Ocean Career: Coastal Scientist at San Francisco Bay Conservation & Development Commission

Wetlands provide transitional habitat between estuarine waters and uplands, absorb flood waters, buffer waves along the shoreline, and can assist the region in adapting to rising seas. In the San Francisco Bay, beneficial reuse of dredged sediment from navigation projects has contributed to the successful restoration of subsided diked Baylands. Placing dredged sediment at subsided locations allows wetland vegetation to quickly establish.

However, suspended sediments in Bay waters that could help feed restored wetlands have decreased from historic levels. There is a severe shortage of sediment supplies from other sources such as dredging projects in San Francisco Bay. Significantly more sediment will be required in the Bay to restore and sustain the Bay’s wetlands in the face of rising seas through 2100.

To address this issue, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission is hiring an Environmental Scientist to lead a project that would coordinate regional efforts, involve key stakeholders, investigate, and develop new policies around sediment and soil issues. The project is funded by a Wetlands Development Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and funding from the State of California Ocean Protection Council. Under general direction of the Long-Range Planning Manager in coordination with the Sediment Program Manager, the Environmental Scientist performs complex and specialized environmental and natural resource analysis, research and studies involving sediment management, resource conservation and restoration, shoreline development, climate change and sea level rise, social equity and environmental justice, public use and enjoyment of the Bay as staff to the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. The Environmental Scientist conducts scientific and policy planning studies reviewing the San Francisco Bay Plan and the Commission’s Special Area Plans and provides recommendations on policy development.

Special focus will be on managing a planning process to support beneficial use of sediment and soil, incorporating social equity and environmental justice and sea level rise and climate change. The Environmental Scientist will work collaboratively with the Regulatory Division’s Sediment Management Program to coordinate regional efforts, involve key stakeholders, investigate, and develop new policies around sediment and soil issues and include a financing strategy to help tackle funding needs. The project includes three phases:

  1. An Open Standards for Conservation Practice “Results Chain Analysis” with regional stakeholders to create a beneficial reuse roadmap;
  2. A potential San Francisco Bay Plan Amendment to address emerging sediment issues, including those addressing wetland and climate adaptation needs; and
  3. A financing strategy to support additional beneficial reuse of sediment and soil. To complete the project, Commission staff will partner with the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture and the San Francisco Estuary Institute.

The Environmental Scientist works with considerable independence and is responsible for a wide variety of complex tasks, including: working with a Commissioner Work Group, literature research, policy and data analysis, technical and policy report writing, policy development, conducting workshops, and community and stakeholder outreach. In addition to the planning duties outlined above, the Environmental Scientist will work independently on report review and development, sediment quality analysis, and permitting with support from the Sediment Management Program Manager. Working in partnership with other public agencies and interest groups, the environmental scientist develops and presents planning recommendations to the Commission and may provide consultative advice to various governmental agencies and other entities; in addition to being assigned lead responsibility for specific projects.

Salary: $4,145.00 - $7,926.00 per Month
Application deadline: October 21, 2022

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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