Ocean Career: Environmental Scientist at California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Under close supervision of a Senior Environmental Scientist (Supervisory), and as a member of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (Department), Marine Region Environmental Review and Water Quality Project, the incumbent provides technical review and develops comment letters on CEQA documents, permits, monitoring programs, and work plans relating to proposed marine renewable energy projects.

Conduct individual marine renewable energy project reviews and provide suggestions, recommendations, and comments to agencies (e.g., Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, California Coastal Commission, State Lands Commission) and applicants. Coordinate internally with Office of General Counsel, Habitat Conservation Program Branch, and Region’s 1, 3, 4 and 5 staff on marine renewable energy projects and issues of mutual interest. Participate in multi-agency work groups charged with coordinating the environmental review and permitting of marine renewable energy projects. Represent the department on large-scale, long-range marine renewable energy planning activities and collaborate on the development of measures to protect and maintain fish, plant, and wildlife habitats and populations.



  • Evaluate potential impacts of proposed marine renewable energy projects, (e.g., offshore wind, tidal, transmission cables, etc.) on fish, plant, and wildlife resources and habitats in ocean, bay, estuarine, and shoreline areas.
  • Provide verbal and written communication to avoid and/or mitigate potential impacts to habitats, species, fisheries, ocean users, and endangered species.
  • Provide early consultation on environmental issues and other advanced service to marine renewable energy project sponsors, local governments, and regulatory agencies.
  • Assist with determining impacts to Marine Protected Areas as a result of proposed marine renewable energy projects.
  • Perform National Environmental Policy Act, California Environmental Quality Act, California Endangered Species Act, and other state and federal agency permit reviews as they pertain to offshore renewable energy.
  • In coordination with multiple Department functions, review and comment on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management planning activities including, but not limited to:
    Offshore Wind - Calls for Information
    Offshore Wind - Public Lease Planning Activities
    Offshore Wind - Public Leases and applications for offshore wind
    Construction and Operating Plans (COP) for proposed offshore wind energy projects


Coordinate and communicate with commercial and recreational fisheries stakeholders and California’s Tribes and Tribal Communities to fill fisheries and habitat data needs and data gaps for offshore renewable energy planning. In coordination with other Department functions (including Region’s 1,3,4,5, Office of General Counsel, and Habitat Conservation Branch) and local, state, and federal agency partners perform data analysis, research, synthesis, and evaluation for proposed offshore renewable energy.


Work collaboratively on offshore renewable energy interests with multiple state and federal agencies. Participate in state and federal marine spatial planning activities, including but not limited to the BOEM/CEC Offshore Renewable Energy Taskforce, as they relate to offshore renewable energy planning. Represent the department on large-scale, long-range marine renewable energy planning activities and collaborate on the development of measures to protect and maintain fish, plant, and wildlife habitats and populations.


Participate in research and offshore wind information sharing activities as they pertain to CDFWs trustee agency role. Stay current with the latest science on marine renewable energy technology and its impacts, including monitoring technology. Provide briefing documents to Marine Region management and Headquarters on status of on-going and emerging issues relating to marine renewable energy. Provide analysis of state and federal legislative bills pertaining to marine renewable energy.


Attend workshops, webinars, and trainings as required for offshore renewable energy and marine spatial planning.


Non-Essential Functions: Under the supervision of the Senior Environmental Scientist (Supervisor) the incumbent may assist in the preparation of special reports and white papers, conduct research on issues needing additional information and tracking, act as lead for Scientific Aides, technicians, and interns. Assist Senior Environmental Scientist (Supervisor) with specific administrative requests. Create and maintain needed databases, spreadsheets, and research libraries. Attend job required training and training to enhance performance in the position and program knowledge. Represent the Region by participating in Department statewide working groups as needed on Renewable energy issues. Perform administrative duties such as, prepare and submit monthly time expenditure reports, expense claims, and vehicle usage logs, and annual Individual Development Plan and annual work plan. Maintain and increase professional qualifications and expertise through training, conferences, workshop attendance, professional/scientific committee participation, and reviewing scientific literature.


Knowledge of: Basic principles of land, water, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources research; principles of ecology; soil and irrigation sciences, resource management, hydrology, geology, and waste prevention; statistical methods; land-use practices with reference to their general effect on human health, natural resources, agricultural productivity, and the environment; effects of hazardous and non-hazardous waste material and their interactions on the environment; chemical reactions; California and Federal environmental laws, rules, regulations, and requirements; basic toxicology, hydrology, geology, and principles of risk assessment and risk management; concepts employed in a variety of disciplines including environmental planning, economics, and resource management; geolocation and geo-referencing software applications, resource conservation program impacts and implementation strategies; and recycling issues.

Ability to: Apply or modify scientific methods and principles; collect environmental data; analyze and evaluate data and reach sound conclusions; review, check, and interpret scientific and environmental reports; analyze situations and take appropriate actions; establish and maintain cooperative relations with all persons contacted; communicate effectively; prepare clear, complete, and technically accurate reports; apply laws, rules, regulations, policies, and requirements of California and Federal environmental protection and resource management programs; assess the impact of proposed State and Federal environmental legislation and regulations; understand principles of risk assessment and risk management; work with professionals from a variety of disciplines within and outside of State government; and review and understand technical research reports on emerging public health and environmental issues.


Skills: Good analytical, interpersonal, public presentation, communication, writing and organizational skills; adept use of interest-based negotiation; and routine use of computer programs including text processing, spreadsheets, databases, and on-line sourcing of information.

Special Personal Characteristics: A high degree of personal initiative, dependability, professionalism, and integrity is expected. The incumbent is open to feedback on performance; is able to adapt to changing challenges; and demonstrates empathy and understanding of stakeholders’ interests.

Interpersonal Skills: Able to work independently and in a team setting; communicate politely, tactfully, and firmly as necessary with members of the public; demonstrate excellent listening skills and effective negotiation skills; and work effectively in a diverse work environment.


The position requires the use of a keyboard and computer for several hours each day, sitting for prolonged periods and the completion of office tasks that require sitting, standing, and walking to other locations; attendance at meetings both in person and online and participation in conference calls. The position may require travel throughout the state including overnight travel, early mornings, late nights, occasional work on a boat at sea, and along the coastline in, at times, inclement weather. A valid California’s driver’s license is required to drive to meetings and field sites. The position may require the incumbent to wear a uniform identifying the employee as Department staff.

SALARY: $4,145.00 - $7,926.00

Learn more about this position and how to apply.

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