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COAST Science Policy Specialist

Apply now Job no: 536393
Work type: Staff
Location: Monterey Bay
Categories: Unit 9 - CSUEU - Technical Support Services, Administrative, Temporary, Full Time, Remote in-state eligible (long distance work arrangement outside business location)

Classification:   Administrative Analyst/Specialist - Exempt III
Hours:  Full-time / Temporary
FLSA:  Exempt

Anticipated Hiring Salary Range:  $7,184 to $8,334 mo.
CSU Salary Schedule
*CSUMB provides pay scales representing its good faith estimate of what the university reasonably expects to pay for this position. The pay offered to a selected candidate will be determined on factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal equity, and CSU systemwide pay for comparable jobs.

Priority Screening Date:  April 1, 2024
Recruitment Status:  Extended

This is a full-time, temporary position through May 2025, with the potential of renewal based on budget and/or operational needs.


California State University, Monterey Bay is a mid-sized university in California’s Central Coast that grants undergraduate and graduate degrees. Powered by an inspiring Founding Vision Statement, CSUMB is part of the nation’s largest four-year public university system, California State University, which educates nearly 460,000 students every year. 

With a vibrant, diverse student body of over 7,000 students, CSU Monterey Bay is both a Minority Serving Institution and a Hispanic Serving Institution. Our staff and faculty transform students’ lives with a focus on student success and engagement through experiential learning, service learning, and a strong emphasis on multicultural and global perspectives. CSUMB’s sustainability goal is to be carbon neutral by 2030. 

The university’s Strategic Plan prioritizes inclusive excellence through recruiting and investing in developing a diverse body of faculty, staff and administrators. Many appreciate living and working close to the shores of beautiful Monterey Bay, with easy access to recreational areas from Big Sur to Santa Cruz. Nearby opportunities for collaborative research include working in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Silicon Valley, and with colleagues at local research universities, including UC Santa Cruz and Stanford University.

As one of the 23 campuses in the CSU system, CSUMB offers excellent benefits, including access to below-market-rate rental housing on East Campus, and competitive salaries for faculty and staff. With proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area and San Jose, opportunities for faculty, staff and students are as endless as the shores of the nearby Pacific Ocean.


The CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology (COAST) is the CSU’s systemwide consortium for ocean and coastal research, education, and workforce development. COAST integrates systemwide expertise and resources to advance our knowledge of ocean and coastal systems, train students, and inform decision-making. It is a dynamic and robust community of hundreds of CSU faculty members, researchers, and students from diverse disciplines actively working to answer questions about our oceans and coasts and address our most pressing challenges. The scope of COAST includes the open and coastal ocean, coastal zones, and coastal watersheds.  At its core, COAST provides several critical functions that serve the CSU, the state of California, and national and international communities:

  • Support ocean and coastal research.
  • Provides a community for researchers with ocean and coastal interests from across the CSU.
  • Develops current and future ocean and coastal scientists, scholars, and leaders.
  • Communicates the best available science to stakeholders to promote evidence-based decision-making and policy development.

Of specific importance to this position is the State Science Information Needs Program (SSINP), which COAST established in 2019. SSINP directly and exclusively supports the state of California’s highest priority needs for ocean and coastal scientific information in a timely and actionable manner. To date, SSINP is funded by state of California appropriations to the CSU totaling $8M and awards have supported research on climate change, microplastics, mitigation and restoration, ocean acidification, sea-level rise, and sustainable aquaculture and fisheries.

As a member of the COAST staff, the incumbent must be committed to COAST’s overarching priorities of advancing our knowledge of ocean and coastal systems, supporting faculty and student research and success, and creating a more inclusive and diverse marine science community.


Under the general supervision of COAST Director, the Science Policy Specialist will lead COAST’s efforts at local, state and national levels to engage policy and decision-makers including resource management agency staff, legislative members and staff, nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, and industry. The incumbent will advance COAST’s parallel, complementary goals of 1) securing external funding to support solution-oriented scientific research and 2) serving as a primary resource for guidance and expertise to promote evidence-based decision-making and policy development. The incumbent will communicate the activities, successes and impact of COAST and its members to stakeholders and the public; work to position COAST and its members to leverage state, federal, and private funding opportunities; and secure additional resources to support COAST programmatic activities.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Strategic engagement

  1. In collaboration with the Director, develop a strategy and lead efforts to increase recognition of COAST as a primary resource for informed decision-making and workforce development and increase public awareness of the research capacity of the CSU.
  2. Develop and maintain relationships with government officials and staff through meetings, events, and outreach materials.
  3. Independently or in collaboration with other organizations, convene scientific panels to brief government officials on relevant topics.
  4. Develop public-facing content for the COAST website and social media.
  5. Coordinate with the CSU Office of Advocacy and State Relations in Sacramento, CSUMB government relations staff, and government relations staff at other CSU campuses.
  6. Analyze policies and actions relevant to COAST and develop appropriate response strategies as needed.
  7. Plan and execute the annual California Ocean Day luncheon featuring CSU researchers.
  8. Attend ocean-related events to increase awareness of COAST and engage stakeholders.

2. Solution-oriented scientific research

  1. Interface with local, state, and federal government to identify their highest priority needs for ocean and coastal scientific information to support evidence-based decision-making and policy development.
  2. Lead the State Science Information Needs Program, including developing Requests for Proposals in collaboration with agency representatives, other executive branch staff, and legislative members and staff; overseeing competitions for funding, including a rigorous review process; and managing awards. Report as needed to COAST leadership, the CSU Chancellor’s Office and the state.

3. Diverse funding streams

  1. In consultation with the Director, develop a strategy and lead efforts to diversify COAST’s funding portfolio.
  2. Position COAST members for funding and advocate for involvement of CSU faculty members and students in initiatives that provide opportunities for cutting-edge research, education, and workforce development, particularly at the state level.
  3. Represent COAST’s interests and goals at state and national levels and interface with policy makers and resource managers.
  4. Analyze and distill relevant policies and opportunities for distribution to members.
  5. Write proposals and coordinate with state agencies and others in support of COAST’s mission, goals, and activities. Oversee development of CSU ocean- and coastal-related faculty member database.

4. Programmatic support and project management

  1. Participate in monthly COAST Executive Committee calls and semi-annual retreats, COAST Annual Meeting, and other virtual or in-person meetings as needed.
  2. Assist in meeting and event planning with emphasis on overall goals and strategy. Develop content for the COAST Annual Report.

Other Functions:

Performs other job-related duties and special projects as assigned.


Extensive and in-depth knowledge of and ability to apply expertise to ocean and coastal research and education, including general practices and applicable internal policies and procedures. Substantial and broad knowledge of public and private entities including their organizational and operating structures, internal systems, and functional areas, as well as the impact of critical external entities on COAST and the CSU. Ability to integrate and apply this knowledge to anticipate problems and assess the impact of proposed solutions on various organizational areas. Extensive and in-depth knowledge in project management.

Ability to interpret and integrate complex data and information to formulate appropriate courses of action that have broad and far-reaching impact. Ability to understand and analyze complex problems from a future-oriented and broad interactive perspective and readily develop proactive solutions that integrate strategic goals into tactical operations. Ability to effectively use applicable information systems and applications in analysis, research, and reporting activities and projects. Ability to effectively communicate with and influence high-level and diverse contacts inside and outside of the CSU system. Ability to effectively use all communication methods and formats and to use expertise, as well as persuasion and negotiation skills, to build consensus to achieve short- and long-term goals and objectives.


Bachelor's degree and/or equivalent training and administrative work experience involving study, analysis, and/or evaluation leading to the development or improvement of administrative policies, procedures, practices, or programs.


Experience in government relations including strong working knowledge of and/or experience working in or with California state legislative and executive branches; strong working knowledge of state-level legislative and budget processes; strong working knowledge of natural resource management state agencies (e.g., CA Department of Fish and Wildlife, CA Coastal Commission, CA Ocean Protection Council, and Ocean Science Trust) as well as federal agencies (e.g., Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Geological Survey) and NGOs.

Ability to thrive in a dynamic, fast-paced environment and to quickly adapt to shifts in plans and priorities; work independently with a high degree of flexibility; be an advocate for COAST and the CSU without introducing personal interests or biases; distill complex issues into concise and understandable language; effectively communicate with high-level and diverse contacts inside and outside of the CSU system; establish and maintain professional working relationships and deal effectively with a broad range of people and situations.

Excellent interpersonal skills and a high degree of professionalism; excellent verbal and written communication skills, particularly with vocabulary and grammar.  Excellent time management, organizational skills, and attention to detail.


Demonstrable knowledge of ocean and coastal science OR ocean and coastal policy issues. M.S. and/or Ph.D. in biology, ocean science, environmental studies, environmental policy, environmental law (J.D.) or related discipline. Substantial and broad knowledge of ocean and coastal-related public and private entities including their mission, funding priorities and organizational structure. Ability to write proposals and funding requests in support of COAST activities.


  • All offers of employment are contingent upon the successful completion of a background check (including a criminal records check).
  • The person holding this position will have a duty to report to the Campus Title IX Officer information pertaining to discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and retaliation and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order EO 1095, EO 1096, and EO 1097​ as a condition of employment.
  • This position has been designated as a sensitive position with access to and responsibility for detailed personally identifiable Level 1 confidential information about students, faculty, staff or alumni that is protected, personal or sensitive as defined in the CSU Information Security Data Classification Standards.
  • This position is required to comply with confidentiality requirements outlined in the Department of Education’s Family Educational Rights and Privacy and California’s Educational Code Chapter 13 regarding sensitive student issues.
  • The incumbent may participate in the CSUMB-Voluntary-Remote-Work-Program (VRWP).


Office environment with standard equipment and tasks. Position requires working at a computer and desk for extended periods of time. Incumbent will ideally be located in Sacramento or the surrounding area and must be able to participate in in-person meetings in Sacramento frequently and travel throughout the state as needed. Travel to the Chancellor’s Office in Long Beach is required at least once per year and may be more frequent. Travel to CSU campuses and off-campus locations is also required. Occasional evenings and/or weekend work may be required.

Incumbent must be able to travel and attend meetings in-person.

The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff remain our highest priority. While on campus, students, faculty, staff, and the community will be expected to follow all campus safety mandates.  

Hybrid/Remote work will be considered for this position in the state of California only.


CSUMB offers a premium benefit package that includes outstanding vacation, health, dental and vision plans; membership in the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS); and 15 paid holidays a year. For more information, visit Employee Benefits Summary. As a perk, the University Corporation at CSU Monterey Bay provides access to affordable campus housing based on availability; visit Schoonover Employee Housing for more information.


For full consideration, applicants must complete the online application, cover letter, resume and a writing sample must be received by Human Resources by 5:00 p.m. on the priority screen date found at to be guaranteed a review.  The writing sample should be about one page and should ideally focus on a policy or scientific issue and demonstrate your ability to effectively communicate with a non-technical audience. Citations may be included if appropriate and the reference list will not count toward the length of the writing sample.  Application submissions received after the application screening date will be reviewed at the discretion of the University.  Materials submitted become the property of CSUMB and will not be returned.  

CSUMB is not a sponsoring agency for staff or management positions.

Reasonable accommodations will be provided for qualified applicants with disabilities who self-disclose by contacting University Personnel at (831) 582-3389.  For computer/online access you may visit the Tanimura and Antle Family Memorial Library (map). All employees must be eligible for employment in the U.S.


CSUMB hires only individuals lawfully authorized to work in the United States and is an E-Verify employer. In compliance with federal crime awareness and campus security legislation, including the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics, you can view the notice of availability and access the Cal State University, Monterey Bay annual security and fire safety reports at

CSUMB is a smoke and tobacco-free campus. 


CSUMB is an Equal Opportunity employer seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff. We value and celebrate diversity in all its forms and strive to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion. We consider qualified applicants for employment for their anticipated contributions and without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, pregnancy, marital status, veteran status, or disability.

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