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Aquaculture Specialist (Environmental Specialist 5)

Biotech/R&D/Science Jobs
Washington State Department of Ecology

Job Summary

Full Time
Posted on
October 12, 2018
Expired on
December 11, 2018
Washington State Department of Ecology
Bellevue or Lacey, WA
Years of Experiences
3 - 5
5 - 10
Career Level
Experienced (Non-Manager)
Education Level
Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree
$55,152.00 - $72,456.00 Annually

About Washington State Department of Ecology

The Department of Ecology is Washington's environmental protection agency. Our mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's land, air and water for current and future generations. We support environmental work throughout Washington. Nearly 70 percent of our budget is passed through to local communities to pay for projects that benefit the environment. We were founded in 1970 as the first agency in the nation dedicated to environmental protection.

Contact name

Job description


The Department of Ecology is recruiting for an Aquaculture Specialist (Environmental Specialist 5) in the Water Quality Program. This position will be located in either our Southwest Regional Office in Lacey, WA or our Northwest Regional Office in Bellevue, WA, depending on the location of the successful candidate.

This position supports the program and agency goals as the program expert on aquaculture, including issues related to fin fish raising, fish hatcheries, shell fish farms and hatcheries, and fish processing.

We are looking for applicants who have an excellent science background as a foundation to develop creative solutions to challenging regulatory requirements for the permitting of fish and shellfish aquaculture facilities. Applicants should have excellent oral and written communication skills necessary to convey complex permitting concepts to permit applicants, members of the public, or elected officials.  Applicants should have confidence in their abilities to provide leadership in the technical and regulatory aspects of aquaculture at a state-wide level.

As an agency, our mission is to protect, preserve, and enhance Washington's environment for current and future generations. We invest in our employees to create and sustain a working environment that encourages creative leadership, effective resource management, teamwork, professionalism, and accountability.

To learn more about our agency, check us out on our website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or our blog.


Agency Mission: The mission of the Department of Ecology is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's environment, for current and future generations. 

Program Mission: The mission of the Water Quality Program is to protect and restore Washington's waters to support healthy watersheds and communities. Our work ensures state waters can support beneficial uses including recreational and business activities, supplies for clean drinking water, and the protection of fish, shellfish, wildlife, and public health.

What does the Aquaculture Specialist do?

  • Represents the Water Quality Program as the expert on aquaculture issues state-wide. Monitors current research, is the primary contact for aquaculture issues, and prepares agency regulatory and guidance documents for aquaculture facilities.

  • Ensure the operation of aquaculture facilities support clean water and are regulated consistent with the Clean Water Act.

  • ?Reviews plans and monitoring reports from regulated facilities including fish hatcheries, commercial net pens and other aquaculture facilities.

  • Travels state wide, including on Puget Sound, to visit and inspect aquaculture facilities.

  • Prepares documents for executive or legislative audience that articulate agency positions on the regulation and support of aquaculture facilities.

What challenges does this job face?
This is a challenging, multifaceted position that develops statewide policy and direction in aquaculture for the agency while preparing regulatory documents for individual facilities. This position operates with considerable independence and interacts with other local, state and federal agencies. This position:

  • Reissues water quality permits and defends agency decisions. 

  • Provides technical assistance to operators of aquaculture facilities and prepares enforcement actions, as needed.

  • Produces written documents on a tight timetable. 

  • Explains the agency's regulatory requirements to stakeholders, interest groups and members of the public

  • Works with the public and permittees on controversial issues, such as net pens.

  • Requires occasional travel on small boats.

Please Note: The salary range shown above is for the Lacey location. If this position is located in Bellevue, the salary range will be 5% higher than standard Environmental Specialist 5 positions due to assignment pay that is given based on the location.

This position will remain open until filled. The initial screening will be on October 26, 2018. In order to be considered for the initial screening, please submit an application on or before October 25, 2018. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.


Required Qualifications:
A Bachelor's degree in one of the natural sciences, environmental planning or other allied fields such as fisheries, oceanography, limnology, natural resource science, biology, or environmental science AND six years of professional level experience in environmental controls, fisheries management or fisheries research, applied oceanography or research, or fish aquaculture or research, which includes two equivalent to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above.


A Master's degree in one of the above fields and four years of professional- level experience as required above which includes two years equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above. 


A Ph.D. in one of the above fields and three years of professional-level experience as required above which includes two years equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above. 


Experience as an Environmental Specialist 3 can include any of the following: 1) investigating and / or resolving complaints involving science or technology content, 2) performing inspections, 3) drafting technical evaluations and reports, 4) develops plans for researching information used for technical projects, regulatory or policy development, 5) plan and facilitate public meetings and hearings, 6) project work requiring specialized knowledge of industry processes, pollutant sources or natural processes, 7) providing technical assistance for complex scientific content and/ or support for implementing scientific content programs, 8) conducting tests, analyzing and evaluating data, 9) using environmental databases to support technical projects, 10) developing scientific studies and resource management plans, or 11) providing environmental technical and administrative assistance to grant/ contract/ loan recipients of environmental protection projects.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience writing waste water discharge permits or water quality certifications.

  • Investigator experience.

  • Experience with enforcing Washington state laws or Federal Clean Water Act Requirements.

  • Experience maintaining objectivity and composure in stressful or contentious situations.

Application Instructions

Please view the full job announcement for application instructions and additional job details:


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