Job Posting: Senior Environmental Scientist

CA Coastal Commission

Senior Environmental Scientist

$7,336.00 - $9,126.00 per Month

Final Filing Date: Until Filled

Job Description and Duties

The California Coastal Commission is seeking an experienced Senior Environmental Scientist (Specialist) to join its Technical Services Unit (Ecology Group). 

The Ecology Group supports Commission staff with review and analysis of proposed development regarding potential adverse impacts on coastal resources and conformance with Coastal Act natural resource policies, including those certified in Local Coastal Plans (LCPs) and similar plans.  

Under the direction of the Ecology Team Environmental Program Manager, the successful incumbent will be integrated into the existing team and work with Commission staff to address a variety of ecological issues raised in the Commission’s policy, planning and regulatory work.  A portion of the incumbent’s work will focus on major transportation projects throughout the coastal zone, including coordination with the Commission’s Transportation Program Team.  The incumbent will be expected to: independently review and analyze a variety of biological reports including EIRs and EISs; conduct research and investigations often involving complex environmental conditions/ circumstances; identify problems including potential adverse impacts and ways to avoid and minimize these; factor in climate change dynamics relative to environmental considerations; coordinate with other federal, state, and local agencies; and, make recommendations for compliance with the natural resource policies of the Coastal Act and relevant certified plans.  An important responsibility will be engaging in early collaboration with Commission staff and project proponents to develop appropriate habitat mitigation proposals.  

Key functions of the job include writing complex memoranda, contributing to staff report findings and special conditions, answering questions from the public, and making verbal staff presentations to the Coastal Commission.  The incumbent will also represent the Coastal Commission on multi-agency work groups, task forces, and similar entities; to staff of local, state, and federal agencies; the legislature; special interest groups; and to the broader public. The position offers opportunities for developing and contributing expertise on specific habitats and species as well as on relevant and emerging ecological issues.  Examples of desired expertise include but are not limited to forest and riparian habitats, wetlands, coastal dunes, specific animal groups such as birds, bats, salmonids and pollinators and broader topics such as climate resilience and adaptation, hydroacoustics and terrestrial noise, artificial night lighting, fish passage, wildlife crossings, nature-based adaptation, vegetation management for fire, and emerging habitat restoration practices.

The Commission values diversity at all levels of the organization and is committed to fostering an environment in which employees from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and personal experiences are welcomed and can thrive.  We believe the diversity of our

employees and their unique ideas inspire innovative solutions to further our mission of protecting and enhancing California’s coast and ocean for present and future generations.

DUTIES will include but will not be limited to:

  • Coordinating with the Commission’s technical staff (in ecology, water quality, geology and engineering), transportation staff, coastal analysts, legal staff, and management, on a wide variety of planning and regulatory projects;
  • Contributing to the improvement and facilitation of biology-related consultations with other state and federal agency staff, including from Caltrans, CA State Parks, CA Fish and Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife, NOAA and others to support cross-agency collaboration and consistency and to assure that proposed development includes positive environmental outcomes and adequate compensation for habitat, wetland, and other coastal resource impacts in a manner that meets the State’s conservation priorities consistent with the Coastal Act;
  • Reviewing and analyzing technical documents (biological reports, environment impact reports, etc.) associated with proposed development projects and performing independent analysis against natural resource policies in the Coastal Act and other planning documents including certified Local Coastal Programs, Public Works Plans and Port Master Plans;
  • Conducting site visits to evaluate on-the-ground ecological conditions;
  • Writing technical memoranda to support and accompany Commission staff reports;
  • Assisting development of natural resource permit condition recommendations and preparing the corroborating natural resource policy sections of legal findings;
  • Providing early input into compensatory mitigation project requirements, goals, and proposed work as well as opportunities for advance mitigation and mitigation banking;
  • Reviewing and analyzing restoration and mitigation plans for regulatory compliance, with an eye toward guiding adaptive management;
  • Serving as an internal ecological consultant to Commission staff throughout the agency and to appointed Coastal Commissioners;
  • Participating in and contributing to long-term planning efforts, regional conservation investment strategies (RCIS), establishment of conservation easements and long-term management plans, coordination of advisory bodies, etc.

Working Conditions

This position may be headquarterd in any Coastal Commission District Office with a preference for Ventura or Long Beach

Minimum Requirements

You will find the Minimum Requirements in the Class Specification.

Additional Documents

Position Details

Job Code #:
Position #(s):
Working Title:
Senior Environmental Scientist
$7,336.00 - $9,126.00
# of Positions:
Work Location:
San Francisco County
Job Type:
12 Month Limited Term - Full Time

Department Information

The California Coastal Commission is a small state agency responsible for protecting and enhancing California’s coast and ocean resources. It does so through careful planning and regulation of environmentally-sustainable development, rigorous use of science, strong public participation, education, and effective intergovernmental coordination. 


The California Coastal Commission values diversity at all levels of the organization and is committed to fostering an environment in which employees from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and personal experiences are welcomed and can thrive. We believe the diversity of our employees and their unique ideas inspire innovative solutions to further our mission of protecting and enhancing California’s coast and ocean for present and future generations. 


We have district offices in Arcata, San Francisco (headquarters), Santa Cruz, Ventura, Long Beach, San Diego and a small legislative office in Sacramento. 

Department Website:

Application Instructions

Dates printed on Mobile Bar Codes, such as the Quick Response (QR) Codes available at the USPS, are not considered Postmark dates for the purpose of determining timely filing of an application.

Final Filing Date: Until Filled

Who May Apply

Individuals who are currently in the classification, eligible for lateral transfer, eligible for reinstatement, have list eligibility, are in the process of obtaining list eligibility, or have SROA and/or Surplus eligibility (please attach your letter, if available). SROA and Surplus candidates are given priority; therefore, individuals with other eligibility may be considered in the event no SROA or Surplus candidates apply.

Applications will be screened and only the most qualified applicants will be selected to move forward in the selection process.
Applicants must meet the Minimum Qualifications stated in the Classification Specification(s).

How To Apply

Complete Application Packages (including your Examination/Employment Application (STD 678) and applicable or required documents) must be submitted to apply for this Job Posting. Application Packages may be submitted electronically through your CalCareer Account at When submitting your application in hard copy, a completed copy of the Application Package listing must be included. If you choose to not apply electronically, a hard copy application package may be submitted through an alternative method listed below:

Address for Mailing Application Packages

You may submit your application and any applicable or required documents to:

CA Coastal Commission
Attn: Human Resources
455 Market St. Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94105

Address for Drop-Off Application Packages

You may drop off your application and any applicable or required documents at:

CA Coastal Commission
Human Resources
455 Market St. Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94105
08:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Required Application Package Documents

The following items are required to be submitted with your application. Applicants who do not submit the required items timely may not be considered for this job:

  • Current version of the State Examination/Employment Application STD Form 678 (when not applying electronically), or the Electronic State Employment Application through your Applicant Account at All Experience and Education relating to the Minimum Qualifications listed on the Classification Specification should be included to demonstrate how you meet the Minimum Qualifications for the position.
  • Resume is required and must be included.
  • Other - Three professional references
  • Other - A brief writing sample (5 pages or less).
Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for the hiring interview process must request the necessary accommodations if scheduled for a hiring interview. The request should be made at the time of contact to schedule the interview. Questions regarding reasonable accommodations may be directed to the EEO contact listed on this job posting.

Desirable Qualifications

In addition to evaluating each candidate's relative ability, as demonstrated by quality and breadth of experience, the following factors will provide the basis for competitively evaluating each candidate:

Knowledge of California Coastal Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, and CEQA is desirable. Persons with the following education and/or work experience would be preferred for the position: background in aquatic and terrestrial biology (particularly with wetland, riparian, grassland, and/or forested ecosystems), restoration ecology, environmental planning, conservation or environmental science, or related fields. Education or experience in the fields of geomorphology or engineering is also an asset.  The successful candidate will demonstrate strong quantitative and analytical skills, negotiation and writing skills, and the ability to research and interpret complex coastal resource issues as well as work collaboratively to identify potential solutions. Strong communication skills and the ability to work as a team member navigating complex issues with awareness of resources conflicts and policy requirements. The preferred candidate will have a PhD or equivalent experience in a relevant field or position.


Benefit information can be found on the CalHR website and the CalPERS website.

Contact Information

The Hiring Unit Contact is available to answer questions regarding the position or application process.

Department Website:
Hiring Unit Contact:
Jonna Engel
(805) 585-1800

Please direct requests for Reasonable Accommodations to the interview scheduler at the time the interview is being scheduled. You may direct any additional questions regarding Reasonable Accommodations or Equal Employment Opportunity for this position(s) to the Department's EEO Office.

EEO Contact:
Melanie Wong
(415) 904-5400
California Relay Service: 1-800-735-2929 (TTY), 1-800-735-2922 (Voice) TTY is a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, and is reachable only from phones equipped with a TTY Device.


This is a 12 month Limited term position with the possibility of extension or becomng permanent.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The State of California is an equal opportunity employer to all, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability (mental and physical), exercising the right to family care and medical leave, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), and sexual orientation.

It is an objective of the State of California to achieve a drug-free work place. Any applicant for state employment will be expected to behave in accordance with this objective because the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the law of the State, the rules governing Civil Service, and the special trust placed in public servants.

Application Methods:
Electronic (Using your CalCareer Account)
By Mail