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Located in beautiful coastal San Mateo County, the San Mateo Resource Conservation District (RCD) seeks a Conservation Associate to join the team working to improve habitat and protect water resources.

RCDs across California serve as local hubs for conservation, connecting people with the technical, financial, and educational assistance they need to conserve and manage natural resources. RCDs help landowners, land managers, government agencies, and others to voluntarily protect, restore, and enhance natural resources on private and public lands. A defining characteristic of RCDs is that we provide non-regulatory, confidential, and free assistance.

You will support efforts to restore wildlife habitat and enhance streamflow for environmental benefit while improving water security for local agriculture and domestic use. The work generally involves assisting with conservation projects and helping landowners manage their natural resources. You will report to the Senior Conservation Project Manager. Example projects include enhancing creek and wetland habitat, removing barriers to ancestral fish migration, managing vegetation, water storage and conservation, and other activities that improve natural resources for wildlife and people. You will work closely with a broad array of internal staff and sometimes support partnerships with outside organizations, government agency staff, and public and private landowners.  


  • Complete project- and program-related tasks:
    • Coordinate with advisors and partners to support projects from conception to completion including design, planning, permitting, implementation, monitoring, and documentation
    • Help track project budgets
    • Draft reports to funders
    • Help prepare materials for documents such as grant and permit applications
  • Conduct pre- and post-project monitoring activities such as collecting field data, data entry, equipment preparation, and maintaining supplies (you will be trained in all required protocols)
  • Support biological monitoring during construction which may include preparing daily monitoring forms and species training materials, identifying and relocating species from active construction areas, and communicating measures with contractors to ensure the safety of the species
  • Assist with responses to requests for help from community members as appropriate, often involving site-visits and occasional after-hour community meetings
  • Coordinate and assist with outreach activities and educational workshops
  • Contribute to overall RCD goals and mission through assigned tasks and special projects as needed
  • Foster positive relationships with staff and partners

You will benefit from previous experience in community engagement, project coordination, and/or in-field biological work. You will need administrative, communication, and interpersonal skills as well as curiosity and a desire to learn.

Minimum qualifications

  • Demonstrated ability to implement conservation projects; transferable skills are acceptable
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and ability to work with a variety of community members with diverse cultural backgrounds, worldviews, and temperaments
  • Strong computer skills, including Word and Excel
  • Highly organized with the ability to prioritize in a fast-paced work environment
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Ability to work collaboratively on a team as well as independently
  • Ability to walk on rugged terrain, be on your feet for long periods of time, lift and carry supplies, and use hand-held equipment during all seasons. If you have any concerns or questions about these requirements, please contact us at jobs[at]
  • Innovative problem-solving abilities, flexibility, strong desire to learn
  • Valid California driver’s license

Desired qualifications

  • Knowledge in one or more of the following areas: watershed stewardship, natural resource management, hydrology, soil science, native plant and animal communities, restoration ecology, fisheries, water resources and conservation, or similar field
  • Spanish proficiency/fluency
  • Familiarity with local flora and fauna
  • Experience coordinating projects
  • Experience working with watershed, restoration, or other conservation groups
  • Experience writing grant applications and reporting
  • Experience with community engagement

Financial compensation for the Conservation Associate is $25-34 per hour. Benefits include a fixed monthly amount for combined health, dental, and vision insurance; paid time off, starting at 18 days annually; a 401K retirement plan; 12 paid holidays; ability to work remotely as appropriate (field and office work is also required); and a fun, fast-paced, positive work environment with excellent coworkers.

We recognize the diversity in our community, and we see the strengths and gifts that each member of the community brings to the shared work of deep sustainability. We are working towards a future where the land and communities of San Mateo County are healthy and resilient in the face of climate change, the connection between people and the land is strong, and people throughout our community equitably share the benefits of and connection to natural resources. We are growing and learning in this space and are in the process of creating a strategic plan to intentionally work toward that future. To support our staff, the RCD offers paid time to attend affinity groups and professional development opportunities. As an example of how we see some of this work, please review the Mycelium Map, created by the California Landscape Stewardship Network’s JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Roundtable.  

To apply, email a cover letter, resume, and three references to jobs[at] Please include “Conservation Associate Application” in your email subject line. Applicants may later be asked to submit a driving record and/or proof of current auto insurance. Applications will be accepted through June 12, 2023. The position is anticipated to start work August 1, 2023. The RCD is an equal opportunity employer.