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Located in beautiful coastal San Mateo County, the San Mateo Resource Conservation District (RCD) seeks a Conservation Project Manager 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 advance 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 developing and implementing projects, supporting regional prioritization efforts, helping landowners manage their natural resources, and more. Current projects include creek and wetland enhancement, removal of barriers to restore ancestral fish migration, vegetation management, agricultural and domestic water storage and water conservation, and other activities that improve natural resources for wildlife and people. You will work closely with a broad array of internal staff, partner organizations, government agency staff, and public and private landowners, and will require high levels of engagement and personal interactions.


  • Manage projects with technical advisors, partners, and stakeholders to ensure satisfactory completion
    • Manage contracts with funders, consultants, and subcontractors
    • Manage bid processes for hiring contractors and developing contracts
    • Manage budgets, invoicing, and reporting
    • Manage communications between project partners and stakeholders
    • Manage and develop environmental documents and permits, sometimes with the support of consultants
    • Manage the development of project designs and logistics for project implementation
    • Oversee implementation activities, including contractor management and coordination, permit compliance, and biological monitoring
    • Oversee monitoring activities, including data collection in the field, data entry, equipment preparation and supply maintenance (the employee will be trained in all required protocols)
  • Seek funding opportunities through private, local, state, and federal sources
  • Prepare grant proposals and communicate with funding agencies and grants managers
  • Help identify and support strategic opportunities for partnerships, resources, and communications to advance program goals
  • Support and sometimes lead the identification of emerging restoration and conservation opportunities through collaboration with key external partners such as resource agencies, public land managers, and private landowners
  • Contribute to overall RCD goals and mission through tasks and special projects as needed
  • Communicate regularly with partners and foster positive relationships
  • Engage with communities seeking conservation support through individual communication, site-visits, and occasional after-hour community meetings
  • Respond to timely needs and pivot resources

You will benefit from previous experience in stakeholder engagement, responding to timely requests, project management, permitting and environmental compliance, and high levels of collaboration. You will work across many disciplines and therefore will need technical, administrative, communication, and interpersonal skills as well as curiosity and a desire to learn.

Minimum qualifications

  • 3+ years of professional work experience
  • 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
  • Demonstrated ability in conservation project management or a related field; 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, motivated self-starter with the ability to prioritize in a fast-paced work environment
  • Ability to work collaboratively on a team as well as independently
  • Ability to occasionally 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

  • Fluency/proficiency in Spanish
  • Experience with community engagement
  • Familiarity with habitat restoration, water resources, or similar
  • Familiarity with local threatened and endangered species, including habitat needs and legal protections
  • Familiarity with local, state, and federal permits required for restoration projects
  • Experience working with watershed, restoration, or other conservation groups
  • Experience with environmental construction management
  • Experience with grant application writing, contract management, and procurement procedures

Financial compensation for the Project Manager will be $80,000-96,000 per year, commensurate with applicable experience. Benefits include a fixed monthly amount for combined health, dental, and vision insurance; paid time off starting at 18 days annually (including sick time); 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 or more references to jobs[at] Applicants may later be asked to submit a driving record. Applications will be accepted through August 28, 2023. First-round interviews are expected to be held the week of September 11. The project manager is anticipated to start work mid-October to mid-November 2023. The RCD is an equal opportunity employer.