Forest Health Project Coordinator – South Yuba River Citizens League

Nevada City, California

The Forest Health Project Coordinator will support the development and implementation of watershed health monitoring for the North Yuba Landscape Resilience Project (NYLRP). This Project is part of the Forest Health Program within the Watershed Science Department. This position will support the North Yuba Project Manager by expanding SYRCL’s existing water quality monitoring efforts on the North Yuba through the evaluation of forest health treatment impacts on watershed health. This role will work to integrate SYRCL’s existing water quality and hydrologic data at various locations on the North Yuba with expanded sampling sites and newly developed protocols focused on riparian zone health. Data analysis will examine how forest treatments impact hydrology and riparian habitat. The selected candidate will play a central role in SYRCL’s representation on the NLYRP Multi-Party Monitoring Committee. There is a significant growth opportunity with this position.

This position will also contribute to field data collection for SYRCL’s aspen assessment and restoration projects across the watershed. They will support the Forest Health Project Manager in collecting baseline data, assessing priority aspen sites for restoration, and conducting resource surveys for the NEPA and CEQA environmental review process. This position may contribute to various other field work as needed, including headwaters and meadows surveys, and additional hydrologic monitoring.

This position will spend approximately 40% of the time on field data collection and field plot assessment, and 60% on office duties including data analysis, spatial analysis, report writing, contributing to and supporting the North Yuba Forest Partnership, researching and analyzing field protocol development, and supporting SYRCL’s broader Forest Health Program strategy.

This is a full-time hourly position. During the field season (approximately April – October) the Project Coordinator will primarily carry out fieldwork responsibilities, including long (up to 12-hour) field days, as well as occasional camping trips. Camping may occur in remote locations. In the off-season, approximately November – March, the Coordinator will be scheduled during normal business hours (Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm) with occasional required evening and weekend events, with advance notice. Some overtime hours are to be expected, generally during the spring-fall field season.

Position Responsibilities:

The Forest Health Coordinator will support development of new field monitoring and assessment protocols on the North Yuba landscape, complete field assessment and data collection at priority sites, analyze field data and summarize findings for contribution to the North Yuba Landscape Resilience Project (NYLRP) Monitoring Team, and provide field and technical support to SYRCL’s broader Watershed Science team as needed. This role will require significant time in researching and understanding hydrologic and riparian monitoring in forested systems, thorough understanding of GIS mapping and spatial analysis, and willingness to explore the project development process as SYRCL’s Forest Health team further engages with the NYLRP. The successful candidate will carry out the following responsibilities:

  • Researching and analyzing field-based monitoring protocols for hydrologic and riparian zone assessment, including identifying metrics used to track change in ecological conditions and forest treatment impacts.
  • Attending bi-monthly NYLRP Monitoring Team meetings.
  • Assisting the North Yuba Project Manager and NYLRP Monitoring Team in building an adaptive-management process for responsive and informed decision-making for project treatments, specifically around watershed condition monitoring.
  • Analyzing best practices for watershed condition monitoring and developing an understanding of key functions of aquatic ecosystem processes.
  • Field data collection in selected project treatment areas, with data gathered likely to include photo points, water quality metrics, forest health and/or plant community data, and the establishment of long-term monitoring plots.
  • Assess SYRCL’s existing water quality and available stream gage datasets (SYRCL, USGS, YWA) and integrate existing data collection locations into an expanded watershed condition monitoring protocol specific to the NYLRP forest treatment monitoring efforts.
  • Analyze watershed condition and riparian health field data and support the North Yuba Project Manager in summarizing and reporting data findings for the NYLRP long-term monitoring plan.
  • Support development of long-term monitoring plots and integration of citizen science monitoring components on the North Yuba.
  • Assist the Forest Health team with field data collection and analysis for aspen assessment and restoration projects across the Yuba watershed.
  • Work with internal team members and external project partners to identify and prioritize opportunities for expanded watershed condition monitoring.
  • Incorporate Traditional Ecological Knowledge and support projects that promote inclusion and Indigenous land management where possible.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in forest ecology, forestry, hydrology, biology, natural resources management, environmental planning, or a closely related field.
  • At least 2 years of post- undergraduate experience in natural resources management, monitoring and assessment, conservation planning, project management, and/or environmental analysis and research.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and the ability to effectively discuss scientific process in detail with other members of a multidisciplinary team.
  • ArcGIS data analysis and web mapping, including using spatial tools in field data collection.
  • Experience in field data collection for a variety of forest and ecological components, specifically for hydrologic systems or riparian habitats
  • Experience working long field days in remote locations and in challenging terrain and weather conditions.
  • Ability to quickly learn and apply innovative technologies.
  • Willingness to take ownership of projects and carry them out from development to completion.
  • Team player and ability to interact effectively with people from different cultures and experiences.
  • Positive, self-motivated, and a quick learner.
  • Possession of a properly registered and insured personal vehicle, and a valid US Driver’s License.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Strong technical writing skills and experience in grant writing and fundraising.
  • Master’s degree in a relevant field with completion of a field-based research project/thesis.
  • Knowledge of NEPA environmental review process.
  • Knowledge of Sierra Nevada flora and fauna.
  • Wilderness First Aid certification a plus, but not required.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills and experience in advanced data analysis programs such as R Studio or SPSS.
  • Knowledge of Sierra Nevada headwater ecology.
  • Familiarity with Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) principles and contemporary practices in Indigenous communities in the Sierra Nevada is a plus.

Physical Requirements: 

  • Able to safely hike and navigate remote, steep mountainous regions in variable terrain using maps, compass, and GPS carrying up to 30 pounds in hot conditions.
  • Able to work on a computer, including sitting at a desk for extended periods; to read a computer screen; and manual dexterity to operate a keyboard.
  • Able to speak clearly on the phone and in person and be understood by others.
  • Able to occasionally lift objects weighing up to 30 pounds.
  • Field work and site visits are required and may involve walking over uneven terrain, up/down hills and steep canyons, or other similar physical activity while carrying a heavy load.
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Compensation:

The compensation package includes an hourly pay rate range of $26 – $29 per hour, depending on experience, starting paid vacation of 14 days per year earned on an accrual basis, 10 paid holidays, 5 paid sick days, 100% employer paid health/dental/vision insurance, and 2% 401(k) retirement match (fully vested after 3 years).

Hiring Process:

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Preference will be given to applications received by May 17, 2024. Our interview process begins with a phone screen interview; semi-finalists will be invited to video call panel interview if not local; and finalists will be invited for an in-person interview.

Application Information:  

This position is open until filled.

SYRCL is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other protected status. Women, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ people, and members of other historically disenfranchised populations are strongly encouraged to apply.

Click here for more information and to apply.

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