Senior Biologist

Requisition Number
# of Openings
Office Location
US-CA-San Diego
Natural Resources/Biology/Ecology
Hire Type

About the opportunity

SWCA Environmental Consultants is seeking a Senior Biologist with existing permits (ideally for coastal California gnatcatcher, fairy shrimp, and others), experience in natural resource management and consultation, conducting biological studies, and mentoring junior staff for our southern California Natural Resources Program.


The ideal candidate will be interested in developing a long-term consulting career that combines high-level technical expertise with commercial acumen and leadership. Responsibilities may include leading natural resource field studies for sensitive species, preparing biological technical reports per multiple agency requirements, reviewing technical reports, consulting with regulatory agencies, assisting with refining survey methodologies, mentoring field staff, assist with preparation of natural resource proposals, and project management.


The Senior biologist has the option to participate in SWCA’s Scientific Leadership Program, which allows top subject experts to be recognized and rewarded for distinguished productivity and intellectual acumen, to make regular contributions to corporate strategies, and provide input to all levels of the company.


Our Natural Resources program works on diverse natural resources related projects across many business lines, including renewable energies, utilities, infrastructure, transportation, habitat restoration, and mitigation banking. In addition, the southern California office offers a unique work environment and specializes in natural resources, cultural resources, and permitting.


This is a regular, full-time, salaried position. Pay rate will be based on individual qualifications and experience. SWCA offers a team-oriented work environment, competitive salaries, and a competitive benefits package, including an employee stock ownership retirement plan (ESOP).


What you will accomplish

  • Lead and conduct surveys for threatened, endangered and sensitive wildlife throughout southern California
  • Lead and mentor natural resource field teams
  • Provide quality assurance of our natural resource field studies
  • Prepare and review technical documents, including biotechnical reports for a variety of southern California jurisdictions;
  • Prepare project budgets for natural resource surveys and reporting
  • Supervise, mentor, and provide project technical support to field personnel
  • Collect field data and write reports for natural resource assessments
  • Serve as project manager or technical lead on a variety of resource management projects
  • Manage small and large projects, including maintaining budgets, schedules, and quality of service
  • Work with Corporate accounting department to review invoices, expenditures and project audits for projects/tasks
  • Work closely with SWCA’s resource scientists and environmental planners, managers and directors in both natural and cultural resources throughout the company to promote SWCA’s business interests in adherence to its mission, vision, and values.

Experience and qualifications for success

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in biology, ecology, environmental science or a related field required; Master's degree highly desired
  • Existing permit for coastal California gnatcatcher, fairy shrimp or others.
  • At least five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in biological surveys and resource management
  • Minimum of three (3) years of experience in environmental consulting
  • Working knowledge of Southern California natural resources
  • The ideal candidate will also possess strong wildlife and plant identification. Experience delineating jurisdictional waters, preparing JD reports and permit applications is a plus
  • Exceptional technical writing skills with a record of completing technical reports and other deliverables on time and within budget.
  • Experience with CEQA / NEPA and environmental permitting (e.g., CWA Sec 404/401, CDFW LSAA and ITP
  • Ability to work as member of a team and independently to make decisions and complete tasks in the most effective manner
  • Able to multi-task, prioritize, track work progress across multiple projects
  • Ability to take initiative, resolve problems and ensure tasks are completed in the most effective manner
  • Effectively discuss technical concepts to non-specialist clients and the public
  • Able to work independently and collaborate with a variety of colleagues, clients, and agency representatives
  • Must possess a commitment to quality on projects of all sizes and scopes 


SWCA Environmental Consultants is a growing employee-owned firm, providing a full-spectrum of environmental services. With offices across the United States, SWCA is one of the largest environmental compliance firms and ranks among Engineering News-Record’s Top 200 Environmental Firms.


If you would like to contact SWCA regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the online application process due to a disability, please email or call 800-828-8517. This contact information is for disability accommodation requests only. All other inquiries will not receive a response. 


EOE - women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply.


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