CA Water & Habitats Analyst

San Francisco, CA, US

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 630 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and results are a way of life.

Overall Function

EDF is seeking a CA Water and Habitat Analyst who will play a critical role in the development, execution, and replication of multi-benefit groundwater management strategies throughout California’s Central Valley. The CA Water and Habitat Analyst will track and guide EDF’s work in a complex policy environment with few precedents, build relationships and attend meetings with key stakeholders and partners, advance project implementation with technical research and analysis, and support overall advocacy functions of the California Habitat and Water programs. The CA Water and Habitat Analyst reports to Senior Director, CA Habitat Exchange & Western Water.

EDF’s Western Groundwater Sustainability Initiative seeks to leverage California’s 2014 historic groundwater legislation (the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act or ‘SGMA’) and work with local communities, including farmers and community leaders, in the Central Valley to demonstrate how to expeditiously achieve sustainable groundwater management. In addition, it is a priority of EDF’s Ecosystems Program to maximize impact through the synergies between the Western Groundwater Sustainability Initiative and the Central Valley Habitat Exchange. The goal of the Central Valley Habitat Exchange is to enhance conservation outcomes for threatened and endangered species across habitats in California—principally in the Central Valley – threatened by infrastructure development (e.g., flood control, water supply, etc.) by directly engaging the agricultural community. By advancing multiple benefits at a basin scale through innovative groundwater crediting, trading, replenishment, and more, EDF seeks to ensure a Central Valley landscape with thriving ecosystems and communities, and to help agriculture transition to a future with less water available. Ultimately, we seek to scale up this approach and apply it more broadly in California and the west.

Key Responsibilities
  • Coordinate the day-to-day operations of several ongoing projects, establishing work plans, monitoring their progress, producing regular financial and milestone reports, and convening periodic strategy meetings.

  • Help articulate project goals and contribute to project success by facilitating strong communication about progress and results with consultants and other partners, stakeholders, and within EDF.

  • Maintain ongoing partner and consultant coordination meetings, scheduling and leading meetings as appropriate.

  • Conduct robust research and analysis to inform technical and professional documentation including geospatial models, reports, memorandums, blog posts, and presentations for general and specific audiences on topics of focus. When precedents are not available, independent judgment is required to develop innovative and creative ways to fulfill products.

  • Apply excellent organizational, communication, and planning skills in preparing correspondence and reports, responding to requests for information, and helping to coordinate activities among staff members.

  • Help determine readiness for groundwater basins to pilot incentive-based, multi-benefit approaches to managing the resource by understanding the status of priority basins and the landscape of ongoing management activities, especially related to SGMA implementation and water trading.

  • Contribute to and, at times, lead the production of development materials as needed. 

  • Build relationships and regularly consult with public agencies, academics, NGOs, landowners, and other stakeholders to glean information and insight relevant to program goals.
  • Independently research and provide recommendations to Senior Director on potential avenues for program growth and assist with the development of a vibrant and innovative program.

  • Directly support the Senior Director in other activities including fundraising for, evaluating, and recommending new project ideas.

  • Participate effectively in science, policy, and communications discussions about Ecosystems program’s activities.
  • Master’s degree with at least one year of related work experience in fast-paced, detail-oriented environment, or advanced degree with one year’s experience
  • Ability to convene and work with colleagues and partners of varied backgrounds and experience

  • Excellent oral and written communications skills and the ability to produce professional-level reports on moderately complex subjects and outreach materials to promote work goals

  • Self-starter with an ability to work independently, and successfully handle and prioritize diverse, simultaneous project tasks

  • Meticulous attention to detail and personal organization

  • Strong research skills and experience performing rigorous analytic work in support of highly visible products

  • Advanced proficiency in the use of GIS and Marxan software

  • Proficiency in the use of IBM PCs and Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Outlook, etc.)

  • Familiarity with California water management (e.g., SGMA) and habitat conservation policies a plus

  • Experience in water resource related spatial analysis is highly desirable

  • Willingness to occasionally travel to Sacramento and elsewhere in the Central Valley

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant’s qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.