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Public Outreach Specialist (Community Outreach and Environmental Education Specialist 3)

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

Job Summary

Full Time
Posted on
April 15, 2019
Washington State Department of Ecology
Bellevue, WA
Years of Experiences
1 - 3
3 - 5
Career Level
Experienced (Non-Manager)
Education Level
Bachelor's Degree
$43,968.00 - $57,708.00 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

Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

Please apply through the following link:

Protecting Washington State's environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. We have a culture that is invested in making a difference. If you want to join a team that is highly effective, collaborative, has leadership that embraces the value of people, Ecology is a good fit.

Are you a creative thinker? Do you enjoy helping others to understand complex information? Are you skilled in translating complex information into an easy to understand message? If so, join a team that shares your interests!

The Toxics Cleanup Program (TCP) at our Northwest Regional Office (NWRO) in Bellevue, WA  is looking to fill a Public Outreach Specialist (Community Outreach & Environmental Education Specialist 3) position.

The Public Outreach Specialist position manages public involvement for key high-level cleanup projects such as the Lower Duwamish Waterway and the Everett Smelter Cleanup Projects. Public involvement is required at various stages in the cleanup process, by the Model Toxics Control Act, the law that governs cleanup in Washington. Outside of the required public involvement, many of these projects require a high-level of engagement with the affected communities.

We are looking for applicants who possess excellent people skills, has the ability to work as a team in a fast-paced environment, has the ability to communicate with a diverse audience, is an energetic, and passionate communications professional that is confident and dauntless in the face of a wide range of public interactions. This position gets to work on high priority and high profile cleanup projects in the Northwest Regional Office.

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. Maybe you've seen some of our recent stories on TwitterFacebookInstagram or our blog.

To learn more about our agency, please visit our website at

Local efforts... Diverse people... Statewide impacts


Accidental spills of dangerous materials and past business practices have contaminated land and water throughout the state. The Toxics Cleanup Program (TCP) works to remedy these situations, which range from cleaning up contamination from leaking underground storage tanks, to large, complex projects requiring engineering solutions. Our mission is to get and keep contaminants out of the environment.

As a Public Outreach Specialist, this position develops community outreach and communication plans for cleanup of hazardous waste sites as well as outreach materials for a diverse audience. Coordinating with a range of stakeholders in this position requires a high level of communication skill as well as planning, setting up, and facilitating public meetings, developing and maintaining websites, mailing lists, and surveys.

Some of the key work activities are:

  • Develops and manages community outreach plans, communication plans or activities and public participation plans and schedules.

  • Coordinates or implements workshops, conferences, seminars, public meetings and/or hearings and open houses.

  • Prepares and distributes educational outreach materials that includes newsletters, fact sheets, PowerPoint presentations, brochures, pamphlets, displays, etc.

  • Facilitates public meetings.

  • Makes oral presentations at public meetings or to various community groups.

  • Coordinates program information with various employees, managers, community leaders and the general public.

  • Coordinates outreach efforts with Department of Health or other agencies.

  • Coordinates calls with stakeholders.

  • Updates and maintains project websites (including project photo gallery).

  • Manages communications database.

  • Creates and manages a construction notification system.

  • Coordinates with communications managers on news releases and web coordinators on websites.

  • Manages work of a communications consultant, if one is under contract.

  • Responds to requests for communication with property owners.

  • Develops and distributes surveys and focus groups to gather feedback on outreach efforts; evaluates and adjusts strategies.

  • Staffs office hours (if field office work), open houses, and other events.

  • Maintains mailing and email lists and other databases required for the position.

  • Organizes and maintains critical documents for central files.

  • Provides technical assistance to Ecology education/outreach programs and staff.

  • In coordination with a site manager or program, determines the need for educational outreach or informational material.

  • Interprets regulations, requirements, policies, plans, procedures, and information for the public, other agencies and business/industry.

  • Develops, promotes and implements school educational programs within a region.

  • Develops environmental education policies, regulations and guidelines for a specific program; reviews the program and agency policies for consistent application statewide.

  • Serves on educational task forces and committees to research and develop educational/outreach materials.

  • Acts as an education representative and advocate for the section.


Required Qualifications:

A Bachelor's degree involving major study in environmental, physical, or natural science, education, communications or closely related field


Three years of professional experience involving environmental analysis or control, environmental planning, environmental education, community outreach, or communications activities; or equivalent education/experience.

Desired Qualifications:

TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE:  Uses data and information in a clear, rational, and thorough process to assess and understand issues, evaluate options, form accurate conclusions, and make recommendations or decisions which are in compliance with the MTCA.

  • Implements MTCA correctly, thoroughly, and consistently on all cleanup sites so all stakeholders will know what is expected.

  • Is familiar with the MTCA,  WAC 173-340.

  • Is able to explain Ecology's authority to conduct investigations and cleanup actions; in general is able to understand determining cleanup levels, as well as requirements for site investigations and cleanups; and able to understand generally how to determine whether sites have met the substantive requirements of MTCA.

  • Generally knows overall processes involved in site cleanup (e.g., when to send letters and to whom; when the agency uses agreed orders, enforcement orders, and consent decrees; when to involve assistant attorney generals; when to involve more senior staff, etc.).

PROJECT MANAGEMENT:  Accepts full responsibility for all aspects of assigned projects, remaining in touch with site status and progress. Effectively directs and integrates all aspects of site work, ensuring that work progresses - achieving goals and objectives.

  • Is able to make decisions when required.  Recognizes when a decision must be made, involves management when appropriate, and moves forward with that decision.  Makes timely decisions without sacrificing quality even under ambiguous circumstances or with limited data.

  • Regularly evaluates progress on sites and adjusts organization, priority, time, method, etc. accordingly.  Remains acutely aware of timeframes and successfully meets deadlines. If deadlines are in jeopardy, appropriately seeks assistance from supervisor.

COMPUTER SKILLS:  Is able to create, edit, modify, save, and delete documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; includes locating and modifying existing boilerplates for use at specific sites.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:

Must possess a valid driver's license.

Why work for Ecology?

Joining Ecology means becoming a part of a team committed to protecting and restoring Washington State's environment.

A career in public service allows you to help solve some of the most challenging problems facing our state, while keeping the health and financial security of you and your family a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to work/life balance.

Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:

Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s)Public Employees Retirement System (PERS),  Vacation, Sick, and other Leave*, 11 Paid Holidays per year*, Public Service Loan ForgivenessTuition Waiver,  Long Term Disability & Life InsuranceDeferred Compensation ProgramsDependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP),  Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA)Employee Assistance ProgramCommute Trip Reduction Incentives (Download PDF reader)Combined Fund DriveSmartHealth


Student debt and how working for Ecology can help
Employees may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, which forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. See for more details.


*See the Benefits tab in this announcement for more information

Supplemental Information

Application Instructions:

In order to be considered, applicants MUST attach the following documents as an attachment to their application:

  • A cover letter describing how your experience, skills and abilities meet the required/desired qualifications of this position.

  • A resume outlining your professional experience.

Please complete the applicant profile when applying for this position. Or, you may paste the text of your resume within the profile's resume text field.

Please read the supplemental questions carefully and answer completely. Incomplete responses, including "please see resume", may disqualify you from further consideration.

Department of Ecology employees, please make sure to answer the agency-wide questions regarding permanent status as a classified employee within the Washington General Service or Washington Management Service. Do not forget to select Department of Ecology as a response to question 2, and type your personnel ID number for question 3. If you are not sure of your status or do not know your personnel ID number, please contact Human Resources at (360) 407-6186.

If you are reading this announcement in print format, please visit to access the online recruitment system. Click on "Look for Jobs" and select Dept. of Ecology under the "Department" search list. Click "Apply Search."

Other Information:

If you need assistance applying for this job, please call Human Resources at (360) 407-6186 or e-mail Please do not call this number or send an email to this address to follow-up the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile's main page.

If you have specific questions about the position, please email Louise Bardy at: Please do not contact Louise Bardy to inquire about the status of your application.

The act of submitting application materials electronically is considered affirmation that the information is complete and truthful. The state may verify this information and any untruthful or misleading answers are cause for rejection of your application or dismissal if employed.

This position is included in the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) union bargaining unit for the Department of Ecology.

The Washington State Department of Ecology is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, veterans or people with military status, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application/testing process or this job announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 407-6186. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.