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Staff Geologist (Hydrogeologist 3)

Per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.2 (Download PDF reader), Washington State employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As a condition of employment, the successful candidate will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination as part of the hiring process, prior to their start date. Requests for medical and religious exemptions will be considered. If you have questions, please contact with “COVID-19 vaccination” in the subject line.  

Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

The Toxics Cleanup Program (TCP) within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a Staff Geologist (Hydrogeologist 3) position. This position is located in our Northwest Region Office (NWRO) in Shoreline, WA, or our Bellingham Field Office (BFO) in Bellingham, WA. Upon hire you must live within a commutable distance from either duty station.

Please Note: If the position ends up being in the Northwest Region office in Shoreline, WA, then there will be an additional 5% premium pay that this position will receive due to this position's location in King County.  

As Staff Geologist in the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) Unit, you will be responsible for reviewing and evaluating Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) work plans and reports, developing cleanup standards, selecting remedies, and designing compliance monitoring plans. In this role, you will be responsible for managing and overseeing the investigation and cleanup of contaminated sites for compliance with the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) and Sediment Management Standards (SMS) and other relevant laws and regulations.
Agency and Program Mission: Ecology’s mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's environment, and promote the wise management of our air, land, and water. The agency’s goals are to prevent pollution, clean up pollution and support sustainable communities and natural resources. The mission of the Toxics Cleanup Program is to protect Washington’s human health and the environment by preventing and cleaning up pollution and supporting sustainable communities and natural resources for the benefit of future and current generations.

During Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery, employees are working a combination of in-office and/or telework based on position and business need. This position is required to work in the office one to two days per week. Ecology is following current state guidance regarding mask requirements, health screening questions before entry, and social distancing. Looking ahead, Ecology has recently updated the agency policies on telework and flexible and compressed work schedules. Applicants with questions about position location options, telework, and flexible or compressed schedules are encouraged to reach out to the contact person listed below in “other information.” 
Application Timeline: This position will remain open until filled, with an initial screening date of October 5, 2022. In order to be considered for initial screening, please submit an application on or before October 4, 2022. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.

About the Department of Ecology
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. Join a team that is highly effective and collaborative, with leadership that embraces the value of people.

Ecology cares deeply about employee wellness; we go beyond traditional benefits, proudly offering:

  • A healthy life/work balance by offering flexible schedules and telework options for most positions.
  • An Infants at Work Program that is based on the long-term health values of infant-parent bonding and breastfeeding newborns.
  • Continuous growth and development opportunities. 
  • A wellness program that offers education, fitness classes, and an agency-wide fondness for outdoor meetings.
  • Opportunities to serve your community and make an impact through meaningful work.

Our commitment to DEIR
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR) are core values central to Ecology’s work. We strive to be a workplace where we are esteemed for sharing our authentic identities, while advancing our individual professional goals and collaborating to protect, preserve, and enhance the environment for current and future generations.
Diversity: We celebrate and appreciate diversity; our unique perspectives and abilities enrich us all and lead to innovative approaches and solutions.
Equity: We champion equity, recognizing that each of us need different things to thrive.
Inclusion: We intentionally create and hold space so that we all have meaningful opportunities to participate and contribute to Ecology’s work.
Respect: We treat each other with respect and dignity, acknowledging the inherent worth of our diverse perspectives and lived experiences, even in times of uncertainty and disagreement.
We believe that DEIR is both a goal and an action. We are on a journey, honoring our shared humanity and taking steps to demonstrate our commitment to a vision where each of us is heard, seen, and valued. 

What makes this role unique? 
As Staff Geologist, you will provide geologic model expertise for the remediation of independent cleanup sites to ensure that soil and groundwater contamination in highly impacted communities is adequately addressed. You will perform final geology review and approval of associated geology and groundwater models, designs, plans, and specifications. You will serve as an expert in Washington state geology, especially basin-wide geology, modeling practices, interconnections between different geologic units and groundwater, surface water and sediments, erosional processes, evaluating Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) work plans and reports, and basic field surveying techniques.
What you will do:
  • Plan, direct, and/or provide technical assistance, guidance, oversight and approval on professional geological analysis on assigned Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) contaminated cleanup sites.
  • Develop cleanup strategies for hazardous waste cleanup sites. 
  • Perform final professional geology review and approval of associated geology and groundwater modeling, designs, plans, and specifications.
  • Develop scopes of work; describes and/or recommend actions leading to site remediation and/or source control; coordinate cleanup plans, technical or regulatory issues to resolve, State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) requirements, and public comments with federal, state, and local agencies as well as special interest groups and the public.
  • Conduct site visits and conducts soil, groundwater or other sampling at contaminated sites.
Required Qualifications:
Experience for both required and desired qualifications can be gained through various combinations of formal professional employment, educational and volunteer experience. See below for how you may qualify.
Option 1: 
A Bachelor’s degree with major study in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field, AND three years of professional experience as a hydrogeologist, hydrologist, geologist, or closely allied profession. Professional experience could include, but is not limited to:
  • Characterizing the nature and extent of contamination at contaminated sites;
  • Designing and installing monitoring well networks;
  • Performing groundwater sampling at contaminated sites;
  • Conducting hydraulic aquifer tests or pumping tests;
  • Writing remedial investigation reports, etc. 
Option 2:
A Master’s degree with major study in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field, AND one year of professional experience as a hydrogeologist, hydrologist, geologist, or closely allied profession. Examples of professional experience listed above.
Option 3: 
A Ph.D. if major research was in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field.
Option 4: 
One year of experience as a Hydrogeologist 2, at the Department of Ecology.  
Registration as a licensed Professional Geologist in the State of Washington is required.
NOTE:  Individuals who are interested in applying to this position, and believe they meet licensing requirements for the State of Washington based on reciprocity, are responsible for ensuring they meet licensing requirements for the State of Washington prior to submitting their application materials. These requirements can be found at the following website: WA State Licensing (DOL) Official Site: How to get your license: Geologists, engineering geologists, or hydrogeologists by reciprocity.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment: 
  • Must possess a valid Washington State Geologist license. 
  • Must possess and maintain a valid driver's license.
  • Must complete 40-hour hazardous materials training within six months of appointment and annual 8-hour refreshers.

Desired Qualifications:
We highly encourage you to apply even if you do not have some (or all) of the desired experience below.

  • Uses data and information in a clear, rational, and thorough process to assess and understand issues, evaluate options, form accurate conclusions, and make decisions which are in compliance with the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA).
  • Accepts full responsibility for all aspects of assigned projects, remaining in touch with site status and progress. Effectively directs and integrates all aspects of site work, ensuring that work progresses – achieving goals and objectives.
Note: Having some (or all) of this desired experience may make your application more competitive in a highly competitive applicant pool.

Supplemental Information

Ecology seeks diverse applicants: We view diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect through a broad lens including race, ethnicity, class, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, military background, language, education, life experience, physical disability, neurodiversity, and intersectional identities. Qualified candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Need an Accommodation in the application and/or screening process or this job announcement in an alternative format?

  • Please call: (360) 407-6186 or email: and we will be happy to assist.
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing you can reach the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.
  • If you need assistance applying for this job, please e-mail Please do not send an email to this address to follow-up on the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile's main page.
  • If you are reading this announcement in print format, please enter the following URL to your search engine to apply: 
Application Instructions:

It's in the applicant's best interest to submit all of the documents listed below. Applications without these documents may be declined.

  • A cover letter describing why you are interested in this position.
  • A resume outlining your experience and education (if applicable) as it relates to the minimum qualifications of this position.
  • Three professional references.
Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable. 
For Your Privacy:
When attaching documents to your application (such as Resume, Cover Letter, Transcripts, DD-214, etc.):

  • Please be sure to remove private information such as your social security number, date of birth, etc. 
  • Do not attach documents that are password-protected, as these documents may not be reviewed and may cause errors within your application when downloaded. 

Additional Application Instructions for Current 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.

Application Attestation: 

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. 

Other Information:
If you have specific questions about the position, please email Bob Warren at: Please do not contact Bob to inquire about the status of your application.
To request the full position description: email

Why work for Ecology?

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.

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 your health and financial security a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to life/work balance.

Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:

Student debt: how working for Ecology can help
The Department of Ecology is a qualifying employer for the Public Service Forgiveness Program (PSLF). See for more details.
To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at and follow, like or visit us on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram or our blog.

Collective Bargaining: This is a position covered by a bargaining unit for which the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) is the exclusive representative.  

Equal Opportunity Employer: 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, military spouses 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.

Note: This recruitment may be used to fill other positions of the same job classification across the agency. Once all the position(s) from the recruitment announcement are filled, the recruitment may only be used to fill additional open positions for the next sixty (60) days.