SEASONAL BIOLOGIST Spartina Treatment Monitor

San Francisco Bay Area, California
$15-$18/hour based on experience
Mar 20, 2019
May 20, 2019
Job Level
Entry level
Employment Type
Temporary / Seasonal
Salary Type

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 looking for Spartina Treatment Monitors, who will assist in 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 be trained in the use of ArcPad software on Trimble GPS units to relocate invasive Spartina patches previously mapped by ISP biologists and to record treatment of these patches. Monitors will also be trained in the use of desktop-based ArcPad and/or ArcGIS to edit field-collected data.

Work will begin July 8 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. depending on tides and weather conditions. 

Must be available for the possibility of work on Saturdays twice a month from August to November.


Successful candidates should hold at minimum an undergraduate degree in ecology, biology, conservation, botany, or a related field. A GPA of 3.0 or above in the final year is desirable.

The position requires close collaboration with treatment crews and ISP staff in the field and in the office. The successful candidate will be required to work daily with different treatment crews at a variety of sites around the Bay, will have the ability to work well independently and in a field team setting, and be able to follow project-specific field protocols and data entry/editing procedures.

Requirements include a basic understanding of and some familiarity with plant identification, GPS, and computer-based mapping. 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.

Must be detail-oriented and able to perform work accurately and efficiently. Must be able to learn to identify characteristics of hybrid Spartina plants and apply this knowledge independently in the field following approximately two weeks of training. Must be able to learn how to use a Trimble GPS unit to collect data independently following approximately one week of training. 

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 mud and soft substrate, in fully exposed sun, and carrying heavy equipment. Must be able to comfortably lift and carry at least 20 pounds. Must be willing to conduct field surveys during and directly adjacent to application of imazapyr herbicide (trade name: Habitat or Polaris) [more information on this herbicide is available at] The position may include occasional application of imazapyr under direction of a licensed professional.

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). Carpooling is strongly encouraged and is essential to managing our budget and carbon footprint, so every effort will be made to include the monitors in those efficiencies. Candidates must be able to swim and be comfortable on and around boats, as a majority of the remote field sites are accessed via water craft.

Employees must provide their own standard field gear, such as suitable clothing, backpack, and sun protection. Hip waders are required. ISP will provide technical gear, such as data collection units, range finders, and compasses.

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

Hours & Pay Rate

Paid training and field work will begin July 8 and continue through mid to late November. Hours are variable from 0 to 60 hours/week depending on project needs, but are expected to average 30 to 35 hours/week. Pay rate is $15-$18/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.

Application & Important Dates

To apply, mail or email a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references by Monday, May 20 to:

Spartina Treatment Monitor Application

San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Project

1001 42nd Street Suite 230

Oakland, CA 94608

Email: Specify “Spartina Treatment Monitor Application” in the email subject line and address the cover letter to Ms. Stephanie Chen

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.