Natural Resources Consultant

Requisition Number
# of Openings
Natural Resources/Biology/Ecology
Hire Type

About the opportunity

Are you passionate about quality environmental work and superior client service? SWCA Environmental Consultants is seeking an experienced, self-motivated natural resources consulting scientist to help us win projects and successfully drive them to completion. You should reside or have experience in the Pacific Northwest and be prepared to be a key member of our Seattle office team.


As a core member of this team, you will support office goals by pursuing project opportunities, managing projects and clients, directing biological and/or wetlands field studies, and supervising and mentoring staff.  You will primarily assist clients with projects related to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) regulations and policies, and/or Washington’s Joint Aquatic Resource Permit Application (JARPA) process. You will also conduct work related to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), and other federal, state, and local environmental regulations. SWCA offers an enthusiastic, supportive, and casual work environment with flexible schedules and a competitive total compensation and benefits package, including a stock ownership program.

What you will accomplish

  • Build client relationships; take initiative and resolve issues to ensure that client needs are met effectively and quickly
  • Lead and assist with development of new business throughout the Pacific Northwest
  • Serve as project manager or assistant project manager for a variety of natural resource projects
  • Lead or assist in the development of Habitat Equivalency Analyses, Habitat Conservation Plans and other types of mitigation, enhancement, or restoration plans
  • Track and be able to advise clients on rulings or proposed rulings under the ESA and other federal or state regulations and policies regarding endangered, threatened, or sensitive species
  • Lead or assist in the development of biological assessments
  • Assist clients and agencies strategically, scientifically, and logistically in ESA Section 7 and Section 10 consultations
  • Lead or assist in all aspects of wetland projects including wetland and waters determination, delineation, permitting, mitigation planning and design, and monitoring
  • Prepare JARPA applications and coordinate with agencies on their review
  • Lead or assist with study design efforts, and prepare field sampling protocols
  • Conduct or direct field surveys, sampling, and other types of studies, collecting observational and spatial data concerning a variety of terrestrial and avian wildlife species and plants
  • Conduct or direct site monitoring activities
  • Organize equipment and logistical arrangements for field projects
  • Author, co-author, and edit technical reports, permit applications, NEPA and SEPA documents, and proposals
  • Attend and/or present at local, regional, and national conferences and forums
  • Work closely with SWCA’s other staff in both natural and cultural resources throughout the company to promote SWCA’s business interests in adherence to its mission, vision, and values
  • Act with commitment to the Seattle office’s core values of integrity, collaboration, and community involvement

Experience and qualifications for success

  • Minimum of B.A. or B.S. in Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Natural Resource Management, or a related life sciences field is required; graduate degree preferred
  • Minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in biological fieldwork, consulting, and project management, including developing and implementing budgets, schedules, and scopes of work from pre-field tasks to final report preparation
  • Demonstrated business development success and consulting acumen, including established credibility with federal and state reviewing agencies and clients, as well as success in proposal writing
  • Demonstrated experience in supervising, mentoring, and providing leadership for other professionals
  • Advanced skills and knowledge in one or more specialty scientific areas (e.g., keying rare plants, conducting protocol surveys for special-status species, etc.)
  • Working knowledge of relevant local, state, and federal regulations including the ESA, CWA, CERCLA, NEPA, SEPA, and WDFW and Washington Department of Ecology requirements
  • Experience working within the regulatory framework of the state of Washington and local governments in the Puget Sound area
  • Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) certification obtained through the Society of Wetland Scientist’s Professional Certification Program preferred, or qualified and willing to become certified
  • Experience conducting Habitat Equivalency Analyses and/or other types of ecosystem function/value assessments preferred
  • Experience working on regional working groups or inter-agency teams preferred
  • Biological modeling and/or statistical experience preferred
  • Experience with biological research design and field implementation, and with leading field crews on a variety of project types
  • Strong wildlife and plant identification skills
  • Must be able to travel and be able to conduct fieldwork for long hours, in sometimes inclement weather conditions, including walking up to 10 miles per day, often in rugged terrain, and be able to carry equipment and supplies weighing up to 40 pounds
  • Prior primary report authorship in a natural resources consulting context for a variety of project types, in a variety of regions, and with a variety of agencies
  • Excellent writing skills and ability to record accurate field notes
  • Ability to take initiative, resolve problems, and ensure that tasks are completed in the most effective manner
  • Flexibility and willingness to learn company procedures, and ability to try new, improved techniques


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