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Sediment Cleanup Specialist (Natural Resource Scientist 3)

Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

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

The Toxics Cleanup Program (TCP) program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a Natural Resource Scientist/Sediment Cleanup Specialist (Natural Resource Scientist 3) position. This position is located in our Headquarters Office in Lacey, WA.

The Natural Resource Scientist/Sediment Cleanup Specialist position serves as a sediment and research specialist and Project Manager to ensure proper implementation of state and federal cleanup regulations at sediment cleanup sites. Based on sometimes limited data or where precedent may be limited, this position works to achieve cleanup goals during remedial investigations and through phases of cleanup while working cooperatively with liable parties. You'll also coordinate with resource agencies, local government, and tribes to coordinate cleanup and restoration. In this position, you'll have opportunities to help in developing studies that assess contaminated sediments or test advances in cleanup methodologies where precedent is limited. You will be learning new things, incorporating it with what you already know, and putting it to good use.

We're looking for detail-oriented applicants with excellent people skills, who strive to learn new aspects of the evolving world of sediment contamination, and can rapidly assess complex data sets and regulations in order to make defensible decisions. You will need to be comfortable communicating with colleagues, the regulated community, the tribes, and the public whatever their level.
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.

To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at and follow, like or visit us on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram or our blog.
Local efforts... Diverse people... Statewide impacts

Ecology's mission is to protect, preserve, and enhance Washington's environment, and promote the wise management of our air, land, and water. Ecology's goals are to prevent pollution, clean up pollution and support sustainable communities and natural resources.
Accidental spills of dangerous materials and past business practices have contaminated land and water throughout the state. The Toxics Cleanup Program (TCP) works to remedy these situations, which range from cleaning up contamination from leaking underground storage tanks, to large, complex projects requiring engineering solutions. Our mission is to get and keep contaminants out of the environment. You'll be working in the Aquatic Lands Cleanup Unit (ALCU) as part of a team whose goal is to clean up and restore areas within the Puget Sound to protect both human health and the marine life which makes this part of Washington so special.

Some of the key work activities of the Natural Resource Scientist/Sediment Cleanup Specialist are:
  • Works with federal (e.g. EPA, Navy) and tribal entities as the state representative on federal Superfund (CERCLA) sites.
  • Independently manages and oversees state-led (MTCA) sediment cleanup sites,
  • Provides expert-level sediments technical support at contaminated sites driven by sometimes limited data or limited precedent
  • Oversees liable parties as they identify and investigate the nature and extent of contamination at their site, develop a plan to address (i.e. clean up) contamination, and oversees active remediation (i.e. construction) of aquatic resources of value to the state and public.
  • Is equally comfortable working independently or in a team environment; and,
  • Represents the TCP and Ecology in scientific / regulatory discussions surrounding the Sediment Management Standards and MTCA regulations.

This position is where toxicology, science, and regulations translate into an understanding of real-world biological impacts and ways to address these impacts for the betterment of the aquatic environment. If you enjoy working with groups who may have divergent interests to identify common ground and build a workable solution, then you may be a great fit for this position.
Problems solved:
  • In areas with limited precedent, work to develop knowledge of complex data sets, interpret technical expertise from liable parties' consultants, and provide pathways forward to establish defensible remediation objectives;
  • Work through differences of opinion in sampling designs and interpretation of data gathered;
  • Help people correctly interpret regulations when differences of opinion may exist or regulations may be in conflict,
  • Develop remediation objectives where traditionally promulgated standards may not fully address issues present, e.g. bioaccumulative chemicals.
Challenging aspects of the position:
Field work is sometimes required under varying weather conditions. Applicants will have to travel several hours by car to meetings or site visits; some overnight stays may be required. There will be challenging meetings with liable parties and consultants who present complex scientific and regulatory issues to work through. And, cleanups are long-term investments in time and effort; but, the pay-offs are returning aquatic environments back to productive areas economically and environmentally. You may have to attend and present at public meetings.
The Team:
The ALCU is a team-oriented and mutually supportive work environment that prides itself on open communication and diversity. If you have a question, there are staff to bounce ideas off of. And, people will be looking to you for advice. We work on cleanup sites that have a real positive environmental impact and where you and your co-workers are invested in making Washington a sustainable place to work and live.

This position will remain open until filled, with an initial screening date of January 21, 2020. In order to be considered for initial screening, please submit an application on or before January 20, 2020. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.

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

Required Qualifications:

Bachelor's degree with major study in a natural science (e.g. Aquatic Biology, Ecology, Ecotoxicology, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, etc.) and four years-professional research work experience in a specific specialty field (e.g. aquatic ecology, benthic ecology, sediment and/or soil toxicology, etc.).


A Master's degree in a natural science (e.g. Aquatic Biology, Ecology, Ecotoxicology, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, etc.) and two years-professional research work experience in a specific specialty field (e.g. aquatic ecology, benthic ecology, sediment and/or soil toxicology, etc.).


A Ph.D. degree in a natural science (e.g. Aquatic Biology, Ecology, Ecotoxicology, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, etc.).

Desired Qualifications:
  • Expert knowledge of marine and freshwater sediment biology/ecology, upland source control, bioassays, hydrogeologic processes, and marine chemistry;  
  • Knowledge of the Sediment Management Standards, Chapter 173-204 WAC, and the Model Toxics Control Act Regulation Chapter 173-340 WAC, the Shoreline Management Act RCW 90.58, and Federal CERCLA 42 U.S.C. §9601 et seq. (1980);
  • Strong verbal and written communication, project management and facilitation skills; and,
  • Strong negotiation and problem solving skills.
Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:
  • Valid Driver's License.
  • Must complete HAZWOPER (40-hr) training within six months of employment, and an annual 8-hour refresher.

Why work for Ecology?

Joining Ecology means becoming a part of a team committed to protecting and restoring Washington State's environment.

A career in public service allows you to help solve some of the most challenging problems facing our state, while keeping the health and financial security of you and your family a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to work/life balance.

Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:

Student debt and how working for Ecology can help
Employees may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, which forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. See for more details.
*See the Benefits tab in this announcement for more information
Supplemental Information

Application Instructions:

Please complete the applicant profile when applying for this position.

In order to be considered, applicants MUST attach a resume, and a cover letter that describes their interest in this position.

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

Please read the supplemental questions carefully and answer completely. Incomplete responses, including "please see resume" may disqualify you from further consideration.

Department of Ecology employees, please make sure to answer the agency-wide questions regarding permanent status as a classified employee within the Washington General Service or Washington Management Service. Do not forget to select Department of Ecology as a response to question 2, and type your personnel ID number for question 3. If you are not sure of your status or do not know your personnel ID number, please contact Human Resources.

If you are reading this announcement in print format, please visit to access the online recruitment system. Click on "Look for Jobs" and select Dept. of Ecology under the "Department" search list. Click "Apply Search."

Other Information:

If you need assistance applying for this job, please e-mail Please do not send an email to this address to follow-up the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile's main page.

If you have specific questions about the position, please email Leonard Machut at: Please do not contact Leonard to inquire about the status of your application.

The act of submitting application materials electronically is considered affirmation that the information is complete and truthful. The state may verify this information and any untruthful or misleading answers are cause for rejection of your application or dismissal if employed.

This position is included in the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) union bargaining unit for the Department of Ecology.

The Washington State Department of Ecology is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, veterans or people with military status, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application/testing process or this job announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 407-6186. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.