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Job Announcement
Title: Senior Scientist I or Senior Scientist II
Program: Clean Water
Requisition No: CW 20-1
Position Open Until Filled.

SFEI is seeking a Senior Scientist specializing in legacy contaminants and contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) to conduct projects evaluating contaminant loading from watersheds and the impacts of contaminants on water quality, with a goal of supporting policy development to prevent or minimize adverse water quality impacts.

A primary role of the Senior Scientist will be providing technical leadership on issues relating to contaminants for the Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay (Bay RMP) as well as other Clean Water Program efforts. This position will be an integral part of the Clean Water Program’s team of scientists.

SFEI’s novel and multifaceted regional monitoring program uses pooled funds from dischargers and dredgers to evaluate ambient water quality, and work in collaboration with governmental agencies and NGOs to provide the best science to make robust decisions for the sustainable stewardship of California’s aquatic ecosystems. The Bay RMP conducts monitoring of water (including stormwater), sediment, and biota (e.g., sport fish, bird eggs, bivalves), as well as special studies on high priority topics, such as CECs, microplastics, and current use pesticides. The Senior Scientist will assist in study designs and the collection, review, and synthesis of RMP data. The Senior Scientist will present newly generated information to the RMP stakeholders through oral presentations and technical reports, and engage the stakeholders in evaluating potential next steps. The Senior Scientist is also expected to publish in technical journals and present these results at national and international conferences.

This is a part-time position (50% to 60% time with room to increase the percent time by successful fundraising) for a candidate with a PhD in environmental chemistry or closely related field.  

  1. PhD in Environmental Chemistry or Environmental Engineering, or closely related field, and 5+ years of relevant experience (e.g., environmental monitoring, environmental study design, conceptual and mechanistic models, environmental statistics, fate and transport processes).
  2. Work experience in relevant program management areas (e.g., stakeholder governance and meetings, meeting facilitation, budget development and reporting, and deliverables tracking to assure that projects are on-time and within budget and meeting the needs of a diverse group of stakeholders).
  3. Work experience leading scientific teams on complex environmental projects.  
  4. Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  5. A team player who inspires staff and is enthusiastic about the Institute’s mission of providing science to inform decisions.
  6. Technical experience in CECs and/or contaminants in urban stormwater.  

The position will interact with and collaborate across many groups at SFEI and requires an enthusiastic, team-oriented individual and will be located in Richmond, CA. Typical duties will include:

  • Writing technical reports, journal articles, memoranda, and internal reports.
  • Leading competitive fundraising activities.
  • Presenting technical information at a variety of forums such as workgroup meetings, quarterly committee meetings, regional conferences, and national meetings.
  • Working with stakeholder groups to build consensus, articulate priority information needs, 
  • and design scientific studies that can fill priority data gaps.
  • Working with other organizations to stay abreast of new findings, new work, and new policies and regulations regarding contaminants such as CECs.      

Salary: up to FTE of $116,000 (Senior Scientist I level) or FTE of $124,000 (Senior Scientist II level) depending on experience.

About SFEI

SFEI Mission: We deliver visionary science that empowers people to revitalize nature in our communities.

San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which has a 25-year track record of serving local, state, and federal agencies by developing and translating science to measurably improve the health and resiliency of Bay-Delta ecosystems. SFEI is a boundary organization at the interface between science and policy, recognized nationally for our ability to build consensus to support effective environmental decision-making and policy. Over the next five years, SFEI will be implementing our Strategic Plan that will focus on advancing visionary science, harnessing innovative technology and big data, and communicating science to inform, inspire, and empower stakeholders in an effort to fulfill our vision and mission for the Bay-Delta and beyond.

SFEI has 70 staff who represent numerous scientific and technological fields including chemistry, modeling, ecology, wildlife biology, landscape planning, historical ecology, geomorphology, geospatial modeling and analysis, and web development. We are seeking a talented scientist to join a dynamic, supportive, team-oriented work culture that is driven by our vision and mission. We have many long-tenured staff who have built and expanded the foundation of the organization and are looking for a key person to grow with us.

SFEI has three major programs: Clean Water, Environmental Informatics, and Resilient Landscapes.  These programs have multiple focus areas including the Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay, Nutrient Management Strategy, contaminants of emerging concern, the Regional Data Center, aerial drone research, geomorphology, multi-benefit urban greening and design, ecosystem restoration and climate adaptation, urban biodiversity and resilience, and green stormwater infrastructure. 

Application Information

SFEI is committed to building a culturally diverse staff, and we strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, and other groups commonly under-represented in environmental science.

San Francisco Estuary Institute is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind. We are committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity, and to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment.  All employment decisions are based on business needs, job requirements, and individual qualifications.  Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, physical or mental disability, family or parental status, protected Veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

If you are a qualified individual with a disability or a disabled veteran, you have the right to request an accommodation if you are unable or limited in your ability to use or access our career center as a result of your disability. To request an accommodation, contact Linda Russio at 510-746-7355 or [email protected].

For more information on our mission, values, programs, and staff, visit the San Francisco Estuary Institute website  

Please note that SFEI cannot sponsor an employment visa (e.g., H-1B) to fill this position.


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