Biogeochemical/Water Quality Modeler (nutrients, estuaries)

San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI)
San Francisco, CA, United States
Position Type: 
Experience Level: 
Entry Level (0-2 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.
About the Position

The San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) seeks a biogeochemical/water quality modeler to carry out modeling investigations related to nutrient loads, transformations, and ecosystem response in San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta. Modeling work will be carried out in support of the San Francisco Bay Nutrient Management Strategy (NMS, see The NMS is an overarching plan guiding a multi-year science program studying the impacts of nutrient loads to San Francisco Bay and evaluating potential management actions. This is a full-time position. Model development and application will be carried out in collaboration with researchers at USGS, UC Berkeley, Deltares, UC Davis and other academic and research institutions. The successful applicant will collaborate with hydrodynamic modelers and share responsibility for leading the effort to develop and apply water quality models in San Francisco Bay. 

Desired Qualifications:
  • PhD with 2-3 years relevant work experience or a Masters degree with 7+ years of relevant work experience using coupled biogeochemical-hydrodynamic models in applications related to biological/chemical/physical oceanography, biogeochemistry, ecology, civil/environmental engineering, or other related disciplines. Experience with estuarine or coastal ocean modeling is particularly relevant. 
  • Strong analytical and data analysis skills, including experience setting up simulations and analyzing model output using scripting languages (e.g., Python, Matlab).
  • Experience with fundraising, project management, and managing entry and mid-level scientists would be highly-valuable, but not essential. 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including experience communicating scientific findings to a broad audience and working with a broad range of collaborators, managers, and stakeholders.
Responsibilities will include:
  • Developing and applying biogeochemical/water quality models, and interpreting simulation results.
  • Synthesizing results in reports and peer-reviewed articles.
  • Taking an active role in setting program priorities and designing future studies, including fundraising.
  • Serving as a scientific and technical resource for other projects both within the NMS and throughout SFEI as a whole.
About SFEI

SFEI Mission: We deliver visionary science that empowers people to revitalize nature in our communities.

San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which has a 25-year track record of serving local, state, and federal agencies by developing and translating science to measurably improve the health and resiliency of Bay-Delta ecosystems. SFEI is a boundary organization at the interface between science and policy, recognized nationally for our ability to build consensus to support effective environmental decision-making and policy. Over the next five years, SFEI will be implementing our Strategic Plan that will focus on advancing visionary science, harnessing innovative technology and big data, and communicating science to inform, inspire, and empower stakeholders in an effort to fulfill our vision and mission for the Bay-Delta and beyond.

SFEI has 70 staff who represent numerous scientific and technological fields including chemistry, modeling, ecology, wildlife biology, landscape planning, historical ecology, geomorphology, geospatial modeling and analysis, and web development. We are seeking a talented scientist to join a dynamic, supportive, team-oriented work culture that is driven by our vision and mission. We have many long-tenured staff who have built and expanded the foundation of the organization and are looking for a key person to grow with us.

SFEI has three major programs: Clean Water, Environmental Informatics, and Resilient Landscapes.  These programs have multiple focus areas including the Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality, Nutrient Management Strategy, contaminants of emerging concern, the Regional Data Center, aerial drone research, geomorphology, multi-benefit urban greening and design, ecosystem restoration and climate adaptation, urban biodiversity and resilience, and green stormwater infrastructure. 

Application Information

SFEI is committed to building a culturally diverse staff, and we strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, and other groups commonly under-represented in environmental science.

San Francisco Estuary Institute is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind. We are committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity, and to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment.  All employment decisions are based on business needs, job requirements, and individual qualifications.  Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, physical or mental disability, family or parental status, protected Veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

If you are a qualified individual with a disability or a disabled veteran, you have the right to request an accommodation if you are unable or limited in your ability to use or access our career center as a result of your disability. To request an accommodation, contact Linda Russio at 510-746-7355 or

For more information on our mission, values, programs, and staff, visit the San Francisco Estuary Institute website

Please note that SFEI cannot sponsor an employment visa (e.g., H-1B) to fill this position.