Environmental Scientist IV (Senior Environmental Health and Safety Scientist/Industrial Hygienist)

King County   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Science
Posted on June 8, 2022
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The Environmental Health Services Division (EHS) within Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) is seeking  Environmental Scientist IV with advanced knowledge in industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, ventilation, chemical exposures, and other environmental health and safety issues; and leadership abilities to lead teams, manage technical research projects, create health guidance for schools and other sectors, and affect change at the systems and policy level through innovation and collaboration. 
The Environmental Scientist IV is a key leadership position and will serve as the health department’s technical expert on indoor air quality and healthy buildings. The incumbent will work with a program manager to develop a new School Environmental Health and Safety Program to ensure learning environments in King County are safe and healthy places for kids. The incumbent will cultivate strong partnerships with state and local education partners and school districts, and serve as a thought leader to help shape guidance, standards, and policies at the local, state, and nation levels. The incumbent will also be part of the Division’s Science Team and apply distinguished, regionally acknowledged skills to independent scientific work.
The successful candidate will have a passion for addressing environmental health disparities, leading with racial equity, and creating healthier lives for all people in King County, especially children. In addition, they will bring technical expertise, regulatory knowledge, innovative thinking, relationship-building skills, and strong communication skills to creatively problem-solve complex and emerging environmental health issues in indoor spaces – from the field to the policy level. This position is a not a compliance role, but it will apply best practices of industrial hygiene to improve environmental health in schools, childcares and others sectors as required.
The Environmental Health Services Division's mission is to identify and sustain environmental conditions that promote healthy people and healthy communities.  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, please visit https://www.kingcounty.gov/ehs.
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

As the Senior Environmental Health and Safety Scientist, you will:

  • Provide technical leadership during the program development and strategic planning for a new School Environmental Health and Safety Program.
  • Design and implement innovative program strategies using an equity lens that address where the needs are greatest and support policy and system changes.
  • Build trusting partnerships with agencies, stakeholders, and communities that have a vested interest in healthy learning environments and the welfare of students and staff.
  • Serve as the health department’s technical advisor and subject matter expert on indoor air quality and healthy building spaces.
  • Stay current on latest guidance, best practices, and policies; and analyze and interpret legislation, codes, and standards (e.g., ventilation standards) and their implications for schools, childcares, and King County.
  • Lead and participate on various inter-agency and department-wide collaborative efforts.
  • Create and deliver presentations and trainings (in person or by webinar) to a variety of audiences (e.g., professional meetings for schools, leadership, community, agencies, etc.).
  • Collaborate with schools and childcares to design health and safety risk management interventions and recommend creative solutions that are achievable (not punitive).
  • Write technical guidance documents for schools, childcares and other sectors and provide technical reviews of educational and policy materials.
  • Respond in a timely manner to relevant technical questions and concerns from department leadership, public, schools, media, elected officials, policymakers, and others.
  • Lead technical consultations and site assessments at schools, childcares, and other indoor spaces by applying best practices in non-compliance setting.
  • Conduct industrial hygiene evaluations for chemical exposures, occupational, student and client illnesses, indoor air quality, noise exposure, cleaning, and disinfection, building health and safety (e.g., ventilation, lead, mold, pests, safety hazards), safe art and laboratory materials and practices, and indoor air quality.
  • Lead the design and implementation of research studies to inform program work, including collaborating with colleagues and agency partners to contribute to scientific methodology, data collection and sample analysis methodology, and authoring papers for publication in scholarly journals.
  • Manage small to large-scale technical projects involving natural science research, environmental monitoring, environmental cleanup or related subjects, and management of budget, schedule, and quality.
  • Co-lead in seeking grant funding to expand program strategies to serve all types of learning environments.
  • Build, train, and manage technical field staff.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills


  • Must have both:
  1. Minimum Master’s degree or equivalent advanced training in industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, exposure science, environmental health sciences, toxicology, hazard prevention, risk assessment, building health and safety, environmental engineering, biological sciences, or closely related field; AND
  2. Minimum eight years of demonstrated experience (or combination of education, training, and/or transferable skills) in environmental health assessment, building health and safety, indoor air quality, and/or other environmental health exposures in indoor spaces. 
  • Knowledge of children’s environmental health and safety issues, such as in the schools or child care settings.
  • Advanced knowledge of regulations, statutes, or rules related to environmental health and safety, school buildings, indoor air quality, and/or other environmental health exposures in indoor spaces.
  • Demonstrated experience in conducting industrial hygiene or environmental health site assessments, such as using specialized field instruments, optimizing indoor air quality in HVAC systems and other air filtration methods to reduce airborne microbes or other environmental health hazards.
  • Demonstrated leadership experience in project and team management, including ability to handle multiple competing priorities, deliver on high quality products within tight timeframes, task delegation, time management, and use of appropriate workflow tools (e.g., Microsoft 365).
  • Excellent communication, facilitation, and presentation skills, including demonstrated ability to synthesize and clearly convey technical information (orally and in written forms) to various audiences (e.g., public, elected officials, media, etc.)
  • Demonstrated ability in database management and creating reports. This includes the ability to coordinate, monitor, and track analytical data; and familiarity with statistical data analysis tools (e.g., SPSS, Stata or R), relational databases (e.g., Power BI and Tableau) and methods to capture data digitally in the field).
  • Ability to work independently as well as engage collaboratively with internal teams and different community and stakeholder groups with the intent to provide exceptional customer service.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (e.g., Word, Excel, Power Point) and online meeting platforms (such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams).
  • A valid driver's license or the ability to travel throughout King County. 

  • One of the following:
  1. Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH); or planning to obtain CIH within 6 months of position start date (CIH requirements: http://www.abih.org/become-certified/eligibility); or
  2. Certified toxicologist (e.g., Diplomate, American Board of Toxicology (DABT) or other); or
  3. Doctorate or equivalent advanced training in industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, exposure science, environmental health sciences, toxicology, hazard prevention, risk assessment, building health and safety, environmental engineering, biological sciences, or closely related field.
  • More than 8 years of experience in the fields above.
  • Demonstrated ability to foster collaborative working relationships and strategically navigate complicated and sometimes contentions stakeholder context in a political environment (e.g., school districts, governmental agencies, and community partners in the schools or child care sectors). 
  • Deep knowledge of equity and social justice principles and practices, and understanding of the effects of place, race and policy and systems-based inequities on marginalized communities and populations.
*Transferable skills: Your transferable skills are any skills you have gained through education, work experience (including the military) or life experience that are relevant for this position. Be sure to describe any transferable skills on your application and clearly explain how they apply to this position.

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 candidates.

This recruitment is open continuous until the position is filled. First review will be done for applications received by February 28, 2022.

Application Process: 
The following items are required to be considered for this vacancy:
  • An electronic application through www.kingcounty.gov/jobs or www.governmentjobs.com (use the "Apply" link) including work history and position duties.
  • A cover letter describing your interest in this position and how do you meet the required qualifications for this job. 
  • A current resume
  • Responses to supplemental questions.
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.
  • Candidates selected are required to pass a pre-employment physical exam.   
  • 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 Requirement
  • This position requires the ability to perform work duties both indoors in an office environment and in the field in a variety physical and weather conditions that may include walking uneven terrain, working around heavy machinery, strong odors, dusts, animals, and various types of wastes. 
  • This position is required to conduct site visits at schools, child cares and other sites throughout King County and may be required to travel to sites within the state for professional and other meetings.
  • Exposure to individuals from the public who are upset, angry, agitated, and sometimes hostile, requiring the use of conflict management and de-escalation skills.
  • This position may require strength enough to lift, push, or pull field equipment weighing between 20-40 pounds.
  • Performance of job duties requires driving on a regular basis and a valid Washington State Driver's license.

Work Schedule:  This position is overtime exempt and is covered by the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The regular workweek is 40 hours, Monday to Friday.   Occasional evenings, weekends, on-call work, and some travel are required.

Work Location: 
The home base for this position will be in the Chinook Building located in Downtown Seattle, 401 5th Ave., Suite 1100, Seattle. The work will be perform in a hybrid setting with  required telecommuting, reporting to office and fieldwork. 

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 must reside in WA state and within a reasonable distance to their King County worksite to respond to workplace reporting requirements.  Please note that when an employee conducts work that is likely to bring them in contact with another individual, safety precautions are required by the department in alignment with the Public Health Directive from the Seattle & King County Public Health Officer.

To support employees during this time King County has a robust collection of tools and resources to support working remotely. The individual selected for this opportunity will be joining an innovative and progressive team. King County is doing its part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and remains committed to reducing our carbon footprint. 

Union Affiliation:
This position is not represented by a labor union.

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 have advance technical knowledge, experience and/or training in industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, exposure science, environmental and occupational health sciences, biological sciences, or other related fields?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered yes to question #1, please describe your areas of expertise and how your work experience can be applied to the school setting. If you answered "no" please type N/A.
Do you have experience identifying innovative solutions to a complex indoor air quality or ventilation problem?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered yes to question #3, please provide an example of when you came up with a creative solution to a ventilation or indoor air quality problem at a facility and the client had limited resources and/or information to make the needed fixes. How did you approach the problem, work with the client, and find a solution? If you answered "no", please type N/A.
Do you have experience building and leading teams?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered yes to question #5, please describe your approach to leadership. If you answered "no", please type N/A.
Describe what draws you to this opportunity, and how your life and work experiences have prepared you to be successful in the role.
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

Required Question