Ecology Action
  • 05-Apr-2017 to 30-Apr-2017 (PST)
  • WaterLink
  • Santa Clara, CA, USA
  • Part Time

This part-time position is subject to the funding of this program and is estimated at 300 hours between now and October 31, 2017.

We are seeking a collaborative, highly organized, and detail-oriented Senior Program Specialist to support implementation of a California Department of Water Resources (DWR) Water-Energy Grant that funds replacement of irrigated, non-functional turf* with drought tolerant landscaping and low-volume irrigation systems in under-resourced community census tracts in Santa Clara County. This work is co-funded in partnership with the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Installation labor is provided by the California Conservation Corps and directed by Ecology Action. (*Non-functional turf is defined as an area of turf grass or lawn that is not used regularly for student or staff recreational purposes or critical business operations -- eg: wedding/event facilities, day care centers, pre-schools, sports fields, parks, play areas, etc).

The Senior Program Specialist will be responsible for implementing 22,000 square feet of turf replacement projects at public facilities by October 31, 2017. Major job responsibilities include conducting irrigation system evaluations to select sites for retrofit, establishing and maintaining relationships with institutional landscape and facility managers, coordinating landscape design, labor and procurement of mulch, plant and irrigation materials, and supervising Conservation Corps labor crews of up to 20 individuals to install approved landscape designs.


  • Contact institutional property managers to schedule and conduct irrigation system evaluations. Produce site evaluation reports and recommendations for turf zone retrofits.
  • Develop and obtain signed program participation agreements from institutional property manager(s).
  • Coordinate approval of landscape design between landscape architect and institutional property manager(s).
  • Schedule irrigation system retrofits, site preparation, and planting installation dates with institutional property managers and CA Conservation Corps crew.
  • Perform hydraulic calculations and design low-volume irrigation systems.
  • Coordinate procurement and delivery of all materials necessary for implementation of landscape design, including recycled wood chip mulch, low-water use plants (purchased and donated), and irrigation system retrofit materials.
  • Supervise California Conservation Corps crew labor to convert spray/rotor irrigation zones to low-volume (drip) irrigation, sheet mulch, install plants, and install drip irrigation system components. Ensure job is installed to specification and drip irrigation system is operating efficiently.
  • Respond to and trouble-shoot site-specific problems and safety concerns that occur during the course of landscape installation.
  • Produce establishment and base irrigation schedules for installed landscapes.
  • Maintain photo documentation records of pre-installation conditions, construction, and post-installation.
  • Represent Ecology Action at various industry meetings, workshops and related functions.
  • Perform miscellaneous duties as assigned to meet department and company goals.

Required Qualifications, Skills and Experience

  • Minimum 2 years experience supervising landscape installation crews and turf retrofit projects
  • Minimum 2 years experience reading and/or designing landscape planting and irrigation plans
  • College level course work, or a bachelors' or higher degree in the area of Environmental Studies, Agriculture, Engineering, Physical Sciences, Ecological Horticultural or related field;
  • Demonstrated success with project management and control fundamentals (work plan, schedule, resourcing and budget management)
  • Experience implementing direct installation projects on-time and within budget
  • Experience repairing and retrofitting irrigation systems, operating and programing irrigation system controllers, functioning independently, and managing relationships with clients and subcontractors
  • Superior writing and verbal skills
  • Strong ability to use standard MS Office products, particularly MS Excel

Desired Qualifications

  • Certification in Ecological Horticultural (Green Gardener, Bay Friendly, QWEL, Irrigation Association CLIA, etc.)
  • Experience with the sheet mulching method for turf retrofits
  • Community connections for site recruitment and program implementation in the City of San Jose

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, stand, talk and hear, and use a computer keyboard and monitor. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.

Work Environment: The work environment is primarily a field setting and will include digging and some physical labor, which may expose an individual to fumes, airborne particles, loud noise levels, and unpleasant odors.

Compensation: Ecology Action offers a competitive hourly rate. This position is not eligible for benefits, except as required by law (including paid time off that is accrued based on hours worked).  Driving an insured personal vehicle on company business is required, and mileage reimbursement is provided at the Federal rate.


More About Us

Ecology Action is an award-winning non-profit consultancy that provides innovative solutions to the energy, water, and transportation challenges of cities, governments, and utilities across California. We have four decades of experience helping people make simple yet profound changes that have big environmental impact.  We believe that when individuals and businesses make simple changes in their behavior they drive large scale changes that benefit people and the planet.  This translates into reduced carbon emissions, stronger businesses, healthier communities and a sustainable future for all.  Together, we help people, businesses and communities act now.

Ecology Action believes that each employee makes a significant contribution to our success and should not be limited by the assigned responsibilities. This position description outlines primary duties, qualifications, and job scope, but is not intended to be a comprehensive description of job responsibilities. We expect each employee to offer his/her services wherever and whenever necessary to ensure the success of our endeavors.

Ecology Action is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to diversity in its workforce. Candidates for this position must be legally authorized to work directly as an employee for any employer in the United States without visa sponsorship.

Ecology Action does not offer a company paid relocation program.

Ecology Action
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