Soil/Environmental Scientist/ Ag Engineer
Provost & Pritchard is seeking a person with an interest and passion for assisting entities in California with surface water and groundwater regulatory issues. This person will be a technical consultant to multiple agricultural client types including agricultural organizations, nonprofits, public agencies, farmers, food processers, wineries, and others in the Central Valley and Central Coast of California. Support will be provided to clients implementing regulatory programs such as the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP), individual Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs), the Winery General Order, and possibly others. The focus of this position will be data wrangling and analysis of large agricultural datasets using Python and/or RStudio. A variety of technical backgrounds may be a good fit for this position. Specific responsibilities of this position will be refined based upon the applicant’s education and experience.
Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP)
- General consulting to agricultural water quality coalitions implementing the ILRP in the Central Coast and Central Valley of California.
- Support multiple agricultural water quality coalitions representing over 2,000 growers and 1M acres of irrigated agriculture.
- Management and statistical analysis of grower-reported farming data, such as nitrogen use, crop yield, crop nitrogen removal, irrigation, crop evapotranspiration, and management practices.
- Summarization of information into technical reports via summary statistics, histograms, box and whisker plots, bar graphs, time series plots, etc.
- Grower education and outreach.
- Collaborate with other interdisciplinary staff, such as engineers, geologists, hydrogeologists, scientists, GIS, field technicians, administrators, etc.
- Groundwater and surface water quality monitoring programs.
- Manage long-term water quality datasets, evaluate trends, and develop technical reports.
- Analyze pesticide use data to determine localized water quality monitoring requirements.
- Data management.
- Management and use of custom web-based data management systems and related agricultural datasets.
- Assist in the development of custom web-based data management systems.
- Utilization of other established databases (e.g., CIMIS, SWAMP, CEDEN, GeoTracker, CIWQS, CalPIP, CASGEM, GAMA, Web Soil Survey, etc.) to inform analyses and meet project objectives.
- Individual grower consulting.
- Support individual grower clients on all the above.
- Irrigation, nutrient, and salinity management planning. Related regulatory reporting.
- Evaluation and improvement of management practices to improve water quality.
- Farm Water Quality planning, sediment and erosion control, stormwater management.
- Soil health, regenerative agriculture, input efficiency.
- Regulatory advocacy, policy, and liaison support with water quality regulatory agencies.
Wastewater and Land Application Regulatory Compliance
- General regulatory compliance support related to the following items:
- Land application of wastewater, solids, manure, byproducts, biosolids, compost, etc., and related irrigation/nutrient/salinity management planning.
- Data collection and management (e.g., flow meter readings, irrigation records, water and wastewater quality, soil, crop tissue, etc.).
- Evaluate detailed soil-water, nutrient, and salt loading balances via Microsoft Excel and scripts.
- Field work including soil, water, vadose zone, crop, and well sampling.
- Development of monitoring reports and wastewater discharge permit documents.
Other Possible Activities
- Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)
- Assist project managers and Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) on implementation of regulatory program, data management, and analysis.
B.S. or M.S. in a relevant science, engineering, geology, or environmental field. E.g,. soil science, environmental or earth science, civil/agricultural/environmental engineering, water resource management, geology, hydrogeology, hydrology, etc.
Required Experience & Skills
- Strong technical background in the natural and physical sciences (chemistry, physics, earth science, geology, soil science, biology), mathematics, environmental/water quality, and/or statistics.
- Excellent communication skills, especially technical writing and public presentations.
- Background in agriculture and some technical experience in irrigation, nutrient, and salinity management.
- Proficiency in some of the following data management and analysis skills:
- Microsoft Office 365, specifically Word, Teams, PowerPoint, Access, and Excel programming. Experience with Power Query, Power Pivot, and SharePoint a plus.
- Data cleaning, data QA/QC, and preparation of datasets for analysis.
- Demonstrated experience and continued interest in performing detailed data analysis and visualization using the programming languages Python and/or R/RStudio.
- Other experience with programming languages such as SQL, VisualBasic, and/or Matlab is also a plus, but not required.
- Experience with data wrangling; capability of utilizing data taken from standardized and non-standard formats and summarizing in tables, graphics, and reports.
- Experience manipulating and analyzing large environmental datasets (e.g., SSURGO, CIMIS, USGS, NOAA, ACOE) and related data management systems (e.g., EQuIS).
- Experience with Power BI, R Shiny, R Markdown, Python Dash, Periscope, or other dashboard tools.
- Familiarity with GPS technology, GIS, AutoCAD, and/or remote sensing.
Certificates, Licenses, Registrations (optional)
- Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSS)
- Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) and/or Certified Professional Agronomist (CPAg)
- USDA NRCS Technical Service Provider (TSP)
- Professional Engineer (PE)
- Professional Geologist (PG) and/or Certified Hydrogeologist (CHG)
- Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC)