Conservation Project Manager

Project Delivery – Conservation Strategies Team /
Full-Time /
WRA’s an employee-owned environmental consultancy. We are a tenacious team of planners, engineers, and scientists, and we aim to leave the lands we love better than we found them. 

Our clients and partners hire us because we’re skilled at navigating through challenging projects involving wildlands, parks, community spaces, and infrastructure. We bring over four decades of expertise, long-standing relationships, and connections to our local communities to make sure that projects are pursued in responsible ways where both people and the environment thrive. 

As an organization, we believe that independence and interdependence are not mutually exclusive. We invest in systems, processes, and employee programs to support our staff’s collective engagement and success. At the same time, we encourage our employees to operate with an ownership mindset, taking responsibility for outcomes and being true to our commitments. 

WRA’s Conservation Strategies Team works with private landowners, investors, non-profits, and public entities to entitle mitigation projects, implement restoration and land management, and understand mitigation markets and drivers. We are seeking a seasoned project manager to help lead and develop the skills and capabilities of our Conservation Strategies team overseeing the entitlement of mitigation/conservation banks, in-lieu fee programs, and turnkey mitigation projects. 

This is a mid-senior level interdisciplinary role requiring expertise in the following areas:

1. California ecology, habitat restoration, and land management
2. Mitigation and conservation banking
3. California regulatory environment

The majority of mitigation projects overseen by the Conservation Strategies team are within California and require a thorough knowledge of the ecology of various California landscapes. This role requires ecological and regulatory expertise in California landscapes and the ability to oversee multiple interdisciplinary project teams. This position will also require critical and strategic thinking in non-traditional areas like market studies and financial analyses. This position also requires the ability to build and maintain positive relationships with stakeholders including clients, agency members, and teaming partners. This position will report directly to the Conservation Strategies Team Leader and may assist in directing projects outside of the team as needed. 

Your responsibilities will include:

    • Managing multiple projects simultaneously with budgets ranging from $10,000 - $1,000,000 while providing excellent customer service and high-quality work products
    • Taking ultimate responsibility for project work products, contracts, budgets, and timelines
    • Managing and maintaining positive relationships with clients, regulatory agencies, teaming partners and other stakeholders
    • Attending meetings with regulatory agencies, clients, and teaming partners
    • Supporting your team leader with staff development and team activities

To be successful in this role, you will need:

    • A growth mindset and strong desire to learn new things
    • Independent and self motivated
    • Be passionate about conservation and market based solutions to environmental challenges
    • Be excited about working on large, complex multi-disciplinary projects
    • Strong analytical and problem solving skills; we’re looking for someone who jumps in to hairy technical problems when necessary
    • Entrepreneurial and a strong ownership mentality
    • Experience in aquatic resources and endangered species permitting and mitigation in California, mitigation bank entitlement, implementation of conservation programs, valuation of ecosystem services,  or project development for environmental markets
    • Strong written and oral communication skills are essential to this position
    • Strong writing, document review and editing skills
    • Competency in preparing or managing technical work products (e.g., wetland delineations, ecosystem services valuations, environmental market analyses, rare plant surveys, habitat assessments, biological resources technical reports, Excel and other database work, GIS maps and analyses completed by others)
    • Skilled and proactive in outreach, with a desire to be a positive face of the company to a diverse group of stakeholders including clients, regulatory agencies and potential teaming partners

To be successful in this role, you will need:

    • A Bachelor’s degree in ecology, biology, environmental science or other related discipline; master’s degree is a plus
    • A minimum of 5 years of project management experience
    • Strong working knowledge of ecology, California ecosystems, habitat restoration, and California sensitive species
    • Understanding of California regulatory environment including Section 404 and 401 of the Clean Water Act, Section 1602 of the California Fish and Game Code, the Porter-Cologne Act, Endangered Species Act, California Endangered Species Act, California Environmental Quality Act, Section 2081 of the California Fish and Game Code, and Magnuson-Stevenson Fisheries Act

Additional, preferred qualifications include:

    • Experience working with environmental markets, mitigation banking, in-lieu fee programs, permittee-responsible mitigation, voluntary conservation programs, and/or regional habitat conservation plans/natural community conservation plans 
The Conservation Strategies team at WRA is a tight knit, collaborative team that values creative solutions, individual initiative, and interdisciplinary thinking. Our smaller size allows team members the flexibility to be involved in a variety of projects and to actively contribute to the development of the team. While individual expertise and interests are acknowledged and utilized, all team members are expected to help when needed on an array of projects in a fast-paced environment. 

This position can be remote, or based out of any of the following WRA offices: San Rafael, Emeryville, Petaluma, or San Diego. Periodic travel to field sites and for in person meetings will be required.

WRA has an established internal leveling system for our staff that maps to salary bands that have been informed by market data. Our leveling system is dependent on years of relevant industry experience, education, and the level of responsibility and autonomy at which you’re expected to operate.

The salary range for this position is $80,000-$130,000, which represents 3 job levels that WRA is open to considering for this role. In your first conversation with our recruiter, we will discuss leveling and compensation with you to make sure that expectations are aligned. There will be opportunities to discuss this toward the end of the interview process; however, if you wish to discuss titles earlier in the interview process, please do so with your recruiter. 

Who are we?

WRA’s company vision is “cultivating a sustainable future where people and the environment thrive” and that starts with our staff. We are committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment, and we have developed flexible policies, internal practices, and are investing in programs that prioritize learning and sustainability. We aim to create conditions that allow employees to prioritize their families, lead healthy and balanced lives, and to bring their authentic selves to work every day. We believe that by creating an exceptional workplace, our employees will be able to do their best work and be able to meaningfully contribute to the sustainability of the environment and the communities in which we live.

WRA is an equal opportunity employer, and we are committed to creating a diverse environment. We recruit, employ, train, compensate and promote regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, veteran status, and other protected status as required by applicable law.