Staff Scientist

Los Angeles Waterkeeper Published: January 12, 2021
Santa Monica, CA
Job Type
Natural Resources/ Restoration / Scientific /

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~ Los Angeles Waterkeeper safeguards LA’s inland and coastal waters by enforcing laws and empowering communities. We envision the region as an international leader on integrated, sustainable and equitable water management; a region that is water self-sufficient, and where all waterways throughout the county are safe, healthy and accessible to the public. ~

Position Overview

Los Angeles Waterkeeper, a dynamic environmental nonprofit organization founded in 1993 to fight for the health of the region’s waterways, is seeking a highly motivated individual to join our team as Staff Scientist.  The Staff Scientist will serve as LAW’s in-house water quality science expert, overseeing Waterkeeper’s efforts to promote multi-benefit, nature-based stormwater projects as part of the Safe Clean Water Program, and support the organization’s advocacy and enforcement work.

Candidates ​should have experience in watershed protection planning, water quality and/or watershed assessments, environmental regulatory frameworks, and project management. This position will work closely with our legal and program staff, and Executive Director to advance LAW’s Pollution Prevention, Healthy Habitats, and Systems Change programs.


  • Utilize technical expertise to support LAW’s efforts to promote multi-benefit, nature-based stormwater projects as part of LA County’s Safe Clean Water Program.
  • Manage field investigation and water quality sampling related to ongoing and potential enforcement actions (particularly around LAW’s industrial enforcement program), including.
  • Work with, and provide technical support to, LAW’s legal and marine staff to support the organization’s regulatory/legal advocacy campaigns, including.
  • Respond to Pollution Hotline reports and track responses to ensure compliance, and help update policies and procedures to respond to community pollution reports and significant pollution events
  • Update all water quality monitoring organizational documents and equipment.
  • Support Waterkeeper outreach efforts, being a spokesperson to the media, decision-makers and the general public.
  • Engage in meaningful partnerships with an array of partner organizations, including environmental, environmental health and justice, community-based organizations, tribes, and organized labor, to name some.   
  • Support development of reports and other collateral materials that highlight our efforts.
  • Participate in grant-writing and reporting where relevant to program activities.

Note: For a complete listing of position responsibilities, please click here

Qualifications & Requirements

  • Demonstrated passion for and commitment to clean water, healthy ecosystems, resilient communities and environmental health and justice.
  • Capable of successfully working in diverse communities throughout LA County.
  • Advanced degree (M.S. or PhD) in environmental sciences, hydrology, or related field is strongly preferred, but we encourage candidates with equivalent professional experience otherwise meeting qualifications to apply. Applicants should have at least two years’ experience in environmental monitoring and assessment including field and laboratory work.
    Must have experience/be familiar with State and EPA approved sampling protocols/standard operating procedures for collecting surface water, stormwater, and sediment samples.
  • Familiarity with Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans and implementation of Best Management Practices/compliance.
  • Experience with project management, including demonstrated ability to oversee campaign timelines, tasklists and budgets.
  • Hard working, self-motivated, and a deep commitment and passion for improving water quality and building healthy communities.
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills; experience distilling complex science concepts for a variety of audiences.
  • Reliable transportation.
  • Familiarity with GIS, Excel, Microsoft Office Suite. Some experience with CA SMART’s database and Salesforce a plus.
  • Strong organizational and data management skills.


  • Salary – $65,000 - $70,000 based on experience.
  • Benefits – We offer paid health, vision, and dental insurance, as well as access to a 403(b)-retirement plan with the goal of providing a match within the next two years.
    • Flexibility to work remotely.
    • Generous paid time off policy.

To Apply

  • Please click "Apply" below to email a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information of three references.
  • Start Date – As soon as possible, with a target date of February 1.

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