Associate Environmental Scientist

San Francisco, CA, US

Requisition No: CW-17-10

Posted: September 13,2017

Program: Clean Water Program

Deadline:  Review of applications will begin immediately.

The San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) is seeking an associate environmental scientist or environmental engineer to work with a growing team of scientists who are exploring nutrient impacts within San Francisco Bay. The position is well-suited for a Master’s-level graduate with 2-4 years of relevant experience.  The ideal candidate will have interest in applied research geared toward informing management decisions and effective stewardship.

SFEI’s Nutrient Science Program conducts research and monitoring in support of the San Francisco Bay Nutrient Management Strategy (NMS, see, a multi-year science program studying the impacts of nutrient loads to San Francisco Bay and evaluating potential management actions. Working with regional collaborators, we study the Bay’s biogeochemistry, water quality, and habitat condition using ship-based sampling, high-frequency in situ sensors, bivalves as biosentinels of algal toxins, and coupled hydrodynamic-biogeochemical modeling (for examples of ongoing efforts, see our 2016 Annual Report and The Mooring Report).

Several exciting NMS projects are underway, covering a diverse range of topics, and we are looking to hire an early-career scientist/engineer  to join our team.

The ideal candidate will have the skills to effectively contribute to one or more of the following efforts:

  • Field investigations studying nutrient-related processes, including nutrient cycling, primary production, oxygen consumption, toxins in mussels, and other field efforts.
  • Work with the team to develop an improved understanding of ecosystem health in San Francisco Bay with a focus on effects from
  • low dissolved oxygen events on resident fish and benthos;
    • algal toxins on aquatic biota and human consumers.
    • Analyze and interpret high-frequency mooring time-series data, and multi-decadal water quality data, and other Bay and Delta related data.
  • Analyze and prepare data sets for physical/biogeochemical modeling efforts.
  • Code development for data analysis.
  • For all of the above, present findings in peer-reviewed papers and technical reports for stakeholders and regulators.

We are looking for a creative individual with relevant experience (chemical/biological oceanography, biogeochemistry, estuarine ecology, environmental science/engineering) and:

  • A Master’s degree in a relevant field plus 2-4 years of experience or a Bachelor’s degree with 5-7 years of experience.
  • Strong technical and analytical skills;
  • Data analysis/data visualization skills (e.g., R, Python, or MATLAB)
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • A team player instinct, as well as the ability to work independently;
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to manage complex projects;
  • Familiarity with oceanographic equipment helpful but not required.

Field work may involve working unusual hours (e.g., long days, early mornings, and weekends), carrying field equipment, and working in small boats in the Bay. A valid CA driver’s license and ability to lift up to 40 pounds is required.

The San Francisco Estuary Institute

SFEI’s mission is to provide scientific support and tools for decision-making and communication through collaborative efforts that promote healthy aquatic ecosystems. The Nutrient Science Program resides within SFEI’s Clean Water Program, also home to the Regional Monitoring Program, which is nearing its 25th year investigating San Francisco Bay’s water quality.

SFEI offers an enjoyable workplace, competive salaries, and a generous benefits package (

To apply, send your cover letter and resume to [email protected].  Please note the Requisition Number in the email subject line.  No phone calls please.

SFEI is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex including sexual orientation and gender identity, national origin, disability, protected Veteran Status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

For more information on our mission, values, programs, and staff, visit the San Francisco Estuary Institute web site