Environmental Specialist


: $99,510.00 - $147,180.00 /year *

Employment Type

: Full-Time


: Scientific Research

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The Position

The ideal candidate for the current vacancy will possess one or more of the following characteristics:

  • A strong passion for environmental protection;
  • Proven skills working independently and as a memberof a collaborative team;
  • Experience and enthusiasm developing and delivering environmental outreach campaigns to the public;
  • Knowledge of water qualityparameters, watershed processes, best practices for storm water pollution prevention, and environmental regulations;
  • Experience enforcing or maintaining compliance with environmental regulations;
  • Experience collecting, analyzing,and presenting data in various formats; and
  • Excellent verbal and written communicationskills.

  • Environmental Specialist is a professional level class in the Storm Water and Creeks Sectionof the Water Department. Under direction, this classification oversees a broad range ofprograms related toenvironmentalmonitoringand activities required by the City'sNPDESmunicipal storm waterpermit such as sampling, investigations,enforcement, reporting, public outreach, and oversight. This positionprovides biological expertise for City-wide creek restoration planning efforts, and assists with or leads the creek stewardship program. Incumbents are expected to exercise a high degree of initiative and independent judgment in the development, implementation and monitoring of related programs and activities. This classification is distinguished from the classification of Natural Resource Specialist in that the latter implements and monitors elements of established programs while the Environmental Specialist has a broad scope of responsibilities related to program development, environmental review and creek restoration planning. Examples of Duties and Responsibilities Essential Duties:
  • Develop and implement biological monitoring programs required by the City's NPDES permit;
  • develop curricula and coordinate the program=s educational efforts with high school teachers;
  • provide classroom and field instruction to high school students related to stream health;
  • prepare required reports on biological monitoring programs for the Regional Water Quality Control Board;
  • assess biological degradation resulting from creek pollution incidents;
  • develop and implement associated monitoring programs as appropriate;
  • provide related information to the responsible enforcement agencies;
  • prepare requisitions for laboratories to perform analysis of biological monitoring samples;
  • coordinate shipping of samples to maintain safety and chain of custody requirements;
  • monitor and evaluate laboratory work products.
  • plan and carry out field work associated with the City-wide Creek Restoration Program;
  • gather information regarding the health of the City's creeks;
  • provide guidance to technical staff assisting with information gathering activities;
  • prepare related reports on creek reaches; develop a prioritized list of creeks needing restoration for the consideration of the Waterways Advisory Committee and City Council;
  • plan and carry out creek stewardship activities including: coordination with Sonoma County Water Agency;
  • recruitment and training of volunteer creek stewards;
  • promotion of the creek stewardship program;
  • development of recreational and educational opportunities for the community;
  • follow up on reports regarding trash, water pollution, natural habitat, trail maintenance and neighborhood safety;
  • and facilitation of communication and cooperation among government agencies and other organizations;
  • coordinate biological monitoring and creek restoration efforts with outside agencies;
  • coordinate creek enhancement activities with neighborhood and community groups;
  • provide biological expertise to design teams developing creek restoration projects;
  • establish and implement monitoring programs to track the effectiveness of creek restoration projects;
  • make adaptive management recommendations as needed;
  • review and analyze the details of public construction projects to determine the permitting and environmental review processes required to comply with federal, state or local laws and ordinances;
  • where permits are required for public projects, contact and work closely with various federal, state, regional, and local agencies involved with environmental permitting;
  • confer and maintain relationships with the staff of other departments to develop project descriptions and perform preliminary environmental reviews;
  • develop and recommend mitigation measures to be followed that will eliminate, minimize or mitigate the environmental effects of projects;
  • monitor public project construction to ensure the implementation of mitigation measures and legal compliance, and resolve problems that may occur during construction;
  • conduct field inspections of proposed project sites to gather information in order to analyze potential effects a project may have on the environment, and to photograph, videotape, or prepare other graphic materials for inclusion in various environmental permits and reports;
  • prepare environmental documents, including environmental assessments, initial studies, negative declarations, and notices of exemption;
  • prepare and/or coordinate the preparation of detailed written and graphic materials, charts, maps, and visual displays necessary to obtain various environmental permits and for presentations;
  • prepare or oversee the preparation of specifications and designs for revegetation projects and oversee the monitoring of mitigation measures, including native plant revegetation, wetland creation, and habitat enhancement projects;
  • prepare Requests for Proposals for environmental documents, permits, and special studies, e.g., historic property and biological survey reports, location hydraulic studies, and botanical, wetland, air quality, traffic and noise studies;
  • prepare scopes of work for and manage consultant contracts for environmental and special studies for projects;
  • review proposals and recommend selection of consultants;
  • monitor and evaluate consultant work products and make related recommendations;
  • make presentations to the Waterways Advisory Committee, Planning Commission, City Council, other agencies or governing bodies, and the general public;
  • prepare or coordinate preparation of resolutions and supporting documentation for the City Council, Planning Commission, Waterways Advisory Committee, and other agencies or governing bodies.

  • Additional Duties:

    In addition to the duties listed in the Essential Duties Section, each employee in this classification may perform the following duties. Any single position may not be assigned all duties listed below, nor do the examples cover all duties which may be assigned.
  • Track and research grant opportunities related to the storm water management, creek restoration and creek stewardship programs;
  • scope and estimate costs of projects for grant applications;
  • prepare or participate in the preparation of grant applications and submit by deadline;
  • and follow up with granting agencies as required.
  • perform complex, specialized and detailed research and analysis of short term, long term, and cumulative environmental impacts resulting from the construction of projects;
  • develop and implement public outreach and information activities;
  • and perform related duties as required.
  • Required Qualifications Knowledge of: Fresh water biology and creek restoration concepts; federal, state, and local laws, regulations, current programs and court decisions pertaining to environmental protection; environmental considerations in the design, location, and construction of public construction projects; citizen and public interest groups involved with environmental matters; physical, biological, social and human environmental relationships; contract management; construction principles, practices, and terminology; the use of personal computers and various software applications, e.g., word processing, spreadsheets, graphics and modeling; the use of various audio-visual aids in making group presentations; safety principles and best practices regarding equipment and power tool usage.

    Ability to: Analyze technical information and prepare project reports; determine probable effects of projects on the environment; communicate clearly and concisely, orally and in writing; use good judgment in the assembly, evaluation and use of information; make effective presentations to large and small groups; use and care for monitoring equipment; perform complex, professional biological work with a minimum of supervision; effectively resolve work related problems; make mathematical calculations; read and interpret construction documents; analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action; establish and maintain effective relationships with those contacted in the course of work; use a terminal or personal computer keyboard; use common hand tools and operate power tools such as drills, grinders, circular saws, weed trimmers, mowers, chainsaws, and hedgers.

    Experience and Education: Any combination equivalent to experience and education that could likely provide the required knowledge and abilities would be qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be: Experience - Sufficient experience performing water-related biological monitoring and conducting environmental review of construction projects, or sufficient experience teaching biology, environmental studies or a closely related field, to demonstrate possession of the knowledge and abilities listed above; Education - Equivalent to completion of a Bachelor of Science degree in physical or biological sciences, environmental studies, or a closely related field. Additional Information Incumbents in this classification divide their time between duties performed indoors in an engineering office environment and outdoors in field conditions, as well as spending some time making presentations in a classroom setting to students of all ages. They communicate orally with others, one-to-one, in groups, and by telephone. Environmental Specialists sit or stand for prolonged periods when writing reports, working at a computer, or performing field and classroom instruction activities. Additionally, they walk on level, inclined, uneven, wet and slippery surfaces; reach, kneel, bend, stoop, and climb over objects; and respond to vehicle backup alarms while conducting field work. While monitoring projects in the field, an incumbent may be subjected to wet, hot and cold weather. During construction and field site inspections, incumbents may be exposed to dust and pollen, poisonous and stinging plants, and loud noises. For maintenance of restoration areas and minor drainage and trail maintenance projects incumbents may use common hand tools and power tools such as drills, grinders, circular saws, weed trimmers, mowers, chainsaws, and hedgers. Bioassay sample collection requires incumbents to bend and stoop to lift 5-gallon water sample containers weighing up to 50 pounds. Climbing stairs and pushing and/or lifting weights up to 25 pounds is required when using office equipment, lifting binders and/or pushing boxes of specifications and reports. Incumbents use and calibrate instruments such as turbidity probes, pH probes, dissolved oxygen probes and automatic samplers to monitor water quality. They discriminate among colors when preparing and/or reading maps with colors as the legend and when reviewing AutoCAD drawings.
    Associated topics: agrosciences, air monitoring, bioassay, ecology, ecological, farm, field, sustainability, sustainable, water monitoring * The salary listed in the header is an estimate based on salary data for similar jobs in the same area. Salary or compensation data found in the job description is accurate.

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