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San Diego, California, United States of America
JOB #R1902008

Senior Conservation Planner

Working at ICF

Working at ICF means applying a passion for meaningful work with intellectual rigor to help solve the leading issues of our day. Smart, compassionate, innovative, committed, ICF employees tackle unprecedented challenges to benefit people, businesses, and governments around the globe. We believe in collaboration, mutual respect, open communication, and opportunity for growth. If you’re seeking to make a difference in the world, visit to find your next career. ICF—together for tomorrow.

Project Manager & Senior Conservation Planner

San Diego, CA

ICF is currently seeking a Project Manager in Conservation Planning for our San Diego, CA office.

Job Description

The candidate will act as project manager on primarily medium to large habitat conservation planning and implementation projects such as habitat conservation plans (HCPs), natural community conservation plans (NCCPs), Regional Conservation Investment Strategies (RCIS), advance mitigation strategies, watershed plans, or regional open space plans.  In addition, he/she will support preparation of environmental compliance documents for these plans to meet the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and/or the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  He/she will oversee, direct, and mentor at all levels of staff to meet technical, financial, and schedule project goals. He/she will lead meetings and trainings with clients, working groups, and other entities involved in project planning and implementation. Project work will require travel, primarily in Southern California.


  • The candidate must demonstrate leadership, possess clear written and oral communication skills, and have the ability to empower staff and work within a team environment.  He/she will need to communicate complex technical information and approaches to clients, non-technical staff, and the public. 
  • The candidate must have thorough understanding of the development and implementation of HCPs, NCCPs, and other conservation planning tools.  This includes technical work related to regional conservation planning such as designing and implementing impact analyses for multiple species and habitats over large spatial and time scales with limited data; designing, overseeing, and analyzing data from focused field studies to address key data gaps in conservation planning; designing and implementing models (often GIS-based) to assess habitat suitability; understand and direct GIS-based reserve design; and design of complex monitoring studies and programs.
  • The candidate will be leading key plan implementation tasks, such as program implementation, grant writing, training, management and monitoring plan development and implementation, land acquisition, restoration planning and implementation, preparing annual compliance reports, and developing parallel regional permitting strategies under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
  • The candidate will be active in business development. He/she will build relationships with clients and substantially contribute to business development in conservation planning throughout California and in other states as appropriate.  He/she will support business development activities including proposal preparation, interview participation, and strategic business planning.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Project Management: 5 years project management experience in managing large complex land or water use planning projects, preferably projects that involve regulatory compliance under the state or federal Endangered Species Act. Must be able to oversee, direct, and mentor junior staff to meet technical, financial, and schedule project goals.
  • Communication Skills: Excellent organizational, problem-solving, analytical, communication, and writing skills are essential; ability to work independently and with a team; and ability to be responsive to changing project needs and roles.
  • Technical Background: 8+ years professional experience, preferably working in environmental consulting or for a federal/state environmental regulatory agency. Knowledge of biological resources in southern California, field biology skills, familiarity with excel-based and/or GIS-based analysis, experience with endangered species or the Endangered Species Act, or experience in conservation and/or watershed planning.
  • Education Requirements: Masters or PhD in conservation biology, plant ecology, fisheries biology, wildlife biology, natural resources management, environmental science, or related degree.

ICF offers an excellent benefits package, an award winning talent development program, and fosters a highly skilled, energized and empowered workforce. 

ICF is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity at all levels. (EOE – Minorities/Females/ Protected Veterans Status/Disability Status/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity)

Reasonable Accommodations are available for disabled veterans and applicants with disabilities in all phases of the application and employment process. To request an accommodation please email and we will be happy to assist. All information you provide will be kept confidential and will be used only to the extent required to provide needed reasonable accommodations. Read more about non-discrimination: EEO is the law and Pay Transparency Statement.

San Diego, CA (CA74)

Who is ICF?

A consulting services company of over 5,000 experts across 67 countries, but not your typical consultants

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