Job Opening

Image 1 Credit: Clint Graves. Image 2: Greater Farallones Offices on Crissy Field. Image 3: Aerial of GFNMS.

Beach Watch Program Assistant

Desired start date December 18, 2023

Greater Farallones Association (GFA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, seeks a Program Assistant to contribute to the Beach Watch community science program. Supervised by the Conservation Science Manager, this position is ideal for an individual interested in data management and GFA’s work to ensure a resilient California coast and ocean.


As the primary nonprofit partner to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries, GFA conducts joint research, conservation, and education to support healthy ecosystems in the Sanctuaries. GFA has 30 staff members and an annual operating budget of approximately $5 million. It is co-located in the National Marine Sanctuary office in a beautiful historic building on Crissy Field in the Presidio.

Greater Farallones Association aims to foster inclusivity, justice, and equity within our organization, and in the broader fields of ocean conservation, environmental education, and nonprofit management. All staff members are expected to bring a demonstrated commitment to developing skills in building an inclusive, sustainable, and effective workplace.

Beach Watch is a long-term shoreline monitoring joint program with the sanctuary in which highly trained and dedicated staff and more than 150 volunteers regularly survey over 60 beaches along 210 miles of California coastline. The data they collect include the abundance and distribution of live and dead coastal birds and mammals and the presence of human activities, oil pollution, and entangled wildlife from marine debris. Natural resources agencies leverage Beach Watch data to assess wildlife health and inform coastal management. Data have also been used for emergency response during oil pollution events and in natural resource damage assessments.

Job Duties

      • Maintain data and complete administrative tasks related to Beach Watch research (90% of the time) including the following:
          • Review and verify community science data with the assistance of topic experts
          • File and archive datasheets and photographs
          • Maintain camera and tablet inventory
          • Assist with seasonal data summaries and reports
      • Assist in training volunteers in data collection and data entry, both in the field and in the classroom
      • Assist in planning and implementing annual volunteer training workshops
      • Perform emergency response data management tasks, participate in spill drills, and maintain training certifications (during a major event additional hours may be required) 
      • May assist with logging data in the field with other research projects, including at-sea
      • Contribute to GFA’s justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts by engaging in planning and evaluation activities, participating in training workshops, and committing to fostering a culture of belonging.
      • Other duties as assigned

Preferred Qualifications

      • Experience organizing and maintaining records, files, and databases
      • Strong time management and organizational skills
      • Clear handwriting
      • Proficiency in data entry
      • Strong computer skills with experience in Google Suite and Excel
      • Ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team
      • Experience working with volunteers is a plus
      • Patient and positive problem-solving attitude
      • Ability to adapt to changing priorities during unusual events like oil spill responses.
      • Willingness to work occasional weekends, early mornings, or evenings
      • Knowledge or interest in marine science is a plus
      • Field monitoring or data collection experience is not required but is a plus
      • Experience with data analysis or using statistical software is not required but is a plus
      • Ability to safely move over uneven rocky and sandy terrain.

Required Qualifications

      • Pass a mandatory federal background check and defensive driving course 
      • Have a valid driver’s license, proof of automobile insurance, a clean driving record, and access to reliable transportation to and from the office in the Presidio, San Francisco
      • Be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control, and provide proof prior to beginning work

Employment Status and Benefits

This non-exempt, part-time position is 25 hours per week, with a minimum of 3 days per week onsite at our Crissy Field office. The starting pay is $26 – 29 per hour, depending on experience. The selected candidate will be trained in Beach Watch scientific and quality assurance protocols, and HAZWOPER 24 if needed. The staff position will be designated as a government affiliate with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Application Instructions

To apply, please send your resume, cover letter, and three references – all in a single PDF – to Your cover letter should address your administrative and organization skills, communication and teamwork strengths, interest or experience in community science, and your commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Professional references should include immediate supervisors familiar with your work performance and capacity to succeed. Applications are due November 15th, but we will accept applications until the position is filled. 

GFA is committed to providing opportunities to marine scientists from all backgrounds and is an equal-opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age (over 40), pregnancy or family status, protected veteran status, or any other protected status.