Environmental Scientist III - Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County

King County   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Science
Posted on June 11, 2022
Apply Now

The Environmental Scientist III will join the Hazardous Waste Management Research Services Team and will provides scientific resources to support the needs of the entire program.  


This position has a special emphasis on safer alternatives assessment, implementing the Program’s equity and social justice vision, and hazard mitigation in workplaces and homes in King County.  Core responsibilities for this position are continuing and completing work in three specific areas: 1) evaluating lead in cookware, 2) safer alternatives to degreasers in businesses, and 3) environmental health disparities mapping. The position would be responsible for designing and implementing these exposure studies, developing chemical footprints, conducting the lab studies, and understanding potential health disparities. The data gathered from this work is essential to informing our response to these emerging issues.  


The team also conducts scientifically rigorous studies to identify emerging issues for future program activities and ensures that program services are grounded in scientific evidence. This position plays a key role in database development and management in addition to identifying, collecting, and applying scientific data to program services and policy initiatives.   

Through the work of over 150 dedicated employees, the Environmental Health Services Division identifies and sustains environmental conditions that promote health equity and healthy people and communities in Seattle and King County. Our vision is healthy, safe, and vibrant communities that are free of health disparities based on race, gender, or economic status. The Division's core values include equity and social justice, integrity, community service, collaboration, a supportive work culture, and learning from each other and the communities we serve. To learn more about EHS, please visit https://www.kingcounty.gov/ehs. 
The Hazardous Waste Program is a coalition of local governments. Partners work in multi-agency teams, drawing on their strengths and expertise to protect public health and the environment. At the Hazardous Waste Program, we come to work every day because we want to protect and improve public and environmental quality in King County. Together with our partners, we are working towards a shared vision: A Puget Sound region that’s the cleanest in the country, free from hazardous chemical exposure. To learn more about the Hazardous Waste Program, please visit https://www.kingcountyhazwastewa.gov. 


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. 

Job Duties

  • Work with the Program Manager for the Research Services Team to take major responsibility with minimal supervision for the following Haz Waste Program projects: Evaluating Lead in Cookware, The Safer Alternative Strategy, Exposure Assessment in Auto Repair Shops, and Environmental Health Disparities Mapping. 

  • Working independently, conduct inventories of products and chemicals in residencies and workplaces, retrieve safety data sheets, enter data into hazard evaluation systems. 

  • Design and implement exposure studies using industrial hygiene techniques. 

  • Take the lead in developing and implementing residential and business questionnaires. 

  • Develop safer alternatives recommendations.?  

  • Conduct evaluations of environmental health disparities using GIS tools and other mapping techniques. 

  • Design and conduct laboratory-based studies. 

  • Gather, analyze, and present data, prepare reports and conduct project evaluations. 

  • Develop and manage databases to house environmental and demographic data. 

  • Write reports or issue papers summarizing analysis or research. 

  • Give oral presentation of findings at conferences and other meetings. 

  • Participate in interagency workgroups. 

  • Develop program recommendations. 

  • Respond to inquiries related to the program or project. 

  • Perform other duties as assigned. 

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

  • Experience in applied research in the fields of environmental science, toxicology, industrial hygiene, environmental chemistry, or closely related field. 

  • Training and experience developing and conducting lab-based scientific studies, including developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), using scientific instruments (including XRF analyzers), and processing samples for analysis. 

  • Knowledge of environmental and public health research methods. 

  • Knowledge of exposure assessment techniques, including industrial hygiene methods and exposure/health surveys 

  • Familiarity with relational databases, Microsoft Excel, and Power BI. Familiarity with analyzing complex data sets with statistical tools (e.g., R, Stata, SPSS) and using relational databases to link multiple datasets and run queries. 

  • Familiarity with ArcGIS and other mapping technologies. 

  • Ability to clearly express technical material for a non-technical audience orally and in writing, including presentations to groups. 

  • Knowledge of common information technologies and savvy computer skills, including Microsoft Office 365 (including Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive) 

  • Demonstrated skills for maintaining positive and productive working relationships, such as patience, flexibility, active listening, resolving conflicts and problem solving. Effective and collaborative participant in multi-disciplinary team meetings or coalitions. 

  • Experience in managing projects and/or has training on project management. 

  • Experience advising, educating, or working with residents or businesses to change their behavior, particularly with regard to helping them choose safer alternative products and processes. 

  • Experience conducting lab-based scientific studies. 

  • Experience conducting exposure assessment in workplaces or homes. 

  • Experience developing databases to house environmental or demographic data.  

  • Experience using GIS mapping tools to represent environmental health disparities. 

  • Experience understanding how small businesses operate and an ability to communicate with business owners and workers, including diverse audiences. 

  • Experience working with BIPOC communities to understand their environmental- and public health- needs and delivering service to those communities. 

  • Experience providing excellent customer service, solving issues with tact and diplomacy. 


Desired Qualifications 

The most competitive candidates will have the following qualifications 

  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with a master's degree in toxicology, public health, environmental science, or closely-related field and/or equivalent education and experience. 

  • Skill and experience managing projects. 

  • Experience developing policies to prevent hazardous chemical exposure. 

  • Experience working with traditionally underserved populations using an equity and social justice lens.  

  • Ability to produce excellent writing products. 



  • Valid Washington State drivers license, or ability to obtain before hire. Person will need to be able take sample equipment into the field and collect samples.  

Supplemental Information

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
King County Executive Branch employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are the successful candidate for the position you applied for, the County will send you a conditional offer letter.

As a condition of employment, prior to a final offer of employment, you will be required to:

  • submit proof of vaccination, or
  • have an approved request for medical or religious exemption and an approved accommodation. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.

People are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the final dose of a vaccination approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Executive Branch includes 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 the recruiter listed on this job announcement.

Who May Apply 
This position is open to all qualified internal and external candidates. To be considered as a Special Duty applicant, you must be a current Career Service, King County employee who has successfully passed probation and must get your supervisor's approval if this assignment is offered to you. 

Duration of position
The work performed in this position is anticipated to 1 year.

Application Process
The following items are required to be considered for this vacancy:
  • NEOGOV/Government Jobs on-line or paper application.
  • Responses to the supplemental questions.
  • A current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • A cover letter that summarizes your interest and qualifications for the position. 
Your application may be rejected as incomplete if you do not include the relevant information in the application. Cover letters and/or resumes are not accepted in lieu of a completed application. Applications and/or Supplemental Questionnaires that state "see my resume" or "see my personnel file" are considered incomplete and will not be accepted.
  • The selection process may include but is not limited to: evaluation of application materials and supplemental questions, interviewing, and testing. For more information on our selection process, please refer to www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/jobs/hiring.
  • Regular and reliable attendance, effective communication skills, and development of effective working relationships are requirements of all Public Health positions.
  • Staff may be required to play an active role in the event of a public health emergency, which may include changes in responsibilities, work location, and working hours.
Necessary Special Requirements
  • The selected candidate will be required to submit to a thorough background investigation. Records are not automatically-disqualifying.
  • Employees are required to protect the privacy and security of protected health information as defined in State and Federal Law.
  • Employees are required to adhere to OSHA/WISHA guidelines including but not limited to completing required training on time.

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements 

  • Exposure to individuals from the public who are upset, angry, agitated, and sometimes hostile, requiring the use of conflict management and de-escalation skills.  

  • Ability to lift up to 20 pounds, for example to move sampling equipment, supplies or coolers containing samples. Ability to work both in and out of the office, for example in small businesses, residences or other locations where hazardous materials may be present. 

Work Schedule
This full-time position is exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and is eligible for overtime. The normal workweek is Monday – Friday. Occasional evening and weekend work is required. 

Work Location and Telecommuting 

This position will telecommute, but will be expected to be available to work at the program's laboratory in the Freemont neighborhood area, work at Chinook Building and/or King Street Center (Downtown Seattle) for program wide coordination, and be able to go to businesses and organizations throughout King County for sampling activities or presentation.  

Employees will be provided with a County issued laptop and must maintain a workspace with an internet connection where they can reliably perform work and remain available and responsive during scheduled work hours.

Employees will have access to shared workspaces at various King County facilities. Employees must reside in Washington state and within a reasonable distance to their King County worksite to respond to workplace reporting requirements.
Union Affiliation
This position is represented by Local 21 Union.

If you have questions about the position, please contact Tracee Mayfield at tracee.mayfield@kingcounty.gov or 206-263-8538.

If you have questions regarding the recruitment process, please contact Nic Horea, Senior Human Resource Analyst at nicolae.horea@kingcounty.gov or 206-263-8736.

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.

Do you experience evaluating hazardous chemical exposures from products used in homes or workplaces?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered "yes" to question # 1, please describe your experience. If you answered "no" please type N/A.
Do you experience conducting laboratory based studies?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered "yes" to question #3, please describe your experience. If you answered "no", please type N/A.
Do you have experience using GIS or other mapping tools to depict environmental health disparities?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered "yes" to question #5, please describe your experience, If you answered "no", please type N/A.
King County is committed to and accountable for bringing Equity and Social Justice into its operations and services. Please describe how you might integrate those goals into this work. Include past examples if available.
Please describe your experience supporting policy makers, regulators, educators, communities or businesses sectors at helping residents or businesses switch to safer chemicals, processes, or products. If you don't have this type of experience, type N/A.
Are you applying to this position as an eligible current or previous King County Employee Priority Placement Program Participant? 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? 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. Additionally, 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

Required Question