Position Title: Big Basin Senior Project Planner – Climate Adaptation & Resilience, Parks California

Position Posting: https://parkscalifornia.org/jobs/big-basin-senior-project-planner-climate-adaptation-resilience/

Organization Background

Parks California is a new organization working to ensure that our state’s parks thrive. From redwood groves and desert springs to lighthouses and ghost towns, we are working with our partners to make California parks more climate resilient and welcoming, accessible, and relevant to all visitors.  Managing these assets for nearly 40 million residents and millions more annual visitors takes collective work. Park managers cannot do it alone. Parks California harnesses skills and resources—and California’s renowned ingenuity—to help our state, regional, and local parks thrive and evolve. Parks California coalesces a diverse set of partners to make this vision a reality. Parks California is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the organization and its programs.

The Big Basin Senior Project Planner position will work with Parks California’s key partners in the California Department of Parks and Recreation (CA State Parks) Natural Resources Division (NRD) and Santa Cruz District on the Reimagining Big Basin visioning and planning process.

Position Overview 

In 2020, the CZU Lightning Complex Fire swept through Big Basin Redwoods State Park, burning over 97% of the land and destroying most of the park’s buildings and infrastructure. State Parks, with the help of its partners, volunteers and members of the public, is working to reimagine and reopen Big Basin. This position will work in partnership with Parks CA and CA State Parks on the visioning and resilience planning process in Big Basin and surrounding landscapes by advancing the stewardship of natural and cultural resources. The core focus of the work will be to integrate climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies into the process.

The Big Basin Senior Project Planner position is a full-time, exempt position and will work through a matrixed management framework under the general direction of the Santa Cruz District Superintendent II and Parks California.  The reporting location for this position is the District Office located in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and various field office locations within the District may be made available to enhance operational efficiency.  The position is funded for a period of two years, with the opportunity for future extension.


  • Provide project management and coordination for the development of State Park planning documents for Big Basin Redwoods State Park.
  • Guide investment and direction of funds, contracts, and agreements associated with Park and Resources planning for Santa Cruz district parks.
  • Coordinate with cross-functional State Parks staff to collaboratively develop materials for draft Park Planning documents, including narratives, maps, and other written or visual materials.
  • Manage and inform the work of consultants assigned to projects or project tasks in the preparation of Park Planning or Compliance documents or supporting documents.
  • In coordination with the Santa Cruz District staff, manage the development of restoration and climate resilience management plan(s) in consideration of other applicable regional management plans, including climate resilience data and plans. These plans will include but not be limited to resources and management objectives for: forest health, native vegetation, exotic vegetation, habitat (aquatic, riparian, or upland) and wildlife.
  • Work in coordination and collaboration with partner NGOs and stakeholders, including organizing and facilitating meetings, forums, site visits, including public meetings.
  • Facilitate the sharing of regional climate change data between the Santa Cruz District and local partners and landscape collaboratives and coordinate the inclusion of regional climate data into the short-term and long-term climate resilience strategy for all planning efforts.
  • Assist Park staff to plan, schedule and provide site tours in Big Basin and other fire impacted parks in the District.
  • Manage and help coordinate information content and public communications across multiple media platforms with partners, District and Department staff, consultants and contractors.

Desired Experience and Competencies

  • Extensive knowledge of climate change science and policy, with a focus on California ecosystems, principles of climate change, sustainability, adaptation, equity, and resiliency
  • Demonstrated ability to translate scientific research and principles into content that is relevant for the general public and experience making the case for climate resilience strategies
  • Advanced partnership and facilitation skills demonstrated by an ability to collaborate with both technical and non-technical partners and building consensus across a diverse set of stakeholders towards collective impact
  • Robust project management skills, including managing federal, state, and local contracts
  • Experience leading large-scale, cross-functional, multi-benefit projects
  • Experience and commitment to addressing equity in climate resilience solutions
  • Working knowledge of public land natural resources management, planning, and permitting, including such issues as invasive species, wildlife, and rare species management, forest stewardship and wildfire planning, ecosystem monitoring, and climate adaptation planning.
  • Highly effective written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to articulate climate science in an accessible manner and effectively engage, interact, and collaborate with audiences of all levels (cross-functional teams, advisory boards, governing bodies, the general public, etc.)
  • Excellent organizational skills and an ability to work concurrently on multiple projects and manage deadlines independently.
  • The ability to analyze situations accurately, take effective action, and develop clear and concise reports and recommendations
  • Proficient in MS Word, PowerPoint, and Excel and virtual communication and productivity tools.

Other Qualifications:

  • A./B.S. with focus in biological or environmental science, natural resource management, planning, landscape architecture, or closely related field.
  • At least five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in coordinating multi-benefit, multi-stakeholder project planning and project management
  • Ability and willingness to travel periodically.
  • Flexibility to work some evenings and weekends
  • Ability to work on diverse teams or with a diverse range of people
  • Must have a valid California driver’s license
  • A passion for California State Parks and coastal redwood ecosystems, a sense of ownership and accountability, and a willingness, flexibility, and commitment to embrace the California State Parks’ strategic values and principles


A competitive compensation package, including a comprehensive benefits package, will be offered based on experience.

To Apply

Interested candidates should apply via email by sending a cover letter describing their qualifications that match the position criteria and what they will bring to the role, along with a resume, to resume@parkscalifornia.org with the subject line “Parks California, Big Basin Senior Project Planner”

Application review will begin September 13, 2021. Application submitted after September 13 will continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Additional Information

More information on Parks California can be found at https://parkscalifornia.org/.

Parks California is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We believe that our overall effectiveness is enhanced when equity and inclusiveness are practiced and protected throughout our organizational governance, culture, and staffing. We are committed to leadership in and serving as a catalyst for promoting equity and inclusion in parks communities.

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