Field Investigator

San Francisco Baykeeper

San Francisco, CA, US

San Francisco Baykeeper is seeking an enthusiastic water quality scientist and advocate to join our dynamic environmental enforcement program. Since 1989, Baykeeper has been the primary watchdog protecting San Francisco Bay, using science, advocacy, and litigation to strengthen clean water laws and hold polluters and government agencies accountable. Baykeeper’s successes include over 260 legal wins to reduce the runoff of trash, sewage, and industrial pollutants, more than 9,900 hours of Bay patrols to investigate pollution and protect habitat, and sponsorship of many new state laws to keep fossil fuel pollution out of Bay Area communities. The Field Investigator is a two-year paid fellowship position that will report to our Executive Director and will work collaboratively with our scientist, attorneys, volunteers, and partners to identify and stop the biggest sources of pollution to San Francisco Bay.


Investigation & Data Analysis

  • Advance Baykeeper’s mission to protect and restore the water quality and habitat of the San Francisco Bay region by investigating, identifying, sampling, and responding to the most significant pollution threats, including those from municipal stormwater, industrial discharges, marina pollution, fossil fuel expansion, and other sources of pollution in the watershed.
  • Assist in implementing water quality monitoring programs to further Baykeeper’s research, advocacy, and enforcement goals.
  • Conduct site reconnaissance, pollution hotline response, regular patrols on the water, and other investigation as needed in collaboration with the Staff Scientist and in-house attorneys.
  • Collect water samples and other evidence in the field all over the Bay Area and on the Bay to support specific policy advocacy and enforcement actions.
  • Assess and analyze internal and external data and reports and present concise summaries in discussions and writing to inform Baykeeper decisions and positions.
  • Assist with preparation of written technical analysis to supplement and support advocacy positions.

Community Engagement

  • Manage pollution hotline program and response (including related field investigation).
  • Assist with managing Baykeeper boat patrols, calendar, and skipper volunteers.
  • Attend and represent Baykeeper at local agency and public meetings relevant to pollution investigation and response.
  • Conduct outreach to and cultivate relationships with local marinas and on-the-water recreational groups to educate them about best practices to report and stop pollution.
  • Organize and assist with shoreline and marina clean ups and other volunteer activities as identified and prioritized by senior staff.


  • Degree in related field, or suitable related experience, in ecology, hydrology, and/or water quality.
  • Familiarity with water quality, pollution issues, and water policy.
  • Strong desire to conduct fieldwork and investigations on the ground and on the water despite weather conditions or time of day.
  • Willingness to conduct outreach and a positive demeanor to manage volunteers.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication and writing skills with good judgment.
  • Ability to successfully manage multiple deadlines.
  • Desire to play an important role at a collaborative, visionary and highly effective organization.
  • Flexibility and good sense of humor with a passion for Baykeeper’s mission to protect the Bay.

Supervisory Responsibilities

This position will not hold any supervisory responsibilities but may engage and oversee volunteers.

Physical Demands

The physical demands of this position include frequent travel by vehicle, boat and public transportation, utilizing computer equipment, participating in public meetings, field inspections and monitoring, ability to physically collect water quality samples on and around the Bay and elsewhere in the field, and an ability to carry and lift sampling and other field equipment of up to 50 lbs. These demands are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

This position will require occasional work outside of regular work hours and on weekends, particularly during rain events, and is eligible for overtime pay in accordance with federal and state overtime regulations.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Baykeeper provides equal employment and advancement opportunities to everyone. Employment decisions are based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. 

Compensation, Benefits, and Culture

This is a two-year, full-time, non-exempt position reporting to the Executive Director. The pay range for this position is between $17/hr and $22/hr depending on relevant experience and qualifications.  Baykeeper is committed to supporting a collaborative and flexible workplace environment. We value a healthy work-life balance and offer a generous benefits package, which currently includes comprehensive medical and dental coverage for eligible employees with no employee premium, an employer 401(k) contribution following one year, options for pre-tax flexible spending accounts for medical and dependent care costs, and generous paid time off.


If you are interested in and qualified for this position, please send your résumé and a cover letter to [email protected], subject line “YOUR LAST NAME, Field Investigator.” If your materials indicate a potential match for our requirements, we will contact you. Please, no phone calls or emails to the office regarding this opening. Position open until filled; interviews to begin as soon as March 15, 2017.