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Position Title: He‘eia National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Reserve Manager Assistant Specialist

Position #: 0070114

Hiring Unit: Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology / SOEST

Duties & Responsibilities

The He‘eia National Estuarine Research Reserve (He‘eia NERR) presents an opportunity to honor the past by using the traditional ecosystem management approach embodied in ahupua‘a principles, integrated with the contemporary principles of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS), to sustainably manage the He‘eia estuary. The NERRS’ vision of resilient estuaries and coastal watersheds where human and natural communities thrive is consistent with the traditional ahupua‘a where man and the environment lived in harmony: the circle of life. Many of the objectives and strategies that have been built into this management plan intentionally create a link between traditional knowledge and practices with contemporary management plans. The unique niche of the He‘eia NERR is this integration of traditional and contemporary strategies to sustainably manage the estuary and optimally the entire ahupua‘a of He‘eia. The He‘eia NERR provides not only a model for future generations in Hawai‘i but as important, is its contributions to the NERR System.

To this goal, the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology, within the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, as the lead agency and in collaboration with the He‘eia NERR community site partners, invites applicants for a permanent, full-time, 11-month, non-tenure track faculty position as an Assistant Specialist (National Estuarine Research Reserve Site Manager, hereinafter “Reserve Manager”), The Reserve Manager is the public face of the reserve and is expected to perform position duties in a manner that promotes positive relationships with the community, increases public awareness of the site and NERRS program, and builds support among the public, legislators, constituents, and people of Hawai‘i. The designation of He‘eia “presents an opportunity to honor the past by using the traditional ecosystem management approach embodied in ahupua‘a principles, integrated with the contemporary principles of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System's (NERRS) principles, to sustainably manage the He‘eia estuary.” The Reserve Manager will be responsible for seeing that opportunity become a reality.

Treating all persons respectfully, engaging in effective working relationships with all staff, demonstrating openness to constructive feedback, and contributing to a positive and productive work environment both within the Reserve and among community partners.

Recruit and convene an Advisory Board of key partners to create a shared vision of restoration for the site with partners as set forth in the NERRS Governance Charter and Bylaws.

Planning, securing funding for, and coordinating all projects outlined in the 5-year reserve management plan, and updating that plan each cycle.

Creating annual budgets, completing all required reporting, applying for required permits, managing the NERRS staff, and ensuring each meets the guidelines for their respective positions.

Administration, oversight, and facilitation any research or monitoring projects undertaken by local researchers, site partners, cultural practitioners and visiting scientists.

Coordinating with NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management (OCM) and the national NERR system to ensure both system-wide requirements and local site priorities are achieved.

Coordinating and ensuring all monitoring and GIS mapping and spatial data get proper quality control and are uploaded to the national system in a timely manner.

Partner with other organizations, State and Federal agencies in relevant professional sharing and technical assistance activities.

Represent the NERRS on the NERRA board, foster good relations with the relevant State and Federal elected officials, and participate in annual System meetings and Reserve Manager visits to Capitol Hill.

Integrating research, education and outreach activities, participating in such activities.

Active integration of local ecological knowledge into the ecosystem restoration science and management, evaluation and oversight of annual work plans and budget estimates produced by research and education coordinators.

Ensuring appropriate training and safety requirements for all staff.

Annual employee evaluations.

Organization of Reserve staff meetings.

Travel and participation in NERRS annual meetings and training sessions.

Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

A Master of Science degree from a college or university of recognized standing in a life science discipline.

In addition to the Master’s degree, 30 credits of graduate study from a college or university of recognized standing and in the Life Sciences field.

At least three (3) years of experience in the appropriate area at the next lower rank or its equivalent.

Documented ability to perform some duties outlined in the duties and responsibilities.

Demonstrated ability to manage budgets and people to accomplish programmatic goals.

Demonstrated experience with design, implementation, data collection, analyses and interpretation, and publication of research products capable of withstanding peer-review.

Demonstrated ability to obtain and manage extramural funds.

Appreciation of restoration ecology concepts, research, and application to coastal ecosystems.

Appreciation for integrating local ecological knowledge into future science questions for the Reserve.

Desire to work with community partners.

Some knowledge of traditional ahupua‘a land management principles.

Familiarity with the ahupua‘a of He‘eia, Kane‘ohe Bay and the Ko‘olaupoko region of O‘ahu.

Desirable Qualifications

Documented ability to perform all duties outlined in job description.

Demonstrated experience in applying restoration ecology concepts, and research to coastal ecosystems.

Demonstrated experience in integrating local ecological knowledge into future science questions for the Reserve.

Experience working among Native Hawaiian and/or indigenous organizations and/or communities.

Demonstrated understanding of Native Hawaiian traditional ecological knowledge and cultural practices.

Demonstrated experience working among Native Hawaiians and/or other indigenous groups in STEM related activities.

Demonstrated experience working with state and federal elected officials and/or state and federal agencies.

Demonstrated experience and desire to work with community partners.

Direct experience & knowledge of traditional ahupua‘a land management principles.

Demonstrated experience in working in the ahupua‘a of He‘eia, Kane‘ohe Bay and the Ko‘olaupoko region of O‘ahu.

To Apply

Submit paper or one PDF of a cover letter indicating how you satisfy the minimum and desirable qualifications with the subject line “Pos 0070114 Assistant Specialist Reserve Manager;” a detailed curriculum vitae; names and contact information of three professional references; and official transcripts (copies acceptable, however, originals will be required at the time of hire) to the address below. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Electronic applications should be emailed to: Steff Nelson at email:

Attn: Steff (Pos 0070114 Asst Spec Reserve Mgr)
PO Box 1346
Kane‘ohe, HI 96744


Dr. Robert Toonen; 808-236-7401;

Learn more about NERRS at


For more information about Conservation Connections Job Manager and this opportunity please visit our website at, contact us at 808-236-7401 or via email at

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