California Monarch Butterfly Conservation Planner, NRCS Partner Biologist

Hollister, California (Relocation to worksite may be delayed based upon COVID situation)
Approximately $45,000 to $58,000 per year, commensurate with experience.
Jan 06, 2021
Jan 27, 2021
Job Level
Mid level
Employment Type
Salary Type

JOB TITLE:       California Monarch Butterfly Conservation Planner, NRCS Partner Biologist

LOCATION:     USDA-NRCS Service Center, Hollister, CA     

(Relocation to worksite may be delayed/negotiated based upon lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.)

COMPENSATION:  Approximately $45,000 to $58,000 per year, commensurate with experience.

JOB START DATE:  March 2021



All applications must be submitted via our application website at:

Xerces is happy to provide accommodations for the job application process if needed.  If you need an accommodation to complete the job application process, please email


Come join a growing team of conservation professionals at the Xerces Society who are dedicated to protecting some of the world’s most important animals. We are seeking a motivated expert who can support farmers, ranchers and NRCS conservation planners in the conservation of monarch butterflies in the Central Coast region of California.

At Xerces, we harness the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of the public to implement conservation programs.  We take action by helping farms and public agencies develop conservation plans for pollinators and beneficial insects, producing ground-breaking publications on insect conservation, training thousands of farmers and land managers to protect and manage habitat for beneficial insects, protecting endangered species and their habitat, and engaging the public to raise awareness about invertebrates found on farms, forests, prairies, deserts, streams, wetlands, towns and cities. Our methods focus on habitat conservation planning, education, scientific analysis, advocacy, and applied research to conserve invertebrates, such as bees, butterflies, mollusks, and fireflies.


Reporting to the Xerces Society Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist (California Region), and in collaboration with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the California Monarch Butterfly Conservation Planner will provide conservation planning, technical support and training to farmers, ranchers, NRCS field office planners and partners with a focus on California’s Central Coast and Coastal Foothill regions. Conservation work will focus on the planting or management of breeding habitat for monarch butterflies, as well as other pollinators and beneficial insects that help control crop pests. This position will conduct outreach to diverse communities of agricultural land managers and conservation partners to raise awareness about opportunities to receive financial and technical assistance for monarch conservation on working lands. The ideal candidate will have experience with Farm Bill conservation programs, will have strong outreach experience, and will be able to develop farm- or ranch-specific conservation planning guidance that addresses multiple goals of monarch butterfly, pollinator, beneficial insect, wildlife, soil, and water conservation.


Working as a team with Xerces Society Pollinator Program staff, NRCS field and area offices, and NRCS technical experts, the California Monarch Planner Conservation Planner will:

  • Assist NRCS conservation planners in the development of conservation plans that improve or create monarch butterfly - or pollinator and beneficial insect habitat - on farms and ranches in California’s Central Coast and Coastal Foothill region. This may include habitat evaluation and monitoring, as well as conservation or restoration planning.
  • Coordinate and conduct outreach on monarch butterfly habitat conservation, pollinators, or beneficial insect conservation in the region in order to increase interest in Farm Bill conservation program financial or technical assistance.
  • Increase the awareness of monarch and pollinator declines and knowledge of NRCS resources available to address these declines among NRCS staff, Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs), farmers, ranchers and related agency staff.
  • Increase the technical capacity of staff from the NRCS and local RCDs to help farmers and ranchers take actions that promote and protect monarchs and other pollinators on their farms and ranches.
  • Provide technical advice on monarch butterfly and pollinator habitat restoration projects to RCDs, other NRCS conservation partners, and agricultural producers.  
  • Advise and plan on-the-ground habitat restoration projects.
  • Provide individualized assistance to farmers, ranchers, land managers, restoration professionals, and others as they plan and implement conservation projects for monarch butterflies and other pollinators.
  • Work with Xerces Society and NRCS specialists to develop or refine technical documents that support establishment, enhancement, or management of monarch butterfly habitat. Technical documents may include habitat evaluation guides, conservation practice specifications, grazing management specifications, plant lists, seed mixes, fact sheets, and habitat restoration guidelines.
  • Spend 6-8 days / month conducting fieldwork, including site assessments, project planning, project planting and management, and insect and habitat monitoring.
  • Travel out-of-town for multiple days (approximately 5 overnights per month) to support NRCS field office conservation planning. (Note: current overnight travel requirements are dependent on the status of COVID).



  • Knowledge of the ecology of butterflies and other pollinators.
  • Knowledge and experience in pollinator or wildlife habitat evaluation, conservation planning, restoration and management.
  • Familiarity with USDA Farm Bill conservation programs and the work of the NRCS.
  • Excellent verbal communication, presentation, and public speaking skills for diverse audiences that include farmers, ranchers, conservation partners, and others.
  • Understanding of common agricultural practices in California.
  • Knowledge of native plant and weed identification in California.
  • Excellent written communication skills, including the ability to write clear email, conservation plans, and technical documents for diverse audiences. Primary audiences include NRCS conservation planners, farmers, ranchers, and conservation partners.
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to develop work plans and work independently on assigned tasks.
  • Working knowledge of common software applications (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint).


  • Experience working in an USDA NRCS field office, implementing the NRCS conservation planning process and using NRCS conservation planning tools.
  • Knowledge of prescribed grazing and prescribed fire.
  • Knowledge of ecology and habitat needs of other beneficial insects that help to manage crop pests.
  • Knowledge of Integrated Pest Management practices, and strategies for reducing negative impacts of pest management or pesticide use on pollinators and other beneficial insects.



  • A Bachelor’s degree (Master’s degree preferred) in natural resource management, ecology, conservation biology, entomology, wildlife biology, horticulture, or more than 4 years of experience in conservation planning, pollinator or wildlife conservation, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Valid driver’s license.





  • Bilingual or multilingual.
  • Pesticide applicators license.


Be able to perform the following with reasonable breaks and/or reasonable accommodations:

  • Operate a computer and other office productivity machinery, such as a telephone, copy machine, and computer printer for periods of 1-8 hours;
  • Able to move and transport supplies, materials, equipment weighing up to 35 pounds;
  • Occasionally drive vehicle for periods of 1- 8 hours;
  • Occasionally work outdoors in the field for 1-8 hours per day under potentially adverse weather conditions;
  • Frequently traverse across agricultural roads and fields, unpaved roads and walkways, and unimproved trails for periods of 1-8 hours, carrying 10 pounds of material or equipment.

STATUS:  Full-Time scheduled to work ~ 40 hours/week.  Position may be hourly non-exempt or exempt depending on compensation level.  Schedule can be made flexible and opportunity for partial remote work location can be made, consistent with work requirements, depending on employee preferences.

BENEFITS:  This position includes a generous benefits package: eleven paid holidays including two floating holidays that may be used for a personal or religious holiday observed by the employee or other occasion per policy, paid time off, paid health, dental, and disability insurance, option to participate in a pre-tax flexible spending account for medical and dependent care expenses, participation in a 401k retirement program upon eligibility and a flexible work environment.

TERMS:  The Xerces Society is an at-will employer. Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time. In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.

MORE INFORMATION:  For more information on the Xerces Society and our programs, please see our website:


All applications must be submitted via our application website at:


The Xerces Society is proud to be Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer including disability and veterans.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.


We request priority referral of protected veterans for all openings with our organization.  In order to be considered for employment, all applicants for employment with Xerces Society, apply through our Job Board. When referring or being referred as a candidate, including protect veterans, please refer them to this applicant site;