Water Quality Data Associate Specialist

About the Role   

Heal the Bay is looking for a full-time Water Quality Data Associate Specialist with data management and coding experience to join the Science and Policy Team. This is an excellent opportunity to work in a dynamic and unique work environment with a reputable environmental advocacy organization. The primary duties will be to guide the day-to-day aspects of Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card, Nowcast, and River Report Card programs, including spearheading modeling efforts, maintaining websites and mobile apps, and aiding the Summer Stream Team field and laboratory work. The Associate Specialist will also have opportunities to work closely with other Heal the Bay staff on inter-departmental projects and programs.

Expectations & Responsibilities   

Manage the day-to-day aspects of the Beach Report Card (BRC), NowCast, and River Report Card (RRC) programs

  • Understand historical and technical aspects of all programs including sampling methodology, field and lab work, modeling;
  • Update quality assurance project plan (QAPP) and implement QA/QC procedures;
  • Collect data and manage databases necessary to calculate weekly BRC and RRC grades and calibrate and manage NowCast models;
  • Calculate weekly BRC and RRC grades;
  • Provide technical and writing expertise for annual BRC and RRC reports, and other technical reports;
  • Support preparation of data reports and analyses for seasonal reports, advocacy, grant applications, and in other written materials;
  • Provide technical assistance needed for programmatic decisions, such as NowCast expansion, improving program automation, improving methodologies, data migration and more;
  • Develop and complete research projects such as investigating trends in bacteria levels, sewage spills, and compliance;

Manage BRC web and mobile app platform and RRC website

  • Publish regular BRC grades on the BRC platforms and RRC grades on Heal the Bay’s River Report Card website;
  • Monitor beach closures, sewage spills, rain advisories, and other alerts at beaches/rivers around California, and update alerts on the website;
  • Monitor website and mobile app for correct display of data and bugs;
  • Aid in transitioning the BRC and NowCast programs to a new web-based data platform;
  • Assist with implementing a new methodology for RRC and BRC grades;

Lead NowCast Program and modeling efforts

  • Build and calibrate NowCast models (summer and winter swim seasons);
  • Ensure the automated system for daily NowCast models is functioning;
  • Fix errors that occur and update the automated system as necessary;

Assist with summer Stream Team/River Report Card Program

  • Help hire, train and mentor summer student water quality monitors;
  • Ensure safety of field and lab work, as well as data quality;
  • Conduct day to day oversight, review of documents, ensuring goals and deliverables are met;
  • Help set Stream Teamwork schedules and ensure shift coverage;
  • Conduct occasional field and laboratory work to assess bacteria levels in freshwater areas during summer months, as needed;


  • A bachelor’s degree or higher in the field of computer science, earth science, environmental science or a related field. Applicants with equivalent experience will also be considered.
  • Strong computer programming and modeling skills; experience with Python required; experience with both Python and SQL preferred;
  • A self-starter with strong organizational and time management skills; proven ability to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment, prioritize tasks, and follow projects to completion on schedule;
  • Passion for the environment and a desire to work in a team environment;
  • Project management, written and oral communication, and interpersonal skills;
  • Flexibility, initiative, and a collaborative spirit;
  • Professional and positive work ethic;
  • Valid driver’s license and access to reliable personal or public transportation required.

Compensation & Benefits

$22.50 – $27.00 per hour depending on experience, with appropriate state and federal taxes withheld. This position is non-exempt and full-time and includes a full benefits package with dental, vision, health, and vacation as part of employment.  Heal the Bay covers 90% of the benefit package.


Full-time, 40 hours per week. Heal the Bay currently operates on a hybrid schedule of 2 days in the Santa Monica office per week.  Heal the Bay offers a dynamic work environment with highly motivated staff and volunteers.

Physical Demands

The associate specialist is occasionally required to reach with hands and arms, lift up to 20 lbs., and work outdoors in variable weather conditions with potential exposure to heat, wind, and inclement weather.

Heal the Bay is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status and we strongly encourage applications from individuals that reflect the diversity of Los Angeles County. 
Heal the Bay complies with AB 1008, the Fair Chance Act, during the hiring process. Once a conditional job offer has been made the candidate will be asked to complete a Live Scan criminal background check. A thorough assessment of conviction history will be considered including the nature and gravity of the criminal history, the time that has passed since the conviction, and the nature of the job the candidate is seeking.