Senior Environmental Specialist

  • Alachua County Board of County Commissioners
  • Gainesville, FL, United States
Full Time Agriculture Consultant Engineering Government Science

Job Description


Salary: $22.84/Hour

Bachelor's degree with major course work in environmental science, environmental engineering, chemistry, natural science, or a related field, and three years of professional level environmental related experience; or any equivalent combination of related training and experience. Must possess and maintain a valid State of Florida driver's license. Applicants within six months of meeting the education/experience requirement may be considered for trainee status.
 Position Summary: This is a professional position that may supervise work in any of the following areas depending on the hiring division: inspection, testing and enforcement of air and water pollution control ordinances, hazardous waste management or collection, as well as protection, evaluation, stewardship and/or management of natural and historic resources for Alachua County.

The employee assigned to this classification may be responsible for coordinating and supervising field and laboratory activities related to water quality, air quality or other environmental monitoring and assessment, technical review of contaminated site remediation, public education program coordination, regulatory activities regarding natural/historic resources, hazardous materials, hazardous waste collection, and/or land stewardship activities. Responsibilities will vary according to division assignment within the Environmental Protection Department (Natural Resources, Water Resources and/or Pollution Prevention and/or the Parks and Conservation Lands Department (Land Conservation).
 Work is performed under the direction of a higher level professional supervisor and is reviewed through conferences, reports, and observation of results obtained.
 Examples of Duties:


Conducts and supervises field collection of samples and/or data and/or observations for environmental analysis, evaluates data, prepares reports and recommendations. Coordinates with other regulatory agencies.

May supervise and coordinate the activities of subordinate employees including determining work procedures and schedules; issuing instructions and assigning duties; reviewing work; recommending personnel actions; conducting performance reviews; and conducting departmental training and orientation.

Receives complaints regarding violations of environmental regulations and/or solid waste regulations and/or site-specific rules, plans, and guidelines; investigates complaint for corrective action and makes recommendations.

Provides guidance and oversight and enforcement of federal, state and local environmental regulations.

Evaluates inspection and monitoring data from multiple sources. Depending on the hiring division, examples may include water monitoring wells, solid waste management sites, wastewater treatment plants, and hazardous materials management facilities, photopoints, transects or data from other agencies as appropriate.
May coordinate and/or assist with stewardship activities such as natural resource restoration, controlled burns, exotic plant control, field inspections, and environmental monitoring and assist with land acquisition.

Prepares reports and recommendations.

Prepares and conducts public education programs and compliance assistance training programs.

Designs and establishes environmental monitoring programs as needed.

Testifies, as needed, at administrative hearings as a technical witness and/or to support enforcement actions.

Assists the supervisor in the preparation of periodic operating reports and presentations to various Boards; provides input into area budget needs.

Operates, as required, motor vehicles (including departmental motor vehicles and four-wheel drive vehicles), as well as small equipment and machinery, in order to conduct job duties that, depending on the hiring division, may include field tests, inspections, evaluations, prescribed burns, exotic species control, and investigations to obtain data for use in determining code compliance, sources of, and methods for controlling County-wide environmental pollutants, performing on-site evaluations, plant and animal surveys, and other ecological monitoring as appropriate.

Performs related work as required.

Land Conservation Division:
Plans and implements land stewardship activities on Alachua County natural areas including exotic plant control, prescribed fire, forestry, restoration and site development.

Develops projects, coordinates and oversees contractors performing land stewardship activities such as: invasive plant and animal control, site preparation, planting, timber harvesting, site maintenance, site development, natural and cultural resource monitoring, restoration and prescribed burning. 

May coordinate prescribed burning activities on County owned or managed properties, through preparation, review and implementation of burn prescriptions.

May serve as burn boss or burn crew member on prescribed burns. 

May plan and implement maintenance and creation of firebreaks and preparation of areas for burning. 

May coordinate with the Florida Division of Forestry, contractors and other agencies on prescribed burning and other stewardship activities.

May perform environmental assessments of properties nominated for acquisition through the Alachua County Forever Program to identify natural resources, physiographic and ecological characteristics, hydrological resources, manageability, and public accessibility. Analyzes environmental considerations and prepares evaluation reports.

Responsible for land acquisition and stewardship activities such as controlled burns, exotic plant control, field inspections, and environmental monitoring, preparation of base-line monitoring reports and development of management plans.

Natural Resources Division:
Analyzes environmental characteristics of development applications and administrative permits and may provide recommendations on land use, zoning and site plans.

Performs compliance inspections for development projects to determine consistency with environmental code requirements and development order conditions.
Responds to citizen and agency inquiries and complaints related to natural and water resource issues. 
Receives complaints regarding violations of environmental regulations and/or site-specific rules, plans, and guidelines; investigates potential enforcement situations for corrective action and resolution.
Coordinates and conducts natural resources outreach and education.

Performs environmental assessments of special planning areas to identify natural resources and historic resources and physiographic and ecological characteristics.

Assists in developing and implementing elements in the County's Comprehensive Plan and land development regulations.

Pollution Prevention Division (includes Petroleum Management, Hazardous Materials, and Hazardous Waste Collection):

Coordinates operations programs for solid waste, household hazardous wastes, used oil collection and waste reduction/recycling alternatives so as to maintain compliance with appropriate regulations.

Performs periodic compliance and enforcement inspections of regulated facilities, contaminated sites, remediation sites, and other environmental sites to ensure compliance with and enforcement of local ordinances and state and local regulatory programs; reviews permits and compliance status.

Manages remediation activities at environmental sites, including technical and/or cost oversight of engineering contractors for compliance monitoring, contamination assessments and remedial actions arising from groundwater, surface water, soil or ambient air contamination with hazardous or toxic materials and petroleum products to ensure compliance with program regulations and local ordinances.

Prepares and reviews purchase orders or work orders and reviews invoices for work performed or services or goods provided by contractors and vendors in support of county or state contracted regulatory programs or hazardous materials and waste management programs.

Performs emergency spill response as required for hazardous materials or petroleum product spills in support of first responders to coordinate remediation of spills.

Assists in developing pollution control, air pollution and hazardous and solid waste elements of land development regulations, County Comprehensive Plan, and ordinances and regulations.

Oversees and enforces compliance with federal, state and local regulations for the proper storage, handling, transportation and disposal of hazardous materials.

Prepares and revises procedures and implements staff training on various hazardous materials safety policies and procedures including proper documentation and training records.

Assists with fiscal budgeting, scheduling, communication and logistical details of hazardous waste collection grants, special projects and neighborhood collection activities.

Water Resources Division:
Coordinates and conducts water resources outreach and education.

Monitors and performs wastewater treatment facility inspections.

Conducts training on erosion and sediment control.

Prepares, coordinates and manages contracts and grants.

Collects groundwater and surface water samples and ensures data quality assurance and quality control procedures and targets are met.

Analyzes water quality and hydrologic data and prepares technical reports.

Oversees and enforces compliance with federal, state and local water resources regulations.
NOTE: These examples are intended only as illustrations of the various kinds of work performed in positions allocated to this class. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to the position.


Thorough knowledge of the technical methods and procedures involved in the administration of environmental regulations, programs and policies. Depending on assigned division, this may include: technical methods and procedures involved in land management and acquisition; theories and practices of ecology and land management, including restoration, weed science and prescribed burning; knowledge of the flora, fauna and ecology of North Central Florida; general environmental programs such as solid waste management, hazardous waste disposal, petroleum cleanup, air and water monitoring, natural and historic resource protection, land acquisition and land stewardship.

Considerable knowledge of environmental sampling procedures and equipment.

Knowledge of local, state, and federal rules, regulations, and ordinances related to environmental protection.

Knowledge of word processing and data management programs and Geographic Information Systems.

Knowledge of effective supervisory techniques and modern principles and practices of supervision.

Skill in the operation of motor vehicles, small equipment and machinery.

Ability to apply engineering and scientific principles and methods.

Ability to effectively supervise and coordinate the activities of subordinate employees.

Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

Ability to create concise, clear and succinct technical reports.

Ability to research technical problems, formulates recommendations, and compiles related reports.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, the general public and other County agencies.

Water Resources Division: 
Working knowledge of GIS, graphics design software, website management, MS Access, data management and data validation.

Natural Resources  Division:
Working knowledge of GIS, MS Word and Excel, SharePoint, and data management.  Requires considerable skill in the identification of local flora, fauna and natural communities, and wetland delineation.

Land Conservation Division:
May require considerable skill in the identification of local flora, fauna and natural communities, operation, maintenance and transportation of heavy trucks, farm tractors, brush trucks, pumps, chain saws, mowers and trimmers used in preserve maintenance, fuels management and restoration.

Working knowledge of GIS and data management.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls. The employee frequently is required to talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; and taste or smell.

The employee must  lift and/or move up to 80 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee frequently works in outside weather conditions. The employee is occasionally exposed to fumes or airborne particles and toxic or caustic chemicals.

The employee may perform field work in inclement weather and harsh conditions such as wet areas and dense brush with biting insects, venomous animals or irritating plants.

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Land Conservation Division: 
The employee may regularly work near moving parts, are regularly exposed to fumes or airborne particles, extreme heat and a loud work environment.


Biological Chemical Research, Chemical Engineering, Civil & Structural Engineering, Geological Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, General Science, Geological Testing & Analysis

Education Requirements

Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, M.B.A., M.D., Ph.D, Other Doctorate Degree