Natural Resource Specialist

Recruitment #PBT-3420-089956



Appointment Type
This is a Position-Based Test conducted in accordance with Civil Service Commission Rule 111A.

About Us
The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (RPD) manages and maintains more than 220 parks, playgrounds and open spaces in the city, including two outside of city limits: Sharp Park in Pacifica and Camp Mather in the High Sierras. Our 4,100-acre system includes 24 recreation centers, 9 swimming pools, 5 golf courses and numerous athletic facilities, including sports courts, ball diamonds, soccer fields and gymnasiums. Included in the department's responsibilities are Golden Gate Park, Coit Tower, the Marina Yacht Harbor, the Palace of Fine Arts and Lake Merced.

More than 2,000 talented individuals comprise our team, from gardeners, foresters and recreation leaders to park patrol officers, custodians, electricians, painters and more. Our core mission, as it has been throughout our history, is to provide opportunities for San Francisco residents and visitors alike to gather, play, learn, relax, and enjoy nature in the city.

Position Description

Under general supervision, performs difficult and responsible work in the maintenance of natural resource areas, ecosystems, native plant communities and wildlife habitat.

Essential Duties
The 3420 Natural Resource Specialist:

1. Maintains wildlife, native plant habitat, and biological diversity; implements habitat restoration, ecological restoration and wildlife enhancement projects; conserves intact ecosystems; and manages natural resources.

2. Determines plant composition for restoration of native ecosystems, wildlife habitat, and rare and endangered species conservation.

3. Monitors and studies rare and endangered plant and animal populations, habitat health and diversity.

4. Practices methods and procedures to identify erosion of soils on steep slopes, addresses all landslides and gullying in intact native ecosystems, and constructs and maintains trails.

5. Identifies local native plants in all stages of lifecycle, collects seed and propagates local native plant species for habitat restoration projects.

6. Monitors and controls invasive species in all life stages using Early Detection and Rapid Response techniques to minimize impacts on surrounding native plant communities.

7. Performs landscape cleanup and general maintenance activities including litter removal, illegal dumping and encampment cleanup.

Minimum Qualifications

These minimum qualifications establish the education, training, experience, special skills and/or license(s) which are required for employment in the classification.  Please note, additional qualifications (i.e., special conditions) may apply to a particular position and will be stated on the exam/job announcement.

Two (2) years of professional experience in the conservation and management of natural ecosystems, native plant communities and wildlife habitat.

License and Certification:
Possession of a valid California driver license.

Employees will be required to obtain a Qualified Applicator’s Certificate (QAC) or a Qualified Applicator’s License (QAL) from the State of California Department of Pesticide Regulation within twelve (12) months from date of hire.

Completion of coursework in Biological Sciences, Natural Resource Management, and Earth Science from an accredited college or university may substitute for up to eighteen (18) months of the required experience. Thirty (30) semester / forty-five (45) quarter units equals one (1) year.

Three (3) years of professional gardening experience may substitute for up to one (1) year of the required experience.

How To Apply

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit to register an account (if you have not already done so) and begin the application process.

  • Select the desired job announcement (PBT-3420-089956)
  • Select "Apply" and read and acknowledge the information
  • Select either "I am a New User" if you have not previously registered, or "I have Registered Previously"
  • Follow instructions on the screen

Computers are available for the public (from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday) to file online applications in the lobby of the Dept. of Human Resources at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco.

Applicants may be contacted by email about this announcement and, therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure that their registered email address is accurate and kept up-to-date. Also, applicants must ensure that email from CCSF is not blocked on their computer by a spam filter. To prevent blocking, applicants should set up their email to accept CCSF mail from the following addresses (,,,,,,,,,,

Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file. Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records. Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received.

All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline. Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Applications completed improperly may be cause for ineligibility, disqualification or may lead to lower scores.

If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the exam analyst Antonio Archuleta by telephone at (415) 831-6858, or by email at

Selection Plan

Written Examination (Weight: 35%):

Candidates deemed meeting the minimum qualifications and admitted to the examination process will be invited to a written multiple-choice exam designed to measure knowledge, skills and/or abilities in job-related areas which may include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Knowledge of principles and practices of natural resources management;
  • Knowledge of methods and techniques for erosion control
  • Knowledge of methods and techniques for native plant restoration;
  • Knowledge of native and invasive plant species;
  • Ability to use and maintain garden materials and equipment; AND

The multiple-choice exam will be administered in paper and pencil format.

Date(s) of Written Examination: Those applicants meeting the Minimum Qualifications will be notified of the exact date, time and place to report to the written examination. This is a standardized multiple-choice examination. In accordance with Civil Service Rule 111.11.4, inspection privileges do not apply to the questions and answers in this examination.

Training and Experience Evaluation (Weight: 65%):

Upon application, candidates will be prompted to complete a Supplemental Questionnaire which comprises a Training and Experience Evaluation (T&E). Only T&E responses from candidates achieving a passing score on the Written Examination will be evaluated and scored. The T&E weighted score will be incorporated to help determine relative knowledge, skills, and abilities in job related areas which may include, but are not limited to, knowledge of: principles and practices of natural resources management; methods and techniques for erosion control; methods and techniques for native plant restoration; native and invasive plant species; methods and techniques for safeguarding rare and endangered plants and animals; and ability to: apply plant control techniques; and use and maintain garden materials and equipment.


A passing score must be achieved on all examination components in order to be placed/ranked on the resulting Eligible List. Candidates will be placed on the eligible list in rank order according to their final score.

Certification Rule:

The certification rule for the eligible list resulting from this examination will be Rule of Ten Scores. The hiring department may conduct additional selection processes to make final hiring decisions.

Eligible List/Score Report:

A confidential eligible list of applicant names that have passed the civil service examination process will be created and used for certification purposes only. An examination score report will be established, so applicants can view the ranks, final scores and number of eligible candidates. Applicant information, including names of applicants on the eligible list, shall not be made public unless required by law. However, an eligible list shall be made available for public inspection, upon request, once the eligible list is exhausted or expired and referrals resolved. The eligible list/score report resulting from this civil service examination process is subject to change after adoption (e.g., as a result of appeals), as directed by the Human Resources Director or the Civil Service Commission. 

The duration of the eligible list resulting from this examination process will be 12 months, and may be extended with the approval of the Human Resources Director.

Upon approval of the Human Resource Director (see Civil Service Rule 111A.26.5), the eligible list/score report resulting from this announcement may be used by other departments that also use this classification or a similar classification. To find other Departments which use this classification, please see

Conviction History

As a finalist for a job, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction (or arrest, in limited circumstances) conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you are a finalist. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances, such as:
  • Candidates for positions with the Unified School District and the Community College District may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under the California Education Code.
  • Candidates for positions with the Recreation and Park Department may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under California Public Resources Code 5164.

Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with the City.

If you are selected as a finalist, the hiring department will contact you to schedule a fingerprinting appointment.

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.


Terms of Announcement
Position Based Tests are administered in accordance with Civil Service Rule 111A. General information concerning City and County of San Francisco employment policies and procedures may be found in the pamphlet entitled "Important Employment Information for Position Based Testing". This information is part of the terms of this announcement. The pamphlet is available at the Department of Human Resources Information Center, 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103 or on-line at:

Applicants must be guided solely by the provisions of this announcement, including requirements, time periods and other particulars, except when superseded by federal, state or local laws, rules, or regulations. Clerical errors may be corrected by the posting of the correction on the Department of Human Resources website at:

The terms of this announcement may be appealed under Civil Service Rule 111A.35.1. The standard for the review of such appeals is ‘abuse of discretion’ or ‘no rational basis’ for establishing the position description, the minimum qualifications and/or the certification rule. Appeals must include a written statement of the item(s) being contested and the specific reason(s) why the cited item(s) constitute(s) abuse of discretion by the Human Resources Director. Appeals must be submitted directly to the Executive Officer of the Civil Service Commission within five business days of the announcement issuance date.

Drug Test Requirement
Applicants for positions in this classification who are not currently employed by the City and County of San Francisco in a safety-sensitive position represented by Laborers International Local 261 (LiUNA) are required to pass pre-employment drug and alcohol testing. All employees in this classification may also be subject to drug and alcohol testing upon reasonable suspicion or after a work-related accident. Applicants with a positive result from a pre-employment drug test will be restricted from hire in safety-sensitive positions for six months after the date of the positive test.

Before appointment, selected eligible candidates must pass a thorough physical examination by the Department Physician. This exam includes a urine test to screen for the presence of drugs or alcohol. Appointees must also pass an additional physical exam prior to the completion of their probationary periods.

Copies of Application Documents
Information can be found at:

Reasonable Accommodation Request
Applicants with disabilities requiring reasonable accommodation for this recruitment can find information on requesting a reasonable accommodation at:

Clerical Errors
May be corrected by the posting of the correction on the Department of Human Resources website at:

General Information
Concerning City and County of San Francisco Employment Policies and Procedures:

Driver's License requirement
Most positions require a valid California's driver's license:

Veteran's Preference
Information can be found at:

Seniority Credit in Promotional Exams
Information regarding seniority credit can be found at:

Right to Work
All persons entering the City and County of San Francisco workforce are required to provide verification of authorization to work in the United States.

Exam Type: CPE
Issued: 10 December 2018; Amended and Reissued 12/27/18
Micki Callahan, Human Resources Director
Department of Human Resources
Recruitment ID Number: PBT-3420-089956
REC / AA / 415-831-6858


All employees hired on or after January 10, 2009 will be required (pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section A8.432) to contribute 2% of pre-tax compensation to fund retiree healthcare. In addition, most employees are required to make a member contribution towards retirement, ranging from 7.5%-13.25% of compensation. For more information on these provisions, please contact the personnel office of the hiring agency.

For more information about benefits, please click here.


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