Water Quality Program Coordinator in Monterey, CA (Hybrid)

The California Marine Sanctuary Foundation

About the Organization

The California Marine Sanctuary Foundation (CMSF) has worked to protect the state’s coastal ecosystems while strengthening coastal resilience since 1995. In collaboration with a variety of local communities, including government agencies, tribal communities, harbors and marinas, and NGOs, we focus on five thematic areas: water quality protection, marine resource protection, coastal restoration, climate change mitigation, and community engagement. We strive to engage stakeholders, members of the public, and experts in these areas to identify and implement practical and effective solutions to reduce human impacts on and increase the resiliency of California’s coastal resources.

CMSF works in close partnership with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). MBNMS is one of our nation’s largest marine sanctuaries, encompassing more than 6,000 square miles of central California coastal waters that contain a rich array of habitats and marine life. CMSF and MBNMS collaborate to protect these natural resources through research and education to foster public understanding and stewardship of this important marine area.

For more information about our collective work please visit: https://www.californiamsf.org/

About the Water Quality Program

California Marine Sanctuary Foundation provides technical expertise in the development of monitoring, messaging, and relationship-building required to protect California’s watersheds. Through work with coastal cities, non-profit organizations, and rural communities, CMSF provides vital data to resource managers focused on improving water quality in creeks, rivers, and storm drains.

CMSF also works to lessen the impact of runoff from agricultural production. Agriculture is a major California industry and utilizes a significant portion of the land and water in watersheds surrounding MBNMS. It is also an important potential sink for greenhouse gases, storing carbon in the soil while building soil health and drought resilience. CMSF’s Water Quality Program is responsible for developing and maintaining programs that support a sustainable, economically viable, agricultural industry while preventing agricultural pollution such as nutrients, pesticides, and plastics from negatively influencing the MBNMS. Additionally, the program works with stakeholders to increase the capacity of working land soils to contribute to California’s goal of carbon neutrality and CMSF’s work to slow ocean warming and acidification.

The Water Quality Program is built upon strong, reliable working partnerships with the entire agricultural community, including agricultural support organizations, agricultural professionals, growers, and ranchers. These relationships allow us to collaboratively address water quality issues and support research and education to better manage and reduce pollutants.

About the Role

Reporting to the Executive Director and in coordination with the MBNMS Water Quality Protection Program (WQPP) Director, the Program Coordinator will develop progressive strategies for each of the four agricultural pollutant categories: pesticides, nutrients, plastics, and GHGs. This position will have both specific program and general team responsibilities including:

Specific Programs

Healthy Soils Program Management (~40%)
• Manage the Healthy Soils Projects with growers and ranchers to sequester carbon dioxide on agricultural lands through practices that also build soil health.
• Lead and facilitate workshops that highlight changes in agricultural practices and change-makers who are regenerating agricultural soils, improving water efficiency and quality, and bringing together cultural intelligence to produce healthy food products.
• Execute grant management, soil monitoring, cost-benefit analysis, and outreach activities to inform the broader agricultural community about the benefits and value of adopting Healthy Soil Practices.

Identifying Sources of Micro and Macro Plastic Entering MBNMS (~25%)
• Facilitate and support work (including organizing monitoring events) to track the source and transport of microplastics in the greater Monterey Bay region.
• Lead outreach to inform the community of findings and solutions.

Team Responsibilities

Grant Management and Grant Writing (~15%)
• Assist with writing future grants aligned with CMSF’s strategic direction and potential to make a positive impact.
• Help strategize future directions of the water quality program and contribute to the development of grant proposals.

Internal Collaboration within CMSF and MBNMS WQPP (~10%)
• Perform water quality monitoring and other field-related work.
• Update websites, assist with webinars, data analysis, developing videos, organizing educational events, and writing reports.
• Determine and implement changes in the water quality program to align with MBNMS and CMSF strategic goals.
• Participate as a team member: attend staff meetings, write blogs, attend trainings, provide progress updates, etc.

Maintaining a Strategic Outlook, Overcoming Issues and Identifying Opportunities (~10%)
• Understand agricultural production concerns and best management practices.
• Familiarity with agricultural water quality regulations.
• Monitor and keep the team apprised of evolving consequences to agriculture imposed by a warming climate and a desire to create a climate-resilient future for agriculture.
• Understand contextual barriers and opportunities that must be overcome to create agricultural sustainability and regeneration in ways that improve water quality.

About You

CMSF is looking for candidates who may come from a variety of backgrounds and/or have experience of which we are unfamiliar. We encourage you to apply even if you do not have all these desired qualifications:

• M.A., PhD, or equivalent experience in the natural sciences (chemistry, soil science, environmental science, agriculture or similar)
• Experience working with agricultural growers and producers at all levels; including small-scale and large-scale farmers, regenerative and organic growers, and ranchers
• Demonstrated capacity for grant management, fiscal responsibility, and achieving objectives
• Understanding and interest in agriculture and food production
• Familiarity with regulatory water quality standards and applicable federal and state policies
• Experience reporting water quality results to a variety of stakeholders
• Advanced MS Office, GIS, video editing, statistical competencies, and R software skills preferred
• Aptitude for working collaboratively with diverse individuals and organizations
• Willingness to relocate or commute to Monterey, California for in-person work 3-5 days/week
• Familiarity with agricultural, multi-stakeholder concerns in the Monterey area
• Outstanding written and verbal communication in English; Spanish fluency preferred
• A can-do, forward-thinking attitude

Physical Demands and Working Conditions

The job requires some fieldwork and as such the employee must be able to lift and carry heavy objects (up to 20 pounds). The employee must also be able to endure sustained outdoor work required for soil sampling and monitoring. The employee must be able to legally drive to educational and outreach events, planning sessions with partners and funders, government hearings at the state and local levels, and other meetings and/or events as needed.

Salary and Location

This is a full-time position with compensation between $50,500-$72,500 depending on experience. CMSF provides a benefits package including vacation, paid holidays and sick leave, medical and dental benefits, and a 403(b)(7) deferred retirement plan.

This position will report to the CMSF Executive Director and have access to CMSF’s offices in Santa Cruz, CA. This candidate may also become a NOAA affiliate, which would allow access to additional offices at the MBNMS headquarters in Monterey. This position accommodates a hybrid work schedule with a combination of working from home, from our offices, and likely two field days/week.

To Apply

CEA Recruiting is assisting CMSF with this search. To be considered for this position, interested candidates must click here to submit a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements through CEA’s job portal (https://job.ceaconsulting.com/jobs/water-quality-program-coordinator-monterey-ca-107109). Please direct all applications and inquiries to Eileen Ashton, Search Lead. This position will remain open until filled.

Diversity Statement

CMSF is committed to dismantling the longstanding racial, gender, and socio-economic boundaries that exist in the field of environmental conservation. When bringing on new staff and interns, we adhere to equitable recruiting policies and promote anti-discrimination within our work and with our partners in the local and conservation communities. We acknowledge that environmental conservation is woven with rich diversity including Indigenous Knowledge and Traditional Ecological Knowledge and we will do our best to amplify all the voices that contribute to conservation. Lastly, we commit to continued listening and learning, adapting to the needs of our community, and being inclusive.