Environmental Planner 4

Puget Sound Partnership
Tacoma, WA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.
The Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) leads the region's collective effort to restore, protect, and sustain Puget Sound. We align the work of our partners around a shared vision and science-driven, prioritized strategies. We ensure smart investments that help to allocate resources efficiently and effectively. By striving to remove financial, regulatory, and resource barriers for our partners, we serve as a catalyst for success in restoring health to Puget Sound.
More information on the Partnership is available at our website: www.psp.wa.gov.
PSP is a great place to work and has implemented several "Employer of Choice" initiatives, including:
  • We are committed to diversity and inclusion. PSP fosters an inclusive environment that encourages all employees to bring their authentic selves to work each day. We strive to hire, develop, and retain a competent and diverse workforce that is reflective of the public and partners we serve.
  • We actively engage in climate change by offering Intercity transit commuting options from Seattle and Olympia (no cost to the employee, a generous Reduced Transportation Commute financial incentive and provide agency-paid ORCA cards to all employees. In addition, PSP primarily operates out of its Tacoma location, which is a LEED Green Building with a rain garden.
  • We foster a healthy work/life balance by offering flexible/alternative work schedules, and mobile and telework options. (depending upon job duties)
  • We are making exciting steps towards modernizing our workplace by providing motivating and inspiring workspaces at three locations that promote creative thought, innovation, and collaboration among co-workers.
  • We support an Infant at Work Program that is based on the long-term health values of breastfeeding newborns and infant-parent bonding. Eligible employees who are new mothers, fathers, or legal guardians can bring their infant (6 weeks to 6 months) when returning to work. (Depending upon job duties).

Our main office is in a LEED Platinum-certified building on the waterfront in Tacoma, WA within a 10 minute walk of downtown (restaurants, shopping, museums, farmer's market, etc.). Flexible work schedules are typical, including alternate work schedules and working from home or our remote office in Olympia or Seattle, WA, one or two days per week.  Staff are issued laptop computers and mobile phones and have access to state vehicles for travel.  This position should expect to travel regularly to meetings throughout the region.

Some of what you will enjoy doing will include:
General Planning Duties
  • Working across agency programs and with external partners (tribal, state, federal, local, NGO and business) on major planning and policy initiatives.
  • Considering, initiating, and leading work related to adaptively managing our framework for recovery, including strategic planning that comprehensively addresses and reflects cross-cutting issues, Near Term Actions (NTAs), and ongoing work that constitute the bulk of regional recovery efforts. 
  • Supporting senior members of the planning team with tracking internal and external meetings and projects that affect the Action Agenda and/or Implementation Strategies.
  • Working with Partnership science and evaluation staff on reporting, monitoring, and effectiveness evaluations relating to the Action Agenda.
  • Working with Partnership communications staff to support communications (e.g. website, announcements, and other communications) and editing of Action Agenda materials.
  • Preparing materials for internal and external meetings (including drafting briefing memos for Partnership boards), preparing meeting notes and summaries, and ensuring follow up tasks are completed.
  • Representing the agency in external venues to coordinate and influence the work of partners and to elicit input on agency priorities, policies, and programs.
  • Planning and facilitating meetings and workshops for a wide range of partners and stakeholders.
  • Maintaining open and regular communication with respective staff, partners, and stakeholders.

Supporting Implementation of the 2018-2022 Action Agenda

  • Supporting agency efforts to diversify and mobilize funding for Puget Sound recovery.
  • Supporting efforts to inventory, understand, and leverage ongoing programs that relate to Puget Sound recovery, such as water quality protection programs under the Clean Water Act and associated state and local laws.
  • Supporting efforts to help potential funders and implementers access and use the Partnership's database of priority recovery actions.
  • Co-managing the Near Term Action database in order to actively support efforts to mobilize funding, implement Near Term Actions, and track progress.

Supporting Development of the 2022-2026 Action Agenda

  • Supporting the planning team in developing drafting concepts for the 2022-2026 Action Agenda by:
    • Reviewing previous after action reviews; letters from tribes, partners, and the public; past Action Agendas; past board decisions and discussions; and findings from partner engagement surveys;
    • Meeting with and interviewing decision-makers who do or potentially could use the Action Agenda to inform legislation, policy and agency initiatives, investments, and implementation efforts. 
    • Inventorying information requests the Partnership receives from our partners and their current methods of making funding and implementation decisions; and
    • Coordinating internal and external endeavors that intersect with the Action Agenda including our efforts to mobilize funding, revise the Vital Signs, enhance our strategic communications, integrate salmon recovery, develop an improved online data platform, develop Progress Measures to articulate anticipated changes in the recovery system, and more. 
  • Supporting the agency in refining draft concepts for the 2022-2026 and developing and executing a partner engagement plan to create a 2022-2026 Action Agenda development plan that is supported by the region. 

Leading the Agency's Climate Portfolio

  • Chairing and leading the Puget Sound Climate Advisory Team (composed of regional experts) as well as an internal climate change coordination group (composed of Partnership staff).
  • Leading the development of a climate change protocol for Implementation Strategy development with partners, and obtaining contractor support through RFP development and execution.
  • Providing ongoing support to integrate climate change considerations into relevant parts of the Partnership's work by following and participating on external initiatives that have direct relevance to the work of the Partnership.
  • Attending Interagency Climate Adaptation Network meetings and monthly calls and serving as a liaison with interested staff at the Governor's office, as appropriate.
  • Supporting integration of climate change into Local Integrating Organization Ecosystem Recovery Plans and other local planning initiatives.


Supporting Development and Implementation of Implementation Strategies

  • Supporting the Implementation Strategies Manager on management of Implementation Strategies including attending meetings, taking meeting notes, and creating meeting summaries.
  • Reviewing existing Implementation Strategies for adaptive management potential.

Compiling information from Implementation Strategies to build our understanding about the contribution of existing programs to Puget Sound recovery.

Success in this position requires that one be a team player, defined as possessing initiative and a driving passion for the work, bringing humility to their job and interactions with others, and having excellent people skills.  
Leadership is expected of everyone in the organization, and is defined as follows:

We are committed to achieving our mission of accelerating and advancing the recovery of Puget Sound. To ensure our success, we are equally committed to running our agency in a high-performance manner that focuses on high-quality products and processes and a collaborative approach. We achieve high performance by:

  • Valuing one another, our diversity, and our contribution to the agency and the mission.
  • Embracing shared leadership, and empowering all staff, as critical thinkers, to make timely evidence-based decisions in a collaborative manner.
  • Promoting learning--and implementing what we learn--by using the adaptive management cycle for both programs and internal operations. Optimizing our human and financial resources

Required Experience, Competencies and Technical Skills:

  • Six (6) years of experience in environmental management, natural resources, public policy, planning, public administration or related field.
  • Knowledge of and experience in the following areas:
    • Knowledge of climate science and key climate issues and players in the region
    • Knowledge of complex systems design theory
    • Knowledge of ecosystem based management
    • Knowledge of federal, state, and regional laws and requirements, funding programs and annual/biennial funding cycles
    • Experience in interdisciplinary program/complex project management
    • Experience in strategic planning and implementation, particularly in the natural resource or environmental sector.
    • Experience in managing contracts, monitoring and tracking progress
    • Experience working with local jurisdictions and tribes
    • Experience with adaptive management (continuous improvement) and natural resource planning
  • A work history demonstrating progressive levels of responsibility.
  • Substantive knowledge of the issues in which the Puget Sound Partnership is involved.
  • Communicates Effectively: Develops and delivers multi-mode communications that convey a clear understanding or the unique needs of different audiences. Attentively listens to others and encourages open expression of diverse ideas and opinions.
  • Ensures Accountability: Follows through on commitments and takes personal responsibility for decisions, actions and failures. Works with supervisor to establish clear responsibilities and processes for monitoring work and measuring results.
  • Collaborates: Works cooperatively with others across the agency and with external partners to achieve shared objectives.  Able to represent own interest while also understanding and being fair to others. Partners with team members and others across the agency and with external partners to get work done.
  • Strategic Thinking and Planning: Ability to clearly identify long-term needs and determine the necessary sequence of activities and the level of resources required to achieve long and short term goals.
  • Manages Complexity: Makes sense of complex, high quantity, and sometimes contradictory information to effectively solve problems. Acquires data from multiple and diverse sources when solving problems.  Uncovers root problems and evaluates risks and benefits of different solution options.  Distinguishes between what is relevant and what is unimportant to make sense of complex situations.  Looks beyond the obvious.
  • Plans and Aligns: Plans and prioritizes work to meet commitments aligned with organizational goals.
  • Project Management; Ability to articulate project objectives orally and/or via written charter, to ensure that objectives are met and deliverables meet scope, schedule, and budget requirements.  Proficiency in defining, prioritizing, tracking, implementing, measuring, communicating, and completing a large number of complex and often interdependent tasks.
  • Problem Solving: Ability to discern root causes of issues in complex and "noisy" situations, apply critical analysis to identify, articulate and assess potential solutions, and make timely, well-considered recommendations.
  • Adaptive Management (AM):
    • Applies AM best practices to all Sound-wide recovery products and processes.
    • Uses AM best practices to improve local recovery over time.

Preferred Education and Competencies:

  • Master's degree in environmental management, natural resources, public policy, planning, public administration or related field.
  • Seven (7) or more years of related professional experience, including some relevant professional experience working at various levels of government.  Experience with treaty tribes is especially helpful.
  • Experience in a complex, public sector work environment, including science-policy decision making
  • Experience participating in the development or implementation of an Action Agenda, salmon recovery plan, local Ecosystem Recovery Plan, or Implementation Strategy.
  • Experience in conflict resolution/mediation between parties over natural resource issues.
  • Manages Ambiguity: Operates effectively, even when things are not certain or the way forward is not clear.
  • Balances Stakeholders: Anticipates and balances the needs of multiple stakeholders.
  • Manages Conflict: Anticipates conflicts before they happen, based on knowledge of interpersonal and group dynamics. Asks questions and listens closely to all issues presented by stakeholders. Finds common ground and drives to consensus, ensuring that all feel heard. Defuses high tension situations effectively.
  • Customer Focus: Gains insight into partners' needs and helps build and deliver solutions to meet those needs. Establishes and maintains effective partner relationships.
  • Resourcefulness: Adapts quickly to changing resource requirements. Gets the most out of limited resources. Enjoys multitasking; applies knowledge of the organization to advance multiple objective.
  • Program Administration: Ability to develop and oversee a portfolio of projects, including developing and managing budgets, grants and contracts; and ensuring accountability and high quality results.
  • Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation: understands and can apply this tool, particularly as defined and employed by the Puget Sound Partnership.
  • Creative Thinking: Applies innovative, strategic, and critical thinking skills to propose solutions to complex problems, remaining focused on outcomes.

With or without an accommodation, I am willing and able to:

  • Work indoors, at a desk/workstation the majority of a work day, in an open office environment with possible conversation and other noise distractions.
  • Work in a tobacco-free, drug-free, and alcohol-free environment.
  • Work a 40 hour work week.  A flexible work schedule may be considered upon request and supervisory approval, after an initial review period.
  • Occasionally work in excess of 40 hours per week and/or to adjust normally scheduled hours, which may include evening and weekends, to meet program needs and critical deadlines.
  • Occasionally travel throughout the state and nationwide which may include overnight stays, as required, while performing the duties of this position.
  • Work in a fast-paced/stressful environment with multiple priorities and competing deadlines.
  • Maintain confidentiality regarding information accessed or discussed while performing the duties of the position.
  • Interact and work with customers (some of whom may be frustrated or distressed) in a positive, friendly, and supportive manner that meets the needs and standards of the office and the agency.