Rangeland and Forestry Project Assistants/Coordinators

Humboldt County Resource Conservation District

Eureka, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications, range is GS7 / GS9 equivalent

Rangeland and Forestry Project Assistants and/or Project Coordinators

The Humboldt County Resource Conservation District (HCRCD) is a Special District established by popular vote in 1987. The HCRCD is funded primarily by grants and contracts and implements a range of habitat restoration and agricultural enhancement projects throughout the County. HCRCD has a close working relationship with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and currently holds multiple grant agreements to provide NRCS Eureka Field Office staffing support in order to assist in the delivery of Farm Bill Programs. More information on HCRCD can be found at http://humboldtrcd.org/.

The HCRCD seeks 2 or more part or full-time (hourly) employees (Project Assistant (PA) and/or Project Coordinator (PC), depending on experience), who will support the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Eureka Field Office. The positions will also support HCRCD’s Agricultural Enhancement and Forest Health & Wildfire Resilience programs. The positions will assist rangeland and forest landowners to plan for and implement practices that improve the resiliency and viability of natural resources and agricultural operations in Humboldt County. Specific work will include, but is not limited to, providing technical assistance to NRCS’ Eureka Field Office to plan and implement conservation plans sponsored by USDA’s Farm Bill Programs; providing technical assistance to and/or developing and implementing conservation plans for Humboldt County farms, dairies, and ranches; and/or assisting in or leading project coordination of HCRCD’s Agricultural Resiliency and/or Forest Health & Wildfire Resiliency projects.

The PA/PC will be required to work collaboratively with HCRCD and NRCS staff, partner organizations, agency staff, consultants, and landowners. The positions will work under the supervision of the HCRCD Program Manager. Funding for these positions is grant-based; HCRCD has secured for at least one-year of funding for each of the positions, and additional funding to extend the positions beyond a one-year term is likely.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES - Project Assistant:

  • Works cooperatively and respectfully with HCRCD and NRCS staff, landowners, contractors, and agency personnel.
  • Understands, interprets, applies, and explains technical guidance documents, rules, regulations, and policies and procedures.
  • Conducts natural resource assessments and inventories; conducts field sampling to monitor, inventory, or assess rangeland or forest resources including water, forage, soils, native and invasive vegetation, and other resources as required and in conformance with established protocols.
  • Develops conservation or other management plans and provides technical assistance (TA) to rangeland and/or forestland landowners or managers.
  • Assists NRCS planners in contracting and enrolling producers in NRCS Farm Bill Programs, with focus on CSP, EQIP, CIC, and RCPP programs.
  • Assists NRCS planners in the implementation of planned NRCS climate-smart conservation practices through practice design and certification.
  • Uses ArcGIS to create field maps and planning documents.
  • Conducts outreach activities and educational workshops.
  • Maintains regular communication with supervisor and NRCS staff and works collaboratively to proactively resolve issues that may arise.
  • Establishes and maintains complete project files including correspondence, reports, data, etc.
  • Exercises good judgment and maintain confidentiality in all communications.
  • Attends trainings or other meetings as required or directed.
  • Completes other duties as assigned.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES - Project Coordinator (In addition to the Project Assistant duties and responsibilities listed above):

  • Performs day‐to‐day project management of projects, including partner and landowner coordination activities, subcontractor oversight, contract / grant agreement management (deliverable tracking, progress reporting, invoicing and budget monitoring), and other activities as needed.
  • Prepares technical reports, grant applications, and permit applications.

QUALIFICATIONS:

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The qualification requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Minimum Qualifications for Project Assistant

  • Possess a Bachelor’s degree with course work in rangeland management, soils, forestry, or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, range ecology, livestock production, environmental studies, natural sciences, resource management, watershed science, and/or conservation planning.
  • Knowledge of and technical expertise in:
    • principles and methods of rangeland or forest ecology or management and related fields;
    • techniques and equipment to conduct rangeland and forestland resource inventories;
    • local working landscapes and associated natural resources (e.g. soils, plants, carbon, air, water, fish, forestry, wildlife); and
    • California agricultural production systems, including crops, production methods, and resource concerns, ideally with experience relevant to north coast agricultural products and communities.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with ArcGIS; GPS systems; Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and familiarity and experience with a variety of office machines and equipment including computer and printer, calculator, fax, copier and other equipment as assigned.
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of an interdisciplinary team.
  • Ability to establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with a wide range of people.
  • Ability to interpret, apply, and explain rules, regulations, policies, and procedures, as needed.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing, including ability to write clear, accurate, and effective reports and other written communications.
  • Ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize workload and maintain appropriate communication with Supervisor and co-workers.
  • Physically able to work in the field (hiking across farms and rangeland, lifting, carrying supplies and equipment, planting, etcetera) during all seasons and in all types of weather.
  • Ability to drive off‐road vehicles.
  • Ability to pass a federal background check.
  • Possess a driver’s license valid in California.

Minimum Qualifications for Project Coordinator (in addition to Project Assistant requirements, above):

  • Possess a graduate degree (MS or higher) in rangeland management, soils, forestry, or related field OR three (3) three or more years of professional experience in rangeland or forest management or related field.
  • Knowledge of and technical expertise in principles and methods of rangeland or forest ecology or management with additional knowledge of soils, geology and hydrology, wildlife and fisheries, and other natural resources.
  • Demonstrated experience using spatial analysis software such as ArcGIS to create maps and documents.
  • Demonstrated experience developing technical reports and/or conservation planning documents using spatial analysis software such as ArcGIS to create maps and documents.

Desired Qualifications (both positions):

  • Conservation planning experience and/or familiarity with NRCS programs.
  • Familiarity with local, state, and federal permits required for resource conservation and restoration projects.
  • Experience working with partner agencies, other conservation groups, and/or agricultural land managers.

WORK ENVIRONMENT:

The primary work environment for the PA/PC is indoors. The main HCRCD office, located in Eureka and associated with the NRCS Eureka Field Office, is a shared workspace. However, a mix of in-person and telework is available. The noise level in the offices are usually moderate but sometimes very loud. The work environment experienced by the PA/PC will also include: field visits outdoors in all types of weather and terrain on public or private land, traveling alone or with others in a vehicle between project sites or to attend meetings, traveling on paved and unpaved roads in all kinds of weather and navigating using written directions or paper maps. The PA/PC has limited exposure to high precarious places, toxic or caustic chemicals, vibration, and risk of electrical shock. The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Limited evening and weekend work may be required. The PA/PC will have access to an NRCS vehicle, in coordination with NRCS Eureka Field Office staff and after successful completion of required trainings and other administrative requirements. A valid driver’s license is required. The PA/PC may anticipate occasional use of a personally owned vehicle for work travel; approved job‐related mileage is reimbursed at the Federal rate. A work laptop and cell phone will be provided.

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those the PA/PC encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:

While performing the duties of this job, the PA/PC is required to regularly talk, hear, and see. The PA/PC must be able to type on a computer, write legibly, and use a phone. On a daily basis, the PA/PC is required to sit, stand, walk, operate a computer and other office equipment, walk on flat or uneven ground or through mud, climb, balance, stoop, bend, kneel, crouch, crawl, and lift a maximum of 40 pounds. The physical demands described here 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.

SALARY, HOURS, AND COMMENCEMENT OF WORK:

The PA/PC are part-time or full-time positions (hourly, no more 40 hours per week), based on a Monday through Friday daytime schedule. Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications, ranging from a GS7 equivalent of $18.45 – $22 per hour as a PA and a GS9 equivalent of $22.74 – $24 per hour as a PC. Benefits package currently includes a monthly contribution of up to $200 towards the cost of health insurance, however a health, vision, dental, and retirement plan with employer matching contribution of up to 3% of salary has been approved by the Board of Directors and will be in place by January 1, 2023. Personal leave is accrued at a rate of 0.092 hours accrued for every hour worked. Leave is accrued beginning upon hire and available for use after the probationary period. There are a total of 11 paid holidays per year. Position is subject to a 6‐month probationary period.

HOW TO APPLY

Positions are open until filled. Application review will begin the week of August 29th and will continue until positions are filled. To apply, please provide a cover letter, resume, contact information for three references, and a completed Humboldt County RCD Application For Employment (downloaded from http://humboldtrcd.org/about_us/employment_opportunities)

Applications may be sent electronically to Executive Director Jill Demers at jillhcrcd@gmail.com 

The HCRCD is an equal opportunity employer.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Botany, Ecology, Forestry, General / Stewardship, Restoration
Tags Wildland Firefighter, GIS, Outreach, Sustainable Agriculture, Soil Science