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Fluvial Geomorphologist (Hydrogeologist 4)

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 Shorelands and Environmental Assistance (SEA) program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a Fluvial Geomorphologist (Hydrogeologist 4) position. The mission of the SEA Program is to support community conservation efforts for our state’s shorelands, wetlands, and floodplains. This position can be located in any of the following region offices:

Headquarters Office in Lacey, WA.
Northwest Region Office (NWRO) in Shoreline, WA.
Central Region Office (CRO) in Union Gap, WA.
Eastern Region Office (ERO) in Spokane, WA.

Upon hire, you must live within a commutable distance from the duty station.

Please Note: The salary posted above does not include the additional 5% premium pay that this position will receive if the final location is determined to be in King County. 
The Floodplain Management Unit in the Shorelands and Environmental Assistance (SEA) Program is looking for a fluvial geomorphologist to serve as our day-to-day lead on a new habitat protection and restoration-focused channel migration zone (CMZ) mapping methodology project. In this role, your primary responsibility will be working with other Ecology technical and policy staff to determine which CMZ mapping methodology is best suited for helping to delineate those riparian areas along the state’s rivers and streams that our sister agency, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), identified are the most critical riparian areas for achieving the state’s salmon recovery goals.
In this role, you will gain real world experience conducting technical work and applying it through a policy lens, such as within the Growth Management Act and Shoreline Management Act land use planning frameworks. You will also have the opportunity to engage with key external stakeholders, including but not limited to other state agency staff/managers, and tribal representatives. 

Please Note: This is a project position that is funded until June 30, 2023.

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 expected to work in the office at least one day 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 10, 2022. In order to be considered for initial screening, please submit an application on or before October 9, 2022. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.

The mission of the SEA Program is to support community conservation efforts for our state’s shorelands, wetlands, and floodplains.

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? 
In this role, you will have the opportunity to apply channel migration zone mapping in new and unique ways, focusing on riparian habitat protection in concert with floodplain management. Improving protections for riparian areas is a high priority for the state and our tribal fisheries co-managers because of their importance to salmon, and Ecology is expected to make meaningful progress on this work in a short amount of time. 

What you will do: 

  • Inventory existing channel migration zone (CMZ) maps and mapping methodologies.
  • Analyze the suitability (e.g., effectiveness) and feasibility (e.g., cost, time) of existing CMZ mapping methodologies for use in delineating riparian areas for protection/restoration.
  1. If existing CMZ mapping methodologies are deemed ineffective and/or unsuitable for this intended purpose, scope the work to develop a new method
  • In conjunction with other Ecology staff and external partners/stakeholders, develop plans to (a) validate the chosen methodology and (b) begin mapping CMZs in priority watersheds.


Required Qualifications:

A Bachelor's degree involving a major study in hydrogeology, geomorphology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field AND Five years of professional experience as a hydrogeologist, hydrologist, geologist, or closely allied profession at the Hydrogeologist 2 level, higher or equivalent. Experience must include fluvial geomorphology with at least three years of recent professional work experience in surface water hydrology and fluvial systems
Option 2: 

A Master's degree with a major study in geomorphology, hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field AND Three years of professional experience as a hydrogeologist, hydrologist, geologist, or closely allied profession, which must include fluvial geomorphology, surface water hydrology, and fluvial systems.
Option 3: 

A Ph.D. with major research in geomorphology, hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field, which includes fluvial geomorphology, surface water hydrology, and fluvial systems AND Two years of professional experience as a hydrogeologist, hydrologist, geologist, or closely allied profession, which must include fluvial geomorphology, surface water hydrology, and fluvial systems.

Please note: for all options above, you must have three years of experience in evaluating fluvial processes, including channel migration assessments; and six months of experience in surface water hydrology and fluvial processes in the Pacific Northwest.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment: 

  • Must obtain and maintain a valid driver’s license.
  • Licensed as a Professional Geologist in Washington State.

Desired Qualifications:

A hydrogeologist specialty license in Washington State

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.
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 Mary Huff at: Please do not contact Mary 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.