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Ocean Policy Associate

Seattle Aquarium
Seattle, United States Posted: August 25 2023

The Seattle Aquarium, a leading marine conservation organization, is looking for an Ocean Policy Associate to join the Conservation Programs and Partnerships team. The position will have the opportunity to work directly on policy and advocacy related to the 2024 Washington state legislative session, which runs from January until March, as well as work on federal policy priorities. The work accomplished during this period will help the Seattle Aquarium realize our vision to emerge as a pro-active leader in conservation, both in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Issues of focus are likely to include plastic pollution, protections for wildlife (including salmon and orcas) and ecosystems (including kelp forests, nearshore habitats, and riparian areas), and environmental justice. 

Work carried out by the person in this role is anticipated to include tracking bills as they move through the legislature; working on multi-faceted advocacy campaigns with various written communications products; and supporting the organization and delivery of policy trainings. We work within a short, fast-paced legislative session, in which bills move quickly and the window for influencing decisions can be extremely narrow.

Key functions: 
  • Work on multi-faceted policy campaigns. Tasks are likely to include writing letters, email action alerts, blogs, content for government correspondence, and developing public outreach materials, website content, and social media messages and graphics. 
  • Track evolving legislation as it moves through the Washington state legislature; identify opportunities for action or influence and monitor changes that are proposed through amendments. 
  • Support the organization of policy trainings for Seattle Aquarium volunteers, and possibly also support coordination of an Olympia lobby trip.
  • Participate in meetings and phone calls with our partners in the policy arena. This may include representing the Aquarium on a coalition or working group with regular weekly or monthly calls.
  • Develop presentations and talking points on ocean policy issues for internal and external audiences.  
  • Provide policy updates for Seattle Aquarium board, staff and volunteers through presentations, handouts, intranet posts, and other channels.
  • Assist with organizing press conferences and other events on policy topics and bills.
  • Depending on availability, may have the opportunity to visit Olympia to attend hearings, deliver testimony or participate in meetings and/or Environmental Lobby Day.
Working conditions:
  • Majority of work is performed in a normal office setting at a computer workstation for the duration of your shift. On-site work is performed at a computer workstation in an open office environment. 
  • Be comfortable using a computer for up to four hours at a time. 
  • May be a hybrid position with some days working remotely from home, to be agreed with supervisor, but some on-site meetings will be required. Staff working remotely are subject to the Seattle Aquarium’s telecommuting policy.
  • Flexibility for occasional evening, early morning, or weekend hours (e.g., to work on volunteer trainings, legislative testimony, press conferences), and infrequent travel to Olympia and potentially other destinations (not anticipated to exceed 5-10%). 
Experience Required
  • High School Diploma or equivalent. The skills and abilities listed below may be demonstrated through a combination of relevant cultural and community programs, jobs, internships, volunteer experience, and/or formal or informal education.
  • Familiarity with policy processes at the state or federal level; passion for using policy processes to make change.
  • Dedication to inspiring conservation of the Salish Sea and the broader marine environment and familiarity with some of the current environmental policy issues in the Salish Sea.
  • Ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Experience translating science and policy into written communications in a variety of formats for different audiences (which could include, for example, legislators, the media, and diverse communities).
  • Interest and ability to synthesize findings from scientific papers as well as other available sources of knowledge to develop communications products.
  • Ability to track numerous fast-moving pieces of legislation; adaptable and able to organize work and re-prioritize as needed to meet the kinds of structured deadlines that are common in current public policy processes.
  • Experience with or willingness to learn PC software, videoconferencing tools, and internet browsers (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, Zoom).
  • Experience with or willingness to learn to develop social media messaging and to do layout/design of slide presentations, fact sheets, social media graphics, and other materials (e.g., could include using programs like PowerPoint, Canva, and others).
  • A history of cultural and community involvement is a desired experience for strong candidates.
  • Ability to take initiative and advance projects without direct daily supervision, and to be proactive in seeking guidance whenever needed.
  • Willingness to both request and aid others on the team and to help create a collegial, inclusive, and healthy work environment; willingness to seek and incorporate feedback as you grow your knowledge base and skills, and to offer feedback to your supervisor and colleagues.
Further Comments

Pay will be dependent on experience. Seasonal staff are not eligible for benefits but accrue paid sick time and are paid an additional $0.75/hour to assist with transportation costs.

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