Senior Regulatory and Restoration Biologist (Senior Environmental Resources Specialist)

  • Orange County, CA
  • Orange County, California
  • Nov 28, 2021
Variable Shift Environmental Services Regulatory and Licensing Sciences and Laboratory
  • Salary: $80,537.60 - $108,492.80 Annually USD

Job Description

Senior Regulatory and Restoration Biologist

(Senior Environmental Resources Specialist)

In addition to performance-based merit increases, this position is scheduled to receive salary range increases on the following date:

Effective July 1, 2022 - 3.5% increase

Salary may be negotiable within the range listed above, based on position requirements and successful candidate's qualifications, subject to appropriate authorization.


This recruitment is open to the public and is being held to establish an eligible list to fill current and future Senior Environmental Resources Specialist vacancies within OC Public Works and OC Waste & Recycling and/or other County of Orange agencies. This recruitment may also be used to fill positions in similar and/or lower classifications.


This recruitment is open to the public and will remain open on a continuous basis until the needs of the County are met.

Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply immediately.

OC PUBLIC WORKS - Mitigation Program
OC Public Works is a unique County department comprised of 10 service areas, each of which directly impacts the quality of life for Orange County residents and the private sector. OC Public Works provides services on a regional basis to unincorporated areas, cities, and other County agencies and departments. The primary mission of the department is to ensure quality of service today and quality of life tomorrow. OC Public Works' core values are integrity, accountability, service and trust. In addition, our vision is to be a world class leader of innovative, professional and quality public works services.

The Mitigation Program within the Environmental Resources Service Area of OC Public Works oversees the post-construction maintenance and monitoring of performance standards from OC Public Works Department/OC Flood Control District mitigation sites, which are established as compensatory mitigation for impacts from capital improvement projects and infrastructure maintenance. Compensatory mitigation is required for unavoidable impacts to the natural environment and habitats, and is achieved through the restoration, establishment, enhancement, and/or in certain circumstances preservation of natural habitats. Once a property is dedicated to mitigation, it must be maintained in a natural state in perpetuity.

OC WASTE & RECYCLING - CEQA/Habitat Compliance Group
OC Waste & Recycling (OCWR) is an organization dedicated to providing waste management services, protecting the environment, and promoting recycling in order to ensure a safe and healthy community for current and future generations. OCWR operates three active regional landfills, four household hazardous waste collection centers, monitors 20 closed landfills, and administers municipal solid waste collection, recycling and planning for County unincorporated areas. OCWR is a nationally renowned waste management department responsible for a network of sanitary landfills. The Department is committed to its exceptional record of regulatory compliance and excellence.

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and Habitat Compliance Group within OCWR oversees the permitting, installation, maintenance and monitoring of performance standards of OCWR's habitat mitigation sites, which are established as compensatory mitigation for impacts from landfill development, expansion, and operational activities. Compensatory mitigation is required for unavoidable impacts to the natural environment and habitats, and is achieved through the permitting, restoration, establishment, enhancement, and/or preservation of natural habitats, and the in-perpetuity maintenance and management of these mitigation sites. The CEQA and Habitat Compliance Group also ensures departmental compliance with CEQA and various other environmental regulations, including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Fish & Game Code, Clean Water Act, and applicable Natural Community Conservation Plan (NCCP)/Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP).

OC Public Works and OCWR are looking for senior-level regulatory and restoration biologists to support their respective habitat management and restoration programs.

The Senior Regulatory and Restoration Biologist for OC Public Works will provide biological and habitat restoration expertise in support of capital and maintenance improvement projects; advise on impact avoidance and minimization measures to sensitive plant and wildlife communities; and provide oversight of the mitigation and enhancement elements of the Santa Ana River Mainstem Flood Control Project in cooperation with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Counties of Riverside and San Bernardino Flood Control Districts. The latter effort will include advising on the work plan associated with the Santa Ana Woolly Star Preserve Area Multi Species Habitat Management Plan.

The Senior Regulatory and Restoration Biologist for OCWR will be a part of the CEQA and Habitat Compliance Group and will provide biological compliance and habitat restoration expertise for OCWR Landfills in support of landfill development and operations. The position will assist with permitting and regulatory coordination for new and ongoing mitigation projects associated with landfill development; provide oversight of installation, maintenance, management, and monitoring of new and existing habitat mitigation sites; prepare routine reports documenting habitat mitigation areas status as required by regulatory permits; review construction and operational plans and documents and advise on impact avoidance and minimization measures for adherence to all applicable biological permit conditions; train OCWR landfill staff in identifying and appropriate avoidance of native habitats and species in compliance with applicable laws and regulations or permits; evaluate seed and plant materials from vendors for use in mitigation areas; review documents and specifications prepared by contractors, consultants and vendors for compliance with BMPs; closely monitor every phase of construction at the landfill where assigned for compliance with biological permits and plans; create maps, exhibits, reports and presentations to inform decision makers, state and federal resource agency staff, including use of GIS or other aerial mapping software. This position may also assist with public outreach and assist with site tours.

The ideal candidates will possess the minimum qualifications and have five (5) years of experience performing quantitative and/or qualitative surveys of the native plant communities of Southern California; possess knowledge of non-native and invasive plants; knowledge of local fish and wildlife, including local Endangered Species Act (ESA) and special-status species; and have regulatory permitting and agency consultation experience.

These positions may manage or assist in managing a small program, unit or section or a departmentwide function or projects, may supervise or manage other staff and/or direct the efforts of staff who are not direct reports, including outside contractors.

In addition, the ideal candidate will also possess knowledge and experience in the following core competencies:

Technical Knowledge | Core Competencies
  • Knowledge of California native plants, native plant communities, non-native and invasive plants; and proper planting and irrigation techniques
  • Knowledge of Southern California fish and wildlife species
  • Interpret and understand federal, state, and local legislation, policies, regulations and issues that pertain to the assignment
  • Preparation of informational, statistical, scientific, technical and compliance reports
  • Knowledge of CEQA, federal and State Endangered Species Acts, California Coastal Act, California Fish and Game Code, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Clean Water Act
  • Ability to operate and interpret topographic maps and aerial photographs
  • Familiarity with construction drawings and specifications related to biological issues; standard habitat impact minimization and protection techniques
  • Ability to read and comprehend technical documents and specifications
  • Resource agency negotiation, permitting and mitigation experience
  • Field staff supervisory experience
  • Contract management

Problem Solving and Analysis
  • Identifies, researches, evaluates, estimates, accurately interprets and applies technical data and policy information
  • Uses sound reasoning and logical judgment to arrive at conclusions and find alternative solutions to complex problems
  • Effectively identifies and uses department resources to resolve issues
  • Analyzes problems and adopts effective courses of action
  • Uses sound judgment seeking out resources and/or consulting with others to gain and share information
  • Proactively plans and aligns all undertakings with organizational vision
  • Effectively manages competing priorities while meeting established deadlines
  • Shows innovation and creativity with a solution focus

Effective Communication | Collaboration
  • Strong listening, verbal, and writing skills
  • Ability to distill complex topics for a variety of audiences of varying levels of understanding
  • Ability to supervise/manage other staff and/or direct the efforts of staff who are not direct reports, including outside contractors/consultants to meet project/program objectives
  • Ability to communicate effectively using both technical and non-technical language with County staff (including other service areas and departments), contractors, and the public both verbally and in writing
  • Maintain open and productive dialogue to facilitate resolutions, improvements and inclusion
  • Present data, ideas and complex materials clearly, logically, concisely and persuasively both orally and in writing with management staff and project stakeholders
  • Review and check documents for accuracy and quality of work and convey feedback and direction in an effective manner
  • Promote open, candid information sharing across organizational boundaries

Resolution | Decision Making
  • Conflict resolution in a positive and constructive manner
  • Work independently and maintain flexibility among changing assignments and priorities
  • Anticipate and minimize unexpected issues and situations by promptly resolving and addressing the issue and/or situation with evidence-based decision-making strategies.
  • Accurately identify issues, impacts and solutions
  • Implement/apply logical and creative thought processes in developing solutions according to written/oral specifications and/or instructions
  • Effectively and efficiently produce results consistent with program objectives

By date of appointment, possession of a valid California Driver's License, Class C or higher is required, which must be maintained throughout employment.

OC Public Works - Mitigation Program

The ideal candidate will have direct experience surveying, handling, and monitoring for one or more of the following species:
  • Santa Ana woolly star (Eriastrum densifolium ssp. Sanctorum) ,
  • slender-horned spineflower (Dodecahema leptoceras),
  • Santa Ana sucker (Catostomus santaanae) ,
  • western pond turtle (Emys marmorata) ,
  • least Bell's vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) ,
  • southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) ,
  • coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica) and/or
  • San Bernardino kangaroo rat (Dipodomys merriami parvus) .

Click here to view the minimum qualifications and physical requirements for a Senior Environmental Resources Specialist. Please note, f oreign degrees require an evaluation of U.S. equivalency by an agency that is a member of the National Association of Credential Services (N.A.C.E.S.)

Human Resource Services (HRS) screens all application materials for minimum qualifications. After screening, candidates who meet the minimum qualifications will be referred to the next step in the recruitment process. All candidates will be notified via email of their status in the process.

Structured Oral Interview (SOI) I (Weighted 100%)
Applicants will be interviewed and rated by a qualification and appraisal panel of job knowledge experts. Each applicant's rating will be based on responses to a series of structured questions designed to elicit the applicant's qualifications for the job.

Based on the department's needs, the selection procedure listed above may be modified. All candidates will be notified of any changes in the selection procedure.

Eligible List
Once the assessment has been completed, HRS will establish an eligible list of candidates. Candidates placed on the eligible list may be referred to a selection interview to be considered for present and future vacancies. Only the most successful candidates will be placed on the eligible list.

Veterans Employment Preference
The County is committed to providing a mechanism to give preferential consideration in the employment process to veterans and their eligible spouses and will provide eligible participants the opportunity to receive interviews in the selection process for employment and paid internship openings. Please click here to review the policy.
Please see below for important information regarding COVID 19 related requirements
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and laws, regulations, and policies regarding COVID-19 are subject to change. The County of Orange is required to comply with any State or County Public Health Orders which may apply as follows:
  • Workers who provide services in certain Medical or High-Risk Settings, may be required to provide proof of full vaccination from COVID-19 or to wear a mask and undergo weekly COVID-19 testing .
  • Workers who provide services in certain Health Care Facilities or correctional facility or detention center where health care is provided, may be required to provide proof of vaccination . (Workers may be exempt from this requirement based on religious beliefs or a qualifying medical reason; however, if exempted worker will be required to mask and undergo weekly COVID-1 9 testing.)
The position for which you are applying may be required to adhere to any applicable State or County Order. You will receive notification of any requirement as it applies to a position.

Email is the primary form of notification during the recruitment process. Please ensure your correct email address is included in our application and use only one email account.

NOTE: User accounts are established for one person only and should not be shared with another person. Multiple applications with multiple users may jeopardize your status in the recruitment process for any positions for which you apply.

Candidates will be notified regarding their status as the recruitment proceeds via email through the site. Please check your email folders, including spam/junk folders, and/or accept emails ending with "," "," and "" If your email address should change, please update your profile at .

here for additional Frequently Asked Questions.

For specific information pertaining to this recruitment, please contact Susana Gamboa at (714) 834-4655 or
Orange County, as an equal employment opportunity employer, encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.

Closing Date/Time:

Job Address

Orange County, California United States View Map