Principal Biologist

San Diego, CA
Full Time

Why Join us?
Harris’ growing Environmental, Engineering, and Consulting Division does industry-leading work in environmental planning and compliance, community planning and housing solutions, engineering design, municipal and district finance, and one water solutions. Harris continues to expand the scope of these services while also building new capabilities in planning, climate change/adaptation, hazard mitigation, resilience, and management consulting.

Harris has an opening for a Principal Biologist to join our Environmental Planning and Compliance team in the Biology Group. If you are a passionate and motivated professional looking for a collaborative environment at a firm that invests heavily in your growth, you could be a perfect fit for Harris & Associates.

What you will do...

  • Manage a team of biologists and providing team leadership
  • Successfully managing multiple projects, oftentimes with intensive field schedules and/or multiple tasks occurring at one time
  • Manage large-scale compliance projects requiring adherence to permit conditions
  • Independently develop work breakdown structure for control and integrity of work to be performed defined by the contracts and scopes of work
  • Provide guidance during difficult agency negotiations and consultations
  • Perform senior review of large, complex biological-based documents including Biological Resources Technical Reports, focused species surveys results reports, resource agency applications, and other technical documents
  • Serve as mentor to help guide and train junior, mid-level, and senior staff
  • Work with leadership to guide career development of biologists on staff
  • Collaborate with leadership to prepare proposals and contributing to the growth of the Biology Team through business development
  • Participate in interviews for the Biology Team or with larger teams at Harris for various clients
  • Conduct client and project management duties such as forecasting, tracking, accounting updates, invoicing, progress reports, and scheduling
  • Review contracts for understanding of scope, fee, schedule, and deliverables, and all other contractual obligations
  • Monitor and analyze project costs, commitments, accruals, and changes, and takes corrective action where and when necessary

The successful candidate will have a strong work ethic, positive attitude, and proven record of working collaboratively in a team environment as a motivating leader.

What you will have...

  • Bachelor’s Degree in biology or ecology
  • 12+ years of experience as a biologist in San Diego County/Southern California
  • 10+ years of experience as a senior biologist
  • 4+ years as a project manager
  • Experience in leading field survey efforts of all sizes and managing field crew schedules.
  • Experience with sensitive species in southern California and has the ability to provide expertise across multiple
  • Experience leading habitat assessments, vegetation mapping, focused sensitive species surveys, general biological reconnaissance surveys
  • Proven experience acting as independent/primary author writing technical documents of various difficulty levels
  • Possession of a valid USFWS 10(a) permit to conduct wildlife protocol surveys for species in southern California, including, but not limited to two or more of the following: least Bell’s vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus), California gnatcatchers (Polioptila californica californica), southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus), large listed branchiopods (i.e., San Diego fairy shrimp), Quino checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha quino) and/or other federal listed species
  • Experience in leading field survey efforts of all sizes and managing field crew schedules
  • Provides senior guidance on CEQA, NEPA, resource agency permits, and local MSHCPs concepts and requirements
  • Experience mentoring junior, mid-level, and senior staff
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills
  • Data management experience, including electronic data collection in field; managing large data sets.
  • Ability to work in a high-paced environment where changing client priorities result in the need to determine creative ways to get the job done.
  • Valid driver's license with satisfactory driving record

It would be nice if you had...

  • Experience with regulatory agency permitting processes and agency negotiations
  • Experience complex environmental issues and regulation requirements
  • Experience with ornithology, and sensitive bird species not listed under Endangered Species Acts
  • Experience with native plant species identification including rare plants.
  • Proficient use of Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat, Google Earth, and other related software.
  • Experience with GPS units/software, ArcGIS, ArcCollector and sub-meter field data collection.

About Us

For more than 40 years, Harris & Associates has helped to improve communities and create better places to live through smart, safe, more sustainable planning, design and construction solutions. Harris is a 100% employee-owned company focused on solving today's complex challenges in planning, design, and construction. Our offices and project sites span the West Coast in California, Nevada, Hawaii, and Washington with a staff of over 250 employee-owners focused on serving clients in the municipal, water, transportation, and education markets.

Compensation & Benefits
The annual salary range offered for this position is $120-150K. Actual pay offered will be dependent on the experience and expertise of the incoming candidate. 

In addition to base salary, we also offer:
  • Medical, dental, vision, and life insurance
  • ESOP
  • 401K Match
  • PTO, 8 Paid Holidays + "1 WorkAversary" paid holiday to celebrate you!
  • Health & Well-Being Allowance
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Flexible hybrid/remote work plans

Harris & Associates is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE AA M/F/Vet/Disability) and provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetics.

Harris expressly prohibits any form of workplace harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status.



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