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Environmental Specialist III

State of Nebraska
Lincoln County, Nebraska, US
Closing date
Dec 7, 2021

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Academic / Research, Government
Informatics / GIS
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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The Water Planning Division (Division) at the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NeDNR) works with local, regional, state, and interstate partners and stakeholders on integrated management of surface water and groundwater and on interstate water agreements. Our vision is advancing collaborative water management across the State of Nebraska based on sound science, and our mission is to sustain and protect Nebraska's water supplies and water users for both the near and long term. The Division's work blends hydrogeological modeling and analyses with water policy and planning.

Environmental Specialist III (ESIII) is a project management-level position. Under limited supervision, an ESIII plays a lead role in the development, review, and implementation of integrated surface water and groundwater management plans and in supporting Nebraska's involvement in interstate water compacts, decrees, and agreements.

A successful candidate may be hired as either an ES III or an Environmental Specialist II (ESII) depending on qualifications and experience; hourly rates for these two positions are $25.867 and $22.995, respectively. If hired as an ES II, the employee will be required to meet the qualifications needed to transition into an ES III position within 12 months of employment.

The candidate selected for this position will focus on water planning, water policy, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Key areas of responsibility will include:
  • Project management
  • Meeting coordination
  • Plan development and implementation
  • Public outreach
  • GIS and related web tools
  • Related work as assigned
Some travel is required for this position, including occasional overnight travel. When not traveling, the employee's time will include a mixture of teleworking and in-office work. Job requirements include a valid driver's license and the ability to work overtime and weekends if the need arises.

NeDNR will not sponsor non-immigrant work visas for this position.
Examples of Work
  • Stay up to date on the Division's technical work, acting as a liaison between technical and planning staff to ensure successful implementation of water management plans
  • Attend professional scientific conferences and programs and read professional research literature to stay current and maintain expertise
  • Acquire and organize pertinent data such as surface water diversions and use, water rights information, and changes in irrigated acres
  • Develop and maintain databases and information systems to ensure reliable storage and efficient retrieval of the Division's data and records
  • Use and create content for Division GIS-related outreach materials using print and web media for communication; examples include ESRI Experience Builder content, ESRI Story Map content, interactive maps, and figures for print publications
  • Edit spatial and tabular data, spatial analysis, image analysis, map layout design, web mapping, and/or image classification
  • Maintain, follow, and develop procedures, tools, and standards for GIS figures, data management, templates, and base data
  • In collaboration with Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) and other Water Planning Division staff, develop integrated surface water/groundwater management plans within the context of the Groundwater Management and Protection Act and support successful implementation of plan goals and objectives
  • Work with NeDNR leadership and other staff to help represent the state's interests in interstate water compacts, degrees, and agreements
  • Develop and demonstrate working knowledge of state statutes and determine required actions and deadlines
  • Write, review, and edit water management plans and reports and develop figures for these materials
  • Lead or participate in meetings with colleagues, stakeholders, and outside agency partners
  • Explain scientific and planning-related laws and concepts to a variety of audiences using strong communication skills and multiple communication platforms
  • Prepare and edit educational and public relations materials such as maps, graphics, newsletter articles, technical reports, and handouts
  • Represent the Department and Division at public outreach events and coordinate such events
  • Write, format, and edit documents, presentations, and graphics for a variety of audiences
  • Develop and deliver presentations
  • Lead teams of staff to complete projects, as assigned by Division Managers and Coordinators
  • Provide input on consultant selection and oversee their work
  • Assist with financial oversight of integrated water management planning projects, including consultant selection, cost research, and contract management
  • Supervise interns, temporary staff, or graduate assistants
Qualifications / Requirements
REQUIREMENTS: Bachelor's Degree in the physical sciences, natural sciences, environmental science, geology, biology, agronomy, civil engineering, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, hydrology, community and regional planning, or a related field AND two years of professional experience in a related field. Experience may substitute for education or a year-for-year basis.

PREFERRED: Master's degree in community and regional planning, hydrology, water resources, environmental science, or a related field. A strong background in natural resources planning or policy, understanding of hydrogeologic concepts, experience with ESRI products (e.g., ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, Experience Builder, and/or Story Maps), and strong writing and organizational skills.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
  • Natural resources planning
  • Project management
  • Public participation and outreach methods
  • Effective scientific and policy communication techniques
  • Nebraska water law pertaining to integrated management planning
  • Hydrogeology, hydrology, natural resources sciences, and/or agricultural sciences
  • Science or policy communication
  • Writing and editing
  • Meeting or event planning and support
  • Facilitation/public participation
  • Creation of figures and presentations using software such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe InDesign, Prezi, and/or ArcGIS
  • Using software such as Microsoft Excel and/or ArcGIS to distill information, perform analyses, and present results from technical datasets
  • Explaining analysis results to decision makers
  • Using logic to identify alternative solutions or conclusions
  • Organizing information and records using tools such as records management systems (e.g., OnBase), Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, and filing structures
  • Learn and apply Nebraska's surface and groundwater laws
  • Gain a working knowledge of applicable technical analyses and an understanding of how such analyses assist with integrated management planning and management
  • Think logically and understand surface and groundwater systems
  • Organize and analyze available information and reach sound conclusions
  • Work as a team leader with staff of the Department, NRDs, and consultants
  • Communicate highly technical information effectively
  • Organize, write, review, and edit technical reports and memoranda, meeting agendas, meeting minutes, outreach materials, and other documents
  • Serve as an expert witness in court proceedings
  • Select, compile, and analyze information as necessary to identify, substantiate, and solve a scientific or technical problem and prepare reports based on that analysis
  • Demonstrate tact and professionalism in internal and external interactions
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