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Title: Watershed Scientist (Environmental Analyst or Assoc Environmental Scientist)
Program: Resilient Landscapes
Requisition No. RL-CW-2021-01
Posted: 8/23/21
Application review begins on 9/13/21
Position Description

SFEI is seeking a talented entry- to mid-level physical scientist or engineer to work on projects in watersheds around San Francisco Bay and across California. The position offers an opportunity to work with an outstanding multidisciplinary team of scientists on innovative projects that help improve the physical and ecological functioning of California landscapes for people, plants, and wildlife in the face of mounting pressures including climate change. We are looking for someone to start immediately.
The successful candidate will work on applied science projects relating to watershed restoration, water and sediment management, and climate-change adaptation planning in the Bay Area and statewide. The candidate will help develop tools and quantitative approaches to inform important regional and state-wide riverine ecosystem management decisions. The candidate will also help manage projects, coordinate project teams, and work with partners to achieve successful project outcomes. Primary position responsibilities will include:

  • investigating historical, contemporary, and future watershed sediment and geomorphic processes; 
  • assessing land use and climate change impacts on watershed hydrologic and hydraulic processes; 
  • evaluating the impacts of geomorphic and hydrologic/hydraulic changes on habitat and ecological processes and functions; and  
  • advancing landscape-scale multi-benefit conservation and adaptation planning that promotes resilient riverine, wetland, coastal, and urban ecosystems using a quantitative approach
  • assisting a variety of modeling projects, including watershed and urban hydrology, urban greening, stormwater management, water quality, habitat restoration, and climate change. 

The position will require the use of a variety of analytical tools such as GIS and hydrologic/hydraulic modeling to understand landscape processes (such as sediment dynamics, flood regimes, or groundwater patterns), creativity and collaboration to achieve multidisciplinary project goals, effective communication with project partners, and writing technical reports and giving presentations to convey project findings.


Master’s degree in geomorphology, hydrology, civil or environmental engineering,   or related field, with two or more years of relevant work experience is preferred; Bachelor’s degree with 5+ years of experience will also be considered. The candidate should have the following credentials and demonstrated abilities:

  • Ability to work collaboratively and with interdisciplinary teams 
  • Ability to synthesize, analyze, and/or visualize information from qualitative and quantitative datasets using a variety of tools 
  • Experience in field measurement, data collection, and synthesis
  • Experience in hydrologic and hydraulic, and water quality modeling tools
  • Excellent communication skills; demonstrated ability to communicate findings clearly in writing and presentations and translate complex concepts for both general and technical audiences
  • Experience presenting at professional or academic conferences and to stakeholder groups
  • Ability to maintain excellent working relationships with external partners and stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to scientific reports and publications for both general and technical audiences

In addition, the candidate will have expertise or experience in some of the following areas:

  • Watershed geomorphic, sediment transport, and hydrologic/hydraulic processes
  • Relationships between hydrogeomorphic and ecological dynamics in riverine ecosystems
  • Hydrologic and hydraulic modeling using software such as LSPC, HSPF, SWMM, HEC modeling suite, SWAT
  • Proficiency with geospatial analyses and tools such as ArcGIS
  • Statistical and data analysis using Python, R, C++, Excel, and related software
  • Wetland, riparian, and/or aquatic ecology 
  • Groundwater processes
  • Landscape-scale conservation and restoration
  • Engaging diverse communities in adaptation planning
  • Data visualization using Adobe tools (Illustrator, Indesign, Photoshop), AutoCAD, Rhino or similar software
  • Project of task management, including overseeing staff, budgets, schedules and deliverables
 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 27-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 within 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, the 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, regional sediment science, 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 application form as a result of your disability. To request an accommodation, contact Linda Russio at 510-746-7355 or [email protected].

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

Do not use any third-party web sites to apply for the position. No phone calls please.

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