Wetlands Regional Monitoring Program Lead Scientist/ Senior Tidal Wetland Ecologist (Senior Scientist)

  • Location: Richmond, California

  • Program: Resilient Landscapes

  • Type: Full-time

  • Experience Level: Senior

  • Position Type: Permanent

  • Salary: $105,000 - $125,000. See details below. 

Position Description

  • Posted: April 4, 2024

  • First review of applications: April 18, 2024

  • Application closing date: position open until filled

The San Francisco Estuary Institute is looking for a Lead Scientist of the San Francisco Bay Wetlands Regional Monitoring Program 


California is in a transformative period as the need for communities to adapt to climate change expands while maintaining and enhancing the state’s natural resources. The San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) provides scientific information to communities, local governments, agencies, and others to plan and implement resilient, ecologically-functional watershed and shoreline projects. We produce influential documents (Adaptation Atlas, Sediment for Survival, and Delta Landscapes), create online tools, lead habitat assessment and monitoring programs that provide data critical to decision-makers, and convene partners to co-develop strategies for improving ecosystem health.


We are looking for a talented individual to join our Resilient Landscapes Program to be the Lead Scientist of the newly established San Francisco Bay Wetlands Regional Monitoring Program (WRMP), and to support work on other projects focused on the San Francisco Bay and Delta. The Lead Scientist will join the program at an exciting time as the WRMP is transitioning from program planning to implementation. The Lead Scientist will serve a critical role in leading the WRMP’s development, shaping the WRMP’s science, and ensuring the program’s scientific relevance to wetland restoration stakeholders. 


This position offers an opportunity to work with an outstanding multidisciplinary team on developing scientific information to support wetland restoration in the Bay Area, and to support innovative nature-based projects that help improve the resiliency of communities and wildlife to land use change (both historical and ongoing) and climate change. 


We are looking for an individual who can start immediately. The selected candidate will have expertise in tidal wetland ecology with a strong technical background and a demonstrated ability to lead and manage complex scientific projects, synthesize scientific information into forms most useful for decision-making, communicate findings to scientific and non-scientific audiences, and work with diverse stakeholders to apply science to management. The selected candidate will also be an exceptional collaborator, have strong interpersonal communication skills, and be a big-picture thinker to provide science visioning for the program. 


Primary responsibilities of the Lead Scientist of the Wetlands Regional Monitoring Program (WRMP) will include:

  • Serving as the hub of science-related program development and communications for the WRMP, including leading science team meetings, and other internal and external meetings focused on program management, science communications, and team coordination.

  • Leading and managing the synthesis and analysis of monitoring data into information products that are relevant to decision-makers and other stakeholders, including programmatic documents, scientific summaries, reports and peer-reviewed articles, and planning documents.

  • Serving as part of the WRMP leadership team in close collaboration with WRMP program managers. 

  • Collaborating with project partners at San Francisco Estuary Partnership (SFEP), with whom SFEI co-administers the WRMP) on program development, integration of human dimensions, stakeholder needs, community-engaged monitoring, and information delivery.

  • Representing the WRMP at regional and state-wide meetings.

  • Making decisions related to the WRMP monitoring site network.

  • Managing and supervising WRMP staff, including delegating tasks and assisting in hiring new staff as the program grows.

  • Developing and coordinating new and ongoing  technical workgroups.

  • Developing and managing budgets and work plans.

  • Identifying and coordinating subcontractors (science advisors, workgroup leads, and monitoring crews).

  • Potentially contributing to other shoreline adaptation planning and tidal wetland projects, including developing adaptation strategies that incorporate nature-based solutions, contributing to studies on cross-sector adaptation, advancing landscape-scale planning that promotes healthy estuarine and urban ecosystems, and advancing multi-benefit projects in complex social and ecological systems. 


The position requires a Bay Area location due to in-person attendance at regional meetings and site visits as the Lead Scientist of the WRMP, but we are willing to consider transition time from elsewhere.


If you are excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t perfectly match every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may be just the right candidate for this position or another role or position within SFEI.



We seek highly creative and technically strong candidates to serve as Lead Scientist of the WRMP with expertise (1) in the ecology of tidal wetland ecosystems (or related fields) and knowledge of San Francisco Bay, and (2) project management.

Required Experience

  • MS + min 12 years of experience in tidal wetland ecology

  • PhD + min 5 years of experience in tidal wetland ecology

Required Skills

  • Strong scientific/technical background and quantitative skills – desired areas of expertise include familiarity with the San Francisco Estuary and its tidal wetland ecosystems, landscape-scale conservation and restoration, nature-based adaptation, and California wetland restoration science. 

  • Strong project management skills – ability to manage a large project/program, including collaborating with scientific partners and other stakeholders, and developing and overseeing staff, work plans, budgets, schedules, and deliverables.

  • Ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary team, including experience supervising and mentoring staff with different scientific backgrounds. 

  • Excellent communication skills; demonstrated ability to communicate findings clearly in writing and presentations and synthesize scientific information for general and technical audiences.

  • Ability to develop and maintain excellent working relationships with diverse groups of external partners and stakeholders. Existing relationships with the Bay-Delta science community are a plus.

  • Experience presenting at professional or academic conferences and to stakeholder groups.

  • Familiarity with remote-sensed imagery and/or GIS and interpretation.

Preferred Skills

  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to track multiple aspects of the program.

  • Data analysis and management

  • Familiarity with GIS software and tools 

  • Experience in community-based planning and approaches to facilitate discussion on shoreline adaptation planning.

Salary & Benefits highlights:

  • This will be a Senior Scientist position. The anticipated salary range is $105,000 - $125,000 for this position (Bay Area salary ranges are listed; note that salary ranges for other locations are 10-15% lower depending on location and are based on locational salary data). Salary ranges take into account many factors for making compensation decisions, including but not limited to experience, education, internal equity, and organizational needs. We generally do not offer starting salaries at or near the top of the range. 

  • Matching contributions to retirement plan (immediate vesting) (403B).

  • Medical Insurance: health, vision, dental with employer and employee contributions.

  • 12 paid holidays per year.

  • Vacation days starting at 3 weeks per year.

  • Hybrid workplace.

About Resilient Landscapes


SFEI’s Resilient Landscapes Program develops innovative ecosystem restoration and management strategies to re-establish and sustain essential ecosystem functions and services. These strategies are helping integrate natural and human infrastructure to create systems that are more adaptive to climate change and other stressors. We are an interdisciplinary program of approximately 30 scientists (geomorphologists, hydrologists, ecologists), landscape architects, and GIS specialists – we work closely together and collaborate with staff in SFEI's other programs: Clean Water and Environmental Informatics.

About SFEI


San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which 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 admin@sfei.org.

Other Key Information


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 or emails please.

This position has been filled.