NOAA Marine Archaeologist

The Associate Scientist will support the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) as a marine archaeological Subject Matter Expert and, as such, will help provide the Office with scientific and technical support related to marine archaeology. As a marine archaeologist, the Associate Scientist will work closely with the Chief of the OER Science and Technology Division to help coordinate and oversee OER’s maritime heritage exploration activities.  The incumbent will be familiar with the principles and practices of marine archaeology including professional standards and practices and associated regulations, programs, and policies.

The incumbent will provide guidance concerning maritime heritage-related priorities and themes that OER supports through its Federal Funding Opportunity, the National Oceanographic Partnership Program, the Small Business Innovation Research Program, the OER Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute, and through other program activities. The Associate Scientist will be required to be cognizant of, and assess, evolving archaeology exploration technologies and provide recommendations aimed at improving the pace and scope of OER’s maritime heritage efforts.  The incumbent will be responsible for maintaining awareness of current and evolving protocols and means for access, utilization, and curation of maritime heritage information and data contributed by and for OER’s partners, academic institutions, relevant industry, state and federal agencies and programs, and the general public. 

The incumbent will serve as OER’s principal lead for both required as well as discretionary activities associated with providing information for Native American tribes that may be impacted by, or concerned with, maritime heritage projects planned and/or supported by OER.  In doing so, the incumbent will be familiar with the requirements, significant criteria and regulatory processes and regulations such as Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and the National Marine Sanctuaries Act. 

This position will be located in OER’s headquarters offices in Silver Spring, MD.  Due to possible limitations of available OER office space, the incumbent may be required to telework on a part-time basis.


Serve as the marine archaeological Subject Matter Expert for OER’s maritime heritage activities:

  • Lead efforts to identify and develop priorities and methods related to exploration for maritime heritage sites, features, and objects.
  •  Assess the scientific value of grant proposals, monitor and communicate with Principal Investigators on progress, and track maritime heritage -relevant administrative grant activities.
  • Liaise, peer-to-peer, with the maritime archaeological science community (and other related or relevant scientific fields), maintain awareness of state-of-the-art scientific and technical developments and results in the field, and represent OER on relevant programmatic teams (e.g., the Primary Observations and the Exploration Gap Analysis teams), intra-agency teams, and inter-agency working groups.
  • Serve as the POC for OER communications and relationships with Native American Tribes affected by, or with interest in, OER planned or funded maritime heritage projects under Section 106 of the Historic Preservation Act.

Support the NOAA OER Science and Technology Division:

  • Provide the S&T Division Chief with expert maritime heritage guidance consistent with OER’s goals and mission.
  • Identify maritime heritage areas, features, and objects for potential OER funding consideration.
  • Author and/or co-author materials and products, including internal and external reports, relevant to maritime heritage
  • Help support OER’s efforts to define ocean exploration data needs, goals, and metrics for exploring the United States Exclusive Economic Zone.
  • Provide logistical oversight and support for internal S&T activities as needed; plan and facilitate workshops and meetings; coordinate relevant communications; track project deadlines.

DECISION MAKING & PROBLEM SOLVING – i.e., types of problems that are solved independently

  • Under general guidance of a scientific supervisor, accomplishment of the Job Functions and Duties listed above will require the incumbent to act with a high degree of independence.  The incumbent will be responsible for timely and thorough communication with the S&T Division Chief for discussion and approval of actions that materially affect the accomplishment of maritime heritage tasks and goals.
  • Solves both routine and difficult problems, implements guidance and technical direction from the S&T Division Chief, and works in close collaboration with S&T Division and other office staff.
  • Provides competent, reliable, and independent contributions to the solution of scientific, technical, and programmatic issues associated with the S&T Division’s and the office’s goals and missions. 
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