Status as of 12/14/2022: we are actively reviewing applications
Environmental Scientist or Associate Environmental Scientist
  • Richmond, California

  • Clean Water Program

  • Full-time

  • Experience Level: Some Experience or combination of experience and education

  • Salary: $73,000 to $100,000 depending on experience

  • Date of first review: Week of December 5, 2022

The San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) seeks an environmental scientist or engineer to join an interdisciplinary team investigating the transport and fate of microplastics and contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in San Francisco Bay and surrounding watersheds. This work will be carried out in support of the Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay (RMP) as well as other Clean Water Program efforts. This is a full-time, Bay Area-based, hybrid office position for a researcher with a master’s degree or PhD in environmental chemistry, environmental science, environmental engineering, or related disciplines. 

Responsibilities for this position include design and implementation of contaminant monitoring studies, analysis of data and preparation of written reports, and communication of findings to local stakeholders and the broader scientific community. Among other field efforts, this position includes a substantial contribution to the stormwater monitoring program, which involves stormwater sampling and other field work.

If you’re excited about this role, but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may be just the right candidate for this, or one of our other roles.

Required Skills

  • Master’s degree plus 2 years of experience or PhD in environmental chemistry, environmental science, environmental engineering, or another related scientific field. 

  • Experience with environmental chemistry or environmental science, including field work, literature review, data analysis, and report writing.

  • Excellent communication, presentation, and writing skills and ability to synthesize information.

  • Experience with technical project management, organizational skills, and ability to manage multiple projects at once and meet deadlines.

  • Ability to work well in teams as well as independently with general direction from senior scientific staff.

  • Ability to contribute to and eventually lead aspects of field work that may involve working unusual hours (e.g., late nights, early mornings, and weekends) and carrying 40 pound field equipment for short durations. 

  • Valid Driver’s License.

Preferred Skills

  • Experience working on the fate and transport of CECs and/or microplastics would be advantageous.

  • Experience with stormwater sampling is not required but would be advantageous. In lieu of stormwater monitoring experience, other rugged field work and/or a general comfort with adverse conditions in the outdoors should be described.

Benefit highlights:

  • Matching contributions to retirement plan (403B)

  • Medical Insurance: health, vision, dental

  • Hybrid workplace

  • 12+ paid holidays, plus vacation days starting at 3 weeks

About the Clean Water Program and the Regional Monitoring Program

SFEI’s Clean Water Program is one of the nation’s premier water quality science programs. It anticipates and meets the water quality data needs of policy-makers, resource managers, and the public. It helps the public, regulators, and those who discharge into our waters create more effective policies to ensure the health of our waters.

SFEI’s novel and multifaceted Regional Monitoring Program uses pooled funds from dischargers and dredgers to evaluate water quality, and works in collaboration with governmental agencies and NGOs to provide the best science to make robust decisions for the sustainable stewardship of San Francisco Bay. The RMP conducts monitoring of water (including stormwater), sediment, and biota (e.g., sport fish, bird eggs), as well as special studies on high priority topics, such as CECs and microplastics. 

About SFEI

San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has a 25-year track record of providing robust and innovative science to decision-makers, policy-makers, practitioners, and community members to measurably improve the health and resiliency of Bay-Delta ecosystems. As a boundary organization, SFEI operates at the interface between science and policy, recognized nationally for our ability to build consensus to support effective environmental decision-making and policy. Our mission is to deliver visionary science that empowers people to revitalize nature in our communities. 

SFEI employs an interdisciplinary staff of more than 70. Our operations and IT staff are the backbone of our organization and keep everything running smoothly. SFEI has three major programs: Clean Water, Environmental Informatics, and Resilient Landscapes. Our program staff represent numerous scientific and technological fields, including chemistry, modeling, ecology, wildlife biology, landscape planning, historical ecology, geomorphology, geospatial analysis, and web development. 

For more information on our mission, values, programs, and staff, visit the San Francisco Estuary Institute website.  

Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action Employer

At SFEI, we celebrate the diversity of our staff and the places we serve, and recognize the value and strength of diversity. We are committed to growing together and creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace. In 2022, SFEI developed and adopted mission and vision statements for DEIJ within and beyond our organization. We also created an action plan which is currently underway. We strongly encourage applications from women-identified people, people of color, and people with other identities commonly under-represented in environmental science. We invite you to share what you like about your professional experience as well as about yourself personally. 

San Francisco Estuary Institute is proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. We are committed to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment of any kind. All employment decisions are based on business needs, job requirements, and individual qualifications. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, physical or mental disability, family or parental status, protected Veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

Accommodations Statement 

If you are a qualified individual with a disability or a disabled veteran, you have the right to request an accommodation if you are unable or limited in your ability to use or access our website or application portal as a result of your disability. To request an accommodation, contact us at 510-746-7355 or

Please note that SFEI cannot sponsor an employment visa (e.g., H-1B) to fill this position.

In the spirit of a fair hiring process, no phone calls please.

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