Heal The Bay

Water Quality Scientist & Policy Analyst

Employment type
Full Time
about 2 months ago
Los Angeles

Clean beaches and rivers are critical for public health and our economy in southern California. For over 25 years, Heal the Bay has been a powerful advocate for cleaning up polluted rivers and beaches and maintaining high standards that protect public health for recreational users of our local waters. Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card (BRC) and NowCast systems are well-known and scientifically robust tools for communicating water quality problems to decision-makers and the public, and our new River Report Card (RRC) will serve a similar purpose for the LA River and other freshwater recreation sites.


Position Summary:

The Water Quality Scientist & Policy Analyst (Science & Policy Analyst) works with the department Director to set the Recreational Water Quality Program direction, and performs day to day management of the program. The Science & Policy Analyst is also responsible for tracking, analyzing, commenting on, and advocating for water quality protection and improvements related to recreational waterbodies, at the state and local levels.

Heal the Bay’s RRC and NowCast programs are growing and require ongoing technical development of statistical models, grading systems and communication tools. The Science & Policy Analyst works closely with government agencies to ensure timely data collection for report cards and modeling, and to provide input on their policy developments. S/he oversees our water quality monitoring program and in-house laboratory and staff, and represents Heal the Bay at regulatory hearings, stakeholder meetings, and other public forums.

Additional responsibilities of the Science & Policy Analyst include providing comments and testimony on bacteria regulations; investigating sources of impairment at bacteria-polluted beaches and reviewing source investigation/identification studies; analyzing beach monitoring data; supporting Heal the Bay’s role in epidemiological studies of ocean users; studying the impacts of pollution on marine resources; and helping secure funding for this work. The Science & Policy Analyst also represents Heal the Bay in recreational water quality stakeholder groups. Further, the Science & Policy Analyst will oversee a staff member (Water Quality Modeler) who is responsible for daily, weekly, and annually running of the BRC, RRC, and NowCast.


Functions Include:

  • Track, analyze, comment on, and advocate for water quality protection and improvements related to recreational waterbodies, focused on bacterial pollution;
  • Represent Heal the Bay’s positions at public meetings, hearings and other forums;
  • Oversee the Beach Report Card, NowCast, and River Report Card programs;
    • understand historical and technical aspects of all programs including sampling methodology, field and lab work, modeling
    • updating QAPP and implementing QA/QC procedures
    • hiring, training and supervising seasonal workers to conduct monitoring
  • Manage Water Quality Modeler who is responsible for daily, weekly, and annual grades of BRC, RRC, and NowCast;
  • Track polluted west coast recreational waters on ongoing basis and work with staff scientist(s) to address site specific water quality issues with appropriate local jurisdictional agencies;
  • Maintain, cultivate and establish relationships with recreational water quality monitoring agencies in Washington, Oregon, and California;
  • Create and maintain relationships with government staff, advocacy groups, scientific researchers and other environmental stakeholders;
  • Provide technical and writing expertise for Beach Report Card, freshwater monitoring reports, and other technical reports;
  • Work closely with other HtB staff on inter-departmental projects and programs;
  • Coordinate with communications team for BRC/RRC/NowCast public outreach
  • Identify funding opportunities, write grants, and help secure funding for recreational water quality work;
  • Participate in weekly Science and Policy department meetings;


Experience and Skills Required:

  • Strong passion for Heal the Bay’s mission and a love for the environment;
  • Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, coastal ecology, or related field is required at minimum; graduate degree is preferred;
  • Experience with coding preferred with Python, R, or similar languages, with machine learning/statistical modeling background in Python, R, Matlab or SPSS beneficial;
  • Strong background in water quality and coastal policy; understanding of relevant laws, regulations, and policies; knowledge of policy-making processes; and experience with local issues relating to coastal and marine;
  • Strong interpersonal and oral communication skills, with public speaking experience;
  • Strong writing skills, with policy analysis or advocacy writing experience preferred;
  • Excellent organizational, analytical and project planning skills;
  • Strong problem solving skills;
  • Ability to work independently and cooperatively as part of a team;
  • Proven ability to work under pressure, multitask and meet deadlines;
  • Demonstrated proficiency with Microsoft Office (e.g. Word, Excel and Power Point), with CRM Salesforce experience a plus;
  • Ability to travel throughout the Los Angeles area with occasional trips to Sacramento or other locations throughout the state;
  • Some evening and weekend work is required; and
  • Must have access to reliable transportation


Physical Demands

The employee is occasionally asked to reach with hands and arms; the employee is regularly asked to talk or hear;

Lifts Weight or Exerts Force Work Environment

The employee is asked to occasionally lift up to 10 pounds;

Work Environment

The employee is occasionally asked to be in outdoor weather conditions;

This is an exempt, full time salaried position with health, dental, vision, sick leave, retirement, and vacation benefits. Salary Range is $50-60,000 annually, based on experience. Participation in some weekend and evening events, and regional and statewide travel is necessary. Heal the Bay is an equal opportunity employer and actively recruits to promote diversity in our workforce.

To apply

Please email/submit your cover letter and resume with subject line “Water Quality Scientist Application” to:

Dr. Katherine Pease, Director of Science & Policy

Heal the Bay 1444 9th Street

Santa Monica, CA 90401

Email: [email protected]

Fax: (310) 496-1902

Review of applications will begin on November 2, 2018