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30 Mar 2023

Full-Time Climate Adaptation Planner

Ascent Environmental, Inc. – Posted by People Resources Department California, United States

Job Description


You have demonstrated work history that includes strong to advanced knowledge of climate adaptation planning in California and possess advanced assessment skills (e.g., use of analytical tools, data interpretation, and presentation). Assisting communities and/or government organizations to become more resilient to the effects of climate change (e.g., preparing for increased wildfires, flooding, and extreme heat days) in equitable ways is exhilarating for you. You have an encyclopedic knowledge of the ABCs and 123s of the body of legislation and guidance regulating and directing this type of work in California (e.g., SB 379, California Adaptation Planning Guide, Safeguarding California Plan) along with funding sources and financing mechanisms to support effective implementation. You are curious, caring, collegial, collaborative, career-oriented, and committed to quality and continued learning to keep up to date with changing requirements.

Here’s what you would do:

Ascent is seeking a mid-to senior-level Climate Adaptation Planner to join our practice based in our Berkeley, Sacramento, Irvine, or San Diego offices. You will be working as part of the Climate Action and Adaptation Planning (CAAP) team. For a typical week in this position, you might:

  • Be responsible for and lead data collection and review for the purposes of preparing vulnerability assessments.
  • Review and assist with the development of adaptation measures for local communities.
  • Lead staff and clients through the 4 phases of the Adaptation Planning Process (Phase 1, “Explore, Define, and Initiate”; Phase 2, “Assess Vulnerability”; Phase 3, “Define Adaptation Framework and Strategies”; and Phase 4, “Implement, Monitor, Evaluate, and Adjust).
  • Train staff on how to use Cal-Adapt and other tools to determine future projections regarding extreme heat, flooding, fire, and other risks.
  • Work with clients and other Ascentians to determine the exposure, sensitivity and potential impacts, adaptive capacity, and vulnerability scoring for local communities.
  • Manage projects and plans, as well as prepare scopes, schedules, budgets, and invoicing.
  • Team up with project managers, principals, and other expert colleagues on all your projects.
  • Discuss technical approaches with recognized statewide leaders in climate change and adaptation.
  • Advance equity in the adaptation planning process.
  • Attend internal and external training opportunities.
  • Work with State agencies; regional air, water, and transportation districts and agencies; cities and counties; and many others.
  • Assist with organizing and conducting community workshops and public outreach events.
  • Tackle a broad range of climate and adaptation issues, including leading-edge thinking and how these topics cut across planning for housing, vulnerable communities, and safety with the team.
  • Stay up to date on the current state of the science and practice by reviewing resources from expert agencies (e.g., OPR, ICARP) and organizations (e.g., local climate collaboratives, ARCCA).

Ascent is seeking a qualified individual that possesses advanced knowledge of the adaptation planning process in California and expert-level skills in using associated analytical tools, preparing vulnerability assessments, interpreting data, and presenting results that inform new policies and actions to enhance community resiliency. The ideal candidate would have 6-8 years of relevant work experience assisting communities and/or government organizations with preparing climate vulnerability assessments, hazard reduction/mitigation plans, and/or climate adaptation plans. The individual should have experience managing projects, plans, and tasks related to adaptation planning. A deep understanding of adaptation planning and its relationship to hazard mitigation planning and comprehensive planning (e.g., general plan safety elements, local hazard mitigation plans, and community wildfire protection plans or other hazard-specific planning processes), practical experience working with vulnerable and under-resourced communities, and responding to requests for proposals are desirable. The candidate should have a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in planning, disaster/emergency management and recovery, environmental studies, geography, natural resources, physical sciences, or related field, and a minimum of 5 years of experience.

Ascent offers a supportive, collaborative, and intellectually challenging work environment with excellent benefits. We invest in our employees’ careers and welfare and strive to provide high-quality outcomes for our clients. We offer flexible hours, collegial teamwork, participation in important and challenging projects, opportunities to contribute to and join in-service events for our local communities, and regular performance recognition.


Ascent is committed to creating a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging throughout all facets of the organization. We value and will strive to ascend by welcoming and uplifting all voices, ideas, achievements, and contributions, including those from marginalized communities and identities. We believe that recognizing and embracing our differences makes us a stronger organization. We commit to proactively nurturing environments of mutual support, respect, and caring for all through our words and actions. Join us on our journey.

Affirmative Action/EEO

Ascent provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves or absence, compensation, and training.

Salary Description

$85,000 – $135,000

How to Apply

Apply Here

Job Categories: Climate Change. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: adaptation, climate, climate change, and Planner. Salaries: See posting for details.

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