Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Program Director: Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System

The Central and Northern California Ocean Observing Systems (CeNCOOS) is seeking a Program Director to lead ongoing development and operations. CeNCOOS is one of three west coast, and 11 national, ocean observing collaborations (“Regional Associations”) established under the US Integrated Ocean Observing Systems (U.S. IOOS®) and operating with support from NOAA’s IOOS Office. The Program Director reports to the CeNCOOS Governing Council and its Executive Committee, and works with them and the CeNCOOS Program Office staff to implement strategic and business plans. The individual will utilize his or her leadership skills to engage in local, regional, state, federal and philanthropic organizations as financial partners in CeNCOOS development, and facilitate expansion of member collaboration opportunities and associated funding. The Program Director provides organizational leadership to expand operational capability. The Director oversees technical operations and spearheads data management, product, and communication initiatives.

Funding is established for the position and program office through June 2015, with annual funding increments anticipated beyond that date. The Program Director position is subject to annual review by the host institution. Renewal will depend on individual performance, on CeNCOOS’s effectiveness as an operational organization, on the annual approval of a federal budget for Regional Associations within the U.S. IOOS, and on successful funding development by the Program Director from State programs and private foundations. The time commitment is flexible and negotiable but a substantial commitment is expected.

The CeNCOOS program is hosted by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) located in Moss Landing, California, and the Program Director is an employee of MBARI. The position is eligible for benefits as part of the standard MBARI compensation package, with the level of benefits dependent on the time commitment. Other employment arrangements may be possible.


Masters or higher degree in ocean related discipline or business / institutional administrations and at least five years of experience managing complex programs such as a non-profit organization is required. Outstanding verbal and written communication skills are required, as well as demonstrated ability to deliver effective presentations. Demonstrated leadership and supervisory experiences required. Must be well organized and possess proficient computer skills. Candidates should have a blend of oceanographic and program/business management capabilities.

Desired skills, knowledge and abilities:
  • Leadership skills to expand ongoing partnerships and develop CeNCOOS as a recognized center of ocean observing expertise and an effective Regional Association.
  • Successful experience in a relevant scientific discipline as a principal scientist or program manager with demonstrated management skills and experience in fundraising in support of multi-institutional programs.
  • Demonstrated program management, leadership and supervisory skills with the ability to effectively guide and develop program staff.
  • Ability to objectively lead development of collaborative multi-institution, multi-investigator funding proposals.
  • Ability to work with and understand the needs of coastal resource managers and other stakeholders.
  • Ability to broker collaborations that engage scientific expertise within CeNCOOS to meet specific management needs.
  • Sufficient understanding of ocean observing technologies, infrastructure, systems and data management to manage and expand CeNCOOS.
  • Ability to create and implement a long-term business plan for CeNCOOS, including management of complex budgets and sub-award contracting.
  • Flexibility to travel and represent CeNCOOS at state, regional, and national meetings.

Additional preferred experience
  • Experience with and understanding of Integrated Ocean Observing Systems and the governance, technical and operational role and goals of the Regional Associations.
  • Experience developing creative approaches, tools, and data services for using scientifically motivated ocean-observing measurements in the service of management.
  • Successful experience in leading diverse, multi-member collaborations.
  • Functioning effectively with an elected governing program body.

Application Process

Interested individuals should submit an application package consisting of 1) cover letter; 2) a two-page (maximum) statement of qualifications, and 3) resume or CV. Submit your application materials by email to, or by mail to address below, or by fax to (831) 775-1620.

Address your cover letter to:
MBARI, Human Resources
Job code: CeNCOOS-PD
7700 Sandholdt Road, Moss Landing, CA 95039-9644

MBARI is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. MBARI considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or covered veteran status in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. 

MBARI Welcomes Diversity

Last updated: Mar. 19, 2014