Classification:                                                             Reports to:
Exempt                                                                        Operations & Finance Manager
Full-time (40 hours per week)
Salary: DOE

Job Description 

Who We Are:

Sonoma Ecology Center (SEC) 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 and beyond. We are respected throughout the North Bay and beyond for our contributions to important initiatives in land, water, biodiversity and climate. 

Each year, we provide in-depth environmental science instruction to over 1200 students; manage over 5,000 acres of public and private land, including Sugarloaf Ridge State Park; raise thousands of native plants; restore critical native habitats; and provide research and technical support on timely issues affecting the region. We have nearly 30 professional staff 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.

General Description of the Position:

Sonoma Ecology Center seeks a seasoned and inspired full-time Restoration Program Manager to lead the Program into its next iteration of success and ecological leadership. The Program provides numerous services, including native species propagation and revegetation, invasive weed control, erosion control, stream maintenance and landscape construction, monitoring, flood and debris management, fire fuel load reduction, post-fire recovery work, and adaptive land management. The position will oversee the day-to-day management of the Restoration Program, as well as lead the design and implementation of a long-term programmatic strategic vision. The position will also work closely with other senior management staff to collaborate on projects within SEC, and on partnership projects with peer organizations. 

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Provide leadership for an established program working to improve ecological health of riparian and upland habitats in Sonoma Valley and the broader region
  • Coordinate the development and implementation of a Restoration Program strategic plan in order to sustain and grow the program, working with key senior staff
  • Lead/coordinate project planning and execution for implementation projects and contracts
  • Manage, motivate and mentor the Restoration Team, which includes Restoration Specialists and Technicians
  • Coordinate with Senior Ecologist in effort to attract and develop new projects and business opportunities, and to ensure that projects deliver best ecological outcomes
  • Develop annual Restoration Program budget with Finance department
  • Set high safety standards, through quality training, appropriate staff supervision and swift corrective actions, when necessary
  • Apply best adaptive-management practices to ensure highest-level quality results
  • Provide professional development opportunities for Restoration Team members
  • Collaborate and communicate with project stakeholders, including government agencies, private landowners and partner organizations
  • Obtain appropriate permits, as necessary
  • Ensure proper fiscal management of Restoration projects, including working closely with Administrative Team to promptly provide necessary reporting materials
  • Manage contracts according to the contracted scope of services and budget. Manage necessary work order changes
  • Manage subcontractors and consultant contracts, as necessary
  • Carefully monitor billable/non-billable time, expenses, schedule changes and overtime. Ensure staff payroll hours and mileage are correct and timely
  • Assist with proposals, from inception to award
  • Use logic and reasoning to identify alternative solutions or approaches to problems

Basic Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in natural resource management or related field and three (3) years of associated professional experience or a Bachelor’s degree and four (4) years of associated professional experience
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Experience managing a grant program and large program budgets
  • Experience managing multiple contracts simultaneously
  • Expert knowledge of native and non-native plant species
  • Strategic thinker with the ability to set a long-term vision for the program and support execution of the vision
  • Ability to safely use and train others in use of equipment such as: chainsaws, augers, string trimmers, brush mowers, circular saw, and various hand tools
  • Highly proficient in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and related Google Docs
  • Valid Driver’s license, maintenance of at least minimum required personal auto insurance, can pass a DMV background check

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with CA Public Works contracts, prevailing wage implications, DIR requirements, OSHA standards, and DOL requirements.
  • Experience or having partnered with CA Conservation Corps and/or AmeriCorps.
  • Fire Certifications, possibly including Wildland FireFighter Red-Card or Burn Boss Certification
  • CA Qualified (Pesticide/Herbicide) Applicator License (QAL)
  • Certification in stormwater/erosion control or other professional license
  • Aerial-lift training
  • Spanish language proficiency

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Ability to lead with confidence and compassion
  • Works well in a team environment
  • Excellent writing skills, including technical report writing
  • Experience applying for and managing large grants and/or contracts
  • Strong attention to detail and highly organized
  • Can establish and maintain professional networks
  • Ability to remain calm under stressful and challenging circumstances
  • Can prioritize and manage multiple deadlines
  • Can determine how systems should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes

Work Style:

You have integrity, are dependable, innovative yet pragmatic, show initiative, are flexible, persistent, detail oriented, analytical, adaptable, patient, have high stress tolerance, work well with and act as a role model to others.

Physical Demands and Work Environment:

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

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Restoration Team members wear masks around other staff at all times.     

Evening and weekend work is sometimes required for public meetings, volunteer days, and to respond to project emergencies.

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, transgender status, pregnancy, breastfeeding, veteran, military status, genetic information, and marital status or familial status.

Benefits Include:

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); provides six paid holidays, vacation accrual, sick accrual, and the ability to enroll in a self-funded TIAA 403(B) account.

How to Apply:

Please send your cover letter, resume, and three references, to Celina Briggs, Human Resources Specialist, humanresources@sonomaecologycenter.org, preferably in one PDF document.  Please write Restoration Program Manager in the header. No phone calls, please.