Restoration Technician / Fire Specialist

Sonoma Ecology Center

Eldridge, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $15 - $19 per hour

Sonoma Ecology Center is a 30-year-old nonprofit with a mission to work with our community to identify and lead actions that achieve and sustain ecological health in Sonoma Valley.  We are respected throughout the North Bay and beyond for our contributions to important initiatives in land, water, biodiversity, and climate.  We have 30 professional, dedicated staff members and manage numerous large grants and contracts, often in partnership with other nonprofits and agencies that, by working together, significantly leverage our work and impact.


We seek a full-time Restoration Technician/Fire Specialist to fulfill our Restoration Program’s initiatives.  The restoration program is dedicated to the repair, stewardship, and enhancement of over 4,000 acres of private and public lands in the Sonoma Valley, including Sonoma & Nathanson Creek, the Montini Preserve, Sonoma Overlook Trail, Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve, Sonoma Garden Park, and Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. Our ecological restoration services include; biological site assessments, native plant seed collection and propagation, invasive plant mapping and treatments, streambank stabilization and erosion control, trail maintenance, debris management, and fire fuel management.  Additionally, the position will also include assisting with the Biochar Program through fuel reduction projects and forestry pile burning.

Technicians report to the Restoration Program Manager and the Restoration Project Manager.  The position will primarily be in the field with some office work.  Office work includes the design and data collection for field research projects, documenting and mapping distributions of native resources and invasive populations for project sites, reporting, and photo point monitoring. Additional activities may include community outreach, volunteer leadership, and occasional tool and vehicle maintenance.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES (including but not limited to)

  • Perform various aspects of fieldwork, including vegetation management, habitat restoration, native plant installation, irrigation design & installation; and project site maintenance
  • Conduct ecological fuel breaks in wildland-urban interface locations
  • Lead post-fire debris/toxins containment (wattles, jute, & BMP erosion control measures)
  • Mapping invasive species population distribution and conducting control efforts
  • Streambank stabilization and bioengineered erosion control installation
  • Trail installation and maintenance
  • Assist with the propagation, inventory, and maintenance of our native plant nursery
  • Track and document work through photo point monitoring and reporting
  • Design and conduct research to provide meaningful information to the field of restoration
  • Attend program and staff meetings, and periodic check-ins with Project and Program Managers
  • Conduct outreach to property owners in a positive manner
  • Help with the supervision of college or high school interns
  • Occasional weekend work is required
  • Available for occasional overnight stays with advanced notice


  • Experience in ecological restoration, fuel reduction, and invasive species control
  • Familiarity with flora and fauna of the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Specifically, comprehensive knowledge of common native and non-native plants in the Sonoma Valley Watershed
  • Responds positively and quickly to training and feedback
  • Must be punctual, and work must meet high expectations
  • Works well with the project team, volunteers, youth, and members of the public
  • Works well independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to work on multiple assignments and meet multiple deadlines
  • Represents the organization in a professional manner at all times
  • Shows initiative, produces quality work, and is efficient
  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Must be personable


  • Experience using and maintaining mechanical equipment, i.e., chainsaws, brush cutter, power hedge trimmer, and auger drills
  • Experience using and maintaining hand tools, i.e., Pulaski, Mcloud, handpick, and other necessary equipment a plus
  • Committed to safety practices and adheres to safety policies and direction from supervisor
  • Ability to use a taxonomic key
  • GPS/GIS mapping
  • Valid Driver’s license maintains at least the minimum of personal auto insurance and can pass a DMV background check.
  • Experience driving trucks with trailers over long distances
  • Ability to troubleshoot issues with pumps, hoses, torches, propane tanks
  • Experience with propane torches


  • Education or experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in a related field, or
  • 0-3 years of experience in relevant field
  • Related Internship


  • Wildland Firefighter Type II-I
  • Chainsaw safety certificate or willing to obtain one after 90 days
  • Experience with prescribed burns
  • Biomass pile burning
  • QAC or QAL
  • Irrigation Technician Certification
  • Spanish speaking


Work is performed in the field and in the office.  One will use a computer, phone, copier in the office and may sit for long periods in the office.  Fieldwork includes bending, stooping, kneeling, reaching, climbing, crawling, kneeling, wading or standing in water, and standing for long periods.  The candidate must be able to safely lift, carry, push, and pull up to 60 lbs.  Occasionally, one will be asked to perform light construction work. One will be exposed to inclement weather, including rain, heat, exposure to the sun, high winds, cold, and fire exposure.  Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and safety precautions are mandatory.  Sonoma Ecology Center is a drug-free workplace and an EEOC employer.


After successful completion of the 90-day introductory period, full-time employees are offered the following:

Eligibility to enroll in one of two Kaiser Permanente health insurance plans, of which, SEC pays 70% of the employee’s premium (not that of dependents), paid holidays, vacation accrual, sick accrual, and the ability to enroll in a self-funded TIAA 403(B) account.

All qualified applicants will be given equal consideration without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, breastfeeding, veteran, military status, genetic information, and marital status or familial status.  Sonoma Ecology Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  Equal access to programs, services, and employment is available to all persons.  Those applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application and/or interview process should notify our Human Resources Department.


Please submit a resume, cover letter, and a list of three references, preferably in one document, to Celina Briggs, Human Resources Specialist at, with Resto Tech in the header. No phone calls, please.  For more information about the Sonoma Ecology Center, please visit

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