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Environmental Scientist I – III (Wetland Specialist)

By November 15, 2023
  • Full Time
  • Pierre, SD
  • Applications have closed


This is a full-time position with the Department of Transportation. For more information about the Department of Transportation, please visit https://dot.sd.gov.

The Environmental Scientist is seeking a Wetland Specialist (Environmental Scientist I-III) to provide scientific and technical expertise to SDDOT staff, consultants, and contractor forces regarding wetland ecology, management, and regulation. The Wetland Specialist is an integral part of the team and works closely with scientists, biologists, planners, and engineers through transportation planning, design, project construction, and beyond. The Wetland Specialist will lead environmental studies, including wetland delineation, and develop mitigation plans. This position negotiates technical and legal details of major wetland proposals with local, state, federal, and private entities on project actions that may have inter-related environmental impacts. The Wetland Specialist will leverage their knowledge of wetland guidance to provide general direction to staff and partners, prepare technical reports and develop project proposal scopes of work, agreements, and work orders with consultants. The Wetland Specialist will have the opportunity to provide guidance, leadership, and assist managers in growing the SDDOT’s environmental stewardship of aquatic resources.

As part of the Environmental Section, the Wetland Specialist will also coordinate and prepare National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation.

Work is primarily in an office environment with 8 hour work days Monday through Friday; although, hours may vary during the active construction season, including weekends.

Normal physical dexterity for field work will be fundamental.

Some in-state travel is required, with occasional overnight stays as necessary for long distance and/or multi-day work trips.

A valid driver’s license is required.

What we offer to you beyond the paycheck:

Health Insurance (Low & High Deductible Single and Family Plans)Well-Being Program
Employee Assistance Program
Dental Insurance
Vision Insurance
Health Savings Account
Basic Life Insurance Coverage (free to employee)
Membership in South Dakota Retirement System
Leave:Vacation Leave (15 paid vacation days per year)
Sick Leave (14 paid sick days)
Paid Family Leave (40 hours per week for twelve weeks for birth or adoption of a child)
Military Leave (15 paid days per calendar year)
11 Paid Holidays
Longevity Pay
Semimonthly Pay Periods
Eligibility for Meal Per Diems
Flexible Scheduling
Paid Overtime (if applicable)
The total compensation of Hourly Wage + State/Federal Benefits for a typical year for entry level Wetland Specialist is approximately $73,356.00 annually.

Licenses and Certifications:
Willingness and ability to obtain certification from the Society of Wetland Scientists as a Professional Wetland Scientist or Wetland Professional in Training is desired.

The Ideal Candidate Will Have:
A combination of education and experience equivalent to a Bachelors or Masters Degree in Environmental or Physical Sciences and 4-6 years of progressive experience equivalent to a Level 2 of the Environmental Sciences Job Family. Working knowledge of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations and transportation decision making is preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

1987 Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineations Manual, Functional Assessments, Hydrogeomorphic Approach for Assessing Wetlands Functions, and appropriate Regional Supplements to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual;
working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite Applications;
GIS Mapping technologies and Microstation/CAD software;
federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations and permitting requirements, including NEPA, Endangered Species Act (ESA), Clean Water Act (CWA), and other compliance regulations;
Department of Transportation policies and procedures;
independently provide scientific and technical expertise in wetland identification and delineation, functional assessments, development of mitigation reports & plans, and evaluation of project impacts through applying understanding of wetland ecology and biology;
analyze GIS layers, soil typing, and perform field reconnaissance to identify and delineate wetlands utilizing standardized protocols in the 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineations Manual and the Regional Supplements to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual;
provide technical review and evaluation of project impacts and wetland mitigation plans;
make recommendations to department management and other local, state, and federal entities involved in wetland regulation and management actions;
provide education and training through the development and presentation of lectures, workshops, and field training on scientific, technical, and political issues related to wetland ecology and management;
attend scientific and technical conferences or workshops on wetland ecology and management;
use environmental databases to support technical aspects of multiple project actions;
understand environmental legislation and regulations at the federal, state, and local level by independently reviewing, analyzing, developing, and recommending wetland policies, guidelines, and regulations to SDDOT management;
review, understand, and develop complex wetland regulatory and technical documents;
contribute to engineering plans, specifications, and schedules and have a strong understanding of how transportation projects are executed;
provide follow-up support to supervisors, Program Managers, and others;
communicate in an effective and professional manner through writing and speaking;
present information in formal and informal settings that identify SDDOT positions;
apply negotiation and conflict resolution skills by independently serving as a wetland expert for SDDOT matters;
facilitate problem solving processes at the organizational level and encourage problem solving skills in others;
identify and advocate for changes necessary to better meet customer needs;
develop, participate with, and facilitate interdisciplinary teams having agency wide or statewide impact;
demonstrate broad knowledge of the organization’s authorizing environment and the team’s role within that structure;
walk, sit, and stand for extended periods of time;
walk long distances over many kinds of terrain where animals, reptiles, and insects are a factor;
routinely climb, balance, stoop, and kneel.
Join the South Dakota Department of Transportation! View more about this opportunity here: https://youtu.be/WdCQix5wB8A.

Additional Requirements: To be considered, please attach a cover letter describing how your experience, skills, and abilities meet the required qualifications of this position.

This position is eligible for Veterans’ Preference per ARSD 55:10:02:08.

The State of South Dakota does not sponsor work visas for new or existing employees. All persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and complete an Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9. The State of South Dakota as an employer will be using E-Verify to complete employment eligibility verification upon hire.

The State of South Dakota offers employer paid health insurance plus eleven paid holidays, generous vacation and sick leave accrual, dental, vision, and other insurance options, and retirement benefits. You can view our benefits information at https://bhr.sd.gov/job-seekers/work-for-state-government/. This position is a member of Class A retirement under SDRS.

Must apply online: https://sodakprod-lm01.cloud.infor.com:1443/lmghr/xmlhttp/shorturl.do?key=O3B
You must apply online, emailed resumes or submissions will not be accepted.
South Dakota Bureau of Human Resources
Telephone: 605.773.3148 Email: careers@state.sd.us
“An Equal Opportunity Employer”

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