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Aquatic Research Section Manager - Fish & Wildlife Research Scientist 2 - Permanent - *05021-24



Habitat Program – Science Division
 Olympia, Washington – Thurston County


This position may be eligible for telework.   The default assigned work location for this position is in Olympia, Washington.  Frequency of onsite work will vary based on business and operational needs.


Develop and conduct research/monitoring, and provide technical assistance on all aspects of aquatic habitat science needs in support of Habitat Program and broader agency needs through management of the Aquatic Habitat Research Section.


Independently conduct research and direct departmental research team performing research at the forefront of scientific inquiry on aquatic habitat and other component of aquatic biodiversity requiring the development and application of new theoretical, methodological, and analytical' concepts.


In this dynamic role, you will direct a multidisciplinary, multi-jurisdictional research program.


You thrive on building collaboration and teamwork, developing ongoing relationships with, and provide scientific support to, the Protection, Restoration, Ecosystem Services, Fish Passage Divisions within the Habitat Program.


We are seeking a candidate to solicit research funding to support and grow the research program and develop cooperative research that addresses agency goals in fresh and marine waters.


Here are some things you will do in this role:


Provides leadership in the Program, Division and Section and supports the agency mission by developing literature reviews, monitoring studies, and research projects critical to agency’s needs: 

  • Assembling, leading, training, and mentoring interdisciplinary research teams to conduct research, monitoring and to build scientific support for Habitat Program and agency goals especially those related to the conservation and restoration of aquatic habitats, including marine nearshore areas, streams, stillwater wetlands, and the fauna they support.
  • Expertly crafting detailed aquatic biodiversity research monitoring plans that include status and trend, validation, and effectiveness assessments for all types of land management issues.
  • Designing study protocols to implement research designs.
  • Designing methodologically sound research studies.

Interprets and applies findings of scientific studies to inform and guide agency management decision-making and policy: 

  • Providing scientifically informed consequences of different policy alternatives to policy makers regarding aquatic biodiversity, habitat restoration/conservation based on interpretation of scientific literature and research results.
  • Developing and communicating aquatic habitat and aquatic species ecology expertise, for internal processes including HPAs, Growth Management, ESRP, and salmon recovery.

Securing funding for research: 

  • Independently and cooperatively developing research proposals for grant funding opportunities regarding aquatic habitats and biota in support of agency mission.
  • Orally presenting information and research proposals to groups to increase understanding and/or acceptance of ideas/actions.
  • Developing and implement original aquatic habitat and biota related research using novel analytical methods of his own design.

Communicating with and advising management and stakeholders to identify and prioritize research needed to address management concerns: 

  • Preparing written reports to communicate statistical and other findings.
  • Designing and identifying research strategies to address key uncertainties in aquatic habitat and biota ecology.
  • explaining research results and options to decision makers to improve understanding of management and policy implications.


  • Work Setting, including hazards:
    • Work is in the office about 75% of the time, but done primarily as teleworking. Office hazards include working under fluorescent light, repetitively entering data into computer, looking at computer monitor for long periods of time, sitting or standing for long periods of time.
    • When in field (25%), activities involve exposure to inclement weather, insect bites/stings, thorny/spiny vegetation, and pollen. Ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds of equipment.
    • There may be instances where this position will be in, on, or around water. Must be trained to negotiate water in emergency situations.
  • Schedule:
    • Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
  • Travel Requirements:
    • Occasional travel around the state is expected and may include remote locations and occasional overnight stays.
  • Tools and Equipment:
    • PFD’s, rubber boots, raingear, dipnets, seine nets, water chemistry sampling gear, and Garmin or other GPS-capable equipment.
  • Customer Interactions:
    • Chief scientists in the Fish and Wildlife programs, Program directors and scientists across the agency, Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Deputy and Agency Directors, and scientists in other state and federal agencies.




  • A Master's degree in wildlife, wildlife habitat science, biology, zoology or in mathematics with emphasis on animal population biology or closely allied field.


  • Four (4) years of professional experience designing, conducting, and supervising multidisciplinary wildlife, habitat, or fish-related research studies.
    • Please note:  A Doctoral degree in one of the fields listed above will substitute for one (1) year of the required experience.


  • Three (3) articles published or in press refereed literature (two articles must be as senior author, the third article must be as senior or secondary author.)


  • Three (3) years of experience as a Fish & Wildlife Research Scientist 1.


  • Valid driver’s license.

Knowledge and Abilities:

  • Advanced knowledge of traditional statistics and ability to maintain expertise with new approaches.
  • Advanced knowledge of aquatic habitats and aquatic vertebrate ecology.
  • Ability to develop and apply GIS-based models and new methodological approaches to collecting and analyzing data.
  • Ability to develop aquatic habitat and amphibian and reptile habitat models.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with scientific presentations to public and scientific audiences.
  • Ability to successfully obtain funding from granting entities.
  • Capability of effectively communicating orally with staff, managers, researchers, government officials, and the general public.
  • Ability to effectively supervise multiple staff.

In addition to those required qualifications, our ideal applicant will also have some or all of the following: 

  • A PhD in ecology, biology, or closely related field.
  • Three (3) years of experience with research and implementation of studies addressing aquatic habitats and biota.
  • Five (5) years of experience with research and implementation of studies addressing aquatic biota (e.g., fish, amphibian ecology and their management).
  • Five (5) peer-reviewed publications addressing aquatic habitat biota and management in which the candidate was a primary or substantive contributor to the work.
  • Two (2) years of experience with multi-stakeholder group adaptive management science research development.
  • Ability to write and successfully compete for research money.


Supplemental Information


Please note: Failure to follow the instructions below may lead to disqualification.


Experience and education selected, listed, and detailed in the Supplemental Questions must be verifiable in the application.


In order to successfully apply for this position, you MUST complete your profile at and attach the following to your profile before completing the online application:

  • A cover letter describing how you meet the qualifications of this position (Generic cover letter will not be accepted).
  • A current resume. 
  • Three professional references. 



All new employees must complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9 Form) on their first day of work. If hired for this or any position at WDFW, you will be required to provide documentation proving you are eligible to work in the United States. For a list of acceptable documents, please use the following link:



Learn about our agency and the perks of working for WDFW!


The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has some of the most talented people in the natural resource field.  We celebrate and value diversity, appreciating that a workforce composed of those from different backgrounds and experiences creates an inclusive environment, strengthens positive relationships with the local community, and brings new perspectives and approaches to fulfilling the agency’s mission. We value demonstrated skill in living WDFW values of Accountability, Service, Professionalism, Integrity, Respect, and Empathy (ASPIRE).


WDFW employees may be eligible for the following Benefits:

Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s), Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), Vacation, Sick, and other Leave types.


Eleven (11) Paid Holidays per year and one (1) personal holiday if the employee is scheduled to be, or has been, continuously employed by the State of Washington for at least four (4) months.


Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Long Term Disability & Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation Programs, Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), and an Employee Assistance Program.



This position is in the bargaining unit represented by the Washington Association of Fish & Wildlife Professionals and is subject to the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the State of Washington, Department of Fish & Wildlife, and the Washington Association of Fish & Wildlife Professionals.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Employer



To take advantage of veteran preference, please do the following:

  • Email a copy of your DD214 (Member 4 copy), NGB 22 or USDVA signed verification of service letter to
  • Subject line must include recruitment number, position, and Vet (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – Veteran)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in



To take advantage of military spouse preference, please do the following:

  • Notify us of your military spouse status by email at 
  • Subject line must include recruitment number, position, and MS (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – MS)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in


Note: Please blackout any PII (personally identifiable information) data such as social security numbers. 


As part of WDFW’s efforts to advance respectful and inclusive work environments, the Agency expects inclusivity as part of our professional interactions and communications.  Therefore, we want to ensure that all individuals feel welcome, are treated fairly and respectfully.  All staff are empowered to fully contribute to serving their work unit, Agency, and the citizens of Washington.


The Department of Fish and Wildlife 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, disabled, and Vietnam era veterans and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply.


Persons needing accommodation in the application process or this announcement in an alternative format please contact Jayme Chase by phone 360-902-2278 or email, or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) at 800-833-6388.


If you are having technical difficulties creating, accessing, or completing your application, please call NEOGOV toll-free at (855) 524-5627 or


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