Lead Geologist - Engineer III

King County   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Engineering
Posted on November 18, 2022
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The Solid Waste Division of King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks is looking for an Environmental Geologist - Engineer III. This is a Special Duty or Term Limited Temporary position expected to last 3 years with the possibility of extention. The primary function of this position will be senior level project manager and geotechnical duties associated with Solid Waste Division landfill projects.


This position will perform engineering, geotechnical, environmental assessment and project management duties with the Cedar Hills Landfill and Closed Landfills. This position will support Post Closure Maintenance, Capital Improvement Program, and Hydrogeologic report projects. Provide geotechnical services to support the evaluation, assessment, modification, and improvement of landfill groundwater and landfill gas monitoring systems. Manage environmental data from groundwater, surface water, wastewater, landfill gas and soil and perform water quality evaluations applying knowledge of air and aquatic chemistry, fate and transport, environmental analytical methods, environmental monitoring networks, environmental regulations and environmental control systems and will require patience and diligence in environmental data review.


This position will be responsible for overseeing diverse project teams composed of internal and consultant subject matter experts from a broad range of disciplines including engineering, geotechnical, community relations, property acquisition, permitting and operations and maintenance staff. Provide leadership to team and project members including providing technical and professional mentoring and assigning tasks to team members.


The position will be required to prepare hydrogeologic evaluations of the divisions landfill for the annual and quarterly reporting requirements as specified in WAC 173-304 and WAC 173-351 under the supervision of a licensed geologist or hydrogeologist; these evaluations will be stamped by a licensed hydrogeologist in the Water and Land Resource Division. Includes review of engineering reports and design documents prepared by consultants, and other agencies as required. Other functions of this position will include: Preparing permit compliance reports; Preparing consultant and construction contracts; Managing geotechnical and engineering consultants and, construction contractors; Provide leadership to team and project members including providing technical and professional mentoring, and assigning tasks to team members.


Facility Engineering and Sciences Section Profile: Facility Engineering and Sciences Section (FESS) staff provides Project Engineering services for the Project Management Office (PMO), which manages projects at closed landfills, the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill (CHRLF) and siting and constructing solid waste transfer facilities. FESS staff plan and manage CAMP and Post Close Maintenance projects to assist the maintenance and operation of the existing transfer facilities and landfills. The section performs facility inspections and provides engineering support for facility operations and maintenance directly, and through the management of associated contract services. Staff also provides environmental monitoring, evaluations, and reporting. In collaboration with Operations, they ensure regulatory and permit compliance for all solid waste facilities. Specialized FESS staff provide CAD and SCADA technical services.


Teleworking Requirement: The work associated with this position will be performed predominantly by teleworking complemented with onsite work and meetings as needed. 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.


Employees will be provided with a County issued laptop and must maintain a workspace with an internet connection (access may be supplemented in some situations) where they can reliably perform work and remain available and responsive during scheduled work hours. Please note that when an employee conducts work that is likely to bring them in contact with another individual, safety precautions are required, including the wearing of masks in some situations. King County is doing its part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and remains committed to reducing our carbon footprint.


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 that is redefining how we work as we transition to the department's hybrid environment. 


Examples of job duties: 

  • Manage the Cedar Hills Hydrogeologic Report capital improvement program project.
  • Manage environmental investigation and feasibility studies for the evaluation, monitoring, design, and construction of environmental control system improvements and/or termination of post closure of closed landfills.
  • Provide routine geotechnical services, under the supervision of a licensed hydrogeologist or geologist, necessary to plan, design, construct, commission, and maintain various landfill environmental control systems engineering elements, including groundwater and landfill gas monitoring and collection systems.
  • Write technical reports and issue papers for various technical and non-technical audiences to summarize and convey project findings and meet regulatory compliance requirements.
  • Present and discuss technical information with managers and staff, project managers, project teams, and landowners, regulatory agencies, public stakeholders, elected officials, and other jurisdictions and agencies.
  • Provide technical and quality review for compliance reports.
  • Provided guidance, mentoring, training, and direction in the preparation of reports and the compliance with local regulatory requirements. 
  • Determine consistency of well boring logs, well development plans and products with all appropriate industry standards, as well as local, state and federal laws and regulations, including Solid Waste Division policies and procedures.
  • Provide leadership to project and team members including technical mentorship, assigning project tasks and support to team members to ensure project and tasks succeed in meeting the desired outcomes.
  • Negotiate regulatory permit conditions needed for projects including groundwater, surface water, and operating permit regulatory requirements.
  • Manage Capital Improvement Program project scope, schedule, budget, risk, quality, and contract requirements.
  • Work collaboratively with site engineers for property management.


Our Ideal Candidate Will Have:

  • Bachelor's degree in earth science, geophysics, soil sciences, geology, hydrogeology, geochemistry, or closely related field.
  • Demonstrated experience in analyzing or reviewing various technical landfill related engineering elements, including environmental controls and monitoring systems independently and in leadership roles.
  • Demonstrated experience in permit applications at landfills and environmental remediation sites.
  • Demonstrated experience in preparing hydrogeologic evaluations under the direct supervision of a licensed geologist or hydrogeologist. 
  • Demonstrated experience in annual reporting, hydrogeologic evaluations, and financial assurance for closed landfills.
  • Ability to lead and encourage engineering and/or scientific support staff to complete complex solid waste related environmental investigation and feasibility study projects.
  • Ability and desire to learn project management methodologies under the direct supervision of the Supervising Engineer.
  • Demonstrated experience in effective communications management both in oral and writing formats with diverse groups of professionals, coworkers, and public.
  • Intermediate working knowledge using Microsoft (MS) Project to develop schedules for public works projects; MS Excel, MS-Word, and MS PowerPoint. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work in multi-disciplinary collaborative team settings and to actively engage in the development of project designs that encompass multiple project objectives, while accommodating site constraints. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and collaboratively across department lines and with senior level managers, supervisors, technical leads, and operations staff. 
  • Ability to take initiative and function independently on assigned work, while keeping team members and stakeholders apprised of key issues and developments. 
  • Ability to communicate in a pleasant, non-judgmental, respectful, culturally sensitive manner under varying levels of stress. 

 Highly Competitive Candidates Will Have:

  • Project management experience with environmental investigations and feasibility studies at closed municipal solid waste facilities regulated under WAC 173-301, 173-304, 173-351. 
  • Experience performing groundwater, landfill gas, and surface water evaluations applying knowledge of aquatic chemistry, fate and transport, environmental monitoring networks, and environmental control systems at solid waste facilities. 
  • Experience with using the EarthSoft EQuIS environmental database for landfill groundwater monitoring data.


Necessary Special Requirements: 

  • The selected person will need a valid Washington State Driver’s License or the ability to travel throughout the County in a timely manner. 


Union Membership: Positions in this classification are represented by PROTEC17.

Work Location: Predominately Telecommuting and King Street Center - 201 South Jackson Street, Suite 701, Seattle, WA 98104.

Work Schedule: This full-time position works a 40-hour work week, Monday through Friday with some evening and weekend work as required. This position is overtime eligible.



Who may apply: This position is open to all qualified Solid Waste Division employees.

How to apply: Applicants must submit a (1) King County application form and (2) letter of interest 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.

Contact Information: Please contact roxanne.malatesta@kingcounty.gov for questions regarding this announcement.

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.

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.