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Career Opportunity

Biologist III (2484) - Natural Resources & Lands Management Division - SFPUC (128886)

Recruitment: RTF0128885-01119450

Published: September 12, 2023


Laurie Gee -

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Department: Public Utilities Commission
Job class: 2484-Biologist III
Salary range: $132,626.00 - $161,200.00
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.

  • Application Opening Date: September 12, 2023
  • Application Filing Deadline: September 25, 2023 at 11:59PM (PDT)
  • Recruitment ID: PBT-2484-128886/ RTF0128885-01119450
  • Location: 1000 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC)
Headquartered in San Francisco, we have 2,300 employees operating across eight counties serving more than 2.7 million customers in the San Francisco Bay Area – 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

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.

To learn more about working at the SFPUC, visit our career site here.

Role description

About the Natural Resources and Lands Management Division
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. 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 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.                

About the Positions: Under general supervision, the Biologist III plans, designs, develops, and manages, routine and non-routine biological and ecological monitoring related to restoration and mitigation projects, environmental compliance, natural resource management, and stewardship programs on San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) watershed lands. The Biologist III works independently and with other staff to evaluate environmental conditions associated with utility operations and maintain compliance with regulations and policies in support of the mission of the Natural Resources and Lands Management Division (NRLMD). The Biologist III oversees consultants and contractors; gives technical direction to staff biologists, interns, and volunteers; manages contracts and directs consultants; and may exercise supervision during the absence of the Supervising Biologist. There are two positions available:

  • One Biologist III position focused primarily on developing and/or overseeing projects or programs related to fisheries and aquatic resource monitoring, restoration, and management. Examples include fisheries specific monitoring (habitat; spawning; trapping; snorkeling, electrofishing, and benthic macroinvertebrate surveys); limnological monitoring of lakes, reservoirs, and other water bodies and making recommendations; monitoring to avoid impacts to special status species and habitats or sensitive resources during watershed operations and construction; and other monitoring which may include, but is not limited to, surveys for wildlife, reptiles, and amphibians.
  • One Biologist III focused primarily on developing and/or overseeing projects or programs related to terrestrial biology, ecology, botany, and restoration. Examples include implementing, managing, and monitoring restoration and mitigation projects; monitoring and mapping habitats and vegetation; overseeing vegetation management; monitoring rare plants, butterfly host plants, special status wildlife and nesting birds; monitoring to avoid impacts to special status species and habitats or sensitive resources during watershed operations and construction; and other monitoring which may include, but is not limited to, surveys for wildlife, reptiles, and amphibians.

Please note: The result of this eligible list may be utilized to fill multiple vacancies in various locations for the City and County of San Francisco.

Nature of Work: Fieldwork may require working in streams and rivers, on monitoring vessels in lakes, reservoirs, San Francisco Bay, and ocean with hazardous materials; and driving or hiking to remote locations on unimproved dirt or mountain roads in inclement weather. Field, laboratory, and office work may have little or no advance notice; and may be required to work overtime shifts, weekends, and holidays.

Depending on the specified area, positions assigned to each section may perform the following:

Essential duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  1. Oversee and manage routine biological monitoring programs and biological studies.     
  2. In conjunction with Supervising Biologist, plan, organize, and prioritize biology projects and programs.
  3. Identify knowledge gaps and data needs, and develop studies and new monitoring programs. Evaluate existing monitoring programs in response to new regulatory requirements, new scientific findings, or to resource management needs and make recommendations.          
  4. Make recommendations and participate in the development of habitat management plans or restoration projects for the conservation of rare, threatened, and endangered species.       
  5. Plan and implement restoration projects and resource management activities.       
  6. Develop partnerships and peer review opportunities with research institutions and other agencies to improve current scientific understanding, outcomes of resource management decisions, and the scientific credibility of SFPUC work products.       
  7. Provide biological expertise and technical support to SFPUC managers and staff to inform water system operations, watershed management, stewardship, planning, and regulatory compliance.         
  8. Provide in-house biological expertise during negotiations with regulatory agencies or other external stakeholders.
  9. Write and review scopes of work and contract specifications, review budgets, direct work, and evaluate and approve deliverables.
  10. In conjunction with the Supervising Biologist, identify environmental problems associated with facility and watershed operations; propose solutions, including initiation of special studies, to resolve those problems and to achieve compliance with regulations or meet stewardship objectives. Develops best practices for operations and projects that minimize impacts to the environment.
  11. Research scientific literature relevant to SFPUC terrestrial and aquatic resource management; manage and analyze data; prepare technical memos, reports, presentations, and papers. Communicate complex scientific information effectively verbally and in writing to diverse audiences.
  12. Manage and monitor staff progress and direct consultant and contractor teams during planning; data collection, data analysis, and presentation; or resource management activities. Set team goals and priorities, assign tasks, and monitor work products.
  13. Train personnel and consultants in effective field sampling, survey methodology, taxonomy and identification, field and lab standard operating procedures, and use of technical and specialized equipment.

How to qualify

Minimum Qualifications: Minimum qualifications reflect the lowest level of acceptable education and/or experience required of an individual such that the individual reasonably could be expected to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position.  Candidates must meet all the requirements established by the MQs to be considered for the position. 

  • Education: Possession of baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a major in environmental biology, marine biology, aquatic biology, wildlife biology, fisheries biology, limnology, aquatic toxicology microbiology, biochemistry, or a related environmental science; AND
  • Experience: Six (6) years of verifiable environmental experience in field or laboratory biology; AND
  • License: Possession of a valid driver’s license. (Please note: a valid California driver’s license is required as the final candidate.)

Note: One year of full-time employment is equivalent to 2000 hours. (2000 hours of qualifying work experience is based on a 40-hour work week.) 

Applicants must meet the minimum qualification requirement by the final filing date unless otherwise noted. Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed to advance through all of the steps in the selection process.

Desirable Qualifications:
The stated desirable qualifications may be used to identify job finalists at the end of the selection process when candidates are referred for hiring.

  • Advanced degree in a related field
  • Experience planning, developing, and managing projects or programs related to terrestrial biology, ecology, botany, and restoration.
  • Experience planning, developing, and managing projects or programs related to fisheries, limnology, and aquatic resource monitoring, restoration, and management.
  • Experience working on collaborative science research efforts focused on the protection and restoration of natural resources.
  • Experience providing biological and ecological technical expertise to inform land management, watershed management, stewardship, restoration, planning, and/or environmental regulatory compliance
  • Experience with state and federal environmental regulations

Verification of Education and Experience: Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process. For more information on how to verify your experience or education please click here

Verification of required work experience typically must be on the employer’s letterhead, and must include the applicant’s name, job title, description of job duties, dates of employment, hours per week, and signature of the employer, supervisor, or appropriate representative.

Employees of the City and County of San Francisco may submit performance evaluations showing duties performed to verify qualifying City experience. City employees will receive credit for the duties of the class to which appointed. Credit for experience obtained outside of the employee's class will be allowed only if recorded in accordance with the provisions of Civil Service Commission Rules. CCSF employees will not receive credit for experience obtained outside of their classification unless recorded in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Rule 110.9.1/111A.11.2.

Experience claimed in self-employment will only be accepted if supported by documents verifying income, earnings, business license and experience comparable to minimum qualifications above. Copies of income tax papers or other documents listing occupation and total earnings must be submitted.

Verification of qualifying education is a copy of your transcript or diploma. For more information, please click here.

Verification of required valid licensure/certification typically must be a photocopy of the license/certificate including the name of the issuing agency as well as the name of the license/certificate holder, license/certificate number, and expiration date.

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.

Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of a completed City and County of San Francisco application.

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

What else should I know?

Selection Procedures:
After application submission, candidates deemed qualified must complete all subsequent steps to advance in this selection process, which includes the following: 

Minimum Qualification Supplemental Questionnaire (MQSQ): (Weight:  Qualifying) Candidates will be required to complete a MQSQ as part of the employment application at a later time. This MQSQ is designed to obtain specific information regarding an applicant's experience in relation to the Minimum Qualifications (MQ) for this position. The MQSQ will be used to evaluate if the applicant possesses the required minimum qualifications.

Supplemental Questionnaire Evaluation (Weight:100%): 

Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will be sent a Supplemental Questionnaire via electronic mail after the closing of this filing period. The Supplemental Questionnaire is designed to measure the knowledge, skills and/or abilities in job-related areas required for the position.  Applicants will be given a deadline to return the Supplemental Questionnaire. Those who do not respond by the established deadline will not be eligible to continue in the examination process and will not be added to eligibility list resulting from this process. All applicants’ responses to the Supplemental Questionnaire are subject to verification.

A passing score must be achieved on the Supplemental Questionnaire Examination in order to continue in the selection process and be placed on the eligible list. Candidates will be placed on the eligible list in rank order according to their final score. Candidate scores on this examination may also be applied to other announcements involving other job titles, when directed by the Human Resources Director.

The department may administer additional position-specific selection procedures to make final hiring decisions.

NOTE:  Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed to advance through all of the steps in the selection process.

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 twelve (12) months, and may be extended with the approval of the Human Resources Director.

Certification: The certification rule for the eligible list resulting from this examination will be Rule of Ten (10).  The hiring department may administer additional position-specific selection procedures prior to making final hiring decisions.

To find Departments which use this classification, please see here.

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 here.

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 and begin the application process.

• Select the “Apply Now” 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.

Having trouble? If you are having trouble with the application, please visit or email SmartRecruiters recommends using Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge web browser to submit your application.

Recruitment Analyst Information: If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the analyst, Laurie Gee via email at

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.