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Ocean Acidification Scientist

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, has leadership that embraces the value of people, and believes in the fun factor, Ecology is a good fit.
The Environmental Assessment Program (EAP) program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a permanent, Ocean Acidification Scientist (Natural Resource Scientist 2) position. This position is located in our Headquarters Building (HQ) in Lacey, WA.
The Ocean Acidification Scientist position serves as a natural resource scientist with specialized experience in marine science and marine chemistry. Under administrative supervision, this position performs specialized natural resource research on parameters that influence ocean acidification in order to assess status and trends in Puget Sound water quality.
We are looking for passionate applicants who enjoy working on the water, who can adjust quickly to the shifting demands of field work, and who take satisfaction from honing scientific methods in a team environment.
As an agency, 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
Agency Mission: Ecology's mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's environment and to promote the wise management of our air, land and water for the benefit of current and future generations. 
The Environmental Assessment Program provides a range of scientific, monitoring, laboratory, and quality assurance services. Its mission is to measure and assess environmental conditions in Washington State.
Some of the key work activities of the Ocean Acidification Scientist position are:
  • Collects, preserves and tracks discrete water samples to measure dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity.
  • Maintains, calibrates, and troubleshoots water quality instruments to measure ocean acidification parameters.
  • Operates CTDs and participates in field work on boats in a variety of conditions.
  • Reviews and quality checks environmental data with other Marine Monitoring Unit scientists.
  • Serves as Ecology's boat master, operating research vessels in support of Marine Monitoring Unit field operations.
  • Collaborates with Ecology scientists to develop and implement focused investigations of ocean acidification dynamics and impacts. 
What is this position expected to accomplish?
The Ocean Acidification Scientist is expected to oversee ongoing carbonate system measurements of the highest possible quality within the long-term marine monitoring program.
What kinds of problems does this position get to solve?
In the field and in the laboratory, the Ocean Acidification Scientist will troubleshoot water quality instruments and equipment used to collect water samples. The person in this position will participate in the deployment and evaluation of new instruments for carbonate system measurements. In collaboration with other scientists, the person in this position will also develop metrics to assess regional differences in ocean acidification parameters and change over time.
Interesting aspects of this position:
This position offers the chance to apply specialized knowledge of ocean acidification science towards practical ends, tracking environmental change in a complex and fascinating ecosystem. Ocean acidification threatens a broad range of cultural, economic and ecological resources in Washington State, and the Ocean Acidification Scientist will work alongside an outstanding regional community of scientists to explore this threat. As a boat master, the person in this position will gain leadership experience in the field and deep familiarity with Salish Sea waterways. The successful applicant will join a high-performing team that pursues a holistic understanding of the status and trends in Washington State marine waters.
The culture of the team:
The Marine Monitoring Unit is an interdisciplinary team of scientists focused on the collection of high-quality environmental data to assess the condition of sediments and the water column. Working across diverse habitats, the Marine Monitoring Unit tells the story of Washington State's marine systems and connects environmental data with decision-makers and the public. In the face of ocean warming and acidification, the long-term records amassed by the unit are crucial in understanding and adapting to change.
Please do not include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.
Required Qualifications:
A Bachelor's degree with a major study in Marine Science or Oceanography
Three (3) years professional research work experience in marine science or oceanography, related to ocean acidification.
A Master's degree will substitute for two (2) years and a Ph.D. degree will substitute for all of the required experience, provided the field of major study was in the specific specialty.
Desired Qualifications:
  • Experience conducting field sampling from a boat and seaplane under a variety of conditions.
  • Experience operating and calibrating a CTD.
  • Experience with sensors used for the measurement of ocean acidification-relevant parameters.
  • Ability to work with large environmental datasets.
  • Scripting skills preferably in MATLAB and R.
  • Ability to use, interpret, analyze and produce geographic information datasets.
Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:
Must possess or obtain certification as Environmental Assessment Program boat master.
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 include the following documents as an attachment to your application:
  • A cover letter describing how your experience, skills and abilities meet the required qualifications of this position.
  • A resume outlining your professional experience.
Please to do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.
Please complete the applicant profile when applying for this position. Or, you may paste the text of your resume within the profile's resume text field.
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 at (360) 407-6186.
Other Information:
If you need assistance applying for this job, please call Human Resources at (360) 407-6186 or e-mail Please do not call this number or 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 Stacy Polkowske at: Please do not contact Stacy 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.