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Natural Resource Scientist 2

Spokane WA

Job Order Number: JC155697514


Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

Protecting Washington State’s environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. We have a culture that is invested in making a difference. If you want to join a team that is highly effective, collaborative, has leadership that embraces the value of people, Ecology is a good fit.

The Environmental Assessment Program (EAP) program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a permanent, full-time Natural Resource Scientist (Natural Resource Scientist 2) position. This position is located in our Eastern Region Office (ERO) in Spokane, WA.

The Natural Resource Scientist position performs specialized surface water flow monitoring, freshwater aquatic and stream ecology research, and groundwater monitoring using conventional techniques. Responsibilities include gathering and analyzing sampling information to assess the status and trends of the streams, rivers and groundwater resources throughout Washington State.

As an agency, our mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington’s environment for current and future generations. We invest in our employees to create and sustain a working environment that encourages creative leadership, effective resource management, teamwork, professionalism and accountability. We are looking for applicants who are motivated, adaptable, team-oriented, dedicated and who have a desire to assess the status and trends of the streams, rivers, lakes and groundwater resources throughout Washington State.

To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at and follow, like or visit us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or our blog.

Local efforts… Diverse people… Statewide impacts



The Environmental Assessment Program is the science arm of our agency. Our scientists measure and analyze environmental conditions. Quality data is our highest priority. We use this data to evaluate and communicate environmental threats and to guide the state’s environmental policy decisions. Our hydrologists maintain a network of stream-gaging stations that report streamflow conditions in rivers and streams across the state to examine current water quality and streamflow conditions, and studies trends in stream health over time. The data we collect helps us make decisions on how to meet the water needs of people, wildlife, and the natural environment. Our hydrogeologists monitor water quality and groundwater supplies across the state to help us manage this important resource. To better understand and manage groundwater resources, we conduct studies to characterize surface water and groundwater interactions, support groundwater cleanup efforts, and assess potential impacts to groundwater quality from land use practices, among others. Our natural resource scientists study water quality and habitat to learn what kinds of plants and animals freshwater ecosystems support and collect data on the health of environmental systems that support plant and animal life. Our research helps us to restore and measure the health of important habitats across the state that are crucial for the survival of Washington’s diverse plant and animal populations.


Some of the key work activities of the Natural Resource Scientist *position include:

Performing field investigations, including taking stream flow measurements, groundwater level measurements aquifer tests, geologic mapping, aerial photograph interpretation, and/or graphic information system analysis.

Planning and conducting hydrology and environmental surveys, analyze and record field conditions, including measuring surface water quality and stream flows in Eastern Washington.

Planning and conducting hydrogeology investigations, analyze and record field conditions, including evaluating groundwater quality and estimating groundwater flow conditions in Eastern Washington.

Performing quality checks on water quality data and loads hydrogeologic data into the agency’s environmental database (EIM).

Performing analysis of hydrology and hydrogeologic data and information using a variety of analytical tools to evaluate groundwater/surface water interactions.

Performing cross-section and program technical peer review of hydrologic and water quality modeling and pollutant loading reports.


Problem Solving/Expectations:

This position uses scientific knowledge and professional judgment to serve as a staff natural resource scientist performing specialized freshwater aquatic and stream ecology research, groundwater investigations, coordinating, gathering, and analyzing water quality and biological sampling information to develop recommendations in order for management to make decisions regarding natural resources in Eastern Washington.

Plans, develops, researches, and conducts and/or oversees environmental sampling design technical data collection and analyzes, evaluates, and interprets data.

Assists in installing, operating and maintaining continuous water quality sondes and water stage height telemetry systems.

Conducts water quality and biological monitoring projects using appropriate scientific knowledge, including project scoping, monitoring plan design (including setting project objectives), field work, quality assurance and on-going communication with the client and other stakeholders, such as conservation districts or water districts.

Understands and communicates complex environmental information with agency staff, other agencies, industry and the general public related to the conditions of streams, rivers and aquatic resources around the state.

Makes recommendations to senior staff regarding new or modified sampling and analytical testing methods, best management practices, and technical operating procedures.

Develops GIS projects and coverages for the data in Arcview/ArcGIS; ensures project data is accurately entered into the agency data repository.

Conducts data analyses, including calculation of summary statistics using statistical software.

Data preparation and manipulation; graph, chart, and map preparation in ACCESS, EXCEL, GIS, and other software.


Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.


Required Qualifications:

A Bachelor of Science degree with a major study in geology, hydrogeology, hydrology, natural science, freshwater stream ecology or closely allied field


Three (3) years of experience in freshwater stream ecology research and hydrogeologic investigations.

A Master’s degree will substitute for two (2) years and a Ph.D. will substitute for all of the required experience, provided the field of major is in hydrology, hydrogeology, freshwater stream ecology or aquatic ecosystem monitoring.


Desired Qualifications:

Knowledge of: environmental sampling techniques and, environmental data analysis techniques including statistics.

Coursework in Environmental Science, Natural Science, Geology, Hydrogeology, Hydrology, Stream Ecology, Fisheries Biology, Chemistry, Forestry or related field would be advantageous.

Ability to conduct field work under a variety of conditions.

Experience collecting groundwater and surface water samples and measuring streamflow is desired.

Some experience with data analysis and data management.

Good communication and writing skills.

40-hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) Certification and current 8-hour Annual Refresher

SPECIAL KNOWLEDGE/SKILLS: Freshwater community ecology and statistical sampling design. Freshwater habitat assessment skills, freshwater chemistry, Access program.



Posted March 19, 2020

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