San Diego, CA
Full Time


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 230 employee-owners focused on serving clients in the municipal, water, transportation, and education markets.

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. 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.

Harris has an opening for a highly experienced Biologist to join our Environmental Planning and Compliance Group in the Biology Group. The biologist will be responsible for:

  • assisting leading other biologists on staff
  • assisting managing biological-resources related projects
  • leading general and focused biological surveys, including protocol sensitive species surveys and habitat assessments for sensitive species
  • authoring biological technical reports, regulatory permit applications
  • assisting with agency coordination and negotiations during permitting and other project processes
  • leading data collection and data management tasks
  • understanding CEQA and NEPA requirements as well as local MSHCPs, and federal and state permits
  • acting as lead biologist (and lead monitor) for projects with complex environmental issues and regulation requirements
  • managing projects involving biological resources
  • The Biologist must be capable of working in temperature extremes for long hours and be able to handle strenuous physical activity and conditions (i.e., hiking for hours a day while carrying equipment). They must also hold current, valid USFWS 10a1A permit for at least one listed species at a minimum, preferably coastal California gnatcatcher or Quino checkerspot butterfly.
  • The Biologist should be experienced with native southern California plant and wildlife species, specifically sensitive species.
  • Identification of San Diego County habitat and vegetation types, and nonnative plant species is required.
  • The candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minimum of 7 years of work within southern California, specifically San Diego County. (A candidate with a Master’s degree can substitute one year of work experience)
  • They must be able to show experience in the field of ornithology and have experience working with other avian species of special concern that are not listed and therefore do not require permits (i.e., burrowing owls [Athene cunicularia]).
  • The candidate must also have 8+ years of construction monitoring experience. The biologist will have proven experience in managing small to medium-scale natural resources-based projects, and have some experience with managing large-scale projects or the drive to learn.
  • Experience processing state and federal resource agency permit applications and consultations for jurisdictional waters/wetlands and endangered species is preferred. Experience identifying, and surveying for, rare plants and/or aquatic resources delineations is not required but is preferred.
  • The ideal candidate will hold a USFWS 10a1A permit for any one, or more, of the following at a minimum: 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), and/or Quino checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha quino). The Biologist should have 7+ years of experience working with these species.
  • California least tern (Sterna antillarum browni), and western snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) experience is a plus.
  • The successful candidate will have a strong work ethic, positive attitude, and proven record of working collaboratively in a team environment. A test of practical skills may be given to final candidates.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Lead biology staff in the field during survey efforts.
  • Lead biological field efforts and studies including general and focused surveys, and protocol surveys
  • Lead technical writing efforts, review technical reports
  • Prepare regulatory permit applications and submittals, and successfully negotiate with resource agencies during environmental review and permitting processes. Coordinate with applicants and agency staff on mitigation strategies
  • Independently conduct protocol surveys for listed species
  • Collect and manage data collected in the field
  • Lead construction compliance monitoring efforts
  • Assist with mentoring biology staff in the field and office
  • Manage projects successfully, on time, and within budget

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Extensive experience with general biological and focused biological surveys.
  • Familiarity with coastal, foothill, mountain, and desert ecosystems.
  • Experience with regulatory agency permitting processes and agency negotiations
  • Experience with aquatic resources delineations
  • Experience with native plant species identification, specifically rare plants.
  • Experience independently leading field efforts
  • 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.

Required Qualifications & Skills

  • Minimum of 7 years in the field of science.
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Biology.
  • USFWS 10a1a permit for at least one listed species, preferably Quino checkerspot butterfly and California gnatcatcher, and experience conducting protocol surveys for those species
  • 8+ years of construction compliance monitoring.
  • Experience with leading field survey efforts and field crews.
  • Experience conducting plant and wildlife work in San Diego County.
  • Experience working in southern California.
  • Familiarity with the flora and fauna of southern California.

The chosen salary will be based on the candidates experience level with a set range of $85,000-$105,000 annual salary.

Compensation & Benefits

This position is benefit-eligible. Harris is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an EEO/AA employer.  We invite resumes from all interested and qualified candidates including women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities.

Harris & Associates is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, disability, marital status, protected Veteran status, age, or any other characteristic protected by law.


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