Principal Biologist (Mid-Senior Level)

ERM West, Inc.
Irvine, California, US
Jun 24, 2021
Jul 04, 2021
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type
If you are a current/existing ERM Employee, please apply internally HERE.

As part of the continued growth and innovation of our Impact Assessment & Planning service offering, ERM has an opportunity for an experienced biologist/regulatory specialist to join our thriving global consulting firm as a Principal Biologist in Southern California (Irvine).

The ideal candidate will have experience conducting and leading environmental permitting efforts with California utility companies along with technical expertise leading natural resource permitting, CEQA/NEPA, and large-scale capital projects in California. We seek an individual to help us drive the continued growth of ERM's business through selling and delivering world-class services, and further advancing our reputation for supporting development of some of the world's most complex projects.

This Principal Biologist role offers significant career growth opportunities. After the first year, and upon successful demonstration of leadership capabilities and completion of performance targets, you may become eligible for ERMs path to partnership - a leadership development program designed to support promotion to Partner. The role also offers potential growth opportunities in Account Management and people leadership.


ERM's Impact Assessment & Planning (IAP) team focuses on supporting development of projects in the power, technology, telecommunications, oil and gas, mining, chemical, transport, and infrastructure sectors. Our goal is always the same: assisting our clients in achieving project success, from planning through construction and operation, while meeting expectations for assessment and management of impacts on environmental, social, health, and cultural resources. By helping clients bring these issues into the project planning process early, we seek to help our clients meet environmental/social performance objectives, enable savings in capital and operating costs, and avoid significant approval and other delays.

ERM's IAP service offering has been ERM's highest growth area globally, growing over 20% per year for the past 5 years. You will become part of a vibrant technical community with more than 1,000 IAP professionals globally, representing the full range of technical disciplines, with sector experience across the board. What ERM's team is perhaps best known for is supporting some of the most challenging development projects in the world. It is this reputation that attracts and retains the highly skilled consultants who comprise ERM's Impact Assessment & Planning team.

  • Serve as Project Biologist for environmental impact assessment under CEQA- and NEPA-related activities and natural resource permitting in support of ERM clients' capital projects (i.e., data centers, power generation, electrical transmission, renewable energy projects).
    • Contribute to preparing technical studies and impact assessment documents, including Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs) and Biological Constraints Reports, serving in roles ranging from program manager to lead technical expert to QA/QC.
    • Lead programs to develop permit strategies, specify best management practices; prepare permit applications and negotiate conditions with applicable state and federal agencies.
    • Direct permitting and compliance associated with telecom, energy infrastructure and other linear development projects with an emphasis on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, California Coastal Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Fish and Wildlife Service, and Regional Water Quality Control Board permits and consultations.
  • Serve as a dynamic contributor to a select group of existing account teams, diversifying ERMs services with these clients and shaping the strategy for client engagement on these accounts. Collaborate with Account Directors/Managers on client account development, sales, and delivery of the full spectrum of ERM's consulting services to deliver strategic value to our clients in the electric/gas transmission and generation siting/development markets. Provide business value, selling strategically within client organizations, raising the profile of ERM's capabilities within key client organizations, to identify and shape clients' needs for ERM services.
  • Participate in the growth and development of a high-performance team, overseeing project work of staff consultants, and serving as a mentor to staff consultants. Identify emerging talent and work with them to reach their full potential; ensure rising stars are nurtured, developed and given new areas of responsibility.
  • Work in a collaborative, cross-functional team environment to build ERM's global business, as well as to lead client and practice teams. Drive innovation within the Impact Assessment and Planning service offering to stay ahead of client needs and to differentiate ERM in the market.
  • Meet business health & safety performance standards, financial targets, overall project budgets and schedules, client satisfaction/expectations, and internal risk management and contractual requirements. Key financial targets are useful billability of 50% in the first year and approximately 70% in subsequent years, and $650k shared sales credit in the first 12 months.

  • BS/MS in biology, environmental science or related field.
  • 10+ years of consulting experience, including substantial experience with the electric/gas transmission and generation markets in California.
  • Business acumen to understand business risks and challenges, and to recognize opportunities to provide enterprise-wide solutions for clients.
  • Demonstrable track record in delivering multi-million dollar environmental programs or successfully winning large and strategic projects.
  • Established relationships with California utility companies, in particular PG&E, SCE and Sempra, to leverage existing contract agreements for new project opportunities.
  • Drive and ability to cultivate new client relationships with existing, Bay Area-based Technology, Media, and Telecommunications clients, in collaboration with existing Account Directors and account teams.
  • Solid grasp of the key impact assessment and management issues within the California electric/gas transmission and generation market, as well as a high degree of technical competence and broad knowledge of CEQA impact assessment best practices.
  • Recognized technical expertise by and established reputation in the marketplace, including positive reputation with key regulators relevant to CEQA impact assessment approvals.
  • Strong people leadership skills and passion to manage, develop, and grow a team of direct and indirect reports.
  • Positive outlook, collaborative, and driven by the success of ERM as a global company.

Who We Are:

As the world's leading sustainability consulting firm, ERM is uniquely positioned to contribute to the environment and society through the expertise and energy of our employees worldwide. Sustainability is what we do, and is at the heart of both our service offerings and how we operate our business. ERM and our partners are driven by a dynamic vision: By 2021 we will be the clear leader in our chosen markets, we will double in value and we will deliver on our promises to our clients, our people and our investors. For our people, our vision means attracting, inspiring, developing and rewarding our people to work with the best clients and on the biggest challenges, thus creating valuable careers. We achieve our vision in a sustainable manner by maintaining and living our ERM values that include Accountability, Caring for our People, Client Focus, Collaboration, Empowerment, and Transparency.

Please submit your resume and brief cover letter.

ERM does not accept recruiting agency resumes. Please do not forward resumes to our jobs alias, ERM employees or any other company location. ERM is not responsible for any fees related to unsolicited resumes.

ERM is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.

Thank you for your interest in ERM!

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