RAY Investigations and Outreach Fellow

POSITION TITLE: RAY Investigations and Outreach Fellow
DEPARTMENT/PROGRAM: Science/Community Outreach Programs
REPORTS TO: Jon Rosenfield, Science Director
STATUS: Regular, Full-Time
LOCATION: San Francisco Bay Area

In an effort to make the conservation and clean energy fields more equitable and accessible, the Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Fellowship Program aims to increase and facilitate environmentally-related career pathways for emerging leaders of color. The RAY Fellowship Program is a paid fellowship designed to equip recent college graduates with the tools, experiences, support, and community they need to become leaders in the conservation and clean energy sectors—one that, in our visions of the future, fully represents, includes, and is led by the diverse communities, perspectives, and experiences of the United States.

Baykeeper defends San Francisco Bay and its watershed from the biggest environmental threats and holds polluters accountable. For 35 years, we’ve used science, advocacy, and law to achieve hundreds of legal and policy victories that have reduced industrial pollution, sewage spills, fossil fuel contamination, and toxic pollutants entering the Bay. Our efforts to protect the Bay’s wildlife and communities are regularly featured in local, state, and national media, which refer to Baykeeper as "one of the region's most active and most effective defenders” of the environment.

Baykeeper is a growing organization with a bold mission to fight for justice with communities around the Bay Area who have the right to clean water and healthy neighborhoods protected from corporate polluters and government wrongdoing.

Baykeeper values passion, integrity, and respect in all our endeavors, including in how we treat our employees. We are committed to continuously building on our equitable and inclusive workplace. We support the physical and mental health of our employees, as well as a positive work-life balance.

Our embrace of diversity, equity, and inclusion is underpinned by long-term collaborations with multiple Bay Area community groups and environmental justice organizations. Staffed by eight experienced lawyers and scientists, our Science and Legal Departments use technical and scientific-based analysis to support legal and policy advocacy to address environmental injustices against people and wildlife.

We are a passionate, results-oriented team with an engaged community of partners, donors, and volunteers, and we are excited to hire a new Investigations and Outreach Fellow.

The RAY Fellow will work and learn in three main program areas: community advocacy and public policy; public outreach and volunteer engagement; and field investigation and research. The Fellow will use and hone a variety of skills such as partnership building, writing, volunteer management, verbal presentations, and research and technical analysis. Baykeeper will also train the Fellow to lead boat patrols, operate a drone, and manage our pollution hotline.

The RAY Fellow will learn on the job and grow their skills by assuming the following responsibilities gradually over the course of the two-year fellowship. Baykeeper will train in-house (e.g., learning water quality sampling techniques) and provide some formal training (i.e., licensing as a drone pilot).

Community advocacy and policy support (30%)
• Attend and support meetings and events of partner organizations in the community.
• Build relationships with new community groups and partners.
• Draft policy letters and provide public testimony at hearings.
• Research and draft policy testimony, advocacy letters, and reports.

Outreach and public volunteer engagement (30%)
• Participate in – and eventually lead – boat patrols for members and partners.
• Coordinate and host public information tables at outreach events.
• Provide presentations to partner organizations and community groups.
• Lead volunteers in beach cleanups and evidence collection, explaining the importance of civic action in protecting our environment.
• Provide event support.

Field investigation and research (20%)
• Complete drone training and certification and conduct assigned drone patrols.
• Assist with water quality monitoring and pollution investigations.
• Coordinate responses to pollution hotline reports.
• Support research on water pollution and other issues.

Admin support (10%)
• Coordinate Baykeeper’s pollution hotline response and track progress.
• Keep records for field investigations time and activities.
• Review video footage for pollution investigations and media use.
• Track time and participate in regular meetings with team members and supervisor.

In addition to the responsibilities at the host institution outlined above, RAY Fellows will spend, on average, 2-4 hours per week (5-10% of work time) on the following:
• Actively communicating and building community with their RAY Fellow cohort and previous RAY Fellows.
• Meeting regularly with mentors both inside and outside the host institution.
• Attending monthly professional development webinars, trainings, and other opportunities to build knowledge and skills as scheduled.
• Developing a Personal Leadership Plan (PLP) in their 2nd year with the support of supervisor(s), mentors, RAY program staff, and their RAY Fellow cohort. The PLP will serve as a tool for self-reflection, planning, and assessing progress towards professional, personal, and leadership goals.
• Preparing and leading an hour-long end-of-fellowship webinar highlighting their Fellowship experience.

RAY Fellows will also attend:
• A 3-day Orientation Retreat in late Summer 2024.
• A 3-day Mid-Fellowship Leadership Retreat in Fall 2025.

Eligible RAY Fellow applicants will:
• Come from a racial/ethnic background underrepresented in conservation and clean energy and demonstrate a commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
• Be no more than 3 years out of college and have a Bachelor's Degree by July 2024 (we are not considering individuals with graduate degrees at this time).
• Have not had a full-time job in conservation or clean energy.
• Have the ability to work in the United States and commit to the entire fellowship.

• A college degree or coursework in political science, environmental studies, biology, ecology, civil and environmental engineering, or related fields – and a desire to focus on community health, public advocacy, and volunteer engagement.

• An interest in meeting and working with community members, volunteers, stakeholders, non-profit professionals, and policymakers.

• Willingness to attend meetings around the Bay Area, Stockton, and Sacramento, and conduct research in the field, including in inclement weather and occasionally outside of business hours.
• A desire to learn through experience how to conduct field investigations by ground, water, air, and engagement with the public.
• A demonstrated capacity to work well independently and work well with others.
• Effective written and verbal communication skills.
• An eagerness to learn with a collaborative, inclusive, and highly effective organization.

This is a two-year, full-time fellowship (one year with a one-year renewal) starting on or after July 15, 2024.

The Fellowship is compensated and sponsored by Baykeeper, who offers a competitive benefits package as well as training and professional development opportunities.

This is a full-time, non-exempt position. The salary range for new staff in this position is $31.25 per hour depending on experience, with an expectation to work 40 hours per week (typically, Monday through Friday 9am – 5pm, with occasional afterhours requirements and possible overtime during the rainy season or to support events) for approximate annual earnings of $65,000. A cost-of-living adjustment may be applied, as the budget allows, in the second year of the fellowship.

We support the physical and mental health of our employees, as well as a positive work-life balance, by annually offering 17 days of vacation time, 12 sick days, 12 paid holidays with flexibility for diverse religious/cultural observances, 2 paid days for volunteerism or social justice activism, 30-minute paid lunch breaks, and extra paid time off during the winter holidays. Employment comes with 100% employer-paid comprehensive medical, dental, vision, and modest life insurance coverage for employees; an employer 401(k) contribution (as the budget allows) following one year of employment;
options for pre-tax flexible spending accounts for medical, transit, and dependent care costs. Additionally, we support employee well-being by offering an Employee Assistance Program, and provide professional development opportunities, relevant conferences, and trainings.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Baykeeper is currently a qualifying employer under the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

Work Location (Bay Area, hybrid)
The Field Investigator is primarily a remote work position, though the employee must live in the Bay Area or be willing to relocate (a moving stipend will be provided, if needed). Employee will be required to work at times in the Baykeeper office in downtown Oakland, convenient to public transit. The office is open for individuals who prefer not to work remotely.

Physical Demands
The physical demands of this position include travel by vehicle, boat, small aircraft, and public transportation; using a computer; verbal communications in person and electronically; visual and sensory field inspections; ability to physically collect water quality samples on and around the Bay and elsewhere; and an ability to carry and lift equipment or materials of up to 50 pounds over uneven surfaces. These demands are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these functions.

Due to the nature of field investigations during rainstorms and after-hours event support, this position will require occasional work outside of regular work hours on weeknights or weekends once or twice a month. We will adjust weekly hours to adhere to a 40-hour workweek or pay overtime as needed. Applicants must also have a valid driver’s license and regular access to a registered/insured vehicle for work around the greater Bay Area where public transit is impractical or unavailable.

To apply for the RAY Fellowship Program, applicants must:

  1. Complete the online application survey on the RAY Fellowship Program website: https://rayfellowship.org/apply
  2. Follow the instructions on the linked application webpage to submit a resume or curriculum vitae, one essay response, one visioning response, and one short answer response.

Applications must be submitted to the RAY Fellowship Program no later than April 5, 2024. Transcripts and additional writing samples are not required.

If you have questions, please see our FAQ page and any further questions about the application process can be submitted to ray@elpnet.org

Baykeeper is committed to the principles of equal opportunity. Our organizational policies, practices, and decisions regarding employment, hiring, assignment, promotion, compensation, volunteerism, internships and other terms and conditions of employment or voluntary service are not based on a person’s race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, mental or physical disability, ancestry, military discharge status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, source of income, parental status, housing status, or other protected status, in accordance with applicable law.

Baykeeper is continually seeking to diversify our staff, particularly to broaden opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically excluded in the fields of environmental science, law, and advocacy. And we want to ensure that people with a wide range of lived experiences and backgrounds learn about this opportunity, so please help us share this job opening widely.