Representative, California

Field Conservation United States





JOB TITLE:  California Representative (renewable energy)

CLASSIFICATION: Professional 2

SALARY: $48,000 - $54,000 per year

FLSA:  Exempt

DEPARTMENT:  Field Conservation

LOCATION:  home office (California desert or Central Valley region)

REPORTS TO:  Director, California Program

LAST REVISED:  September 2021


This professional-level position is responsible for developing and implementing work plans for the California Renewable Energy Program with a focus on renewable energy project siting and planning within the California desert and Central Valley. The California Representative will serve as an energy planning and policy expert and liaison to other organizations, federal/state/local agencies, elected officials and their staff, the media and the general public. The position requires excellent communications and writing/editing skills to provide energy planning and policy analysis and to draft and revise documents and publications. 

Assignments are results- or goal-oriented, requiring substantial discretion on the part of the position in determining how to design and implement program elements to meet the assigned goals (e.g., conservation of at-risk species through ecosystem and habitat protection while identifying and supporting environmentally suitable and sustainable renewable energy development). This position requires interdepartmental collaboration between Field Conservation and Landscape Conservation, including the Renewable Energy and Wildlife Program. 


  • Monitor and strategically engage in regional renewable energy planning activities at the federal, state and local government levels in coordination with other Defenders’ staff.
  • Monitor and strategically engage in administrative reviews and permitting for individual renewable projects at the federal, state and local government levels in coordination with other Defenders’ staff.
  • Formulate guidance and recommendations to the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, county planning commissions and boards of supervisors, other relevant agencies and renewable energy project proponents regarding the potential impacts of projects, suggestions for modifications and alternative locations.
  • Engage renewable energy developers, utilities and mining companies to identify environmentally suitable and sustainable locations for project development and recommend changes to proposed projects or alternative locations as necessary to support Defenders’ goals.
  • Study and investigate federal, state and local land use projects and policies that would impact at-risk species and their habitats, including but not limited to monitoring the implementation of habitat protection measures and the impacts to special status species from renewable energy and transmission projects.
  • Support Defenders Geographic Information Systems data collection, mapping and planning effort for renewable energy in the Central Valley and California desert regions.
  • Provide timely and relevant information to our membership and the general public about the implications for development of renewable energy projects on wildlife and natural resources.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff and management of federal, state and local agencies having responsibility for management of natural resources and their habitats, and other prominent conservation NGOs involved in natural resource management and conservation; identify new partners as appropriate.
  • Coordinate with Defenders’ Renewable Energy and Wildlife Program on various federal renewable energy and infrastructure policies and planning efforts.
  • Recommend protest, appeals and litigation where appropriate and provide professional and technical support to management and legal staff.
  • Represent Defenders in coalitions, public meetings, hearings, press events, conferences, other forums, and in general communications with public officials, the media, Defenders’ membership, the donor community, and the general public.
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.


Education: Bachelor’s (B.A./B.S.) degree or equivalent

Experience: 4 years of relevant experience

An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above. 

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for Professional 2 



  1. Ability to accurately maintain electronic and physical records
  2. Anticipate and meet the needs of internal and/or external stakeholders delivering excellent service


  1. Ability to clearly and accurately communicate with internal and external stakeholders
  2. Ability to articulate complex ideas clearly, accurately and concisely
  3. Ability to convey effective messages to broad and diverse constituencies
  4. Ability and willingness to effectively represent Defenders’ interests in external environments
  5. Ability to exert influence and build consensus with internal and external stakeholders

Critical Thinking

  1. Ability to handle sensitive and confidential matters with discretion
  2. Strong research and data analysis skills, including ability to gather and synthesize information from multiple sources to produce high quality work products in a consistent, efficient, accurate, and timely manner
  3. Creative problem-solving and troubleshooting skills with willingness to experiment and innovate new methods
  4. Facilitate and promote the integration of diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies into Defenders’ work

Project Management

  1. Ability to work well under pressure and tight deadlines while balancing competing assignments
  2. Ability to remain flexible and adaptable to shifting priorities while remaining responsive to urgent requests
  3. Ability to take ownership of a project or process and to use problem solving skills to resolve issues
  4. Ability to manage deadlines on multiple cross-functional projects in a dynamic environment
  5. Demonstrated ability in managing competing interests on complex issues

Conservation Knowledge

  1. Expert-level knowledge of Defenders’ legal, scientific, and/or political issues
  2. Expert-level knowledge of national and regional social, political and ecological landscapes

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for California Representative (renewable energy)

  • Must be familiar with and have knowledge of federal and state agencies, laws, regulations and policies regarding conservation and management of wildlife resources including land use management at the federal, state and local government levels.
  • Knowledge of species and their habitats in the California Desert and Central Valley regions.
  • Experience in developing, implementing and managing wildlife conservation plans and projects.
  • Knowledge of studies, research, projects and professional reports on species and their habitats in the California Desert and Central Valley.
  • Experience with GIS, including map production and analysis using ArcView.
  • Ability to work independently in the field in remote locations and in extreme temperature and topographic environments.
  • Ability to prepare field notes and trip reports that include site photographs, narratives and documentation of biological and landscape features on project areas and other areas of biological interest.

Visit to apply.


All employees are required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and responsibilities of their positions. The essential duties and responsibilities listed above are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

 Please be advised this position is union-eligible.

Defenders requires employees who engage in in-person work activities, including business travel or onsite work, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. An applicant (i) who is disabled or pregnant or who has a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates a COVID-19 vaccination or (ii) who objects to being vaccinated on the basis of a sincerely held religious belief, observance or practice may request an exemption from this vaccination policy. This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with applicable law. Any medical information concerning an applicant's disability will be treated as a confidential medical record in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws.