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Rachel Plunkett, Content Manager

Rachel Plunkett

Rachel Plunkett, Content Manager.

As content manager, Rachel is also the lead writer for Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) headquarters. Rachel tells the stories about the national marine sanctuaries and the people — the scientists, conservationists, local fishers, volunteers, Indigenous communities, and historians — who keep these valuable places alive for all Americans to enjoy now and in the future. In her position she also has editorial responsibilities, and she reviews and revises each piece of content to ensure the brand’s unique tone and voice are consistent across all media.

What are your basic job duties?

I manage our web story calendar, which involves planning, writing, and editing stories for our digital news page; I also manage content creation for our website redesigns; to accomplish this, I coordinate with staff from all 17 of our national marine sanctuaries and monuments as well as the NOS headquarters web team. Another aspect of my job is media relations and amplifying our content and messages. I am an experienced scientific diver and photographer, and I use these skills when I collaborate on projects with NOS headquarters colleagues as well as with  marine sanctuaries and monuments staff. I copyedit reports and outreach products and write content for internal and external publications. I use my scientific background to ensure ONMS products are written in plain language for the public.

How did you get to where you are now in your career?

I completed several environmental education and outreach internships between 2007-2016. After earning my bachelor’s and master’s degrees and working as a field scientist in South Florida for a few years, I decided to return to my first passion: writing. While working full-time as a scientist, I earned marketing certifications and started my own science communication business — writing in a freelance capacity on the side. This led me to a full-time position as a media and marketing specialist for a South Florida marine science non-profit, and eventually I obtained a position with NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries as the writer/editor within the communications team. My current job title is content manager.

What NOAA project have you enjoyed working on the most?

I work with some very talented and creative people, and our team has produced many fantastic products, such as the commemorative National Marine Sanctuary System Posters, which showcase the importance and beauty of national marine sanctuaries. A big part of my job is communicating scientific information in a way that makes sense to most people and that holds their interest. One example of this kind of writing would be Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary in Good Condition: Climate Change a Growing Concern. My favorite projects are the ones where I get to interview people who are making a difference in their sanctuary communities. Check out these 2023 interviews with Queer Surf Founder Kyla Langen, and Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar Jaida Elcock.

  • Name: Rachel Plunkett
  • Location: Remote
  • Education: B.S. in Environmental Policy; M.S. in Marine Biology
  • National Ocean Service Program Office: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS)

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Author: NOAA

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