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Water Resources Modeler (Hydrologist)

San Francisco Estuary Institute
Richmond, California (US)
Minimum salary is $70,000 per year
Closing date
Oct 8, 2022

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Job Type
Relocation Cost
Sector Type
Non-Government Organization/Non-Profit

Job Details

About SFEI

San Francisco Bay is entering a transformative period as we start to adapt communities to climate change while maintaining and enhancing the Bay’s natural resources. The San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) provides scientific support to communities, local government, and agencies to plan and implement resilient, ecologically-functional shorelines. We make scientific information accessible for decision-makers by bringing wetlands and estuarine ecology, geomorphology, sediment science, and landscape design to discussions on Bay shore planning. We write influential documents that communicate scientific information to stakeholders on topics such as climate adaptation, sediment management, and microplastics,  as well as produce tools for our partners such as Eco-Atlas. We partner with local governments, community organizations, resource agencies, flood control districts, NGOs, wastewater districts, transportation agencies, land trusts, and others to develop strategies for shoreline adaptation with multiple benefits.

Position Description

The modeler will play a key role in integrating hydrologic science and modeling across SFEI programs and implementing projects to inform Bay Area and statewide decisions regarding watershed and urban hydrology, stormwater management, water quality, urban greening, habitat restoration, and climate change. The ideal candidate should have a technical grasp of hydrology and numerical methods/numerical modeling, including application to stormwater management, transport and loading of sediment and stormwater contaminants, green infrastructure modeling/planning, and habitat restoration in fluvial and tidal environments.  Experience applying hydrologic concepts and models is preferred. 


  • Develop and apply models (water quality, sediment transport, and hydrologic and hydraulic) independently or with help from senior scientists;
  • Lead and support model setup, calibration, validation, and application,
  • Prepare computer programming scripts
  • Conduct research related to watershed modeling and water resources management
  • Analyze watershed, hydrologic, and water quality data using GIS and statistical techniques
  • Interpret modeling results with descriptive charts, figures/maps, and tables/matrices
  • Prepare memos and reports to contribute to project documentation and deliverables
  • Support field work and field data analysis


We seek highly motivated and technically strong candidates with experience in water resources management. Specific qualifications include:

  • Education background in environmental engineering, hydrology, water resources management, or other related scientific fields with a focus in environmental modeling
  • Years of Experience: Bachelors with 3 to 5 years of relevant work experience or  Masters 2 to 3 years of relevant work experience.
  • Proficiency with hydrologic, hydraulic, and water quality modeling tools such as LSPC, SWAT, SWMM, HEC-HMS or related models
  • Experience conducting water quality, hydrologic, sediment modeling, and computational fluid dynamics studies using public and proprietary domain tools.
  • Strong programming skills and experience with programming languages such as Python,  R, C++
  • Strong analytical and data analysis skills
  • Proficiency with geospatial analyses and tools (e.g., ArcGIS)
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work closely and collaboratively with a multi-disciplinary team and interest in emerging topics in water resources
  • A team player attitude
  • Familiarity with water quality and stormwater monitoring and sampling techniques is a plus

Education & Experience

Bachelors with 3 to 5 years of relevant work experience or  Masters 2 to 3 years of relevant work experience.



SFEI provides science to support environmental decision making and management. Our science informs policy-makers, resource managers, stakeholders, scientists, and the broader public. SFEI typically engages with organizations and individuals of diverse perspectives, priorities, and backgrounds to understand their information needs and how best to meet those needs. SFEI offers an enjoyable workplace, earns excellent employee retention, and provides the candidate the opportunity to play a key role in the Institute’s mission to use scientific understanding to protect and enhance the San Francisco Bay environment.
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