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Director of Field Operations

River Partners
Chico, Sacramento, Colusa, or Modesto, California (US)
Commensurate with experience. River Partners offers competitive benefits package including 401K matc
Closing date
Dec 2, 2022

View more

Conservation science
Restoration, Project Management
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Do you love the Central Valley? Do you believe in healthy rivers that support a thriving environment and communities? Do you get excited about working with diverse teams – like scientists, farmers, and entrepreneurs who turn big ideas into action? If you answered yes to these questions, River Partners wants to hear from you. Notwithstanding our noteworthy accomplishments and awards, the single best thing about River Partners is our people. Our staff is committed, creative, collaborative, and diverse. Together, we produce tangible, lasting results for a thriving California.

Organizational Summary: River Partners is a private, nonprofit corporation headquartered in Chico, California. River Partners’ mission is to create wildlife habitat for the benefit of people and the environment. We are the largest habitat restoration contractor in the western United States. Our talented and hardworking field restoration teams deliver large-scale ecological restoration attaining the highest standards of ecological performance within the complicated world of public works contracting to bring life back to rivers.  

Position: The Director of Field Operations leads a team of more than 20 Field Foremen and Field Technicians who are responsible for implementing river restoration projects across California. River Partners’ unique contribution to the field of restoration ecology is using farming techniques to reforest rivers and floodplains using diverse native trees, shrubs and grasses; installing and managing large irrigation systems where needed; and innovating new efficient ways to manage invasive weeds. Our Field Restoration team are specialists in both cultivating native forests and managing vendors and contractors. Additionally, working in sensitive aquatic and riparian environments requires careful monitoring and regulatory oversight of field restoration activities, so this position works closely with River Partners’ Director of Field Restoration Science to ensure project scientists and Field Restoration Team members take extra care to meet and exceed permit conditions and manage multimillion-dollar project budgets efficiently. Cost estimation and budget/workplan management are essential for this position.

This position can be located in Chico, Sacramento, Colusa, or Modesto, CA.

(70%) Supervise the Field Restoration Team to deliver large-scale ecological restoration projects on time and within the budget with the highest standard of project performance

Directly supervise 5-6 Field Managers across California.

  • Manage and approve workplans, timesheets and expense reports.
  • Complete and document regular performance evaluation, training and coaching.
  • Work with Safety Officer to ensure compliance with workplace regulations.
  • Support certification for various team members in appropriate technical specialties.
  • Use good judgment to elevate issues for support or review by senior leadership at RP.
  • Maintain working relationships with clients and vendors.

Schedule staff and other resources (equipment, supplies, labor crews) to support Field Managers in meeting contractual obligations and deadlines for projects while controlling organizational expenditure and risk.

Travel to project sites regularly to review job performance and interact with vendors, direct reports and the larger Field Restoration Team (approximately 20 employees).

Work with the CFOO, Senior Director of Field Restoration and Director of Field Restoration Science to forecast project resource needs and procure nursery plants, native seed, vendor contracts, labor, equipment, and staff to ensure timely project delivery.

(20%) New Projects: Responsible for project cost-estimation, preparing and receiving project bids, resource and task-based budgeting, team-wide work planning to support the Conservation Team in securing new restoration projects (grants and contracts)

Support the grants development team to:

  • Scope new projects including staff time, equipment and supplies needs.
  • Develop realistic project workplans and schedules for proposals.
  • Solicit bids from vendors for proposed work consistent with State Contracting Manual.
  • Generate proposal budgets for field restoration activities including site preparation and earthwork, irrigation system design and installation, planting, seeding, and maintenance.

Support Contracting Director to bid on public works projects:

  • Review plans and specs, translate into workplans and budgets.
  • Maintain working relationships with vendors and clients to support successful bids.
  • Prepare bid proposals in collaboration with CFOO and senior leadership at RP.

(10%) Communications – internal and external: Responsible for sharing project and team issues with appropriate team leads and senior leadership at RP as well as serving as a restoration project ambassador for site tours and project visits with vendors, partners and clients

Know and coach Field Managers to know the specific details of project implementation:

  • Timelines and tasks.
  • Staff, equipment, labor and vendors budgeted and planned.
  • Special regulatory permit conditions and sensitivities (for example cultural resources).
  • Restoration science and wildlife/plant identification.
  • Strategic partners and project outcomes.

Inspect project sites and collaborate with Safety Officer, CFOO, Director of Field Restoration, Science, and Director of Communications to highlight successes and outcomes, correct errors and respond to challenges.

Cultivate collaboration amongst Field Restoration and Restoration Science teams to ensure project compliance with permitting conditions, restoration plans, and best available science.

Knowledge Skills and Abilities:

  • Must enjoy working with diverse people and organizations to get things done.
  • Capable of working independently and leading teams.
  • High level of personal discipline and ability to manage multiple initiatives simultaneously.
  • Knowledge of agriculture and public works construction practices.
  • Experience managing budgets and general understanding of contracting.
  • Excellent verbal, analytical, organizational, and written skills.
  • Demonstrate judgment in identifying and handling confidential information,
  • Exhibit cooperative behavior with colleagues, supervisors, and managers at all times.
  • Integrity and ethics beyond reproach.
  • Commitment and enthusiasm to carry out River Partners mission.


  • B.S. in agriculture, agribusiness, contract management or related science.
  • Minimum of ten years of experience in ecological restoration or related field.
  • Exceptional supervisory skills and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Ability and enthusiasm to spend over two weeks per month travelling to various project sites across California including the Imperial Valley, San Diego, Bakersfield, the San Joaquin Valley, Redding and Red Bluff.
  • Ability to represent River Partners orally and in writing to a broad spectrum of agency, community and governmental organizations.
  • Minimum five years of experience in cost-estimation, budgeting, project management and contracting.
  • Competency in contract negotiation and administration.
  • Skill in exercising judgment and discretion in developing, applying, interpreting and coordinating departmental policies and procedures.
  • Skilled team leader.
  • Certification in pesticide application (Pest Control Advisor preferred, Qualified Applicator License required).
  • C-27 Landscaping Contractor’s License and/or Class A Contractor’s License (preferred).
  • Possess the ability to communicate in basic Spanish (preferred).
  • Experience working with Microsoft Office Suite software and DelTek Vantage Point.
  • Veterans are encouraged to apply.

Commensurate with experience. River Partners offers competitive benefits package including 401K matching and paid time off. Anticipated salary range is $90,000 to $100,000.

Medical, Dental and Life insurance paid 100% for employee; vision insurance; Flexible Spending Account (FSA)/Health Savings Account (HSA), 401K with employer match (plan is fully vested); 10 paid holidays; up to 12 days of paid sick-leave per year; fitness membership.

To apply email your resume and cover letter to:, Subject: Director of Field Operations
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Or send to:
River Partners Attn: Director of Field Operations
580 Vallombrosa Avenue
Chico, CA 95926

No telephone calls, please

River Partners is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action (EEO/AA) Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, religion, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with disability, or any other protected group status or non-job-related characteristic as directed by law.

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