The MPA Collaborative Network is not hiring currently. Please visit the online Network Forum and navigate to “Career Opportunities” to see job announcements shared by the community and Collaborative members. Volunteer and community (or citizen) science opportunities with partner organizations are below.

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Closing Date: November 30, 2019


The Marine Protected Area (MPA) Collaborative Network is looking for a creative, organized, self- directed, versatile individual with an ability to work independently to provide administrative and programmatic support to the Director. The South Coast Specialist will assist with preparation and hosting of MPA compliance workshops, enforcement trainings, agency statistics tracking, and court officer outreach for the South Coast.  In addition, they will provide support to Collaborative Network members in the five south coast collaboratives.

Who We Are:

The MPA Collaborative Network was created in 2012 to give stakeholders and local agencies an active voice in the ongoing stewardship and management of California’s network of 124 marine protected areas. Developed in close partnership with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Ocean Protection Council, and local stakeholders, California’s MPA collaboratives bring together community members from all walks of life: marine scientists and reserve managers join fishermen, tribal representatives, conservation organization members, and local, state, and federal agency staff. The goal of each collaborative is to work together on identifying and addressing local issues facing marine protected areas. The MPA Collaborative Network is made up of 14 coastal chapters, or “collaboratives”, that cover all 15 coastal counties and consists of over 600 individual members representing 385 organizations and agencies.

The MPA Collaborative Network is supported by a small core staff. CN staff support this diverse network through facilitating communication between collaboratives and with state agencies, launching and supporting the development of collaborative projects, sharing, public relations, conflict resolution, and more.

Duration and Salary:

Position is part-time for one year with the potential for renewal dependent on funding, not to exceed $30,000. Position is at the contractor level and does not include benefits.

Tentative start date: December 2019/January 2020.


  • Administrative support to the Director, including project tracking and correspondence
  • Assist south coast collaborative co-chairs with meeting scheduling and project management
  • Establish relationships with south coast enforcement agencies and lifeguard departments and assist them in tracking their MPA contacts and enforcement efforts
  • Organize MPA photo contests for each south coast collaborative and create mobile displays using contest photos for compliance workshops and other events
  • Assist with integrating new mapping technology into existing outreach materials
  • Attend select collaborative meetings and speak on behalf of the Collaborative Network as needed
  • Assist collaborative co-chairs with identifying and applying for funding
  • Other tasks as determined by the Director

Qualifications and Skills:

  • General knowledge of marine protected areas and ocean conservation
  • Experience and interest in communicating with diverse stakeholders from a variety of disciplines/backgrounds, including public agencies, non-profits, tribes, coastal businesses, etc.
  • Experience assisting a manager in any capacity
  • Experience in community organizing, particularly grassroots oriented approaches
  • Excellent organizational, project tracking, writing, and strong public speaking skills
  • Ability to work independently and cooperatively with colleagues
  • Proficiency with social media and web-based platforms
  • Proficiency with the Adobe Creative Suite, Google Suite, and Microsoft Office Programs
  • Ideal candidates will be based in the south coast of California with the ability to work remotely
  • Experience in ocean lifeguarding or coastal enforcement preferred
  • Occasional travel, evening and weekend work might be required


Minimum Bachelor’s Degree. Degrees in Environmental Science, Management, Education, or Policy preferred

Application Process:

If interested in applying, please email a cover letter and resume with references by COB November 30th, 2019 to MPA Collaborative Network Director, Calla Allison (

Volunteer and Citizen/Community Science Opportunities

  • MPA Watch
    • A network of programs that support healthy oceans through community science by collecting human use data in and around our protected areas.
  • Snapshot Cal Coast
    • Document coastal biodiversity in this annual, statewide bioblitz using iNaturalist.
  • Save Our Shores
    • Ensuring Monterey Bay thrives today and for decades to come. Become a Sanctuary Steward, a certified volunteer that plays an integral role in the organization, or volunteer at one of their many events and beach clean-ups.
  • Phytoplankton Monitoring Network – NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
    • A community-based network of volunteers monitoring marine phytoplankton and harmful algal blooms (HABs).
  • California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program (CCFRP)
    • Volunteer anglers collect valuable data on economically important marine species.
  • Reef Check
    • Volunteer to monitor California’s rocky reefs inside and outside of marine protected areas (MPAs).
  • LiMPETS (Long-term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students)
    • Citizen science program for students, educators, and volunteer groups. Citizen scientists monitor the coastal ecosystems of California’s national marine sanctuaries, increasing awareness and stewardship of these important areas.
  • Trinidad Coastal Land Trust
    • There are a variety of volunteer opportunities with Trinidad Coastal Land Trust (TCLT) and its partners. The goal of TCLT’s volunteer program is to provide the training and support to community members interested in helping further TCLT’s mission of protecting the natural beauty and character of Humboldt’s north coast from Little River to Big Lagoon. 
  • Seabird Protection Network
    • Chapters often seek volunteers and citizen scientists to conduct seabird monitoring.