Agricultural Program Specialist
Salary: $27.48-$33.54 hourly / $4,779-$5,834 monthly /
DEFINITION: Under direction, educates landowners and other
interested parties about Santa Barbara County's oak tree protection
program or noxious weed management program, depending on specialty;
offers technical assistance to, generates support among, and
coordinates efforts of public, private, and legislative partners to
successfully administer the noxious weed management program or oak
tree protection program; ensures compliance with applicable legal
requirements; and performs related duties as required.
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This classification is
distinguished from classifications in the Agricultural Biologist
series by its emphasis on promoting compliance with self-regulatory
or voluntary measures and on coordinating the activities of a
variety of County stakeholders and resource managers to protect oak
trees, or minimize environmental degradation and agricultural
incursion by nonnative weeds, in order to preserve the ecological
integrity of Santa Barbara County. This classification is further
distinguished from classifications in the Agricultural Biologist
series by its focus on obtaining acceptance of each program through
public and community education, grant-writing and administration,
and GIS mapping and data collection to measure program
effectiveness; interpretation of the governing documents for each
program; and the authority to take administrative action for
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES:
- Coordinates educational meetings and outreach and provides
training to landowners and other interested parties as part of
efforts to encourage community compliance with both voluntary and
regulatory components in the respective program.
- Represents the County in dealings with landowners and other
interested parties at individual and public meetings to make and
explain decisions associated with the respective program that have
legal, political, and environmental impacts.
- Provides reports to the Board of Supervisors and other
decision-makers about the status of projects and progress toward
goals of the respective program.
- Administers a countywide mapping and data coordination program
for use in tracking, evaluating, and reviewing the effectiveness
of the respective program and to facilitate program planning and
initiate changes for improvement.
- Negotiates agreements related to oak tree protection and
noxious weed abatement with public and private agencies, nonprofit
organizations, and private land interests.
- Identifies and applies for grants and other funds to be used
as incentives for landowners to comply with program objectives and
the voluntary components of the respective program.
- Performs complex and specialized contract administration
related to oak tree protection and noxious weed abatement efforts.
- Tracks costs for projects; ensures compliance with fiscal and
reporting responsibilities associated with specific projects;
serves as the County's agent in any jointly funded or shared-cost
programs related to oak tree protection and noxious weed abatement
- Stays current on research and development and ensures that
interested parties have access to the latest information in the
respective program field.
- Reviews proposed changes to laws, rules, and regulations that
affect or have the potential to affect the respective program and
implement changes, as necessary.
- May plan, schedule, and evaluate the work of others; may
supervise clerical and support staff and provide functional
supervision to others working to address issues within the
Oak Tree Protection Specialty
- Provides administrative oversight of the Oak Tree Protection
and Regeneration Program, with technical assistance from the
Resource Conservation District and the Oak Tree Advisory Committee
as detailed in The Deciduous Oak Tree Protection and Regeneration
Ordinance (the oak tree ordinance).
- Requests that landowners voluntarily report deciduous oak
removals; coordinates data tracking program, and provides
technical assistance to landowners in the replanting and
regeneration of valley and blue oaks in accordance with the oak
- Consults with landowners regarding self-regulating elements of
the oak tree ordinance; conducts on-site monitoring if the
landowners voluntarily cooperate; monitors and enforces compliance
with the regulatory component of the oak tree ordinance; and
coordinates efforts with Planning and Development in accordance
with the Oak Tree Ordinance.
- Provides or arranges assistance with drafting oak tree
management plans for individual land owners and provides approval
of such plans on a case-by-case basis.
- In accordance with the oak tree ordinance, obtains the
necessary documentation of oak tree removals from landowners and
ensures that violations are handled in accordance with the
- Monitors and tracks the removal and replanting of oak trees to
ensure compliance with the oak tree ordinance.
Weed Management Specialty
- Provides primary professional staff support to and serves as
meeting facilitator for the Santa Barbara County Weed Management
Area, an organization whose mission is to increase the quantity
and quality of noxious exotic weed management efforts in Santa
- Monitors the presence of noxious, nonnative weeds countywide;
defines scope of mitigation and eradication projects; identifies
and obtains resources required to complete projects, and
establishes and monitors progress toward project milestones and
- Contacts vendors, receives and reviews bids, and awards and
administers contracts for goods and services to protect and
restore land from invasive weeds.
- Utilizes principles of integrated pest management; and ensures
the safe, proper, and effective use of herbicides or pesticides by
self or others to reduce or eliminate noxious weed infestations.
- Maintains communications with administrators of other local
Weed Management Areas.
- Possession of a bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year
college with specialization in one or more disciplines in
agricultural, biological, horticultural, or environmental
sciences, or a related field such as forestry, natural resource
management, or ecology, and three years of increasingly
responsible professional journey-level experience, in a position
related to agriculture, forestry, natural resource management, or
environmental science that included program coordination involving
public education and outreach; or,
- a combination of training, education, and experience that is
equivalent to the employment standard listed above and that
provides the required knowledge and abilities.
Additional Requirement: Possession of a
valid California Class C Driver's License.
Knowledge of: principles and practices of project
management and public relations; techniques for educating the public
and enforcing laws and government regulations; basic math including
fractions and percentages; standard English grammar, syntax, and
usage; basic computer applications for office use.
Ability to: address and balance the concerns of different
constituencies; build consensus to achieve goals; represent the
department with tact and diplomacy; establish and maintain good
working relationships and work effectively with colleagues, staff
members from other County departments, and private landowners and
other members of the public; plan, prioritize, organize, and carry
out work independently; set priorities to meet deadlines; administer
contracts and budgets; organize and manage multiple projects
simultaneously; recognize and distinguish among various types of
weeds, plants, or trees; learn basic purchasing processes and
procedures to properly acquire goods and services; learn relevant
technical information such as how to prepare oak management plans or
ensure safe pesticide use; prepare and write clear and
concise memos, reports, and other documents using correct grammar,
punctuation, and spelling; analyze information, identify problems,
make recommendations, and exercise independent judgment; prepare
project budgets and learn contract terminology; keep accurate
records; read and understand topographic maps; read, understand, and
interpret relevant, technical reports and local, state, and federal
laws, regulations, and policies; provide technical assistance to
others; communicate clearly and effectively orally, both in person
and over the telephone; lead, organize, and prioritize the work of
In addition to abilities listed above for both specialties, the
Weed Management Specialty requires:
Ability to: direct efforts of technical weed control
personnel in the public and private sector.
Knowledge of: current mapping techniques including
Geographic Information System (GIS) software applications; database
and spreadsheet software.
Ability to: experience involving enforcement in a
regulatory environment; grant-writing experience.
Oak Tree Protection Specialty:
Specialized training, education, or experience with species of
California oak trees, e.g., working knowledge of and experience
employing the principles in the University of California publication
How to Grow California Oaks.
Weed Management Specialty:
Possession of a Qualified Applicator's Certificate or License;
knowledge of state and federal laws and regulations and inspection
methods pertaining to county agricultural programs; botany; chemical
properties and safe use and application of pesticides.
SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Performing the essential
functions of this job may require the incumbent to climb and/or walk
on uneven, unpaved terrain to identify weeds or protected oak trees
to assess and document conditions and recommend remedial actions; to
be exposed to unpleasant or hazardous conditions in the field, such
as heat or dust; incumbents in the Weed Management Specialty who are
licensed to use herbicides or pesticides may work with and/or around
hazardous materials and perform tasks that require lifting up to 50
lbs. and bending.