Water Quality Planner / Project Manager II -Limnologist

King County   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Project Management
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Posted on March 11, 2020

WHO MAY APPLY: This position is open to the general public

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, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and veterans.  We are committed to being equitable and fair in providing equal access to opportunities for all.


  • A King County Application Form (applying online satisfies this requirement)
  • Resume and Cover Letter
  • Answers to the Supplemental Questions

Position Purpose:
King County Water and Land Resources Division maintains an ongoing, long-term lakes and streams monitoring program that tracks physical, chemical, and biological conditions over time and assesses impacts from human activities. The person in this position will be part of the Lakes and Streams Monitoring Program team within the WLRD Science Section. The position will provide advanced technical support in the maintenance, analysis, and interpretation of freshwater quality datasets. The County's waters face various water quality issues due to fecal pollution, eutrophication and harmful algal blooms, and toxics. The position will work in a collaborative and adaptive environment with fellow limnologists, marine biologists, ecotoxicologists, fish ecologists, hydrologists, stormwater engineers, and policy makers to effect impactful decisions. More information about this program is available here: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/dnrp/wlr/sections-programs/science-section.aspx.

The person in this position will lead efforts to provide technical support within and outside WLRD by evaluating a wide variety of physical and chemical freshwater data to describe conditions and impacts, seasonal and annual variability and trends, and compliance with water quality regulations. The person in this position will conduct quality assurance and quality control review of continuous and discrete physical and chemical water data, trouble-shoot any identified data quality issues with field and laboratory staff, conduct statistical analyses of the data, manage data contracts with other organizations, prepare data reports and sampling and analysis plans. The person in this position will make presentations to both technical and non-technical audiences. The person in this position will also participate in regional Pollution Identification and Control monitoring programs, such as the PIC Alliance, and is expected to take a leadership role in providing technical expertise on water quality issues, such as nutrients and fecal pollution.

Job Duties

  • Conduct quality control/quality assurance review of physical and chemical freshwater datasets collected as part of ongoing, long-term monitoring programs.
  • Troubleshoot data quality issues with field and laboratory staff and assist in developing methods and protocols that ensure data quality and reliability.
  • Design project strategies, schedules, and work plans – taking a lead role in working with field and laboratory staff at the King County Environmental Laboratory.
  • Analyze, interpret, and present physical and chemical freshwater data for spatial and temporal differences and trends, correlations between parameters and other factors, and comparisons to water quality criteria to a variety of audiences.
  • Develop and author technical memoranda, sampling and analysis plans, and reports for physical and chemical water data.
  • Enter physical and chemical water data into data management systems and assist with identifying and guiding improvements to the data management systems.
  • Lead and manage moderately complex projects, ranging from scientific investigations to contracts with partner jurisdictions.
  • Serve as a technical lead in regional freshwater monitoring program work groups and provide expertise on water quality issues such as fecal pollution, nutrient pollution, or climate change.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

  • Education or experience equivalent to a Bachelors' degree in limnology, or closely related discipline.
  • A minimum of two years of experience assessing physical and chemical freshwater data, including quality control of continuous and discrete long-term datasets.
  • A minimum of two years of experience assessing data quality, including review of any available quality assurance/quality control samples and assignment of data qualifiers for discrete, continuous sensor and profile data sets.
  • A minimum of two years of experience conducting statistical analyses with freshwater data and using graphical and statistical software beyond Excel such as R, Ocean Data View, Python, Matlab, SigmaPlot, Primer, etc.
  • Experience synthesizing technical information and writing reports and memos for technical audiences, the public, and a variety of regional partners.
  • Experience managing scientific projects, overseeing scope, schedule, budget, and workflows.
  • Knowledge of sampling protocols for sample collection in deep and shallow lakes, as well as river and streams for laboratory analyses.
  • Knowledge of water quality issues related to fecal pollution in regional surface waters.

Supplemental Information

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to carry 20 pounds over uneven ground to sampling sites along the shoreline.
  • Ability to collect field samples from a boat.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Knowledge of state and federal water quality standards and criteria.
  • Knowledge of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit program.
  • Knowledge of ArcGIS, and SQL.

Working Conditions
Work will generally be performed in an office environment with minimal exposure to safety and health hazards. Occasional field work is required in or near lakes and streams, or on boats and canoes.

Necessary Special Requirements

  • A valid Washington State Driver's License.
WORK SCHEDULE: This position is based on a 40- hour work week . This position is exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and is not overtime eligible. The typical work schedule is 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday.

UNION MEMBERSHIP: Positions in this classification are represented by Teamsters Professional and Technical, Local 117.

CONTACT:  For questions about this recruitment, contact:
Michelle Kobuki, Human Resources

SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONNAIRE                                             ______________________________
The supplemental questionnaire must be completed and submitted with the application. These questions address important elements of this position and the information you provide will help to determine your eligibility for further consideration. Please limit your response to no more than two pages.

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.

Describe your experience with the following: 1) developing water quality monitoring plans for lakes, streams, and/or stormwater - particularly with regards to nutrients and fecal pollution in surface waters and lake systems. 2) Sampling techniques and equipment required for lake and stream monitoring for physical, chemical, and biological analyses. 3) The development and execution of quality control and assurance practices relating to water quality sampling and analysis. 4) Using various statistical analyses and software to manage, analyze and interpret water quality data.
Describe how you have used limnological data to present technical information to various audiences in oral, written, graphic, tabular or other forms. If you have no experience, write none.
Please describe your knowledge and experience applying theory and principles of environmental science to one or more of the following areas: watershed planning, restoration and management, technical investigations, impact analysis, or monitoring.

Required Question