Aquatic Resources Science Advisor, WMS2

Washington State Department of Natural Resources
Olympia, Washington, US
May 14, 2021
May 21, 2021
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type
Aquatic Resources Science Advisor, WMS2
Recruitment #2021-05-7684
This is a Full-time, Permanent, Washington Management Services (WMS2), Non-represented position.

Want to join something GREAT and make a difference?
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has an exciting opportunity within our Aquatic Resources Division. Are you a marine scientist with the mind of a collaborative leader or a people person with a scientific mind? Are you interested in a career that allows you to make a meaningful contribution to the restoration of Puget Sound and its iconic salmon and Orca populations? DNR's Aquatic Resources Division is looking for a science advisor to lead two teams of scientists and a team of environmental planners, who are all working toward the long-term health of 2.6 million acres of state-owned aquatic lands (including Puget Sound, the Columbia River, and other areas of significance)and surrounding communities.

In this position, you will straddle the worlds of science, planning, and policy by developing and implementing a science and monitoring program that links DNR's existing scientific programs and expertise to foreseeable management questions, including issues related to climate change impacts and supporting climate resilience of state-owned aquatic lands. Through your work with the planners on the National Estuary Program's Habitat Strategic Initiative Team, you would connect the DNR Aquatic Resources programs to critical federal, state, tribal, and local partners in Puget Sound recovery, through regional planning efforts and operationalization of the Habitat Implementation Strategies (Land Development and Cover, Floodplains and Estuaries, and Shoreline Armoring) and Recovery Plans (Eelgrass).

To be successful in this position, you need not only an academic background in aquatic sciences, but you also need to demonstrate the ability to lead teams through collaborative and creative problem solving. This position represents the agency as a liaison to the Puget Sound Partnership and other academic, government, and non profit entities working across the state.

Build and lead a team that encourages and supports diversity, innovation, collaboration, and creativity.
Maintain an inclusive and welcoming culture in the Aquatic Resources Division.
Develop respectful relationships characterized by clear communication with other employees and our external partners.
Protect, restore, and enhance aquatic ecosystems by helping to develop and monitor effectiveness of habitat stewardship measures in use authorizations and other activities.
Manage and supervise the Aquatic Resource science teams and develop plans as necessary to link DNR's existing scientific programs to foreseeable applied management questions, including issues related to impacts of climate change and supporting climate resilience of state-owned aquatic lands.
Manage relationships with the Puget Sound Partnership, EPA, NOAA, USFWS, and the broader Puget Sound recovery community.

Required Qualifications:
A Bachelor's degree with major study in a natural science AND six years of professional research work experience related to natural resource and/or land management.
OR; A Master's degree, without a PhD degree in a specialty field,
AND four years of professional research work experience related to natural resource and/or land management. , provided the field of major study was in the natural sciences.
OR; A Ph.D. degree AND three years of professional research work experience related to natural resource and/or land management.
, provided the field of major study was in the natural sciences.
At least three years of supervisory experience.
Demonstrated ability to think critically, and synthesize and analyze information.
Demonstrated ability to manage staff time and expenditures to meet budgets.
Experience interpreting and implementing guidelines, regulations, and laws.
Experience negotiating contentious issues in a respectful, responsive and informed manner.
Demonstrated ability to collaborate on internal and external issues in an active respectful, cooperative and professional manner.
Demonstrated ability to manage complex issues in a politically sensitive manner.
Effective relationship- and team-building skills.
Effective personnel management skills including hiring, training, coaching, and disciplining.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
Excellent prioritization skills.
Proficient with the Microsoft suite of computer programs (Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint)
The large majority of work is performed in an office or meeting setting with some field work. Field visits involve transport by motor vehicle or small boat and include working on or around flowing water (rivers) and marine waters. Foot travel over rough terrain is occasionally required.
The incumbent in this position is required to travel. Frequent travel will be required for short periods of time and occasionally may require overnight stays away from home, typically not more than one night per month.
A valid driver's license and have two years of driving experience. This position requires driving as an essential function. Finalists and/or interview candidates may be asked to
provide a driving record from all states in which they have held a license during the past three years.

Our ideal candidate will also have the qualifications listed below:
PhD degree in natural resource management, forestry, geography, marine science, other science, land use or environmental planning, or other relevant field.
Knowledge of environmental planning principles, techniques, and current trends of resource development and management in Puget Sound.
Knowledge of EPA CCMP, structure and function of the Puget Sound Partnership and supporting work groups, and the latest advances in the sciences as related to Puget Sound protection and recovery.
Understanding of the impacts of climate change to the Puget Sound ecosystem, how to assess their relative vulnerabilities and associated risks, and incorporate climate-related impacts into long-term planning.
Experience using project management strategies and techniques including the development and implementation of detailed task breakdowns, evaluation of task dependencies, evaluation of policy and political constraints, and use of project management software;
Experience in giving testimony to legislative bodies and public presentations.
Knowledge of state legislative and political processes.
Knowledge of the marine, estuarine, and riparian ecologies of the Pacific Northwest.

One of the world's most scenic places, Washington State offers breathtaking discoveries for people who love natural beauty and outdoor recreation, from the Pacific Coast shores to the rugged Cascade Mountains to the rolling hills of the Palouse. Your office will be located in Olympia. For more information on this area visit,

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, telework (mobile-work) is expected for most office activities. When approved to return, staff are expected to report to their assigned duty station for work activities or may be approved for telework based on DNR's telework policy.
About the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Our mission is to manage, sustain, and protect the health and productivity of Washington's lands and waters to meet the needs economically and socially for current and future generations. At DNR we approach our work through the lens of making Washington a better place environmentally and are dedicated to serving Washington's lands and communities through diversity, equity and inclusion. With nearly 1,500 employees in locations throughout Washington, we manage and protect more than 5 million acres of state-owned forest, range, commercial, agricultural and aquatic lands.
DNR provides excellent benefits, a few of those include:
Commitment to organizational health and wellness
Work/life balance
DNR Employee Resource Groups (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, Women's Employee Resource Group, Veterans Employee Resource Group, etc.)
Statewide Employee Business Resource Groups,
visit here to learn more
Leadership that empowers and supports employees
Professional development opportunities
Educational and career development aid
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Eligibility
Opportunities to participate in wildland fire suppression assignments
A comprehensive benefit package that includes employer contributions toward health insurance, paid holidays, retirement plans, sick leave and vacation days. Visit for more information.

How to Apply:
To be considered you must apply online at (Click on the APPLY button above). You must complete the entire online application to be considered for the position.
Once you submit your online application, you can check your status by logging into your account. If you experience technical difficulties creating, accessing or completing your application call NEOGOV toll-free at (855)524-5627 or email

Application Requirements:
Attach a letter of interest describing how your experience and qualifications relate to the position profile and the position required, desired and special requirements.
Attach a resume describing your experience and qualifications.
Provide three to five professional references - you may attach a document, use the References text field in the online application, or include with resume.
Attach a copy of your college degree certificate or an unofficial copy of your transcripts.
Complete all supplemental questions.

Additional Information:
This recruitment may be extended and may also be used to fill future similar vacancies for up to sixty (60) days.
Veterans wishing to claim Veteran's preference please attach a copy of your DD-214, NGB-22 or other verification of military service. Please black out your social security number prior to attaching. We thank you and are grateful for your service!
Persons needing accommodation during the screening process or this announcement in an alternative format may contact DNR Recruiting staff at (360) 522-2500 or (360) 522-0143 or by email at
Those with a hearing impairment in need of accommodation are encouraged to contact the Washington State Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) at 1-800-833-6388 or

DNR is an Equal Opportunity Employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind.
Check us out on:
DNR's website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, WordPress

Please contact Katrina Lassiter at 360-791-9814, or e-mail us at

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