Scientific Technician 3

  • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Olympia, WA, USA
  • Feb 12, 2019
Full time Biology - Ecology Fisheries - Marine Science - Aquatic Biology

Job Description

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is recruiting to fill five (5) full-time, permanent Scientific Technician 3 positions located in the Habitat Program.  The duty station is in the Natural Resources Building, Olympia, Thurston County.
This position reports to the Fish Passage Inventory Coordinator within the Fish Passage Division of the Habitat Program. These positions participate in fish passage inventories designed to locate and assess natural and human made in-stream features that may pose a passage problem for anadromous and resident salmonids. These positions may also participate in Hydraulic Project Approval compliance and effectiveness monitoring.
The anticipated start date is April 1, 2019.


These positions are responsible for conducting fish passage inventories to locate and assess natural and human-made in-stream features that may pose a passage or entrainment problem for salmonids. Fish passage inventories support prioritization and implementation of fish habitat enhancement and recovery projects in Washington.  These positions may also collect monitoring data on hydraulic project approval permits issued by WDFW. 
This is primarily a field position, with approximately 80% of the work to be conducted in field conditions, year round. Approximately 20% of the week is spent in the office entering data and preparing summary reports. The successful candidate must be willing and able to adapt to flexible work schedules, work along busy state highways, work long hours in adverse weather conditions, and walk streams to take measurements. Walking streams requires safely moving through thick vegetation, climbing over and around log jams, wood debris and walking on uneven terrain and slippery surfaces while carrying up to 30lbs of field gear.
Principal activities include:

  • Independently plan, organize, and conduct advanced on-site evaluations (e.g. slope, velocity, substrate composition) using prescribed protocols and procedures to inspect, analyze, and report human-made structures including (but not limited to) culverts, dams, bridges, fishways, lake outlet screens, and surface water diversions on streams.
  • Use on-site measurements and information to determine the application of the appropriate protocol and techniques for collecting data to assess stream crossings for fish passage. Analyze data to determine barrier status and fish habitat impacted.
  • Process physical and biological stream data using established protocols and procedures in Excel spreadsheets. Organize and enter data into the Fish Passage Diversion Screening Inventory (FPDSI) Microsoft Access database.
  • Use GIS software (ArcMap) to analyze data and create maps of assessment sites and fish passage features.
  • Conduct physical habitat assessments (e.g. stream width, depth, and substrate) to evaluate the extent of fish use in streams associated with stream crossings.
  • Provide technical assistance to other Environmental Restoration Division staff members in the inventory and evaluation of fish passage barriers and water diversions and conduct training of barrier assessment and habitat quantification techniques for co-workers and new hires.
  • Collect on-site data that will be used to determine compliance rates for permitted projects.


Required Qualifications

  • HS diploma or GED including one year of high school science, and 4 years of experience as a Scientific Technician or equivalent.
  • College coursework involving major study in biology, zoology, fisheries, chemistry, natural sciences, or closely allied field will substitute, year for year, for experience provided the coursework includes at least six semester or nine quarter hours of natural or environmental science classes. Note: while a college degree is not required, it is strongly preferred. 

A valid driver's license. (If selected for an interview, you may be asked to furnish your license and driving record.)
Preferred/Desired Qualifications:
Professional or scholarly experience conducting field research, preferably in the Pacific Northwest; knowledge of principles and procedures of research; familiarity with the use of GPS or other devices for collecting data in the field; experience with Microsoft Word and Excel and familiarity with Windows driven computer programs; ability to encourage and maintain team cohesiveness; ability to act safely and decisively in the field; ability to adapt to challenges in order to complete project objectives. 
Ability to: think critically; collect, record, and compile data; perform work in a safe manner; work independently and as part of a team; accept supervision; follow prescribed protocols and procedures; follow oral and written direction; develop and maintain positive, productive, respectful working relationships with coworkers, collaborators, and local landowners; make independent judgments in the field; perform a variety of outdoor work in inclement weather; tolerate difficult and sometimes tedious work conditions; abide by all applicable agency policies.
Well qualified applicants will demonstrate competencies in the following areas:

  • Thorough understanding of the WDFW's Fish Passage Barrier and Surface Water Diversion Screening Assessment and Prioritization methodologies and protocols.
  • Ability to use independent judgment to handle situations encountered in the field that are not addressed in the WDFW Fish Passage Barrier and Surface Water Diversion Screening Assessment and Prioritization manual.
  • Understanding of the freshwater habitat requirements and life histories of Washington's native salmonids.
  • Ability to observe and assess condition or quality of spawning and rearing habitat for Washington native salmonids.
  • Ability to observe and identify the various fish species found in Washington.
  • Ability to perform advanced data collection and analysis in barrier determination of human-made instream water features.
  • Ability to interpret aerial photographs and topographic maps and to navigate using said maps; accurately measure features on the maps.
  • Proficiency in the use of laser survey equipment, digital cameras, and GPS systems.
  • Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office and ArcMap software.
  • Must be self-motivated, reliable, punctual, and demonstrate good scientific ethics and integrity.

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Government- State/Provincial


$3,044.00 - $3,961.00 Monthly