Ocean Career: NPS Coral Response Biologist

Dry Tortugas National Park is seeking a Coral Response Biologist to assist with projects related to coral restoration, reef monitoring and more. The position is located in Key West, Florida, with work trips out to Dry Tortugas National Park.


  • Leads projects and team members that support Dry Tortugas National Park's Coral Program under the supervision of the park's fisheries biologist.
  • Coordinates logistics and supports working relationships with scientists from academic institutions and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, NOAA Fisheries, Monroe County, Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and others performing coral restoration work at Dry Tortugas National Park.
  • Communicates with DRTO and other NPS staff at the park, research partners on coral projects for Dry Tortugas National Park.
  • Implements the Dry Tortugas National Park Coral Response and Restoration Plans and assists with projects related to coral restoration, coral husbandry, restored reef maintenance and monitoring, coral disease intervention, and coral monitoring. Additionally, the incumbent maintains vessels, SCUBA equipment, and other scientific equipment used for restoration work.
  • Work will include research, data entry, data analysis, and report writing in office setting; additional work will be outdoors: on boats; and underwater using snorkel gear and SCUBA. Incumbent will be required to carry equipment that weighs in excess of 50 pounds, work in underwater environments, as well as in rough seas, inclement weather, and in preparation for tropical storms and hurricanes occasionally.


Boat Operation Certification and SCUBA Diving Certification

  • This position requires demonstrated training and experience operating and crewing small vessels (up to 28' in length) with twin outboard engines in open ocean conditions. You must submit documentation of how you meet this requirement. Documentation may include but is not limited to: Motorboat Operation Certificate Course (MOCC) certificate or equivalent, such as a State or US Coast Guard issued boating certification.

Scuba Diving Certification

  • This position requires that you possess an American Association of Underwater Scientists (AAUS) SCUBA diving certification or equivalent (Advanced Open Water certification or higher) from an accredited national institution and have at least 50 scientific dives. You must submit documentation of how you meet this requirement.

Basic Requirements

  • Bachelor's or higher degree that included a major field of stud in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to this position.


  • A combination of education and experience that included course work equivalent to a major (i.e., 24 semester hours) in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or a discipline closely related to biology; PLUS appropriate experience or additional course work.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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