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Senior Adaptation Planner, Ascent


You have demonstrated work history that includes advanced knowledge of adaptation planning in California and possess expert-level assessment skills (e.g., use of analytical tools, data interpretation, and presentation). Assisting communities and/or government organizations with being more resilient to the effects of climate change (e.g., preparing for increased wildfires, flooding, 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). 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 Senior Adaptation Analyst to join our practice based in the Bay Area, Sacramento, or San Diego. You will be working as part of the Climate Action and Adaptation Planning 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

  • Cultivate client and agency relationships

  • Team up with project managers, principals, and other expert colleagues on all your projects

  • Supervise, mentor, and advise staff on technical matters

  • Discuss technical approaches with recognized statewide leaders in climate change and adaptation

  • Advance equity in the adaptation planning process

  • Position for work and lead proposal efforts

  • 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)

  • Enjoy social and community service events, and the camaraderie of being an Ascentian


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 6-8years 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 and responding to requests for proposals and positions for future work. A deep understanding of adaptation planning and its relationship to hazard mitigation planning and comprehensive planning (e.g., General Plan Safety Elements) is desirable. The candidate should have a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in planning, disaster/emergency management, recovery, environmental studies, geography, natural resources, physical sciences, or related field, along with 6-8 years of experience. Please note that a master’s degree could count for some amount of experience depending on the program or research/teaching assistant positions held during that time. 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.

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