Local recruitment: River Ecologist via Idealist

Coastal Watershed Council

Santa Cruz, CA, USA 🇺🇸

About the Coastal Watershed Council 

The Coastal Watershed Council is a dynamic and growing 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Santa Cruz, CA, working to transform the lower San Lorenzo River into a community destination by inspiring people to explore, enhance and protect this critical natural resource. When people care for the river, learn about its significance and build a connection to nature, it benefits the river ecosystem and the community. CWC’s four key programs include youth empowerment, habitat enhancement, water quality improvements and community building. CWC’s work takes place on unceded territory of Awaswas-speaking Uypi tribe.  

Job Summary: 

The River Ecologist implements environmental restoration and landscape projects along the lower San Lorenzo River and Santa Cruz Riverwalk park. Restoration efforts typically include controlling invasive species, installing native plants, maintaining project sites through weeding and watering, and vegetation monitoring. Restoration activities are completed by the River Ecologist as well as community volunteers. The River Ecologist is responsible for coordinating volunteers before, during and after volunteer events. The River Ecologist will listen and learn from the Santa Cruz community to inform their work as well as equip, empower and acknowledge volunteers to take action to improve watershed health.  

For more information on CWC’s restoration activities, please visit:  


Essential Duties & Responsibilities: 

  • Implement restoration activities including native plant installation and maintenance, and invasive species removal. 
  • Recruit, coordinate, and lead youth and adult volunteers in restoration activities. 
  • Ensure volunteers follow safety protocols, including field and public health protocols. 
  • Communicate about volunteer opportunities, the San Lorenzo River ecosystem and habitat improvements through photos and videos on social media, as well as written blog posts and program reports. 
  • Communicate with volunteers and program partners through email, phone calls and meetings in order to sustain strong working relationships and achieve program outcomes. 
  • Complete environmental monitoring and evaluation through plant survivorship analysis and percent cover surveys. 
  • Communicate quickly and effectively with supervisor and colleagues about project challenges and opportunities. Understand limitations in the field and execute tasks to the best of your ability. 
  • Keep workspaces clean, safe and organized. Maintain tools and equipment. 
  • Maintain a daily record of activities. 

Education & Experience (required): 

  • Minimum one (1) years’ related experience including restoration, landscaping, agriculture, gardening, trail stewardship or a related land management field. 
  • Experience working with diverse communities and/or underrepresented groups. 

 Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (required):  

  • Basic knowledge of environmental principles, traditional ecological knowledge, river restoration practices and/or watershed concepts. 
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing. 
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, including Word and Excel. 
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively. 
  • Ability to lift and carry approximately 25 pounds. 

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (preferred): 

  • Spanish-language fluency or proficiency. 
  • Experience working with volunteers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. 
  • Undergraduate college degree in related field. 
  • Knowledge of habitat restoration techniques, environmental monitoring, botany, wildlife ecology and/or related fields. 
  • Knowledge of communications tools, including social media and web management. 

Additional Information:  

Direct Reports: None 

Travel Requirements: Minimal 

License and Certification Requirements: California Class C Driver’s License and proof of a good driving record as evidenced by freedom from multiple or serious traffic violations or accidents for at least two (2) years duration. 


The above information on this description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job. 

The Coastal Watershed Council reserves the right to alter this description at any time. The Coastal Watershed Council practices the concept of equal employment opportunity with respect to hiring, promotions, transfers, pay discipline, fringe benefits, and all other terms and conditions of employment. No individual will be discriminated against, and no employment decisions will be made, on the basis of an individual’s race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, protected disability, marital status, familial status, veteran status, height, weight, or citizenship. 

CWC is committed to ensuring equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination. CWC prohibits unlawful discrimination in any term or condition of employment against any employee or applicant for employment because of the individual’s race, color, religion, gender, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, sexual orientation, medical condition, genetic information, disability, membership or service in the U.S. Armed Forces, or any other characteristic protected by law. This policy applies to all personnel transactions, including, but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, placement, training, compensation, benefits, leave of absence, transfer, promotion, demotion, discipline, layoff, and termination.  

CWC is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and are committed to making this the best place in the county to work, where we’re all proud of our work with the Santa Cruz community. People of color, women, persons with disabilities, veterans, and LGBTQI persons are highly encouraged to apply. 


USD 23,400 – USD 28,600Salary: $18-22/per hour for 25 hours per week


In addition to wages, employee benefits include paid time off, health, vision and dental insurance, professional development, and a 3% matching retirement contribution.

Level of Language Proficiency

English-language fluency or proficiency required.

Spanish-language fluency or proficiency preferred.


ON-SITE107 Dakota Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, United States
Suite 4

How to Apply

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Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and due no later than Sunday, October 31, 2021.

You may apply using the form on our website here (https://coastal-watershed.org…





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development