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Per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.1 (Download PDF reader), Washington State employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18th, 2021. As a condition of employment, the successful candidate will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 Vaccination as part of the hire process. 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 Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a Natural Resource Scientist 3 position. This position is located in our Headquarters Office in Lacey, WA.

As a toxics researcher, you will be responsible for developing the agency’s consumer product testing work plan and coordinating with agency scientists who collect samples for our in-house laboratory to implement compliance and chemical policy programs. This position is responsible for developing a product testing work plan and coordinating with the Environmental Assessment Program (EAP) who are responsible for conducting scientific research and studies to support the agency’s consumer product testing program.

A top priority for this work is to integrate environmental justice concerns into our product testing program to help overburdened communities most impacted by toxic chemical pollution. Our recent efforts focus on toxics in products such as cadmium in children’s jewelry, lead in school supplies, and the use of toxic flame retardants in consumer products. 

As a toxics researcher, you will be working with a team of chemists and scientists who are passionate about the work we do to protect Washington’s residents and environment. We do this by using the toxics studies to enforce consumer product regulations.

The mission of the HWTR Program is to protect Washington’s residents and environment by reducing the use of toxic chemicals, safely managing dangerous waste, preventing new contaminated sites, and cleaning up contamination. The HWTR vision is to be national leaders in minimizing and eliminating the impacts of toxic chemicals and hazardous waste. 

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 embrace 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.

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. 

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 approximately 2 days per month. Ecology is following current state guidance regarding building occupancy, mask requirements, health screening questions before entry, and social distancing. 
Application Timeline: This position will remain open until filled, with an initial screening date of October 6, 2021. In order to be considered for initial screening, please submit an application on or before October 5, 2021. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.

What you'll do:
You will work with a cross-agency team to develop the agency’s product testing work plan, research product ingredients, and collect field data and information from product manufacturers. Today, one of the largest sources of chemical pollution is from the combined, slow and steady release of chemicals in consumer products into the environment.
Washington is a national leader in testing consumer products. We purchase products from retailers and test the product components with approved laboratory methods to track levels of the chemicals in products. Some examples include:
  • Working on product recalls for toxics in children’s jewelry.
  • Testing for phthalates in children’s clothing and accessories. 
  • Testing for copper in automotive brake pads. 
  • Testing for the presence of PFAS in food packaging. 
Key activities of the position include:
  • Provide research and gather chemical compliance information for HWTR compliance specialists, chemists, toxicologists and environmental planners to support implementation of toxics in consumer products and packaging laws. 
  • Conduct toxics research to support compliance and chemicals of concern field investigations, surveys, gathering field sampling data, analyzing and recording field conditions of products and packaging sold or used in Washington state. 
  • Conduct research on the ingredients used in antifouling paints to assist with the development of a technical report to the legislature. 

Why join the team:

This team is at the front lines of consumer product testing, environmental compliance and collaborating with Safer Products for Washington Program technical staff. Each year, you will lead efforts to gather ideas for future product testing studies. We do this by: 

  • Consulting with the agency’s Environmental Assessment Program on toxics monitoring programs and studies.
  • Evaluating and sharing the results of our action plans and product testing program.
  • Planning, scheduling and monitoring the progress of our product testing studies. 


Required Qualifications:
Experience for both required and desired qualifications can be gained through various combinations of formal professional employment, educational, volunteer and lived-experience. See below for how you may qualify.

Option 1: 

  • A Bachelor's degree with a major study in a natural science, chemistry, environmental health, toxicology or related technical field.
  • Four (4) years of research work in conducting toxics studies, formulating consumer products, or conducting product testing, environmental analytical services, or environmental monitoring.
  • Experience leading projects or facilitating multi-disciplinary research teams to address science policy issues, regulations, projects, or implementation of new programs and laws.   
Option 2: 

  • A Master's degree in the toxics field.
  • Two (2) years of research work in conducting toxics studies, formulating consumer products, or conducting product testing, environmental analytical services, or environmental monitoring. 
  • Experience leading projects or facilitating multi-disciplinary teams to address policy issues, regulations, projects, or implementation of new programs and laws.   
Option 3: 

  • A PhD in the toxics field. 
  • Experience leading projects or facilitating multi-disciplinary teams to address policy issues, regulations, projects, or implementation of new programs and laws.

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

  • Experience providing product testing or product certification services related to consumer products, personal care products, or sustainable packaging.

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 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

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 (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 Ken Zarker at: Please do not contact Ken 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.