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Career Opportunity

Marine Biologist Supervisor - Natural Resources and Lands Management - SFPUC (2485) - (122889)

Recruitment: RTF0122888-01078467

Published: January 13, 2023

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Department: Public Utilities Commission
Job class: 2485-Supervising Biologist
Salary range: $139,100.00 - $169,078.00
Role type: Permanent Civil Service What does this mean?
Hours: Full-time
Exam type: Position Based Test
Rule: Rule of 10 What does this mean?
List type: Combined Promotive and Entrance


This is a Position-Based Test conducted in accordance with CSC Rule 111A. 

Specific information regarding this recruitment process are listed below:

  • Application Opening: November 3, 2022
  • Application Filing Deadline: Updated: Application filing period will close on January 12, 2023.  
  • Analyst Name: Kenson Wong
  • Annual Salary: $139,100 - $169,078

Who Are We?

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) 
Headquartered in San Francisco, we have 2,300 employees working in seven counties with a combined annual operating budget of over $900 million. 
Our Mission: To provide our customers with high quality, efficient, and reliable water, power, and wastewater services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care. 

Our Vision: We are an innovative utility leader, recognized for excellent results in service, safety, stewardship, and inclusiveness. 

We are an award-winning and industry-leading utilities organization committed to our customers, community interests, and the environment. To learn more about our organization, please visit our website at 

We are proud of our infrastructure and programs, but most importantly, we value our highly qualified and dedicated workforce which ensures that this vision becomes a reality. As you explore career opportunities with us, download our career guide and learn about what you can expect during the hiring process. 

Natural Resources and Lands Management 

The Natural Resources and Lands Management (NRLM) Division within the Water Enterprise of the SFPUC is responsible for the management of approximately 61,000 acres of Bay Area watershed lands under SFPUC ownership as well as 150 miles of utility right-of-way. The NRLM Division is responsible for managing, protecting, restoring, and monitoring the ecological resources on these lands and environmental compliance for the operations and maintenance of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System which serves 2.7 million customers. We also monitor shoreline and marine environments of the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean to ensure that effluents from the SFPUC’s wastewater systems meet state and federal standards and do not impact the environment or public health.  We are committed to responsible natural resources management that protects and restores viable populations of native species and maintains the integrity of the ecosystems that support them for current and future generations. We strive to become a leader in science-based and collaborative environmental stewardship in order to continue providing high-quality and reliable water supplies to our customers.

Role description

Under general supervision by the Environmental Planning and Regulatory Compliance Manager, the Supervising Biologist of the Oceanside Marine Biology Laboratory is responsible for three primary compliance programs at the SFPUC - the Shoreline Water Quality Monitoring Program, the Effluent Toxicity Testing Bioassay Program, and the Southwest Ocean Outfall Regional Monitoring Program. As part of this responsibility, the Supervising Biologist plans, assigns, supervises, and evaluates the work of staff biologists and technicians engaged in bioassay testing, marine benthic invertebrate taxonomy, water quality monitoring, and related technical work; provides biological technical support for the application for, negotiation of, and compliance with NPDES permits; manages hiring, internship, purchasing, and contracting programs; and performs related work as assigned.

Examples of Major and Essential Duties:

1. Oversees activities of the Southwest Ocean Outfall Regional Monitoring Program (SWOO) including planning, scheduling, staffing, and obtaining equipment and supplies to perform annual marine sample collections; sediment analyses; year-round taxonomic identification of benthic invertebrate samples; maintaining SOPs, keys, and voucher sheets and specimens; and data QA/QC and maintenance of data in the LIMS database.

2. Oversees the Bioassay Effluent Monitoring Program providing acute and chronic whole effluent toxicity (WET) testing for SFPUCs wastewater and drinking water plants to ensure regulatory compliance. This includes tracking and coordinating maintenance of laboratory equipment and supplies (including test organisms); coordinating and scheduling projects; conducting toxicity reduction evaluations (TRE) and toxicity identification evaluations (TIE); following SOPs and other requirements to maintain laboratory compliance and accreditation with California's Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program and National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference Institute  certification programs.

3. Oversees Shoreline Water Quality Monitoring Program. Incorporates changes to California shoreline regulations and water quality standards into monitoring program and interfaces with regulatory agencies and the public as needed. Performs routine shoreline sampling, notifications, and responds to Combined Sewer Discharges. Posts beaches and provides public notifications.

4. Works with SFPUC’s wastewater and water regulatory and legal teams to support permit negotiations and other communications with regulatory agencies; interpretation of new regulations, permits, or rulings, and translation of these into laboratory and field programs to achieve regulatory compliance.

5. Interfaces with academic institutions and other professionals to keep the Marine Biology Section up to date on the most recent science of benthic taxonomy, bioassay/toxicology, and shoreline water quality monitoring. Has SFPUC work products peer reviewed. Presents at scientific conferences.

6. Fill vacant positions and maintain intern program to support Marine Biology Section goals. Train new staff and assist staff with interpretation of policies and procedures as needed. Maintain communication within the Marine Biology Lab team. Set staff goals, determine priorities, and develop individual work plans. Evaluate work and provide feedback to staff. Conduct periodic progress update meetings with individual staff and team. Review and monitor staff time and ensure assigned work is completed. Mentor and provide support for staff professional development. Manage teams of consultants for the same tasks.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will be an experienced marine biologist who is highly organized and motivated; communicates effectively both verbally and in writing; and is knowledgeable and passionate about protecting shoreline and the marine environments.

Accountability: Acts with integrity, honesty, and fairness; inspires trust. Clearly defines roles and responsibilities for self and others. Holds self and others to their roles and responsibilities. Complies with legal and ethical guidelines. Acts as a responsible steward of the resources entrusted to the SFPUC.

Relationship Management: Builds open, honest, and respectful relationships through effective communication and collaboration techniques. Develops networks and lasting partnerships across boundaries to maintain strategic relationships and achieve common goals. Utilizes a variety of communication approaches to successfully gain support, influence others, and strengthen relationships

Talent Management: Builds and develops a highly-skilled workforce based on organizational goals, budget considerations, and staffing needs. Ensures that employees are appropriately recruited and provides resources and support to ensure that the workforce is able to meet current and future business needs

How to qualify

1. Possession of baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with major work in biology, marine biology, aquatic biology, environmental biology, fisheries biology, limnology, wildlife biology, aquatic toxicology, microbiology or related environmental science; AND 

2. Eight (8) years of verifiable experience in field or laboratory biology, one (1) year of which must be verifiable experience in water quality or wastewater environmental biology; AND

3. Twelve (12) months of verifiable experience in Biological Monitoring Survey in Coastal Marine Environment; AND

4. Possession of a valid driver’s license.

The above minimum qualifications reflect special conditions associated with the position(s) to be filled. They may differ from the standard minimum qualifications associated with this class code.

Desirable Qualifications:

  • Experience with shoreline water quality and bacteriological sampling for compliance with California shoreline regulations and water quality standards, and experience with associated public notifications
  • Experience with acute and chronic whole effluent toxicity (WET) testing, toxicity reduction evaluations (TRE) and toxicity identification evaluations (TIE), following SOPs and other requirements to maintain California Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) and The National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAP) Institute (TNI) accreditation and certification requirements, and meeting NPDES regulatory compliance goals.
  • Experience with marine invertebrate sample collections, study design, taxonomic identification of marine benthic invertebrate samples, maintaining SOPs, keys, and voucher sheets and specimens, statistical data analysis, sediment analyses, data QA/QC, and database management
  • Advanced Degree in Marine Biology or related field

The stated desirable qualifications may be considered at the end of the selection process when candidates are referred for hiring.


Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process. If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at

Note: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.

All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline. Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Applications completed improperly may be cause for ineligibility, disqualification or may lead to lower scores.

Selection Procedures:

Minimum Qualification Supplemental Questionnaire (Weight: Qualifying):

Candidates will be prompted to complete a Supplemental Questionnaire as part of the online employment application at a later time. This Minimum Qualification Supplemental Questionnaire is designed to obtain specific information regarding an applicant's experience in relation to the Minimum Qualifications for this position. Applicants must also complete the official application. It is essential that applicants provide complete information in identifying their education, experience and training. The Minimum Qualification Supplemental Questionnaire will be used to evaluate if the applicant possesses the required minimum qualifications.

Supplemental Questionnaire Examination (Weight: 100%)

Candidates meet the minimum qualifications will be sent a Supplemental Questionnaire. The Supplemental Questionnaire is designed to measure the knowledge, skills and abilities required for the position 2485 Supervising Biologist, including but not limited to:

  • Skill with managing a shoreline water quality and bacteriological sampling program for compliance with California and federal regulations and water quality standards.
  • Knowledge of systems for notifying the public.
  • Knowledge of how to collect shoreline water quality samples.
  • Skill with managing and planning a marine benthic monitoring program in compliance with NPDES wastewater regulatory standards.
  • Technical skill of how to collect and handle marine benthic invertebrate samples and benthic sediment samples.
  • Knowledge of taxonomic identification of marine benthic invertebrates, maintaining voucher sheets and specimens, data QA/QC, and database management.
  • Skill with managing a bioassay laboratory under the strict standards required to maintain accreditation with the State of California (in conformance with TNI standards).
  • Knowledge of and ability to perform bioassays for effluent toxicity testing in conformation with TNI standards.
  • Ability to navigate SFPUC purchasing and contracting processes as well as other bureaucratic processes to ensure that the group has the materials, supplies, and support to do the job safely, efficiently, and effectively.
  • Ability to prepare clear, complete and accurate records and reports and organize, archive, and maintain scientific data.

All candidates’ responses to the Supplemental Questionnaire are subject to verification. All relevant experience, education and/or training must be included in the responses in order to be reviewed in the rating process.

 A passing score on the Supplemental Questionnaire must be achieved in order to be placed/ranked on the Eligible List. Candidates will be placed on the eligible list in rank order according to their final score. The hiring department may administer additional position-specific procedures to make final hiring decisions.

Candidates scores on this examination may also be applied to other announcements involving other job titles, when directed by the Human Resources Director.

Eligible List/Score Report:

A confidential eligible list of applicant names that have passed the civil service examination process will be created, and used for certification purposes only. An examination score report will be established, so applicants can view the ranks, final scores and number of eligible candidates. Applicant information, including names of applicants on the eligible list, shall not be made public unless required by law. However, an eligible list shall be made available for public inspection, upon request, once the eligible list is exhausted or expired and referrals resolved. The eligible list/score report resulting from this civil service examination process is subject to change after adoption (e.g., as a result of appeals), as directed by the Human Resources Director or the Civil Service Commission.

The duration of the eligible list resulting from this examination process will be of 12 months, and may be extended with the approval of the Human Resources Director.

To find Departments which use this classification, please see Position-Counts-by-Job-Codes-and-Department-FY-2021-22.pdf (

What else should I know?

Terms of Announcement and Appeal Rights:

Applicants must be guided solely by the provisions of this announcement, including requirements, time periods and other particulars, except when superseded by federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations. Clerical errors may be corrected by the posting the correction on the Department of Human Resources website at Careers at City and County of San Francisco (

The terms of this announcement may be appealed under Civil Service Rule 111A.35.1. The standard for the review of such appeals is ‘abuse of discretion’ or ‘no rational basis’ for establishing the position description, the minimum qualifications and/or the certification rule. Appeals must include a written statement of the item(s) being contested and the specific reason(s) why the cited item(s) constitute(s) abuse of discretion by the Human Resources Director. Appeals must be submitted directly to the Executive Officer of the Civil Service Commission within five business days of the announcement issuance date.

Additional Information Regarding Employment with the City and County of San Francisco:

How to Apply:

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit Careers at City and County of San Francisco ( and begin the application process.

• Select the “I’m Interested” button and follow instructions on the screen

Applicants may be contacted by email about this recruitment and, therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure that their registered email address is accurate and kept up-to-date. Also, applicants must ensure that email from CCSF is not blocked on their computer by a spam filter. To prevent blocking, applicants should set up their email to accept CCSF mail from the following addresses (,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file. Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records. Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received.

Exam Analyst Information: If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the exam analyst at Kenson Wong and

CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT:  All City and County of San Francisco employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Someone is fully vaccinated when 14 days have passed since they received the final dose of a two-shot vaccine or a dose of a one-shot vaccine. Any new hire must present proof of full vaccination status to be appointed. Any new hire who will be routinely assigned or occasionally enter High-Risk Settings, must provide proof of having received a COVID-19 booster vaccine by March 1, 2022, or once eligible.

The City and County of San Francisco encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to apply. Applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (associated with cancer, a history of cancer, or genetic characteristics), HIV/AIDS status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category under the law.