Biologist (Transportation Permitting Focus)

  • Full-time

Company Description

We are Olsson, a team-based, purpose-driven engineering and design firm. Our solutions improve communities and our people make it possible.

Our most meaningful asset is our people, and we are dedicated to providing an environment where they can continue to learn, grow, and thrive. Our entrepreneurial spirit is what has allowed us — and will continue to allow us — to grow. The result? Inspired people, amazing designs, and projects with purpose.

Job Description

At Olsson, we help our clients proactively comply with complicated regulatory processes and provide our clients with the latest and best methods to review projects and maintain compliance with the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act-Section 404 and others.

As a Biologist, you may manage small and/or medium-sized projects, work with regulators (USACE, USFWS, FHWA, AZGF, ADEQ, ADOT) to permit projects, coordinate with clients, and collaborate with team members. You may also mentor and train others on complex work and travel to job sites for observation and field work.

Work responsibilities will be consistent with experience and expertise and will grow throughout your career at Olsson. Mid-level and experienced professionals are encouraged to apply. Compensation will be consistent with level of experience.

Work includes the following elements:

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Compliance

Reviewing transportation projects for environmental impacts and writing NEPA documents including categorical exclusions, environmental assessments, and environmental impact statements. Most transportation projects result in categorical exclusion and the NEPA documentation provides FHWA sufficient information to confirm compliance.

Preferred candidate has experience or knowledge with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) transportation projects including 4f/6f, socioeconomic, floodplains, noise, farmland, cultural, hazardous wastes, wetlands, and threatened and endangered species.

Endangered Species Act (ESA) Compliance

Evaluating ESA compliance including threatened and endangered species effects determinations through desktop screenings, habitat assessments, and field surveys. Writing biological assessments and completing informal and formal USFWS coordination.

Clean Water Section 404 Permitting

Conducting wetland and stream delineations, writing jurisdictional determination reports, and writing Section 404 nationwide and individual permits.

Field Surveys

In compliance with regulatory requirements, field surveys are often required. Experience and expertise in the following will be strongly considered:

  • plant identification and habitat assessment,
  • bird identification and raptor nest monitoring,
  • field sampling methods and equipment use - GPS equipment, ArcGIS software, statistical modeling, and
  • sampling threatened and endangered species (USFWS handling permit).


You are passionate about:

  • Working collaboratively with others
  • Having ownership in the work you do
  • Using your talents to positively affect communities

You bring to the team:

  • Arizona specific project experience.
  • Strong communication and technical writing skills.
  • Ability to contribute and work well on a team.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a scientific discipline.
  • 3+ years of environmental experience required.
  • Strong work ethic, problem solver, and ability to work independently.
  • Business mind-set and understanding client needs.

Types of skills preferred but not required:

  • Wetland delineation and section 404 permitting.
  • Plant identification and habitat assessments.
  • NEPA categorical exclusion (CE) development.
  • Transportation project experience and FHWA coordination.
  • Experience reviewing projects for environmental regulatory compliance.
  • Bird and raptor surveys.
  • Threatened and endangered species surveys (desert tortoise, yellow-billed cuckoo, southwestern flycatcher).
  • Field experience, equipment use, scientific methodologies.

Additional Information

Olsson is a nationally recognized, employee-owned firm specializing in planning and design, engineering, field services, environmental, and technology. Founded in 1956 on the very mindset that drives us today, we’re here to improve communities by making them more sustainable, better connected, and more efficient. Simply put, we work to leave the world better than we found it.

As an Olsson employee, you’ll receive our traditional benefits package (health care, vision, dental, paid time off, etc.), plus you’ll:

  • Become an owner in the company after your first year through our Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)
  • Engage in work that has a positive impact in communities
  • Receive an excellent 401(k) match
  • Participate in a wellness program promoting balanced lifestyles
  • Benefit from a bonus system that rewards performance
  • Have the possibility for flexible work arrangements

Olsson is an EEO employer. We encourage qualified minority, female, veteran and disabled candidates to apply and be considered for open positions. We do not discriminate against any applicant for employment, or any employee because of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, disability, age, or military status.