Jobs at Western

Assistant Professor of Marine and Coastal Science

Apply now Work type: TT Faculty
Location: Bellingham, WA
Categories: Huxley College of the Environment

Position Title

Assistant Professor of Marine and Coastal Science

We invite applications from candidates for a full-time, tenure-track position focused on marine and coastal science. This position is at the rank of assistant professor and begins September 16, 2020. The appointment will be to a new program in Marine and Coastal Science (MACS) and housed in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Western Washington University.  The successful candidate will have an opportunity to help develop new curricular and research programs with participating faculty affiliated with the Shannon Point Marine Center, and the Departments of Biology, Geology, and Environmental Sciences at Western Washington University.

About the University Western Washington University, with over 16,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 90,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades Mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Western is the highest-ranking public, master's-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings.

About the College, Department, and Program








About the College: Western’s Huxley College of the Environment is the oldest interdisciplinary environmental studies college in the U.S. and is known nationally and internationally for its excellence in educating the next generation of environmental leaders. Huxley’s academic programs reflect a broad view of the physical, biological, social, and cultural world.

About the Department: The Department of Environmental Sciences offers degrees in Environmental Science at the undergraduate and master's level. The department values putting learners in active roles in real world contexts, and recognizes the diverse kinds of professional expertise its faculty bring. The department maintains active relationships with community, agency, NGO, and private sector partners and is committed to diversity and excellence in our faculty, students, and staff.  We especially encourage candidates who share and can contribute to this commitment through active engagement in the department, university, and wider community.

The college and department are committed to creating equitable and inclusive learning and working environments for their students, faculty and staff.  A number of faculty-led initiatives and committees focus on diversity and inclusivity in the classroom and beyond.  Since the creation of the Huxley Diversity and Inclusion Plan, the college has taken organized steps to improve aspects of our culture of inclusion, recruitment and retention strategies, and institutional infrastructure. The college is also working towards strengthening its policies, clarifying processes, expanding resources, responding to student needs, and completing recommended action items detailed in the Huxley Diversity and Inclusion Plan. The college’s Diversity Recruiter & Retention Specialist maintains partnerships with faculty and inclusion programs locally and nationally that are devoted to recruitment and advancement of underrepresented students in STEM. Faculty support and mentor student clubs such as the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and the Native American Student Union (NASU). More information is available at Western’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion website

About the Program: The Marine and Coastal Science (MACS) program brings together faculty, staff, and students from three academic departments housed in two colleges, in addition to Western’s marine laboratory, the Shannon Point Marine Center. The MACS academic program is based on the main campus in Bellingham, with opportunities for research activities, short-term residential experiences, and regular weekly meetings of some courses at the Shannon Point Marine Center in Anacortes.  The cohort-based program of study provides a strong foundation in basic science, broad knowledge of marine systems, and opportunities for interdisciplinary, hands-on study. 

Detailed information for the Department of Environmental Sciences, the Marine and Coastal Sciences program, and the Shannon Point Marine Center is available online. 

The MACS program, Huxley College of the Environment, and the College of Science and Engineering support Western’s mission, which states that together with our students, staff, and faculty, we are committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement. We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.

About the Position


About the Position: We seek applicants whose research and teaching focus on one of two main areas.  (1) Physical oceanography and transport, examining circulation and ocean transport processes including tides, freshwater input, and winds.  Specific domains could include bio-physical interactions, biogeochemical fluxes, or transport of materials such as pollutants, sediments, or plankton.  (2) Ocean-climate interactions, examining ocean dynamics, global change, and how the coast, atmosphere, and ocean interact.  The applicant may approach this through a focus on transfer of heat, gases, or particles in the context of coastal or ocean dynamics, or through examination of climate effects on biogeochemical cycles.

Generalized approaches could include instrumentation, field-based observational methods, numerical modeling, or specialized statistics, such as time-series analysis or spatial statistics.

Position Responsibilities: The preferred candidate will be expected to develop and maintain a teaching and research program that complements existing strengths in the Department of Environmental Sciences and existing strengths in marine biology, marine ecology, geophysics, geochemistry, and energy studies in the other MACS-affiliated departments and institutes. We seek candidates who are committed to a multidisciplinary approach to scholarship and teaching and who can teach courses in introductory marine science, upper-level marine physical processes, and quantitative methods or modeling, as well as develop specialty elective courses.  Courses should be accessible for students with broad marine science interests. Teaching assignments for this position will be distributed evenly between environmentally-oriented courses offered in Environmental Sciences and interdisciplinary marine science courses offered in MACS.  These need not be distinct and we expect some courses to serve both these student populations.  This faculty member will also be expected to participate in service to the department, the program, and the college as well as student advising.  The successful candidate is expected to fulfill teaching and mentoring responsibilities in ways that provide equitable and inclusive learning environments for all students.

Required Qualifications
  • PhD or ABD by the time of application in oceanography or a closely related field. If ABD, all degree requirements must be completed by June 15th of the first year of employment;
  • Demonstrated commitment to effective teaching;
  • Demonstrated record of, or commitment to, cultivating learning environments that are equitable and inclusive of students with diverse social identities and backgrounds;
  • Commitment to establishing a research program in oceanography that involves undergraduate students and advising graduate students;
  • Ability to establish an externally-supported research program.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Teaching and scholarship interests and experience aligned with the goals of the Department of Environmental Sciences and the MACS program;
  • Potential for informing environmental management and/or making meaningful connections to communities and the broader setting in which the work takes place;   
  • Demonstrated ability to teach an upper division course in marine physical processes and develop electives suitable for students with broad marine science interests;
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to additional MACS course needs such as early stage mentoring, research and skills acquisition classes, or quantitative methods or modelling courses;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Post-doctoral fellowship or additional professional experience.


 Commensurate with experience and qualifications

Bargaining Unit

 United Faculty of Western Washington

Application Instructions

Interested candidates must apply online.  For application information and instructions, go to the WWU Employment website.   A complete application should include: (1) a cover letter addressing all of the required and preferred qualifications, (2) a curriculum vitae, (3) a statement of  research plans (maximum 2 pages, not including references), (4) a statement of teaching philosophy, experience, and interests (maximum 2 pages), (5) a separate statement that addresses your demonstrated record of, or commitment to, cultivating learning environments that are equitable and inclusive of students with diverse social identities and backgrounds (maximum 2 pages); statement should include your past experiences with, and plans for contributing to diversity, equity and inclusion inside and outside the classroom (for information on diversity and inclusion at Western, see Advancing Diversity and Inclusion at Western); (6) names, addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers of four professional references.  Letters of recommendation will be requested for candidates following the first round of review.

Inquiries may be addressed to the search committee chair, Dr. Angela Strecker, at or (360) 650-3507.

Closing Date Notes Application review begins January 21, 2020. Position is open until filled.

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Office, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("The Clery Act"). It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western's campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at The report can be found at: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires.

Job no: 497546
Advertised: Pacific Standard Time
Applications close:

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