RAY Conservation Diversity Fellow/Ocean, Climate and Environmental Justice

POSITION TITLE: RAY Conservation Diversity Fellow / Ocean, Climate and Environmental Justice

DEPARTMENT/PROGRAM: Ocean Justice                                                     

REPORTS TO: Francisco Ollervides, Director, Ocean Climate Justice

STATUS: Regular, Full-Time                             

LOCATION: Flexible, may be located in any of Ocean Conservancy’s existing locations                


Inspired by efforts to increase racial diversity in conservation and clean energy, the Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Diversity Fellowship Program aims to increase and facilitate environmentally-related career pathways for emerging leaders of color. The RAY Fellowship Program is a paid fellowship designed to equip recent college graduates with the tools, experiences, support, and community they need to become leaders in the conservation and clean energy sectors—one that, in our visions of the future, fully represents, includes, and is led by the diverse communities, perspectives, and experiences of the United States.


Ocean Conservancy works to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create evidence-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.

At Ocean Conservancy, our advocacy for the global ocean is predicated on our commitment to ocean justice – which we define as the fair and equitable distribution of both the benefits of the ocean’s bounty and the burdens of its complex care. This is the purpose of the Ocean Justice program.

Persistent global inequalities – which manifest as unequal ocean access, benefits, and burdens – are an inherent threat to our success, and to the wellbeing of the ocean. Such inequalities accelerate ocean harms; fragment people’s relationships to the ocean; limit innovation in solving ocean problems; and obstruct our ability to effectively advocate for the most impactful ocean solutions.

Because of the myriad ways in which global ocean inequalities manifest, our work as an ocean advocacy organization must be thoughtful, agile, intentional, and always oriented toward the polestar of a healthier ocean, protected by a more just world.

As part of our effort to identify potential new partners, cultivate relationships of mutual respect & support, and expand our collaborative networks to include more globally marginalized peoples and communities, Ocean Conservancy provides small grants to organizations whose proposed projects & mission advance global ocean equity & justice.


A RAY Fellow that selects the Ocean Justice team (OJ) will be joining a new, expanding, and exciting program within OC. The RAY Fellow will work very closely with the Ocean Justice Director to coordinate all the activities of the ocean and climate justice program and brainstorm potential new ideas in the near term.


The Fellow will have definable projects with clear deliverables, timelines, milestones, and end dates. Yet, the portfolio of projects will be adapted or flexible in their execution based on the Fellow’s personal interest, abilities, and experience.

Some of the very broad projects they will be involved in include:

  • Map internal relationships of OCJ and other departments from Ocean Conservancy.
  • Create and update a calendar of significant events (conferences, large meetings, deadlines) relevant to OCJ programs and priorities
  • Map and facilitate strategic stakeholder engagement within all the various OCJ’s activities.
  • Create and consistently update an internal database with detailed information for leaders in the communities where we work, corporate and private sector that supports our efforts, plus local government and philanthropy that are critical to OCJ’s success. Also include leaders that will need a little more persuasion to work with us and not against us.
  • Evaluate effectiveness of Ocean Justice Mini Course co-produced with Unity College.
  • Establish follow up protocols for first cohort
  • Assist in revamping this for a second cohort and posterity
  • Assist in execution of numerous tasks and deliverables for Ocean Justice Advisory Group (OJAG)
  • Supports Director of Ocean Climate Justice with Shipping and Ports/Justice campaign
  • Coordinate support from OJ program to OC’s JEDI work
  • External JEDI work- support push equity and justice within strategies across departments
  • Brainstorm opportunities to learn and promote ocean justice literacy
  • Research BIPOC led organizations to identify key partnerships as support to the Manager of Equitable Ocean Communities
  • Contributes to overall Ocean Justice programmatic work, from coordinating meetings to executing ideas.


  • Drafting work plans with the Florida-Justice40 Team (researching communities to contact to build relationships).  The FL-Justice40 Initiative will contribute to the long-term goal of the Climate Policy and Ocean Justice Programs in supporting equitable distribution of resources to improve coastal community and ecosystem resilience to climate change and remove barriers to access for historically marginalized communities. 
  • Support the creation of videos and other media to enhance ocean justice literacy internal and external communications
  • Final report on the gaps of knowledge as it pertains to networking and outreach to community groups


In addition to the responsibilities at the host institution outlined above, RAY Fellows will spend, on average, 2-4 hours per week (5-10% of work time) on the following:

  • Actively communicating and building community with their RAY Fellow cohort and previous RAY Fellows.
  • Attending monthly check-ins calls (including 1-on-1 check-ins with RAY program staff and group calls with their RAY Fellow cohort).
  • Meeting regularly with mentors both inside and outside the host institution.
  • Attending monthly professional development webinars, trainings, and other opportunities to build knowledge and skills.
  • Developing a Personal Leadership Plan (PLP) in their 2nd year with the support of supervisor(s), mentors, RAY program staff, and their RAY Fellow cohort. The PLP will serve as a tool for self-reflection, planning, and assessing progress towards professional, personal, and leadership goals.
  • Preparing and leading an hour-long end-of-fellowship webinar highlighting their Fellowship experience.

RAY Fellows will also attend:

  • A 3-day Orientation Retreat in November 2022.
  • A 3-day Mid-Fellowship Leadership Retreat in September 2023.


Eligible RAY Fellow applicants will:

  • Come from a racial/ethnic background underrepresented in conservation and clean energy and demonstrate a commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Be no more than 1 year out of college and have a Bachelor's Degree by September 2022 (we are not considering individuals with graduate degrees at this time).
  • Have not had a full-time job in conservation or clean energy.
  • Have the ability to work in the United States and commit to the entire fellowship.


  • A college degree by the time of employment
  • An interest in the field of conservation and climate justice
  • Demonstrated intellect and leadership.
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • An eagerness to learn.
  • Fluency in the basic Microsoft Office programs and email
  • Ability to video conference
  • Comfortable engaging with stakeholders from multiple backgrounds and industries
  • Self-starter, creative, organized, and team player
  • Passion or strong knowledge of ocean justice and marine conservation
  • Preferred but not required experience in climate change, shipping and ports, arctic issues, plastics, conservation, justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, and marine wildlife
  • Additional language proficiency a plus


This is a two-year, full-time fellowship (one year with a one year renewal) starting on or after September 12, 2022.


The Fellowship is compensated and sponsored by Ocean Conservancy who offers a competitive benefits package as well as training and professional development opportunities. This full time, non exempt position is paid at $25/per hour (approximately $52,000 per year).


To apply for the RAY Fellowship Program, applicants must:

  • Complete the online application survey on the RAY Fellowship Program website: https://rayfellowship.org/apply
  • Follow the instructions on the linked application webpage to submit a resume or curriculum vitae, one essay response, one visioning response, one short answer response, and a letter of support.
  • Applications must be submitted to the RAY Fellowship Program no later than June 26, 2022. Transcripts and additional writing samples are not required. If you have questions please see our FAQ page, attend an informational webinar or watch a recording, and any further questions about the application process can be submitted to the RAY Program Manager, Charlie Espedido, via email at charlie@elpnet.org.

Ocean Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, handicap, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status Ocean Conservancy is continually seeking to diversify its staff, particularly to broaden opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy.