Jobs at Western

Marine and Coastal Science (MACS) Program Student Engagement Lead

Apply now Work type: Permanent Part Time
Location: Bellingham, WA
Categories: Academic Affairs

Position Title Marine and Coastal Science (MACS) Program Student Engagement Lead
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 Program

Marine and Coastal Science (MACS) is a new, interdisciplinary major being developed at WWU to help students develop into confident, thoughtful, ethical scientists who are ready to address the growing challenges affecting our marine and coastal environments. The major combines resources and expertise from the Biology Department, the Chemistry Department, the Geology Department, the Department of Environmental Sciences, and the Shannon Point Marine Center located about an hour away in Anacortes. The major is built around a cohort model in which students engage deeply with their peer group, as well as learning about the tools, concepts and context of marine science. There are 8 core faculty members in the program, numerous affiliate faculty, two additional staff members, and an academic director. We expect enrollment of 30 students per year/cohort in the major, with a total enrollment of 60 majors and about 40 pre-majors when the program is fully rolled out.

The Marine and Coastal Sciences Program supports 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

In this position as the Student Engagement Lead you will work to enhance student engagement in the Marine and Coastal Science (MACS) program through academic advising, teaching, program development, and community engagement. This unique position leverages the connections students build with their instructors, especially those they get to know over multiple courses, building student advising and engagement into a significant portion of the position.

The Student Engagement Lead teaches in the courses designed to introduce early-stage students to hands-on marine research, establishing a connection with students as a teacher and mentor that is enhanced through continued contact with students through academic advising and instruction of upper division and capstone courses. This role is instrumental in reaching program goals concerning equity and inclusion, particularly through the work of recruitment and community engagement as well as student support. The Lead partners with other MACS faculty and staff on program development, helping to envision and achieve the next steps for the program.

This 12-month position is full-time during the academic year and half-time in the summer, reporting to the Director of Marine and Coastal Science. Because faculty and staff positions are distinct, this will be structured as 2 contracts: a permanent, half-time, 12-month staff position and a fixed-term (3-year renewable), half-time, 9-month, non-tenure track faculty position.

In all aspects of the position, the Lead is responsible for ensuring incorporation of accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusiveness perspectives throughout functional responsibility areas, in alignment with the University’s broader efforts to make Western a place where all community members feel truly safe, supported and included.

Staff duties will include:

  • Program recruitment, development and community engagement
    • Coordinate logistics and serve as the main contact for MACS program activities such as meetings, conferences, invited speakers, and student recruitment opportunities. (i.e., information and career fairs)
    • Maintain a database of potential MACS major students and send regular communications during the application period.
    • Liaise with local community colleges (WCC, BTC, etc.), potential feeder programs to MACS (ORCA), and similar programs at public and private regional universities. (Oregon State, UW, etc.)
    • Work with the admissions office on recruitment for the Distinguished Scholars, Marine Science Scholars program (MSS).
    • Offer advising sessions to prospective MACS students throughout the year.
    • Support program admissions for MSS and MACS major through managing application forms, organizing and summarizing submissions, and managing communication with applicants.
    • Create, update, and maintain program-related websites.
    • Coordinate social media with University Relations & Marketing as needed.
    • Participate in planning and crafting of proposals for program development.
  • Pre-major advising
    • Provide MSS and pre-majors student advising by appointment.
    • Perform transitions advising for transfer students.
    • Develop and maintain student guides to assist pre-majors in course planning.
  • Major advising
    • Hold general and new student advising sessions.
    • Offer advising by appointment and hold walk-in advising hours.
    • Coordinate student major applications.
    • Develop and maintain student guides to help MACS majors plan their course of study.
    • Serve as the primary contact for current and potential MACS majors regarding major requirements, program offerings, program policies, and program opportunities.
    • Maintain student information hub (on Canvas) including quarterly course lists for eligible MACS elective courses to our students.
    • Manage major restrictions and other enrollment support (i.e. overrides, major codes or program attributes)
    • Track student progress through the major and update student plans as major requirements change with curriculum changes
    • Review and prepare students’ major evaluations for graduation
    • Provide advising support to MACS faculty advisors
    • Interpret, advise, and implement complex institutional policies and procedures related to student advising.
    • Coordinate the assignment of declared MACS students to their faculty advisors.
    • Set up and manage online advising scheduling for the program.
    • Draft and maintain current advising materials, coordinating with Academic Advising to maintain updated major guide.
    • Serve on curriculum committee, providing student advising context and input to curricular decisions.
  • Capstone/student research/internship support/professional development
    • Support the MACS Internship Coordinator in the development of capstone and internship opportunities, forging and maintaining working relationships with placement sites and programs, faculty, alumni, and other offices.
    • Assist the MACS Internship Coordinator in maintaining a database of internship and capstone opportunities and regularly communicate opportunities to students.
    • Advise students preparing to do internship capstone and internship experiences, registering for credits, and completing projects, including connecting them with the MACS Internship Coordinator regarding support for research and capstone activities.
    • Coordinate with the MACS Internship Coordinator to support student research and internships.
    • Stay current on marine science career options and advise students on post-graduate career options related to the MACS major.

The non-tenure track faculty portion of the appointment duties will include:

  • Serve as instructor or co-instructor for 14 – 18 credits of courses serving the MACS major.  These may include:
    • Co-instructor for MACS 110 (4 credits) and MACS 210 (4 credits). These courses provide early access to hands-on research experiences for first- and second-year students;
    • Co-instructor for MACS capstone courses including the course-based research course (MACS 493, 4 credits) and MACS 496 (Communication in Marine Science, 2 credits);
    • Instructor for MACS 310 (Marine Science and Society, 3 credits), helping students connect marine science with people, places and communities;
    • Instructor for upper division elective in the individual's area of interest
  • Coordinate offering of MACS courses across different academic years and different co-instructors, facilitating the exchange of ideas between the faculty and providing a consistent foundation for rotating co-instructors to build on.
  • Participate in program assessment activities, including data gathering and follow-up actions.  
  • Provide continuity for students, engaging with them on an academic level throughout their academic careers in the MACS program.
Required Qualifications
  • Master’s degree in marine science or related field
  • Demonstrated success in a minimum of one academic year professional experience teaching undergraduate courses or providing academic and/or career advising in a higher education setting
  • Demonstrated strong communication and presentation skills in person and in a remote setting.
  • Demonstrated organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Demonstrated commitment to student success.
  • Demonstrated ability working collaboratively with diverse audiences in a higher education setting as well as a demonstrated record of or commitment to supporting an organizational culture that emphasizes accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

All employees must comply with our Immunization policies, including COVID vaccination by time of hire and Proof of Rubeola Measles Immunity within 60-days of hire. Please reach out to if you need information regarding medical or religious exemption and applicable accommodations.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Ph.D. in marine science or related field
  • Demonstrated excellence through continued advancement and increasing responsibilities in the area of student advising.
  • Demonstrated teaching excellence, with a focus on student centered learning approaches.
  • Interest in collaborative co-teaching approaches to instruction and student engagement.
  • Experience with data management.
  • Experience working with Office 365 applications including SharePoint and Teams, Banner, Degree Works, Canvas, Drupal and social media platforms.
Special Conditions

All employees must comply with our Immunization policies, including COVID vaccination by time of hire and Proof of Rubeola Measles Immunity within 60-days of hire. Please reach out to if you need information regarding medical or religious exemption and applicable accommodations.


Starting salary range is $22,891- $26,705 for the staff portion of this position, commensurate with experience.  Includes an excellent benefits package.  

In addition to the staff salary, the salary for a half-time NTT position (approximately 18 credit hours of teaching) would range between $25,200 and $34,400 depending on experience and the nature of the teaching assignments.
Application Instructions

A cover letter and resume are required and should address your experience related to the position responsibilities and the required and preferred qualifications.

Please include the names and contact information of three professional references.

Also required is a separate statement (maximum length one page) addressing your demonstrated record of or commitment to supporting an organizational culture that emphasizes accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion (ADEI), and how you will ensure incorporation of ADEI perspectives throughout functional responsibility areas, in alignment with the University’s broader efforts to make Western a place where all community members feel truly safe, supported and included. In the statement, please include examples of your past contributions and describe how you will contribute to further implementing these values at Western Washington University through the position responsibilities outlined above.

Closing Date Notes Application review begins August 21, 2021; 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 Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

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).

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.

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: 498704
Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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