Local recruitment: CEI Water Justice Science Fellow

California Rural Legal Assistance

Modesto, CA, USA 🇺🇸

Santa Clara, CA, USA 🇺🇸


Job Details

Job Location: Modesto Office – Modesto, CA

Remote Type: Fully Remote

Position Type: Full Time

Job Category: Nonprofit – Social Services

CEI Water Justice Science Fellow

WHO WE AREFounded in 1966, CRLA’s mission is to fight for justice and individual rights alongside the most exploited communities of our society. California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. offers legal services that defend the rights of the rural poor and change the unjust systems that oppress them. Our advocates believe that rural communities can thrive, and that the justice system can be worked to the advantage of people who reject poverty and discrimination. The work we advance spans an impressive gamut of venues and stands on a bold legacy of success and a vision for the prosperity of our clients. The Community Equity Initiative (CEI) addresses environmental justice issues in some of California’s most under invested communities.

Position: CEI Water Justice Science Fellow

Experience: M.S. (or B.S. with 2+ years of experience)

Application Deadline: Open until filled

Location: Modesto, CA or Santa Clara, CA (Hybrid) or Remote

Other: FLSA Exempt, Non-Union Position, Full time

An ongoing collaboration between CRLA’s Community Equity Initiative and Santa Clara University’s Environmental Justice and the Common Good Initiative (https://www.scu.edu/ej/) is investigating how the effects of water contamination, water use, climate change, and water policies are impacting Environmental Justice (EJ) communities. The Water Justice Science Fellow will join and work with an established team of SCU staff, students, and CRLA attorneys and community workers.

The position is based in Modesto (CA) or Santa Clara University (CA), with the option of hybrid/remote full/part-time arrangements. As the Water Justice Science Fellow, you are a creative, interdisciplinary, applied spatial analyst with a background in environmental science, who is motivated by the opportunity to investigate the complex interactions and tradeoffs between EJ communities, agriculture/land use, water contamination, water systems, and climate change impacts, and to inform solutions in real-world landscapes.

The ideal candidate is skilled in, and energized by, the use of spatial analysis, climate models, data visualization, and related approaches to support sustainable solutions for EJ communities, a partner in developing solutions to complex challenges, and communicates effectively to diverse audiences. You understand this is a relatively new body of work, and you are comfortable taking the lead role on the design and implementation of exploratory analyses. You are a self-starter, able to work both independently and collaboratively, and comfortable developing and maintaining relationships with a broad and inclusive community, including internal and external experts, stakeholders, and community members. You are also able to co-author reports, white papers, public comments, and peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals, and you continuously expand your own skills and experience. Funding for this position is temporary, for one (1) year, full-time (equivalent part-time available).

Essential Responsibilities:

Data Analysis

  • Build and maintain relevant databases
  • Independently conduct spatial analysis to investigate the complex interactions and tradeoffs between EJ communities, agriculture/land use, water contamination, water systems, and climate change impacts, and to inform solutions in real-world landscapes.
  • Produce results and maps for workshops, reports, and public comments.

Support Community Advocacy

  • Partner with CRLA staff to support and conduct in-person and virtual community education workshops for Central Valley communities on agriculture/land use, water contamination, water systems, and climate change impacts
  • Work with CRLA staff to strategize on advocacy strategies to address the water concerns of community residents.
  • Collaborate with CRLA partner organizations by facilitating information sharing.
  • Participate in the development of comment letters to state and local agencies detailing community conditions and impacts of proposed programs and policies.

Support Student Mentoring

  • Collaborate with faculty to mentor students involved in this project
  • Other duties as assigned.

This job description is not designed to contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


Required Qualifications:

  • B.S. (+2 years of experience) or M.S. degree in spatial science, water resources, environmental science, climate science, geography or a related field.
  • Expertise in the use of Geographic Information Systems (e.g., ArcGIS Desktop and extensions).
  • Experience performing spatial and statistical analysis and data modeling using scripting and programming languages, preferably R.
  • Strong organizational and project management skills.
  • Experience communicating technical information to diverse non-technical audiences.
  • Commitment to integrating and upholding principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Commitment to supporting engagement with historically marginalized communities, Tribal Nations and other Indigenous Communities.
  • Ability to communicate clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means in English.
  • Ability to travel periodically between Santa Clara and the Central Valley for in-person meetings.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. degree in spatial science, water resources, environmental science, climate science, geography or a related field.
  • Multi-language skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience.
  • Knowledge of remote sensing tools (e.g., Google Earth Engine, ERDAS Imagine, ENVI) in the context of landscape analysis.
  • Experience training individuals and groups.
  • Experience working with Central Valley (CA) communities.

Compensation & Benefits:

We offer a diverse, family-friendly environment and compensation based on competitive public interest salaries; the annual salary for this position is: $70,000. Generous benefits package which includes 100% employer-covered medical, dental, vision, life, and short & long-term disability insurance for employees and up to 50% for dependent coverage. A 401K retirement plan with CRLA contribution effective immediately. Generous paid leave policy, which includes; 15 days of sick leave, 15 holidays each year, and vacation (accrue 15 days for the first year of service and 20 days after one year of service at CRLA).

CRLA requires that all employees be Fully Vaccinated, defined as a CDC-approved COVID vaccination and one booster shot. This offer is contingent on meeting this requirement. The complete vaccination policy, including the process for reasonable allowable accommodations, is available for your review upon request.

California Rural Legal Assistance thrives on our diversity, and we are proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. We are committed to building a culturally diverse workplace and strongly encourage women, persons of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, persons with disabilities, and persons from other underrepresented groups to apply.





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