Senior Scientist (Ocean Monitoring)

Orange County Sanitation District
Fountain Valley, CA
invites applications for the position of:
Senior Scientist (Ocean Monitoring)

An Equal Opportunity Employer
$133,099.20 - $161,782.40

OPENING DATE: 08/03/22

CLOSING DATE: 08/17/22 05:00 PM


What do you value in your next job?
 At the Orange County Sanitation District our Core Values form the framework of our organization and reinforce our professional work ethic. If the following values ring true with you, we'd love to invite you to explore our career opportunities further.

Integrity, Inclusion, Honesty, and Respect
We aspire to the highest degree of integrity, inclusion, honesty, and respect in our interaction with each other, our suppliers, our customers, and our community. We strive to demonstrate these values in our actions, commitments, and service.
Leadership, Teamwork, and Problem Solving
 We lead by example, acknowledging the value of our resources and using them wisely to achieve our mission. We strive to reach OC San goals through cooperative efforts and collaboration with each other and our constituencies. We work to solve problems in a creative, cost-effective, and safe manner, and we acknowledge team and individual efforts.
Customer Service, Transparency, and Accountability
We are committed to acting in a timely, accurate, accessible, and transparent manner through excellent customer service. We are committed to act in the best interest of our internal and external stakeholders.
Resiliency, Innovation, and Learning
 We continuously develop ourselves, enhancing our talents, skills, and abilities. We recognize that only through personal growth and development will we progress as an agency and as individuals.
We are committed to providing a safe work environment. We will demonstrate leadership, promote individual accountability, and participate actively in the advancement of our health and safety practices.
OC San is currently looking to fill the role of a Senior Scientist in the Ocean Monitoring Program.
 Under general direction of the Environmental Supervisor, the Senior Scientist has senior-level technical responsibility for the quality and performance of assigned programs, special projects, and research activities within the Ocean Monitoring Program (OMP) that have regional impact and are recognized by peers within the industry. The Senior Scientist serves as subject matter expert in several inter-disciplinary areas related to ecology, biology, chemistry, and oceanography, and leads projects in support of the District's OMP and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) ocean discharge permit. The Senior Scientist will be assigned outward focused tasks such as interfacing with federal, state, and local governmental agencies to provide and gather information, serve as an industry and OC San advocate, and participate in regulatory meetings and conferences.
Key duties for this position will include:
  • Developing and overseeing assigned programs, special projects, and research studies as subject matter expert;
  • Developing appropriate study objectives, methods, budgets, timelines, and quality assurance/quality control plans;
  • Participating in complex offshore fieldwork to collect and process a wide variety of samples for special studies and permit compliance;
  • Performing other specialized research activities such as laboratory analyses and literature reviews; 
  • Analyzing large datasets to interpret patterns in environmental change, ecological community health, and large-scale oceanographic trends; 
  • Overseeing, training, and reviewing the work activities of team members;
  • Providing technical leadership and mentorship to other scientists and staff at all levels of the environmental job series, as needed;
  • Writing technical papers, procedures, and reports and providing quality control review of relevant compliance reports; 
  • Serving on various external technical, advisory, or professional committees; 
  • Providing scientific expertise and policy recommendations to senior management, OC San Board of Directors, or other Sanitation District staff when requested; and,
  • Performing other related duties as required.




  1. Bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by the U.S. Department of Education, with major coursework in a science, or a related field; AND,
  2. Seven (7) years of work experience in scientific research projects or environmental compliance.
  3. Valid California Class C Driver’s License.



Vacancies: 1
(an eligible list may be established for future vacancies) 
Apply online at:
APPLICATION FILING DEADLINE: Wednesday, August 17, 2022 by 5:00 P.M.
 (or until a sufficient number of qualified applications have been received)
Hiring Salary Range: $133,099.20 - $146,764.80 /Year
(starting salary will be within this range based upon qualifications)



Physical Demands

Must possess mobility to work in a standard office setting and use standard office equipment, including a computer; ability to travel to various Sanitation District sites, projects and/or meetings; vision to read printed materials and a computer screen; and hearing and speech to communicate in person, before groups, and over the telephone. This is primarily a sedentary office classification although standing in and walking between work areas may be required. Some positions may work in or around laboratories and/or may be required to perform some fieldwork and may traverse on foot uneven surfaces, walk within the Sanitation District’s treatment plants, and participate in ocean sampling efforts. Must be able to travel between Sanitation District work sites, to attend meetings outside of the Sanitation District and to access testing/sampling locations. Finger dexterity is needed to access, enter, and retrieve data using a computer keyboard or calculator and to operate standard office equipment, as well as in some cases, laboratory or other scientific equipment and instrumentation. Positions in this classification occasionally bend, stoop, kneel, reach, push, and pull drawers open and closed to retrieve and file information. Must be capable of working in wet and moving environment when assigned to work on marine vessel. Employees must possess the ability to lift, carry, push, and pull materials and objects weighing up to 25 pounds.

Environmental Elements

Employees primarily work in an office environment with moderate noise levels, controlled temperature conditions, and no direct exposure to hazardous physical substances. Some positions may work in or around laboratories and/or may be required to perform some fieldwork and may be exposed to hot and cold temperatures, inclement weather conditions, loud noise levels, vibration, road hazards, boating hazards, confining workspace, chemicals, mechanical and/or electrical hazards, and hazardous physical substances, odors, and fumes. Employees may interact with upset staff and/or public and private representatives in interpreting and enforcing departmental policies and procedures.


Disaster Service Workers

All OC San employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the OC San requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.


Other Information

For the full range of duties, responsibilities, and essential job functions please review the Classification Specification for this position found on our website.
Applicants must clearly demonstrate, through their application materials, that they meet the minimum requirements as outlined in the job announcement and class specification to receive further consideration. However, meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee an interview. All properly completed applications will be reviewed, and the most appropriately qualified individuals will be invited to continue in the selection process.


False statements may be cause for disqualification, removal from the eligible list, or discharge from employment. All statements made on applications are subject to investigation and verification.


To ensure your application is accurate and complete, please review the Job Application Guide.

 Employment is contingent upon successful completion of OC San’s pre-employment process, which includes a background investigation and a physical examination. For some positions, this may include a drug screen. False statements may be cause for disqualification, removal from the eligible list, or discharge from employment. All statements made on applications are subject to investigation and verification. 


Reference Checks will be conducted by OC San to verify employment related information for all potential employees once a contingent job offer is made during the background investigation process. This is done to ensure that individuals who join OC San are well qualified and have a strong potential to be successful in their employment. The extent of the inquiry will depend on the position being applied for, but will at least include:

  • Verification/Reference from current and past employers
  • Confirmation of necessary licenses, certificates, and degrees.

Please have all necessary documentation ready. Additional inquiries may be necessary depending on the position for which you are applying. Human Resources will also schedule a post-offer physical examination once a job offer has been made.

OC San only accepts applications submitted via our online application system. Applications submitted via mail, fax or email will not be accepted.
The provisions of this announcement do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Any provision contained in this announcement may be modified or revoked without notice.