Senior Environmental Planner, Denver

Alexus Kelley Help Wanted, News

January 2024

Senior Environmental Planner

Denver, Colorado

Do you have a passion for environmental planning and NEPA?  Working on projects within transportation, national forests, and other public lands?  Does combining your skills and passion to solve intricate challenges through teamwork and technical expertise sound like you?  Great!  If so, ERO is for you.  We are seeking a Senior Environmental Planner for our Denver, Colorado office.

At ERO, we have been solving environmental challenges for more than 40 years.  Our diverse team of scientists, planners, and subject matter experts work together to craft innovative solutions within multiple regulatory frameworks while balancing change in our region with natural and cultural resource protection.  Did we mention ERO is a certified women-owned business in Colorado?

We’re always looking for dynamic and engaged people to join our team! Bring your expertise, your ingenuity, and your vision.  Let’s see the impact we can create, together.

Position Overview

The Senior Environmental Planner requires a broad overall understanding of environmental regulations including National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act, and Clean Water Act and the relationship among them.  The Senior Environmental Planner is knowledgeable in and has experience managing small and large scale NEPA analyses and/or land and resource planning projects involving complex resource issues, agency relationships, and stakeholder dynamics.  Duties for this position typically include performance and oversight of teams performing NEPA analyses.  A Senior Environmental Planner will also be trained in and/or have significant experience managing public involvement efforts for NEPA or other planning projects.  Other duties include development of large and complex planning documents, such as environmental impact statements, resource management plans, habitat conservation plans, and other management plans, and management of project teams and junior staff.  A Senior Environmental Planner has extensive experience in agency coordination with various federal and state agencies. 

Senior Environmental Planners are expected to have established client relationships and successfully win small and large projects for the planning group.  Senior Environmental Planners effectively manage large, complex projects from start to completion, understanding the needs of the client and creating the project teams needed to complete the required work on time, within budget, and with high quality. 

Minimum Education and Experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in natural resource planning, urban planning, environmental policy, environmental science, or similar discipline; or a combination of a biological science, such as biology or ecology, with extensive training and experience in NEPA or other planning; with 12+ years of applicable experience.
  • Master’s degree preferable; with at least 10 years of applicable experience.
Core Competencies

The Senior Environmental Planner is expected to maintain the core competencies listed in the Project Environmental Planner position description, as well as the following:

  • Clear understanding of new regulations or guidelines that can be communicated to agencies and clients, in person, in writing (including e-blasts), and in professional settings, such as panel discussions, etc.
  • Completion of advanced professional development or trainings.
  • Market and interact with clients and actively participate in business development.
  • Develop strategic marketing plans for areas of interest or niches within new or existing markets.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with strategic partners, including engineering, planning, landscape architecture, or other firms.
  • Maintain relationships with federal, state, and local regulatory and advisory agencies, for whom planning documents are prepared.
Physical Requirements

Applicants must be physically capable and possess the skills necessary to perform all aspects of the position requirements, with reasonable accommodations.

Performance Expectations and Responsibilities

Senior Environmental Planners are expected to have the knowledge and experience to effectively carry out their responsibilities with limited reliance on a Principal or other Project Manager.  The position requires a “consultant” approach and mentality to meet project schedule requirements and demands.  The position may require greater than 40 hours per week at some times of the year and may require weekend work based on project schedule.

Senior Environmental Planners are expected to interact with clients, attend marketing lunches and conferences, and prepare scopes and proposal documents, as needed.  Employees in this position are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner in all work settings, representing ERO with respectful courteous behavior and a positive workplace attitude.

Business Development (at Least 10 Percent of Time)
  • Conduct marketing efforts, client outreach and retention through direct coordination, conferences, and other business development efforts.
  • Acquire projects (complete proposals, client outreach, etc.).
  • Develop detailed scopes and assumptions for projects of multiple sizes, complexities, staffing, and timing.
  • Develop staffing plan as necessary and coordinate with other team members including subcontractors for feedback on scope, assumptions and cost.
  • Complete detailed schedule and budget for scope items.
  • Manage contract and subcontract details.
  • Manage Master Services Agreements or other blanket client arrangements.
Team Management Duties (10 Percent of Time)
  • Work with Principal team lead(s), including contributions to yearly employee development and performance reviews.
  • Team capacity planning with Principal team lead(s).
  • Establish and enforce team safety guidelines.
  • Provide mentoring and leadership to the team.
Project Management Duties
  • Develop and execute work plans and processes that meet the needs of the client to address complex environmental and/or regulatory issues.
  • Complete professional agency correspondence and coordination, and prepare work plans and project management, communication, public involvement, or other types of high-level plans.
  • Lead/facilitate public meetings and multi-agency/stakeholder meetings.
  • Direct or develop templates for deliverables.
  • Work with staff and subcontractors on project deliverables and other schedules.
  • Complete or direct completion of basic and complex regulatory documents independently, thoroughly, within schedule, and within budget.
  • Delegate report documentation to junior- and mid-level staff efficiently and clearly communicate budget, billing codes and expectations, scope, tasks, and schedules.
  • Complete or direct completion of large technical reports such as technical reports for NEPA projects. 
  • Complete or direct coordination with GIS staff to modify and create figures for reports.
  • Complete or direct coordination with editors to review final deliverables.
  • Coordinate with clients on project deliverables, schedules, etc.
  • Develop innovative approaches to effective and streamlined NEPA and other regulatory compliance.
  • Maintain and ensure scientific and regulatory integrity.
  • Provide project updates, as necessary, to the principal team lead(s).
Leadership Responsibilities

Senior Environmental Planners are expected to take on a leadership role.  This includes:

  • Be proactive, take initiative, and assist with Quality Assurance/Quality Control.
  • Set an example for staff through professional, hard, and focused work. 
  • Continue educational opportunities as part of professional development.  Education opportunities may take the form of workshops, classes, or mentorship with ERO Principals or senior staff. 
  • Mentor and provide training opportunities to junior staff in scoping (including budgeting, scheduling, and staffing), technical expertise/methods, regulations, reports, and client/agency communications.
  • Assist with hiring staff as needed.
  • Assist leading resource meetings and developing standards/guidance documents for team.
Skills and Abilities
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite products and Adobe Acrobat.
  • Effective communication skills – written and verbal.
  • Organization, managing multiple priorities, oversite of project staff and deliverables.
  • Proven ability to conduct project management tasks and handle multiple priorities, including oversite of project staff and deliverables.
  • Ability to collaborate with field teams and cross-functional teams throughout the company; with clients; and with regulatory agencies.
  • Interpret and understand natural resource regulations, including Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

ERO offers a very competitive compensation package that includes:

  • Salary position with a pay range of $80,000 to $120,000 annually, commensurate with experience.
  • 10 hours/month paid vacation accrual (separate sick leave bank).
  • 11 paid holidays that include office closure between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
  • ERO pays on average 80 percent of health, dental, vision, and other insurance packages.
  • 401(k) and financial planning assistance.
  • Generous cell phone, field / office equipment stipend.
  • Annual profit sharing and retirement plan contributions.
  • Educational opportunities, including external workshops, classes, and mentorship with ERO principals.
  • Opportunities for advancement, including opportunities for associate and board-level ownership for the right candidate.

Qualified applicants should send an email with a PDF cover letter, resume, and writing sample to opportunities@eroresources.com with Senior Environmental Planner in the subject line.

ERO participates in e-verify and pre-employment background screening services.

It is the continuous practice of ERO to encourage inclusion and provide equal opportunities in employment to all employees and applicants.  No person shall be discriminated against in any condition of employment because of age 40 and over, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, military or veteran status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or any other applicable status protected by state or local law.  It is our intention that all qualified applicants be given equal opportunity and that selection decisions are based on job-related factors.

For more information about ERO, visit our website at www.eroresources.com.