Are you a college graduate with a degree in biology, ecology, botany, zoology, or a related discipline in the life sciences? Do you have at least seven years of professional experience, specializing in ecological studies or biological management? If so, check out this senior-level Biologist position at Valley Water.
Valley Water is the primary water resource agency for Santa Clara County, supplying wholesale water, providing flood protection, and serving as environmental steward for clean, safe creeks and healthy ecosystems. Valley Water serves approximately two million people in 15 cities: Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mt. View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga and Sunnyvale, and the towns of Los Altos Hills and Los Gatos, and manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory, 400 acres of groundwater recharge ponds, and 275 miles of streams.
The Senior Biologist will work in the Watershed Planning and Stewardship Division’s Environmental Mitigation and Monitoring Unit providing fisheries and other biological technical oversight and subject matter expertise to effectively manage natural resources and comply with environmental laws and regulations. The Unit specializes in managing long-term mitigation monitoring programs; managing the Fisheries and Aquatic Habitat Collaborative Effort (FAHCE); oversight of the plant pathogen program; special-status species; jurisdictional habitats; impact and habitat function assessments; avoidance and minimization measures; mitigation design and monitoring; environmental permitting and stewardship; and providing biological subject matter expertise to support over 30 capital projects and long range planning programs.
Key Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Implement three large fisheries monitoring programs: the Guadalupe River fisheries monitoring program, the impaired water bodies fisheries monitoring program, and the Fisheries and Aquatic Habitat Collaborative Effort (FAHCE) interim fisheries monitoring program.
Provide ecological support for various Watershed and Water Utility capital projects including: Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project (ADSRP), Pacheco Reservoir Expansion Project (PREP), the Lake Almaden, Upper Guadalupe River, Upper Penitencia, San Francisquito Creek, and Mid-Coyote Creek flood protection projects.
Provide biological subject matter expertise to support the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program.
Participate in long-range and regional planning efforts and public outreach.
Perform the role of subject matter expert for fisheries and aquatic ecology, providing technical oversight, QA/QC and support to consultants and junior level biological staff.
Manage the coordination, implementation, and reporting of fisheries data collection efforts for the FAHCE monitoring program, Guadalupe River MMP, and SCW B1 fisheries sampling program.
Provide ecological support for the planning, design and construction of watershed and water utility capital projects including ADSRP, PREP, and flood protection projects.
Seven (7) or more years of experience performing professional-level responsibilities as a biologist involving a significant amount of field work.
Experience working with the local flora and fauna of Santa Clara County.
GIS, database, and technical report writing experience.
Supervisory and/or project management experience is a plus.
Ideal Skills and Abilities:
Establish and maintain effective working relationships with multi-disciplinary and management teams while having excellent oral and written communication skills and good critical thinking skills.
Design, implement, analyze, and report on ecological monitoring activities; prepare a variety of technical and administrative reports; advise management on project parameters, timelines, deliverables, providing project updates, and attending public meetings as an expert.
Ability to effectively negotiate permits.
Ability to work in a collaborative team environment.
Ability to make presentations to the Board of Directors, management and Valley Water staff.
Oversee and/or participate in the creation, monitoring, and maintenance of operating procedures, update work instructions, forms processes, standard methods, and protocols.
Identification and natural history of local fish and wildlife including special-status species.
A variety of biological field equipment used to sample, monitor and measure biological resources.
Solid ecological principles (e.g., wetlands, botany, fisheries, wildlife).
Federal and State permitting regulations, laws, processes and practices applicable to all of Valley Water’s natural resource assets, including aquatic, flora, wildlife, wetlands, and ecosystems.
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Principles and practices of project management including planning, scheduling, and budgeting.
Principles, practices and responsibilities involved in leading the work of assigned staff.
Planning, organizing, conducting, and managing of biological investigations and surveys.
Quality control and quality assurance principles and practices applied in the collection and management of biological data.
Federal Endangered Species Act (FESA) and California Endangered Species Act (CESA).
Common desktop applications and software.
Ideal Training and Education:
Equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in biology, ecology, botany, zoology, wildlife, fisheries ecology, or a related discipline in a life sciences field.
Master’s degree in biology, ecology, botany, or zoology is a plus.