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Air Quality Specialist (Optical Remote Sensing/Rule 1180)

South Coast Air Quality Management District
21865 Copley Drive, Diamond Bar, CA
$92,111.10 - $123,784.05 Annually
Closing date
May 2, 2024

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Atmospheric Sciences
Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

Job Details


South Coast AQMD is seeking to hire experienced individuals to fill multiple Air Quality Specialist vacancies in the Optical Remote Sensing/Rule 1180 department of the Monitoring and Analysis Division.  From this recruitment process, we expect to establish an eligibility list from which current and future vacancies may be filled during the 6–12 month life of the list. The ORS/Rule 1180 group is stationed in South Coast AQMD’s satellite office in Long Beach, CA.

The Optical Remote Sensing/Rule 1180 team is focused on supporting activities related to the implementation of South Coast AQMD Rule 1180 – “Refinery Fenceline and Community Air Monitoring,” Rule 1180.1 - “Fenceline and Community Air Monitoring for Other Refineries,” and advancing South Coast AQMD’s ground-based Optical Remote Sensing (ORS) program.

The primary responsibilities of this team include the oversight, operation, maintenance, evaluation, analysis, and interpretation of data from a wide range of advanced monitoring equipment for fenceline and community monitoring applications such as: optical multi-pollutant analyzers based on in-situ and open-path Ultraviolet Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (UV-DOAS) and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), automated gas chromatography (Auto-GC), and other advanced air monitoring equipment for measurements of VOCs, and air toxics. This team is also responsible for the operation of South Coast AQMD Optical Remote Sensing Mobile Laboratory (ORS ML) for mobile surveys monitoring, source identification, and emissions estimation purposes. This team also participates in the development of methods and procedures for the operation of ground-based ORS technologies in air quality applications.

Duties for Air Quality Specialists in the ORS/Rule 1180 department may include, but are not limited to:

  • Evaluate, analyze, and interpret multi-pollutant data collected at Rule 1180 and Rule 1180.1 community and fenceline air monitoring stations, and other air monitoring programs.
  • Operate and conduct measurements using South Coast AQMD ORS ML, and work on subsequent data validation, analysis, and interpretation.
  • Operate advanced air monitoring equipment such as UV-DOAS and FTIR and other optical multi-pollutant analyzers, Auto-GC, multi-metal analyzers, and other advanced VOCs and air toxics air monitoring equipment.
  • Develop spectral retrieval for UV-DOAS and FTIR multi-pollutant analyzers.
  • Interact with refinery and other industry representatives, and air monitoring vendors and contractors.
  • Interact with community members and provide periodic updates on implementation and results of Rule 1180 and Rule 1180.1 community and refinery fenceline air monitoring.
  • Contribute to development of standard methods for ORS measurements.

For more information about South Coast AQMD’s Rule 1180 Implementation/ORS program, please visit:



Works with engineers, planners, other environmental professionals, Information Management staff, and other personnel to develop and implement methods and techniques for the analysis and evaluation of air quality studies and plans.

Applies mathematical, statistical, and engineering modeling and analytical techniques to the analysis of research and survey data; prepares graphs, charts, and statistical summaries from derived data; determines appropriate data collection methods for use in research projects; and may assist in determining methods for more complex studies.

Assists in developing or develops recommendations concerning air quality management programs, plans, and rules and prepares related reports and correspondence.

Assists in preparing technical analyses and recommended positions on proposed and pending legislation relating to air quality management.

Reviews and analyzes a wide variety of environmental documents; conducts air quality impact analyses and assessments; and writes or coordinates the writing of Environmental Impact Reports.

Evaluates economic impacts of air quality regulations and develops economic incentives to achieve designated air quality standards.

May assist in organizing and participating in workshops and meetings, and provide consultation and advice to individuals and businesses in matters related to area of expertise.

May assist in preparing and making presentations on proposed rules, rule amendments and other air quality-related projects and studies.



In addition to the Minimum Qualifications that follow, the most competitively qualified candidates will possess:


  • An advanced degree in atmospheric science, environmental engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, physics, meteorology, environmental science, or other related fields.
  • Training and experience that demonstrates proficient knowledge in advanced atmospheric measurement methods, and the analysis and interpretation of air quality data.
  • Extensive experience with the operation, maintenance, and repair of state-of-the-art air quality monitoring equipment with a focus on continuous and real-time air quality monitors measuring pollutants for community air monitoring (e.g., VOCs and other air toxics, particle and gaseous pollutants, black carbon, etc.).
  • Knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of ORS and other advanced instrumentation used for air quality monitoring.
  • Experience with developing spectroscopic retrievals for ORS or in-situ optical measurements.
  • Experience with conducting radiative transfer calculations/modeling for ground-based or airborne ORS measurements.
  • Experience with the analysis and interpretation of air quality data and large datasets; understanding of big data analytics and advanced statistical techniques for data analysis.
  • Experience with the development of tools for data architecture, visualization, analysis, storage, and mapping of large amounts of air quality data.
  • Proficient use of computer applications, tools, and statistical software for data validation, analysis, and interpretation; computer programming languages, statistical data analysis tools and/or programs; and/or advanced graphical packages.
  • Experience with developing engaging and interactive air quality data visualization and access dashboards for dissemination of complex data analysis results to the public. 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, and ability to tailor messaging to various audiences. 


EDUCATION:  Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor's degree in engineering, environmental science, planning, or the physical, social, or biological sciences, depending upon the functions of the assigned unit.

EXPERIENCE:  Two years of technical air quality or professional analytical experience that would demonstrate the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities of the position to which assigned.

KNOWLEDGE OF:  One or more professional disciplines, such as chemistry, toxics, statistics, economics, environmental planning, or engineering, with emphasis on its relationship to planning, rule development, or engineering activities; principles, methods, and procedures of environmental review, planning, rule development, or air quality monitoring, including related instrumentation; air quality regulations and review process; air quality modeling; emissions calculations; PC software applications commonly used in the field; research methods and techniques, including statistical and computer applications for data analysis; professional report writing; and State, federal, and local programs, guidelines, and code regulations related to air quality management.

SKILL OR ABILITY TO:  Compile, analyze, and interpret technical air quality data; learn and apply District air quality regulations to stationary and mobile source monitoring; monitor and evaluate the performance of consultants; oversee stationary and mobile source monitoring projects under minimum supervision; maintain accurate records of air quality planning, research, monitoring, or rule development projects and prepare clear and persuasive reports and recommendations; represent South Coast AQMD interests at public, professional, and internal meetings and communicate with a variety of technical and professional air quality and legal staff; maintain current knowledge of applicable federal, State, and local regulations and technical or scientific developments; provide expert testimony, advice, and counsel in a specialized field; apply appropriate computer-based analytical techniques to complex air pollution control problems; develop new techniques and approaches to the solution of complex air pollution control problems; proficiently use PC and mainframe software applications common to the field and to the general business environment of the South Coast AQMD; read, understand, and follow verbal and written directions; communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing; and establish and maintain effective relationships with all those contacted in the course of work.



  • A completed employment application covering at least the past 10 years of employment history (or longer if you have other relevant experience), and your entire South Coast AQMD employment history if you are a South Coast AQMD employee.
  • Up to four references which include the names and phone numbers of your present and past supervisors or managers, and/or college professors or persons for whom you have directly provided services, not peers.
  • Responses to the Supplemental Questionnaire (SQ).  The SQ is a form of written test, and will be evaluated as such.  Your responses should be well written, clear, concise, and directly responsive to the question.
  • An unofficial copy of your transcripts (or equivalency evaluation if your education was obtained outside the U.S.), documenting all qualifying education claimed, submitted as an attachment to your online application*.

*You MUST submit acceptable documentation for all education claimed on your application.  Acceptable documentation consists of an unofficial copy of your transcripts/equivalency evaluation attached to your application.  At a later date, candidates under final consideration will be required to arrange for original, official transcripts (or equivalency evaluation, if applicable) to be mailed directly from their college/university to South Coast AQMD, documenting all education claimed on their application.

Job applications must be completely filled out.  A resume cannot be substituted for the required information.  Please do not say "See resume" as a response to the Supplemental Questions.  Be sure to detail any education, training or other relevant coursework that would make you a particularly strong candidate.


Application packages, including responses to the Supplemental Questionnaire, will first be screened, and the most competitively qualified candidates will be invited to the next step of the process, which may include a writing exercise, oral assessment and/or panel interview (weighted at 100%).

Following the assessment process, a ranked eligible list is expected to be created, from which current and future vacancies at this level may be filled, during the 6-12 month life of the list. Only those who demonstrate they are among the most competitively qualified, at each successive step of the selection process, will be advanced to the next step.  (Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee an invitation to the next step.)

South Coast AQMD reserves the right to add, delete, and modify any elements of the selection process as deemed appropriate, based on the number and quality of applicants at each step.

Pursuant to Section 4(g)(3)(d) of the Personnel Rules, this eligible list may be used to fill current and future Air Quality Specialist vacancies, in any South Coast AQMD department, during the 6-12 month life of the list.

Important note for potential candidates who do not have the continued and unrestricted right to work full time in the United States:   If you currently, or will in the future, require sponsorship (i.e., H1-B Visa) in order to maintain your right to work in the United States, please be aware that decisions regarding sponsorship for maintaining a right to work in the United States are made on a case-by-case basis. You are welcome to participate in this recruitment process, but there is no guarantee that a job offer with the requested sponsorship will be made to you.

Please call Human Resources at least one week in advance if you might need an accommodation at any step during the selection process.

If you have any questions regarding this recruitment, please contact Human Resources Department at (909) 396-2800.


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