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2021 Seasonal Biologist Job Announcement

Spartina Treatment Monitor
Job Requirements

Job Description

Olofson Environmental, Inc. (OEI) is an environmental consulting firm located in Oakland, California. OEI manages the San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Project (ISP), a coordinated project of the California State Coastal Conservancy and additional partners. ISP is seeking Spartina Treatment Monitors, who will assist in the field monitoring of non-native Spartina (cordgrass) treatment activities and monitoring of native marsh plant restoration plots.

Monitors will be trained in the identification of native and invasive Spartina species and their hybrids. Monitors will gain experience in using software on GPS units to relocate and record the treatment of invasive Spartina patches previously mapped by ISP biologists. Monitors will also be trained in the use of desktop-based ArcGIS to edit field-collected data.

The position includes the application of herbicides under the direction of a licensed professional. Monitors will be trained in the safe use and application of herbicides. As needed, monitors may also assist with environmental monitoring for construction projects and will be trained in water sample collection and analysis.

Work will begin July 12 and will continue through mid to late November. Position averages 30 to 35 hours/week. Hours will vary during the field season depending on tides, weather, and treatment schedule; some weeks may have little to no work and other weeks may require >40 hours. Work may start as early as 5 a.m. and end as late as 9 p.m.


Successful candidates should have an undergraduate degree or commensurate experience in ecology, conservation, habitat restoration, or a related field. Other desirable qualifications include construction project work, supervision, and/or biological monitoring. Experience in boating, trailering, and motor vehicle maintenance is strongly preferred.

The position requires close collaboration with treatment crews and ISP staff in the field and in the office. The successful candidate will have the ability to work well independently and in a team setting, and be able to follow project-specific field protocols and data entry/editing procedures. Must be able to communicate clearly and effectively.

Applicants should have some familiarity with plant identification, GPS, and/or computer-based mapping, and should be able to apply these skills independently after approximately two weeks of training. The applicant should possess strong map-reading skills and either a familiarity with the San Francisco Bay area or the ability to quickly orient themselves to the site locations and driving conditions.

Physical Demands

Successful candidates must be willing and able to spend long periods of time in potentially adverse field conditions. The position can include up to 8+ hours per day walking outside in the mud and soft substrate, in the fully exposed sun, and carrying heavy equipment.

Must be able to comfortably lift and carry at least 30 pounds. Must be willing to conduct field surveys during and directly adjacent to the application of imazapyr herbicide (trade name: Habitat or Polaris) [more information on this herbicide is available at] In order to apply herbicide, one must be able to carry a backpack sprayer that weighs 30 pounds. Must be willing to get muddy.

Must be available to work up to 5 full (8-10 hour) days a week, with the understanding that work availability will vary based on schedule and weather conditions. Must be flexible and adaptable to changes in schedules and hours, often with very little advance notice. Must be available for the possibility of work on Saturdays twice a month from August to November.
Must have use of a car and be able to travel to the office and to field sites around the San Francisco Bay (mileage to field sites is reimbursed; driver’s license and proof of automobile insurance are required). Candidates must be able to swim and be comfortable on and around boats, as a majority of the remote field sites are accessed via watercraft.

Employees must provide their own standard field gear, such as suitable clothing, backpack, and sun protection. Hip waders are required but can be borrowed if needed. ISP will provide technical gear, such as data collection units, range finders, compasses, and personal protection equipment (PPE).

Work areas are in the sensitive marshes that may be inhabited by threatened or endangered species. Must demonstrate an ability to follow protocols and show sensitivity to the habitat after one week of training.

Hours and Pay Rate

Hours are variable from 0 to 60 hours/week based on project needs, but typically average 30-35 hours/week. The pay rate is $17-$21/hour based on experience, with overtime paid at time-and-a-half, double time on weekends. Candidates will have access to all mandated federal, state, and local benefits. The pay rate would increase if employees return for future ISP seasons.

Application and Important Dates

To apply, e-mail a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references by Friday, May 28, 2021, to Specify “Spartina Treatment Monitor Application” in the email subject line, and address the cover letter to Ms. Melanie Anderson.

Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Questions regarding this position should be directed to Interviews will be scheduled as qualified applications are received; applications will be reviewed until the positions are filled.

*Information Regarding Coronavirus Pandemic* *Updated 3/19/2021*
  • The State California Coastal Conservancy has deemed ISP to be an “essential infrastructure” public service, consistent with both the State and county shelter-in-place orders.
  • ISP has developed and implemented best management practices following the guidelines by public health officials to carry out the work while protecting staff.
  • Position start date and duties are contingent on guidelines and orders issued by public health officials during the COVID-19 pandemic.