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Senior Biologist

Valley Water
San Jose, California
Closing date
Jul 9, 2022

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Aquatic ecology
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Senior Biologist


Valley Water


Salary: $10,462.40 - $13,398.67 Monthly


Job Type: Full-Time


Job Number: 01469-E


Location: CA, CA


Department: Watersheds Operations and Maintenance


Closing: 5/22/2022 11:59 PM Pacific




Operations & Maintenance Environmental Support Unit (Position Code 0602)

COVID-19 vaccination requirement:

*To protect our most valuable assets, our employees, as well as the communities we serve, Valley Water requires all newly hired Valley Water personnel to be fully vaccinated (for COVID -19) or to be formally excused from the requirement through the **reasonable accommodation process (for details, see bottom of job posting)

Valley Water Telework Program: Eligibility for telework will depend on the type of work performed, operational needs, and the ability for the employee to perform the essential functions of their job duties while teleworking. Employment with Valley Water requires employees to live within 150 miles of their primary physical work location located in San Jose, California by their start date. This position is eligible for a hybrid telework schedule, typically working 40% remote and 60% onsite.



Are you looking to help shape the future of the streams and riparian resources within Santa Clara County? Valley Water is looking for a Senior Biologist to continue to implement our Stream Maintenance Program (SMP). Valley Water operates one of the largest stream maintenance programs in the state and is responsible for over 275 miles of stream corridor located throughout Santa Clara County. The selected candidate will be a leader in implementing and overseeing biological staff associated with the program. The ideal candidate will have a deep knowledge of local and regional flora and fauna, experience overseeing mitigation and monitoring programs, strong background in applicable state and federal regulations and permitting, and experience directing the daily work of professional biologists.


This position is located in our Operations & Maintenance Environmental Support Unit and will work closely with a cross disciplinary team of ecological, engineering and construction staff associated with the SMP. The Senior Biologist position within the SMP provides technical and functional supervision over other biological staff and communicates closely with VW engineer/maintenance staff. The position oversees the daily implementation of the biological resource requirements of SMP and provides a high level of expertise in all biological resource disciplines (wildlife, fisheries, vegetation, and mitigation monitoring). The position provides input on difficult or technically complex resource issues and may assist in the negotiation of permits or the resolution of permit violations. The position will also manage Valley Water contracts as it relates to environmental support.

Key Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:


• Review biological survey requests daily. This function involves reviewing the requests as they are received, identifying whether special status species are involved in the work (this may determine which biologist is assigned the work and whether night surveys are required), prioritizing the work as compared to other biology related work assignments, assigning work to the appropriate Biologist.

• Provide biological data and analysis for required notification and end of year reports including making a special status species effects determination of all SMP activities within federal species mapped areas, attending multi-disciplinary field visits, and preparing pre-and-post project impact assessments.

• Negotiate permit conditions and mitigation requirements with resource agencies. Attend meetings with the resource agencies and present information. Function as a main point of contact with resource agencies for biological issues.

• Review work of lower-level biologists in the unit including, but not limited to complex bio desk audits, complex site assessments, mitigation plans, and mitigation monitoring reports.

• Provide biological expert opinion, review, and interpret regulations, and make recommendations to the division, unit manager, Deputy Operation Officer, Chief Operation Officer, and the public on difficult and complex biological issues.

• Conduct biological surveys, and biological monitoring during SMP activities. Approximately 20% or less of the time is spent in fields overseeing fieldwork. This includes survey for state and/or federal special status species.


Ideal Candidate's Background Includes:

Applicants whose experience and background best match the ideal experience, knowledge, skills, abilities, and education are considered ideal candidates for the position. To determine the top candidates, each applicant will be assessed based on the ideal candidate criteria listed below.

Ideal Experience:


• Seven (7) years of experience performing professional-level responsibilities as a biologist involving a significant amount of field work.

• Experience working with regulatory State and Federal permit agencies and writing technical reports.

• Experience conducting surveys for environmental compliance.


Ideal Skills and Abilities:

Establish and maintain effective working relationships with multi-disciplinary and management teams while having excellent oral and written communication skills and good critical thinking skills.


• Establish and maintain effective working relationships with multi-disciplinary teams, management teams and the public while having excellent oral and written communication skills and good critical thinking skills.

• Ability to review, interpret and analyze biological resources regulations and make recommendations to management.

• Ability to direct and supervise lower-level staff, and work in a collaborative team environment.

• Ability to make presentations to the Board of Directors, management, and Valley Water staff.


Ideal Knowledge:


• Biological resource regulations, local plants, fish & wildlife including local Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed and special-status species.

• Environmental planning, habitat restoration, natural resources management and conservation planning.

• Various plant, fisheries, and wildlife monitoring techniques (wetland delineation, electrofishing, point counts, habitat typing and assessment, etc.).

• State and Federal laws, permitting, mitigation and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Clean Water Act Sections 401, 404, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Code, Section 1600.

• GIS and database management.

• Multi-disciplinary team involvement, including good oral and written communication skills and critical thinking skills.

• Contract management.


Ideal Training and Education:


• Equivalent to a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in biology, ecology, botany, zoology, wildlife, fisheries ecology, or a related discipline in a life sciences field.

• Master's Degree is a plus! A Master's degree in biology, ecology, botany, zoology, or a related discipline in a life sciences field from an accredited college or university may substitute for one year of experience.


Required License or Certificate


Possession of, or ability to obtain, an appropriate, valid California driver's license. Individuals who do not meet the driver's license requirement due to a disability will be considered for a reasonable accommodation on a case-by-case basis.

To review the Classification Specification, please click Biologist - 5-2019.pdf


Selection Process


(1) The selection process may include one or more of the following: application review, application assessment, performance exercise, written exercise and/or interview.

(2) The Employment Application, Qualifying Information Questions and/or Supplemental Questions will be evaluated based on the ideal candidate criteria listed above. Resumes are highly recommended.


NOTE: Position and start date is subject to availability of funds. Valley Water retains the right to repost this position as deemed necessary.

Consideration may be given to existing applicant pools within the same classification.

COVID-19 vaccination requirement:* Fully vaccinated means (1) it has been at least two weeks since a person has completed the entire recommended series of a COVID-19 vaccine, and (2) the person has provided proof of vaccination in a form consistent with the requirements for verification of vaccine status in the State of California's July 26, 2021 Public Health Officer Order.**Limited Exemptions to Vaccination RequirementAn individual who has been provided a job offer may request a reasonable accommodation to the vaccination requirement if they:1. Have a contraindication recognized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or by the vaccine's manufacturer to every approved COVID-19 vaccine. A contraindication means a condition that makes vaccination inadvisable;2. Have a disability and are requesting an exception as a reasonable accommodation based upon this disability; or,3. Object to COVID-19 vaccination based on their sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance.

Valley Water's Equal Opportunity Non-Discrimination Policy is available for review upon request.


Valley Water will make reasonable efforts in the examination process to accommodate persons with disabilities. Please advise Human Resources in advance of any special needs by calling 408-630-2260.


Please be aware that once submitted all application materials become the property of Valley Water and will not be returned. Human Resources staff are not authorized to make copies of application materials for applicants.


To apply, please visit




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