Restoration Science Ecologist/Project Manager

River Partners

San Joaquin Valley, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $65,000-$85,000

A thriving future for California’s environment and communities requires bold vision, creative problem-solving, and relentless determination. This is a critical decade for action and River Partners is growing our team of talented, dedicated change-makers to meet the challenge head on. Join us! 

Who We Are
River Partners brings life back to California rivers. We’ve revitalized more habitat along impaired California rivers than any other entity in the western U.S., having led hundreds of projects across nearly 20,000 acres throughout California. We restore thriving native forests and ecosystems that support imperiled wildlife, improve flood safety, boost the state’s climate resilience, replenish and enrich freshwater resources, create open space for communities, and build stronger local economies. Since 1998, we have pioneered an innovative, entrepreneurial approach to conservation, combining modern farming, cutting-edge science, and diverse partnerships.

We are meeting the urgent need this decade to restore our riverways and seek passionate team members to help us grow our restoration footprint at an unprecedented pace and scale.

Why We Do It
Healthy rivers are California’s essential arteries that sustain our food systems, economies, communities, and wildlife found nowhere else on earth. Our riverways support more species and in greater numbers than any other ecosystem in California—making our state a worldwide biodiversity hotspot.

Yet just 5% of our native riverside habitat remains.

State and federal commitments call for exponentially increasing the pace and scale of river ecosystem repair to adapt to accelerating climate impacts. With their critical role in sustaining wildlife, natural resources, and communities, healthy rivers are essential for a flourishing Golden State. The actions we take to restore our riverways during this decade will decide California's future for generations to come.

Why You Should Join Us
River Partners offers competitive salaries and benefits, including comprehensive health care insurance, flexible spending accounts, a 401(k) plan with immediate employer matching, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance programs, and other well-being benefits. We’re proud of our supportive culture and focus on work-life balance. We strive to create an environment that brings fulfilment to our team members’ personal lives by offering paid time off, an alternative work schedule, and flexible hours.

The Restoration Science Ecologist/Project Manager works with River Partners’ Science, Field Restoration, and Development Teams to identify, develop, and execute riparian habitat restoration projects. This key role involves project management and planning, placing an emphasis on adhering to the highest standards of restoration science. Reporting to a Senior Manager of Restoration Science, this position oversees seamless project progression from start to completion through effective management and communication, contributing significantly to River Partners’ mission of restoring California habitat.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities

(20%) Supervision and Training: Supervise a team of 2-3 Associate Restoration Scientists to ensure the successful delivery of large-scale ecological restoration projects on time and within budget. Oversee workplans and training while ensuring compliance with workplace regulations. This role also includes nurturing client/vendor relationships, as well as resource coordination to facilitate project success and teamwork.

(70%) Project Planning, Management, and Development: Lead site evaluation, project planning, budgeting, and partnership cultivation to support restoration projects and grants acquisition. Ensure project timelines and budgets are met, communicate project progress, adhere to compliance requirements, and advance the science of Restoration Ecology. This role also supports new project identification, grant proposal creation, and bidding on public works projects. Other responsibilities include collaborating with Heritage Growers for seed and plant requirements and supporting the Director of Advancement to secure funding.

(10%) Communications – Internal and External: Share project and team updates with leadership, serve as an ambassador for conferences and site visits, and ensure the Restoration Team's thorough understanding of project specifics, including timelines, budgets, permits, site models, and partnerships. Collaborate across departments to respond to challenges and deliver successful outcomes.

For more details, please view the full job description at https://riverpartners.org/about-us/careers/.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Working knowledge of California plants, riparian ecology, hydrology, soils, and wildlife.
  • Familiarity with California and Federal environmental permitting including NEPA/CEQA, ESA, CDFW Code, California Water Code, and Clean Water Act Section 404/401.
  • Expertise in restoration planning, site assessment, and adaptive management.
  • Working understanding of statistics, experimental design, and data collection.
  • Ability to collaborate with diverse team members and community partners with poise, vision, and respect.
  • Proficient in contract negotiation and administration.
  • Excellent verbal, analytical, organizational, and written skills, including data visualization to technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Integrity and ethics beyond reproach.


  • BS (MS preferred) and a minimum of 5 years of experience in Ecology, Wildlife Management, Restoration, Engineering, or a related field. Relevant experience may substitute for education.
  • Experience working with Microsoft Office Suite and Deltek Vantagepoint (preferred) or other project-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform.
  • Proven proficiency in cost-estimation, budgeting, project management and contracting.
  • Valid California driver’s license with no restrictions.
  • Ability to communicate in Spanish (preferred).
  • Passion for environmental conservation, habitat restoration, and employing data-driven, cutting-edge science to deliver large-scale restoration projects.
  • Commitment and enthusiasm to carry out River Partners’ mission.

Salary is commensurate with experience, anticipated to range between $31.25 to $40.87 hourly or $65,000 and $85,000 annually. River Partners offers a generous benefits package including ample holidays and paid time off, flexible location and hours, medical insurance, and up to 4% 401k matching.

This position reports from our Modesto office. Some travel is required. A hybrid schedule may be approved after the introductory period.   


To Apply
Please submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references in a PDF saved with your last name and the position job title separated by an underscore (e.g., Smith_Restoration Science Ecologist/Project Manager) to jobs@riverpartners.org.

Application Deadline
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until this position is filled.

River Partners is an Equal Opportunity Employer
River Partners is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action (EEO/AA) Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, pregnancy, disability, medical condition religion, age, military or veteran status, or any other protected group status or non‐job related characteristic as directed by law.

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

Category Botany, Restoration