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Located in beautiful coastal San Mateo County, the San Mateo Resource Conservation District (RCD) seeks a Water Quality Specialist to protect and improve water quality at creeks and beaches in San Mateo County. You will work with municipalities, public and private landowners and land managers, local communities, water resources industry leaders, non-profits, academic researchers, and public agencies to find, prevent, and remediate water pollution– and help others do the same.  

In coastal San Mateo County, the land and sea are inexorably linked. In a place like this, even small actions can make a big difference. Because water pollution sources are many and complex and present different threats to public health and wildlife, there is no one solution. Using an array of tools, the RCD works with numerous partners to protect and improve the region’s water quality.  

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.  A defining characteristic of RCDs is that we provide non-regulatory, confidential, and free assistance. 



San Mateo RCD has five program areas: climate mitigation, water resources, forest health and fire resiliency, habitat enhancement, and sustainable agriculture. This position serves the water resources team. You will work with partner organizations and individuals to identify sources of water pollution, identify priority actions, and design and implement solutions to protect and enhance water quality. These activities are often designed to incorporate various natural resource management considerations and produce multi-beneficial outcomes.  Typical work includes overseeing data collection, assessment and reporting; supporting partners in accessing funding programs; capital projects to reduce point source contamination in local creeks; helping organizations comply with regulatory requirements such as Total Maximum Daily Load programs; and hosting workshops, presentations and educational programming.  

You will support marinas, farms, ranches, parks, equestrian facilities, residential landowners, municipalities and other jurisdictions, utilities, parks, and more. You will work closely with RCD staff, partner organizations, and stakeholders with high levels of engagement and personal interactions. This position is full-time at 40 hours per week and is funded by grants and contracts.   



Water Quality Monitoring 

  • Oversee monitoring activities, including data collection in the field, data entry, equipment preparation, and supply maintenance  
  • Analyze and assess data to help identify and characterize sources of water pollution and identify priority actions 
  • Prepare technical reports for diverse audiences (regulators, funders, jurisdictions, landowners, etc.) 
  •   Keep up to date with relevant science, policies, methods, technologies, and solutions 

Program Support 

  • Manage contracts with funders and subcontractors  
  • Manage budgets, invoicing, and reporting  
  • Manage communications between project partners and stakeholders  
  • Ensure regulatory compliance, as relevant (permits and CEQA- you will be trained for these)  
  • Manage the development of project designs and logistics for project implementation  
  • Oversee or support activities such as replacement of pipelines, sewer laterals, installation of water quality instrumentation, etc. including coordination, and contract compliance  
  • Ensure timely project completion and meeting deliverables including final reports, technical reports, outreach materials, and workshops  
  • Help identify and support strategic partnerships and resources to advance program goals  
  • Prepare funding proposals, support grant writing, and communicate with partners, funding agencies, and grants managers  
  • May manage projects to reduce or mitigate pollution, e.g. sustainable landscaping, equestrian manure management, or sewer pipeline replacement 

Outreach and Technical Assistance 

  • Recommend and help implement scientifically grounded, real-world solutions and best management practices. Communicate complex information to diverse stakeholders and audiences via technical reports, presentations, website content, social media, workshops, community meetings, and more 
  • Provide technical assistance to farmers, ranchers, residential landowners, land managers, and others to protect water quality  
  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with local, state, and federal partners

Project Development 

  • Identify and develop priorities and opportunities to protect or improve water quality, incorporating data, reports, regulatory documents, priorities of partners, personal observations, and more 

Successful applicants will “wear many hats” at the RCD. They will benefit from previous experience in stakeholder engagement, identifying emerging opportunities, responding to timely requests, utilizing new and streamlined scientific principles, and high levels of collaboration. They will work across many disciplines and therefore must have technical, administrative, communication, and interpersonal skills.  

Minimum qualifications 

  • Knowledge in water quality and one or more of the following areas: hydrology, water chemistry, watershed and/or stormwater management (other skill sets that are applicable to this role and its responsibilities will be accepted) 
  • 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, Excel, PowerPoint and a basic understanding of geographic information systems 
  • Excellent planning, coordination, and decision-making skills 
  • Highly organized, motivated self-starter with the ability to prioritize in a fast-paced work environment 
  • Able to work collaboratively with partners and staff, or independently as needed 
  • Ability to walk on rugged terrain, be on your feet for extended periods of time, lift and carry supplies, and utilize equipment during various seasonal conditions. If you have any concerns or questions about these requirements, please contact us at  
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion 
  • Innovative problem-solving abilities, flexibility, strong desire to learn 
  • Valid California driver’s license 

Desired qualifications 

  • Experience developing and implementing water quality monitoring plans and programs  
  • Experience managing projects and personnel  
  • Experience communicating scientific information to diverse audiences 

Financial compensation will be commensurate with applicable experience, ranging from $100,000 to $120,000 annually.  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. The RCD is an equal opportunity employer.  

To apply email a cover letter, resume, and three references combined into a single attachment to Jarrad Fisher, Director of Water Resources: with the subject Water Quality Specialist. Applicants may later be asked to submit a driving record. Applications will be accepted through March 8, 2024. First-round interviews are expected to be held the week of March 18th and the position is anticipated to start June – July 2024 (this is negotiable).