Environmental Laboratory Scientist II (Field Science Unit/FSU)

King County   Auburn, WA   Full-time     Science
Posted on November 19, 2021
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The person in this position performs environmental sampling and data collection using a variety of instrumentation and methods to collect and characterize water, wastewater, sediment, fish, algae, soil, biosolids, and other matrices. Field activities may include sample/data collection at wastewater treatment facilities, Puget Sound, lakes/rivers/streams, confined spaces and a variety of other locations, by vehicle or from a boat. The person in this position may spend significant time designing, calibrating, installing, cleaning, maintaining, and troubleshooting monitoring buoys and moorings and associated instrumentation. Field work is performed independently or as part of a team depending on requirements. This position requires outdoor work in all types of weather conditions and terrain. Other duties include planning field activities, preparing sampling kits and instrumentation, entering field data into the database, collaborating with lab staff/project managers/planners and operating motor vehicles and/or boats.

Commitment to Equity and Social Justice:
As the only jurisdiction in the world named after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most influential civil rights leaders in our nation's history, King County is a vibrant international community with residents that represent countries from around the world. It is a region with increasing diversity that cherishes the traditions of many cultures.
We have a deep commitment to equity and social justice and advancing practices, strategies, and policies that promote fairness, justice, and opportunity for all – in our workplaces and our communities. With this commitment, King County has adopted a pro-equity agenda to advance regional change and ensure that residents from vulnerable communities are incorporated into our emergency planning and public outreach efforts. To learn more, please visit http://www.kingcounty.gov/equity.

Who is Eligible: This position is open to the public. Applicants from this recruitment may be used to create an eligibility list for an additional Environmental Laboratory Scientist II (Field Science Unit/FSU) position in 2022.

Work Location: This position is located at the King County Environmental Lab, 322 West Ewing Street, Seattle, WA 98119., however, work will also be completed remotely due to the County’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

Work Schedule: This position is exempt from the overtime provision of the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) and is not overtime eligible. This full-time position works a 40-hour work week. Typical work schedule is 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday - Thursday. Periodic extended hours and occasional weekend or night-time work is a requirement of this position. The person in this position will be on call up to six (6) weekends per year as part of the Trouble Call program. 

Job Duties

  • Collect environmental samples and data, independently or with other staff.
  • Perform deck-hand duties on a variety of vessels for up to a 10-hour day.
  • Collect field measurements utilizing a variety of sampling technologies and scientific equipment and perform associated QC with a minimum of oversight.
  • Design, create specs for, order, install, calibrate, maintain, clean and troubleshoot mooring and buoy equipment.
  • Operate motor vehicles safely; trailer and operate small boats safely.
  • Enter data into LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) database; perform data review.
  • Calibrate and maintain instruments and properly document results.
  • Install, operate, maintain, clean, calibrate, troubleshoot, and repair sampling equipment.
  • Work collaboratively with lab staff and other government and regulatory agencies or departments within the County to address environmental laboratory policies and issues.
  • Review and edit Sampling and Analysis Plans to ensure ability to meet project requirements.
  • Follow safety requirements and guidelines; practice situational awareness to identify and respond to potential hazards in a sometimes fast-changing field environment.
  • Write and review standard operating procedures (SOPs) for field sampling procedures.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

Our Ideal Candidate Will Have the Following Competencies:

  • Action Oriented: Enjoys working hard, is action oriented and full of energy for the things they see as challenging.  
  • Functional/Technical Skills: Has the functional and technical knowledge and skills to do the job at a high level of accomplishment.  
  • Priority Setting: Spends their time and the time of others on what's important, quickly zeros in on the critical few and puts the trivial many aside, can quickly sense what will help or hinder accomplishing a goal, eliminates roadblocks, creates focus.  
  • Peer Relationships: Can quickly find common ground and solve problems for the good of all, can represent their own interests and yet be fair to other groups, can solve problems with peers with a minimum of noise, is seen as a team player and is cooperative, easily gains trust and support of peers, encourages collaboration, can be candid with peers.  
  • Technical Learning: Picks up on technical things quickly, can learn new skills and knowledge, is good at learning new industry, company, product, or technical knowledge, does well in technical courses and seminars.
Required Qualifications:
  • Bachelor’s Degree in biology, marine science, oceanography, chemistry, environmental science or five (5) years equivalent combination of knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  • Experience collecting environmental samples and field data.
  • Demonstrated ability to use, maintain, troubleshoot and repair scientific field instrumentation.
  • Demonstrated good communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work cooperatively with a variety of personalities.
  • Understanding the principles of environmental science as related to collection of samples and field data.
  • Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Word, Excel, SharePoint, and Teams.
  • Knowledge and understanding of potential hazards in the field; proper use of appropriate PPE.
  • Ability to follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) guidelines.
  • Ability to lift and carry a minimum of 40 pounds.
  • Ability/willingness to work in all types of weather, challenging terrain, in potentially hazardous environments such as wastewater conveyance pipes, wastewater facilities, and fast-moving streams.
  • Ability/willingness to support the Trouble Call Program by being on call to work as many as six (6) weekends each year, including holidays (this is a spill response program supporting the Wastewater Treatment Division).
  • Ability to perform other duties as assigned.
Desired Qualifications:
  • Captain’s License, Able-Bodied Seaman License, US Power Squadron or equivalent.
  • Confined Space Entry certification.
  • Electronics expertise and experience, ideally related to scientific equipment.
The following licenses/certifications are required within six (6) months of hire.
  • Washington State Driver’s License
  • Washington State Boaters Certification
  • First Aid/CPR Certification
Additional licenses, certifications, and other requirements determined to be necessary to meet the business needs of the employing unit may be required after hire.

Supplemental Information

Application and Selection Process: Application materials will be screened for clarity, completeness including online application, cover letter and resume, and responsiveness to the list of qualifications, skills, and abilities. The most competitive candidates may be invited to participate in one or more panel interviews. Applications without the following required materials may not be considered for this position.

  • King County application

  • Resume

  • Cover Letter detailing your background and what you can bring to this position

  • Responses to supplemental questions

Union Representation: This position is not represented by a union.

For more information regarding this recruitment, please contact:
Deena Prasad, Senior Human Resources Analyst

Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State's best employers.

Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play.

Guided by our "True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles--we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.

Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement

As of October 18, 2021, most* King County employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If hired, you will be required to submit proof of vaccination by October 18th. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine. Employees may make requests for a reasonable accommodation based on a medical disability or for sincerely held religious beliefs. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.

This directive applies to employees in the Executive branch*, the Assessor's Office, Elections, the King County Sheriff's Office, and the Executive Office.

King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer

No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.

To Apply

If you are interested in pursuing this position, please follow the application instructions carefully. If you need this announcement in an alternate language or format, would like to request accommodation or assistance in the application or assessment process or if you have questions please contact your recruiter listed on this job announcement.

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.

Are you applying to this position as an eligible Current or Previous King County Employee Priority Placement Program Participant AND Is this position the same or lower percentage of full-time when compared to the position held at the point of the notification of layoff AND Do you possess the skills and abilities to qualify for this position?
  • Yes, I was given a layoff notice from my role at King County AND I am within two years of the effective date of my layoff. AND The position I was laid off from was the same or a higher percentage of FT status when compared to this one.
  • No.
If you answered yes to the question above and you are applying for this position as a Priority Placement Participant, to be considered, you must provide the following three pieces of information in the space provided: 1. The title you held when you received your layoff notice 2. The department you worked in 3. The effective date of your layoff
Describe your experience collecting environmental samples and field data. Please include specific experience you have working on research vessels, and any experience sampling from wastewater and storm water treatment facilities, conveyance systems, and confined spaces. If you have no experience, write "none". (Limit your response to one page)
Please describe the types of field equipment and monitoring you have performed in the past five years. Please include any remote in-situ monitoring equipment you have worked with. If you have no experience, write "none". (Limit your response to one page)
Please describe a situation while in the field when the sampling plan did not go as planned and you needed to adapt and make decisions in order to meet the goals of the project. How did you make these decisions? Who did you communicate with during this process? How did the situation resolve? If you have no experience, write "none". (Limit your response to one page)

Required Question