Environmental Specialist - Job Code #4568

Sarasota County Government
Job Description

Environmental Specialist (pending vacancy):   This is professional work managing land and amenities, habitat restoration, listed species monitoring, management of nuisance species;  coordination of activities for safe park use and positive visitor experiences, volunteer recruitment, training and coordination, managing special events, providing environmental education and nature-based programs; contract management and oversight and development of land management plans for assigned parks. The work schedule for this position is Sunday through Thursday.


Park management and oversight of assigned parks Currently these consist of Culverhouse Nature Park, Scherer Thaxton Preserve, Pocono Trail Preserve, Curry Creek East and West; assistance with management and oversight of Urfer Family Park, Rothenbach Park and Celery Fields on Sundays and Mondays. Assigned parks could change to meet the needs of the Natural Areas and Trails team.

  • Conduct regular site inspections of assigned parks, facilities and amenities to ensure safe, accessible and enjoyable patron experiences.
  • Evaluate needs for projects and repairs; work in Maximo to submit appropriate service requests for maintenance and management of assigned parks including grounds, facilities and amenities.
  • Natural areas management including protected species monitoring, habitat restoration, documentation of nuisance species, nuisance vegetation management (either self, through team work days, with volunteers, Sheriff’s Work Offender Program teams or contractual),  implementation of nuisance and feral animal control measures and assists with ensuring archaeological and cultural resources are protected.  
  • Obtain and/or maintain pesticide applicator license.
  • Develop contract specifications and perform contractor oversight for land management and project activities.
  • Assist Emergency Services with prescribed burns under the direction of the Fire Mitigation Specialists and Manager.
  • Assist with Capital Improvement Projects planned for assigned parks.
  • Provide Florida Communities Trust (FCT) Annual Stewardship Reports for appropriate parks (Curry Creek Preserve and Pocono Preserve.
  • Ensures compliance to all policies, guidelines, procedures, Federal/State regulations and standards.
  • Develop unit management plans for assigned parks.

Environmental Programming:

  • Plan, develop and implement nature-based programs and outdoor recreational opportunities.
  • Assist with program marketing as possible and work through PRNR/Communications for program and marketing materials.
  • Provide, or coordinate with volunteers to provide, the required FCT programming at FCT funded parks (Pocono and Curry Creek Preserves).

Volunteer Management and Customer Service:

  • Recruitment, coordination and/or training, of volunteers including single-day event volunteers and/or dedicated volunteers such as the Friends of Sarasota County Parks (FOSCP).
  • Volunteer coordinator for assigned parks and familiar with Volgistics, the Sarasota County program for registering volunteers and tracking volunteer hours.
  • Continuously seeking to improve customer and visitor services.
  • Written and/or oral correspondence to the public in response to complaints, inquiries or requests for service.
  • Contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of the unit’s service to its customers by offering suggestions and directing or participating as an active member of a work team.


Minimum Qualifications:  A Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university in one of the biological or physical sciences, Environmental Engineering or related field and two (2) years professional experience directly related to the position.  A Master's Degree from an accredited college or university in above fields can substitute for one year of professional experience. Progressively responsible related professional experience may substitute on a year-for-year basis for the required college education.   Valid Driver’s License is required.

Preferred Qualifications:   Certification as a Parks and Recreation Professional from the National Recreation and Parks Association is preferred; Natural Areas Pesticide License or ability to obtain within 18 months of employment; Certification from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group for completion of Firefighter Training S-130 and Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior S-190 or ability to obtain within 12 months of employment; experience working on a prescribed burn team; knowledge of Florida’s flora, fauna and habitats; awareness of federal and state protected species; ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing; ability to define and solve problems and develop service improvements.

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