Salary Range:Up to $18.0000 Hourly

Posted:                       Open to internal and external applicants

Reports to:                 Ocean policy manager

Status:                        Part-time, hourly, temporary position

Duration:                    November 2020 through April 2021

Hours of work:          This position will work an average of 15 hours per week between the hours of 8am and 5pm, on at least three different weekdays per week. The specific schedule will be agreed upon by the person in this position and the supervisor. There may be an occasional need for after-hours work as related to projects.

Date needed:             November 2020

Posting expires:        Monday, September 14, 2020, end of day


Position description:   

The ocean policy program within our Conservation Programs & Partnerships (CPP) department is seeking a part-time, temporary ocean policy assistant to support the Seattle Aquarium’s growing policy work. The position will have the opportunity to work directly on policy and advocacy related to the 2021 Washington state legislative session, which runs from January through April, as well as work on some federal policy priorities. The work accomplished during this assistantship will help the Seattle Aquarium realize our vision to emerge as a proactive leader in conservation, both in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

On the state level, issues of focus are likely to include plastic pollution, environmental justice and orca recovery. On the federal level, issues of focus may include climate change, environmental justice, and wildlife and ecosystem protections, among others.


Essential functions:

  • Research, track, analyze and report on environmental issues and proposed policies at all levels of government, particularly Washington state and federal policies.
  • Support multi-faceted policy campaigns. Tasks are likely to include writing comment letters, drafting testimony for legislative hearings, developing public outreach materials, developing blogs and social media messages, and writing email action alerts.
  • Track evolving legislation as it moves through the Washington state legislature; identify opportunities for action or influence and monitor changes that are proposed through amendments.
  • Summarize and report on scientific studies, scientific literature and draft legislation regarding conservation issues related to the Seattle Aquarium’s conservation priorities. Develop talking points and position statements grounded in scientific evidence. Potential issues include marine debris and pollution, salmon recovery, climate change, environmental justice, ocean acidification, coral reef conservation, marine protected areas, aquaculture, offshore renewable energy, orca recovery and water quality.


Additional responsibilities:

  • Provide support for presentations and talking points on ocean policy issues and actions.
  • Work with the public relations and marketing departments to develop clear, compelling communication materials, including web content, fact sheets and more.
  • Participate in meetings and phone calls with our partners in the policy arena.
  • Provide policy updates for Seattle Aquarium staff and volunteers.
  • Depending on availability, as well as comfort and safety in light of COVID-19, may have the opportunity to make occasional day trips to Olympia to attend hearings, deliver testimony or participate in meetings and/or Environmental Lobby Day.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Required skills, abilities:   

  • Very strong written and oral communications skills, including an ability to effectively tailor information for diverse audiences (e.g., writing letters directed at agencies or legislators about science and policy issues, explaining policy positions and supporting science in brief, digestible formats for public audiences).
  • Experience with literature reviews and online research.
  • Team player with strong interpersonal and collaboration skills and a service-oriented work ethic.
  • Strong organizational skills, an ability to prioritize and consistently meet deadlines, self-directed; a high degree of professionalism; proactive in seeking guidance when needed.
  • Skilled at using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and internet browsers, and comfortable using video conferencing tools (e.g., Teams, Zoom).
  • Demonstrated ability to be productive in a remote work environment and to advance projects without direct, daily supervision.
  • Familiarity with current environmental policy issues in the Salish Sea and beyond, especially orca recovery, environmental justice, plastic pollution and/or climate change.
  • Self-motivated with a demonstrated passion for the Aquarium’s mission and values.


Experience, education and certifications:  We will consider various combinations of relevant experience and education in order to meet minimum requirements.



  • B.A./B.S. in a relevant field such as public policy, public administration, environmental studies or natural resource management. We will consider various combinations of relevant education and experience in federal or Washington state policy in order to meet minimum requirements.



  • Familiarity with legislative and/or rule-making processes at the state or federal level.
  • Professional experience with Washington state legislative processes (e.g., a previous job or internship with an advocacy organization, lobbying firm or legislative office).
  • Two or more years of policy-related professional work experience in environmental or marine policy, public policy, law or natural resource management.
  • M.A. or M.A. coursework in a relevant field. We encourage those who are currently pursuing a M.A. program to consider applying.


Working conditions:

  • This position will work an average of 15 hours per week between the hours of 8am and 5pm, on at least three different weekdays per week. The specific schedule will be agreed upon by the person in this position and the supervisor.
  • Occasional local travel (less than 5%) as comfort and safety allow in light of COVID-19.
  • We expect that this work may begin remotely, depending on COVID-19 health and safety precautions and telework policies, but we are looking for someone based in the Seattle or Olympia area to allow for in-person meetings when those become possible.
  • The person in this position will need to have regular and reliable access to a computer, phone and internet access for working remotely.


Salary and benefits:

$18.00/hour. Temporary staff are not eligible for benefits but accrue paid sick time and are paid an additional $0.75/hour to assist with transportation costs.


The Seattle Aquarium is a progressive, equal opportunity employer that values a diverse workforce. One of our core values is fostering an inclusive community and we want our staff to reflect our community. To that end, we encourage diverse candidates to apply, including but not limited to Black, Indigenous and People of Color applicants.

Please upload the following three items through our online application:

  • A résumé
  • A 1–2 page cover letter detailing your interest in this specific position, relevant experience, a brief description of how you think about DEIJ (diversity, equity, inclusion and justice) in your work, and availability (i.e., at least three different weekdays per week).
  • A policy-related writing sample that you sole-authored, preferably a policy memo, blog post, op-ed or policy letter (rather than an academic publication or scientific journal article).

Please let us know if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for this job.

Note: Must pass a background check, upon job offer, to be eligible for this position.


About the organization:

The Seattle Aquarium is a respected authority on Puget Sound, the Salish Sea and the world’s one ocean. Our passionate staff increases awareness and drives the change needed to preserve and protect our marine environment through a variety of channels, including a compelling exhibit experience and engaging daytime and evening events; conservation education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds; community outreach to underserved populations; research that advances understanding of animals in our care and their counterparts in the wild; advocacy and policy work; an award-winning volunteer program; strong and consistent marketing efforts; and more.


We’re noted for our collaborative, communicative and team-oriented working environment. Our values, developed in conjunction with our staff, include commitments to adopting and promoting sustainable practices; creating awe-inspiring experiences; constantly learning and improving; fostering an inclusive community; maintaining scientific credibility through evidence-based practices; and honoring our unique place by using our location and history as a lens for larger understanding.


Proudly accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, we’re the eighth-largest aquarium in the U.S. by attendance and we welcome over 850,000 people through our front doors each year. Guided by our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, we’ve developed a master plan to substantially increase in size and impact by opening a new exhibit building, the Ocean Pavilion. Our current annual budget is $18 million.


Regarding COVID-19:

Open daily, the Aquarium prioritizes health and safety for our staff and visitors, embracing science to guide our operations. Staff are required to wear face masks while working on-site, maintain physical distance at all times, and check their temperature before starting work each day. In addition, we maintain high standards of cleanliness and all high-touch surfaces (like windows, railings, restrooms and elevators) are continuously cleaned.


The person in this role will work remotely for the foreseeable future. Candidates must have the ability to work from home, including regular and reliable access to a computer, phone, internet and suitable workspace.

Apply here: