work of the science and education programs and support their growth, this position will focus their energy in pursuit of collaborative grant and fundraising opportunities.  

 

Twelve to Eighteen Month Priorities

The incoming Chief Science and Education Officer will focus on the following priorities over the first twelve to eighteen months:

·       Revitalize and grow science and research programs in alignment with the vision and strategy, including recruiting two PhD-level scientists and mentoring the existing team of scientists.

·       Create a strong junction between the science and education departments.

·       Shepherd funding efforts already in process, including a $25 million education and outreach proposal in response to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council (EVOSTC) FY21-32 invitation for proposals.

·       In partnership with the CEO and Board, reengage a Scientific Advisory Committee and/or establish a Mission Advisory Committee.

·       Cultivate and diversify local and national partnerships to advance mission impact, including within the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

·       Build relationships and communication channels across the Center.

 

Key Responsibilities

The Chief Science and Education Officer nurtures and promotes the mission of ASLC and provides leadership for the science and education programs, creating a cohesive team, and integrating efforts for greater mission impact. Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

·       Champions overall science-related content of the ASLC strategic and annual plan.

·       Develops and implements a strategic science plan for ASLC, including staffing, funding, partnerships, and measurable results.

·       Raises funds to support science and education at ASLC through two distinct strategies: 1) strategically assesses, pursues, and manages competitive grants; and 2) works collaboratively with the development team to pursue corporate and foundation funding.

·       Actively participates on the senior management team, including attendance at Board of Directors meetings.

·       Serves as staff liaison to the Scientific Advisory Committee and/or Mission Advisory Committee. Works with the CEO to form committees and prepare agendas.

·       Creates collaborations with external partners, e.g., within Association of Zoos and Aquariums, universities, Alaska Native communities and organizations, federal and state government organizations, and nonprofit education and conservation organizations.

·       Represents ASLC at conferences and meetings, sharing scientific knowledge that promotes understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems.

·       Promotes the unique capacity and location of the ASLC facility for research and education.

·       Directly supervises the Senior Education Manager and personnel within the science department. Inspires, develops, and mentors science and education staff.

·       Fosters a collaborative atmosphere among departments that motivates multi-disciplinary and integrative results.

 

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will preferably possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences. Candidates who possess several of the following attributes are encouraged to apply:

·       Demonstrated commitment to generating and sharing knowledge of science to promote understanding and stewardship of marine ecosystems.

·       Relationship-builder with experience building and maintaining lasting collaborations and partnerships.

·       Proven fundraiser, with experience writing and managing competitive grants.

·       Ten or more years of experience in science or science education fields, including at least seven years of experience creating, managing, leading, and mentoring a high-performing, collaborative team.

·       Ph.D. degree in education, marine biology, zoology, wildlife biology, or a related field, preferred.

·       Demonstrated experience setting and implementing a vision, and inspiring and motivating others in pursuit of a strategic direction.

·       Inclusive leadership style that empowers and elevates all team members to perform at their highest level.

·       Knowledge and appreciation of Alaska’s unique people and environment.

·       Presents information clearly to a variety of audiences.

·       Ability to interact effectively with staff, senior management, and outside organizations, demonstrating a high degree of emotional intelligence.

·       Ability to cultivate and maintain relationships with diverse individuals and situations, including small local communities and with international partners.

·       Passionate about sharing scientific knowledge and discoveries with students and the public.

 

Alaska SeaLife Center/Seward Association for the Advancement of Marine Science (SAAMS) is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. The Alaska SeaLife Center is especially interested in candidates whose background and experience have prepared them to grow our commitment to engagement and inclusion with culturally diverse audiences.


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