Job Type: Temporary
Salary Details: Mid-level, depending on experience and qualifications

We are looking for a motivated Aquatic Resource Biologist to join our growing team! This is a full-time, salaried position in San Luis Obispo, ending June 30, 2024. At the term end, potential for continuing as permanent will be considered. Work will be approximately 30% in the field and 70% in-office. Office work will be performed in the Caltrans San Luis Obispo office. Regular travel, including overnight travel, will be required.

Position specific tasks to include: 

  • Delineate jurisdictional resources in the field, including wetlands, other waters, and riparian areas consistent with established state and federal regulatory guidance. Interpret current regulatory policies to identify applicable permitting needs. Prepare jurisdictional reports, including documentation of methods and results. Prepare mapping of jurisdictional resources and quantitative analysis and depiction of impacts using available resources in ESRI ArcMap and ArcPro.
  • Participate in meetings with Project Development Team (PDT). Conduct preliminary project scoping, and evaluate Department plans and documents for jurisdictional impacts and permit issues. Conduct field reviews of proposed projects and coordinate with Department staff to develop plans to avoid, minimize, and mitigate for project impacts. Prepare environmental specifications for projects. Coordinate with regulatory agency staff throughout project development and prepare permit applications, including, but not limited to California Fish and Game Code Section 1602 streambed alteration agreements, Clean Water Act Section 401 Certifications, Clean Water Act Section 404 permits, and U.S. Coast Guard Advance Approvals and Bridge Permits. Coordinate draft permit internal review by the PDT.
  • Prepare mitigation and monitoring plans that identify the performance standards and methods used to document mitigation success, and perform post-construction mitigation monitoring. Maintain knowledge of mitigation options including mitigation banks to assist the project biologist with offsite mitigation development;
  • Track and implement required permit reporting, including issues related to non-compliance and permit amendments or extensions. Conduct site visits and monitor construction activities as needed during construction to verify compliance status. Prepare annual reports and project completion reports as required by permits;
  • Perform field surveys for special-status plant and animal species and prepare mitigation planning and monitoring reports. Field surveys include, but are not limited to walking transects, trapping, collecting specimens, digging soil pits, and visually identifying plant and animal species. Direct individuals or teams responsible for preparation of biological studies to the standards necessary for state  federal endangered species clearances. Field work and construction monitoring may occur both during and outside normal working hours (defined as an 8-hour work day, Monday through Friday);
  • Work may also include evaluation of databases and literature searches for determining potential impacts to special-status species. Use computer skills to prepare biological reports (e.g., Memorandums to File, Natural Environment Studies, Biological Assessments, Biological Evaluations, Jurisdictional Delineation Reports, etc.). Evaluating projects with respect to relevant biological laws and regulations for determining impacts to wetlands, other waters and riparian areas; endangered species; and other biological resources;
  • Maintain electronic files and track project progress;
  • Update Summary of Environmental Commitments/Records;
  • Provide technical support for the construction engineering staff.
  • Lead field reviews and delineation of aquatic resources consistent with the most current regulatory guidance and policies;
  • Prepare permit applications / notifications such as Streambed Alteration Agreements and Clean Water Act permits (401 Certification and 404 permits);
  • Perform construction monitoring and prepare necessary permit reporting during construction;
  • Develop and implement mitigation and monitoring plans, conduct post-construction monitoring, and prepare monitoring reports;
  • Evaluate projects with respect to relevant biological laws and regulations for determining impacts to wetlands, other waters, riparian areas, and other biological resources;
  • Interpret maps, site and building plans and specifications, graphs and statistical data;
  • Collect geographic data, prepare clear maps to convey necessary permit information, and perform quantitative analysis of geographic information;
  • Assist with field surveys for special-status plant and animal species;
  • Conduct, field surveys including, but not limited to walking transects, trapping, collecting specimens, digging soil pits, and visually identifying plant and animal species;
  • Assist with protocol level surveys for sensitive, threatened, and endangered species;
  • Maintain organized project files, inclusive of all field photos, field notes with copies saved in digital format, and mapping files; and
  • Provide the task order manager and Senior Environmental Scientist (Supervisor) with a weekly summary of work completed and upcoming priorities for the following week. Accept Department feedback on shifting priorities from week to week.

Must be able to:

  • Move or carry job related objects or materials up to 25 lbs
  • Stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, climb, and balance for the purpose of performing inspections
  • Walk/hike several miles on uneven terrain, sometimes up/down slopes. May need to cross waterways of unknown depth
  • Work in all weather conditions, including heat and rainy weather
  • Drive to/from jobs sites, sometimes spending most of the workday driving


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences or Environmental Sciences with a concentration in animal biology, plant biology, ecology, fisheries management, wildlife management, watershed management, or related field
  • At least five years of experience in environmental planning, research, analysis, or evaluation of natural science elements. (A master’s or doctorate degree in a relevant natural sciences field, defined in education above, may be substituted for the one year of required experience.)
  • Valid CA driver’s license and reliable vehicle

Knowledge of:

  • Principles and concepts for applied natural science techniques and methodologies
  • General principles behind planning for the conservation and preservation of natural resources
  • General principles and techniques of research and statistical analysis
  • Jurisdictional delineation methods, including indicators of wetland vegetation, soils and hydrology and problematic indicators
  • Methods and techniques for evaluating and mitigating jurisdictional impacts
  • State and federal laws, regulations, and policies relating to the environment and environmental permits
  • State, local and regional governmental organizations as they relate to environmental planning and permitting,
  • GIS/GPS technologies
  • Various types of construction techniques and their potential effects on species and habitats
  • Trends in Federal, State and local environmental assessment and mitigation reports, impact statements, and/or negative declarations
  • Special-status plant and animal species that occur on the Central Coast

Ability to:

  • Identify wetland and riparian plant species
  • Adapt and apply formal natural sciences methods and principles to applied practical nature
  • Analyze environmental situations accurately
  • Gather and analyze data
  • Prepare written reports and permit applications
  • Work effectively with others as an interdisciplinary team member
  • Coordinate environmental planning, research, and analysis of proposed projects
  • Conduct baseline assessment of existing environment for comparison with post-construction monitoring
  • Hike in uneven terrain up to 5 miles per day

Analytical Skills:

  • Understanding and applying those aspects of federal, state and local laws, regulations, policies, procedures and standards pertaining to the planning and permitting process
  • Interpreting maps, site and building plans and specifications, graphs and statistical data
  • Researching, analyzing, and summarizing data, including geospatial data
  • Preparing clear visual displays, such as maps, graphs, and illustrations
  • Making clear and persuasive presentations of ideas; preparing clear, concise and complete technical documents, reports, correspondence and other written materials

Surf To Snow Environmental Resource Management (S2S) is a full-service environmental consulting firm that supports Clients and other strategic partners in all major lines of business, general construction, including electric transmission, gas transmission, power generation, distribution/facilities support, environmental permitting, and site restoration projects. Founded in 2008, we are a California-based disabled veteran-owned business. With a strong technical background and the ability to be flexible and responsive to our clients’ needs, S2S is uniquely qualified to provide a multitude of environmental services to our clients while helping to meet diverse regulatory requirements. S2S provides planning, permitting, project management, compliance monitoring, stormwater, and site restoration services that result in the successful, timely, on-budget completion of a project while meeting regulatory requirements and preserving the surrounding ecosystem.

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