Grass Valley Partner Biologist

Program: Working Lands

Locations: Grass Valley, CA. (brief location description can be found below)

Hours/Benefits: Full time positions with competitive benefits, 1 year term with potential for additional years

About Point Blue:

Point Blue advances conservation of birds, other wildlife and ecosystems through innovative research, restoration, outreach and extensive partnerships.  Our highest priority is to reduce the impacts of habitat loss, climate change and other threats to wildlife and people, while promoting adaptation to the changes ahead.  Point Blue achieves this by conducting research and developing and communicating science-based solutions to mitigate the negative impacts of these changes.  Because of our work today, healthy ecosystems will continue to support thriving wildlife and human communities in California and beyond, on land and at sea.

Position Summary:

The Working Lands Partner Biologist is a partnership position between the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Point Blue Conservation Science that will focus on providing value added delivery of wildlife conservation programs on working lands through Farm Bill and other federal and state funding programs.  The Partner Biologist will actively participate with NRCS Field Conservationists, working lands producers, and other resource professionals in the development of ranch, farm, and forestry conservation plans, including resources assessments, conservation practice design, and implementation.  In particular, they will seek to expand the adoption of prescribed conservation management practices under NRCS Farm Bill habitat conservation programs.  The Partner Biologist will also be involved with assessment and monitoring of conservation practices that have been applied on those working lands.  This position will provide technical assistance with the NRCS field conservationists to working lands producers whose primary focus is on the implementation of conservation in mountain meadow, forest, rangeland and intensive agricultural habitats (working lands).  These positions are intended to be a full time position for a 1 year term with benefits with potential for renewal of 1 to 3 additional years.  The positions will be located in the NRCS Field Office in Grass Valley (Nevada County), Merced (Merced County), and Petaluma (Marin and Sonoma Counties).

Essential Functions:

  • Provide technical assistance and program support to NRCS Field Conservationists and working lands producers on habitat conservation programs (e.g. EQIP, CSP, WRE, GRE, CSP, etc.)
  • Build trust with and enroll working lands producers into conservation practices using Farm Bill and other federal, state, and local programs.
  • Develop technical proficiency in the use of NRCS Conservation Planning process and NRCS technical tools such as Soil Data Mart, Ecological Site Descriptions, Wildlife Habitat Evaluations, Protracts, Conservation Desktop and the Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool, , and Stream Visual Assessment Protocol2.
  • Initiate and sustain cooperative working relationships with working lands producers, NRCS, other federal, state and local agencies, tribes, conservation groups and other resource professionals.
  • Provide technical support for the incorporation of fish and wildlife habitat considerations and climate-smart conservation principals into producers’ conservation plans.
  • Identify and assist with the development of fish and wildlife habitat related education and outreach materials and deliver these materials at conferences, workshops and workshops.
  • Conduct standardized sampling of soils, plants and wildlife, especially birds. Adhere to best practices in data management and data analysis.
  • Provide fish and wildlife habitat evaluation, management, restoration, and monitoring related training, workshops, and field sessions to NRCS Field Conservationists, working lands producers, and other conservation partners.
  • Ensure conservation practice implementation is NEPA compliant, and in some cases consult with CDFW or USFWS.

Experience, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: 

  • 3-5 years’ experience in working with planning, design, assessment, management, restoration, and monitoring of wildlife habitat on private, public, or tribal lands.
  • Strong working knowledge of the flora and fauna of the range and forest lands of California, especially those in proximity of or on working lands.
  • BA/BS degree or equivalent experience in an agriculture, forestry, or conservation related field, preferably wildlife biology, range, soil science, hydrology, animal science, agronomy, or forest ecology.
  • Basic experience and knowledge of USDA Farm Bill Conservation Programs
  • Prefer experience and understanding of cropland, range and forest management principles and implementation of grazing management systems that are beneficial to both domestic livestock and fish and wildlife resources.
  • Knowledge of local agriculture and related conservation and cultural practices is desirable.
  • Knowledge and experience working with hydrology or riparian restoration is a plus.
  • Self-starter, with strong organizational skills, with the ability to multi-task and prioritize objectives and tasks daily, as well as long term.
  • Attention to detail and exceptional follow-up skills are critical.
  • Strong communication skills (oral, written, and presentation) are required.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, proven ability to work collaboratively and remain flexible under pressure.
  • Ability and desire to work with a diverse group of people including, state, federal, tribal, and non-government resource professionals, working lands producers, and the general public.
  • Excellent computer skills (Microsoft Office Suite, GIS mapping software and Internet) are required.
  • Ability to traverse various terrains on foot.

Brief Description of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Field Office location:

Grass Valley: Serves Nevada County, which consists of Sierra Nevada foothills which is situated east of the Sacramento Valley and extends to near the summit of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Elevations range from 400 ft. to about 9,000 feet.   Annual rainfall is about 55 inches and snow accumulates an average of 11 inches in Grass Valley.  It is largely privately owned land, but with some federal ownership in the Tahoe National Forest.  It encompasses more than 613,000 acres.  Land use is primarily forest (Mixed deciduous/ conifer) rangelands (Mediterranean annual grasslands, oak woodland and savanna), and cropland, with the livestock, primarily cattle, timber, fruits, vegetables and wine grapes the most valuable agricultural products.  The county’s population is nearly 100 thousand people with population centers in Grass Valley and Nevada City.


Compensation for this position is between $56,500 – $61,000 per year depending on experience and location.


100% medical and dental premium coverage for employees, and partial coverage (80%) for dependents including domestic partners.  Other benefits include long term care insurance, optional vision, life insurance, short term and long term disability, flexible spending account, commuter plan and a 401k plan with an employer discretionary match.

Full time employees accrue up to 3 weeks paid vacation, 3 personal days, 12 sick days and 7 holidays each year.

How to Apply: 

Email resumes to: beyestone@pointblue.orgPlease include a 1 page cover letter explaining your interest and qualifications.  Please put “Working Lands Partner Biologist” in the subject line.  Please indicate your choice of locations.  No calls please.  For additional information about Point Blue and highlights of current programs, explore this website.  Application Deadline: Monday, June 29th, 2020.


Point Blue is an equal employment opportunity employer and does not discriminate against applicants or employees because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, citizenship status, disability status, membership or application for membership in a uniformed service, or membership in any other class protected by applicable law and will make reasonable accommodation for applicants  with disabilities,  who are otherwise qualified, to complete the application and/or participate in the interview process.