Engineer II - Hydrologist

King County   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Engineering
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Posted on March 19, 2020

King County's Science and Technical Support Section in the Water and Land Resource Division (WLRD) is hiring an Engineer II-Hydrologist FTE for the Field Hydrology (Gaging) Program.

Come be part of the Science Section whose mission is to provide scientific knowledge, information, and analysis in support of regional environmental resource management. The Section employs 40 staff organized into three units with broad-ranging technical expertise in applied sciences: Water Quality and Quantity, Watershed and Ecological Assessment, and Toxicology and Contaminant Assessment. Together, these units play a critical role in providing scientific guidance for water and land management in a dynamic county home to 2.2 million people, a surging economy, and ESA-listed orcas, salmon, and steelhead.

Our staff carry out studies in applied environmental sciences, run monitoring programs, deliver specialized scientific and technical services, and inform evidence-based policies and regulations. We have the honor of partnering with other science agencies around Puget Sound, such as the Washington Department of Ecology, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, University of Washington and others. Learn more at our website:

Become a team member in the field hydrology program which is composed of 3-4 engineers and water quality planners. This program oversees installation and maintenance of an extensive network (400+!) of continuous recording monitoring stations located in streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and stormwater facilities throughout King County and neighboring jurisdictions.  In this position, you will be responsible for carrying out remote and onsite data collection, analyzing and reporting water quantity, water quality, and rainfall data, and presenting results and products to a variety of clients inside and outside the County. You will help the team maintain the Hydrologic Information Center (HIC) data management system which provides public access to rainfall, streamflow and other hydrologic data collected at King County gage sites.

WHO MAY APPLY: This is an internal posting.  This full time, career service position is open to all current King County Local 17A bargaining unit employees eligible for a lateral transfer (transferring within the Engineer II classification and have passed probation).

King County values diverse perspectives, life experiences and differences.  The Water and Land Resources Division encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, men, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and veterans.  We are committed to being equitable and fair in providing equal access to opportunities for all.

WORK LOCATION:  King Street Center, 201 S Jackson St, Seattle WA 98104

REQUIRED MATERIALS TO APPLY: Applications without the following required materials may not be considered for this position.

  • King County Application
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter (max 2 pages) detailing your background and describing how your education and experience meets the qualifications and has prepared you to perform the essential functions of the job
  • Response to supplemental questions (please limit your response to no more than one page).
WORK SCHEDULE: This full-time position works a 40-hour week and is an hourly position governed by the overtime provisions of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and is eligible for overtime pay or compensatory time accrual with prior approval.

Job Duties

  • Participate as a hydrology team member- assist in planning, coordinating, and implementing various projects involving hydrologic assessment and analysis for county groups and other jurisdictions.
  • Carry out field data collection activities including gage station downloads and maintenance and direct measurement of streamflow.
  • Participate in equipment purchases and gage construction, including site selection and design, installation, maintenance, cost control, storage, and permitting.
  • Follow policies and procedures for data acquisition, management, analysis, and QA/QC used by field hydrology team.
  • Participate in planning and implementing data maintenance activities and upgrades to King County's hydrologic data management system and coordinate with county staff and outside customers.
  • Coordinate equipment storage and vehicle maintenance with hydrology team and county colleagues.
  • Coordinate field hydrology monitoring data management with other jurisdictions and groups with whom we share date, e.g., Bellevue, Seattle, and Sammamish.
  • Carry out hydrologic data analysis with commonly used statistical and spatial analysis and modeling software.
  • Prepare data summaries, memo, and reports for clients inside and outside the County.
  • Make technical presentations to colleagues, project managers, citizens, and management.
  • Prepare budget information for equipment purchases and replacement plans and project allocations.
  • Review hydrologic data analysis of team members, consultants, and agencies for County and regional clients.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree OR equivalent experience in hydrology, geology, environmental science, natural resource management, or closely related field OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Minimum of three years of experience in hydrology-oriented field assessments and analytical work.
  • Minimum three years' experience working with stream gages, including installation and maintenance, troubleshooting gage locations, uploading and analyzing data, marking direct measure and maintenance of discharge records to include stage-discharge rating curves and carrying out data QQ/QC.
Technical and Communication Skills:
  • Knowledge and expertise in hydrology and water quality principles.
  • Ability to safely operate and maintain commonly used field hydrology equipment, e.g., stream gages, flow meters, Doppler meters.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (specifically Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and GIS mapping software.
  • Familiarity with the most commonly used stormwater and hydrologic modeling software; experience with data logger and hydrographic equipment support software.
  • Experience synthesizing and presenting technical information to clients, team members, managers, and citizens both written and orally.
Personal and Interpersonal on-the-job skills:
  • Experience and ability to work effectively with diverse groups on complex technical projects including county colleagues, jurisdiction technical staff, agency staff, consultants, and community groups.
  • Experience and ability to understand and fulfill client goals and issues and to respond to changing priorities and weather dependent issues.
  • Ability to effectively plan, organize, and prioritize work on a daily basis and work on multiple tasks accurately.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and work productively with team members to carry out priority filed work, data analysis, quality reporting, and timely product delivery.
  • Advanced knowledge of databases and GIS systems.
  • Knowledge and experience working with local and state stormwater programs and regulations.
  • A valid Washington State Driver's License is required and the willingness to travel field and meetings sites throughout King County, adjacent counties, or other travel destinations in a safe and timely manner.
  • A final offer of employment will be contingent upon successfully passing a pre-employment physical examination.
  • The successful candidate will be required to complete the First Aid and CPR training; Swift Water Awareness Training; and any additional safety training deemed necessary for employee safety.

Supplemental Information

WORK ENVIRONMENT AND PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: This position requires the ability to conduct extensive field work in occasionally difficult conditions which includes: walking on uneven and slippery surfaces, walking through thick brush or densely forested sites, working in and around streams, rivers and wetlands, and carrying up to 50lbs of field equipment for short distances.  Long hours (10+) are occasionally needed for field work. Field work is sometimes carried out in inclement conditions and in remote locations.

SELECTION PROCESS: Application materials will be screened for clarity, completeness, and responsiveness to the list of qualifications, skills, and abilities. Answers to supplemental questions must be supported by information supplied on the application form. The most competitive candidates may be invited to participate in one or more panel interviews. Reference checks will be conducted before the final offer of employment.

UNION MEMBERSHIP: Positions in this classification are represented by PROTEC, Local 17. 
For more information regarding this recruitment, please contact: 
Calvin Rivers
Human Resources Senior Analyst
Phone: 206-263-1986

Note: Online applications are preferred. However, if you cannot apply online, go to for other options.
If you need an accommodation in the recruitment process or an alternate format of this announcement, please inquire directly with the contact listed on the job announcement or the department's Human Resources Service Delivery Manager.


King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being.  Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.  If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails.  Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.
NOTE:  Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position. Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.
For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.

Please describe your experience installing and maintaining stream gages, including siting, installation, and maintenance.
Please describe a project where you collected, analyzed, and reported streamflow data. How did your findings inform a project or management action
Please tell us about some of the anticipated short and long term changes to Northwest stream hydrology due to climate change.

Required Question