Back to Results

Eastern Regional Smoke Management Expert (Environmental Specialist 4)

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

Job Summary

Full Time
Posted on
January 17, 2018
Washington State Department of Ecology
Spokane, WA
Years of Experiences
1 - 3
3 - 5
Career Level
Experienced (Non-Manager)
Education Level
Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, Doctorate
$49,020.00 - $64,296.00 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

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.

The Air Quality Program (AQP) is looking to fill an Eastern Regional Smoke Management Expert (Environmental Specialist 4) position. This position is located in our Eastern Regional Office (ERO) in Spokane, WA.

The Eastern Regional Smoke Management Expert position serves as the regional smoke management expert in technical and data analysis for the use of weather forecasting models. Mentors staff on the use of weather forecasting models, and the ability to use science, modeling, and the interaction with geography to make smoke management decisions on a daily basis. This positions serves as the regional expert in Agricultural and Outdoor burn permitting. This position is key to implementing the critical outdoor burn permitting and smoke management program in 12 counties in Eastern Washington.  

We are looking for applicants who are team players, possess excellent people skills, have the ability to quickly assess a situation and make a decision and the ability to communicate with a diverse audience.  

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

The Air Quality Program's (AQP) mission is to protect, preserve, and enhance the air quality of Washington to safeguard public health and the environment, and support high quality of life for current and future citizens.
Some of the key duties of the Eastern Regional Smoke Management Expert position include:

  • Serves as the senior environmental section specialist for independently making smoke management decisions for the Eastern Region. 

  • Reviews smoke management needs, and assisting team members on a daily basis as they make daily smoke management decisions. This includes metering, burning by county, burning by zone, or no-burn due to a variety of environmental or political circumstances.

  • Trains, and mentors staff members in daily smoke management decision making based on air quality monitoring data, meteorological forecasting data, geography, and availability of permitted acres or tons for 12 counties in Eastern Washington.  

  • Serves as the senior environmental section specialist responsible for developing tools for making smoke management decisions for the Eastern Region, utilizing specialized GIS products and air quality monitors to develop tools specific to track burning and to make smoke management decisions region wide.

  • Serves as the regional expert on implementation and annual updating to the states smoke management index as outlined in regulation,  WAC 173-430. 

  • Mentors other team members in the use of developed tools, forecast models, air quality monitoring, and GIS for use in decision making specific to smoke management.

  • Develops and maintains electronic tracking systems of these decisions. 

  • Conducts training and validation of complex meteorological models and tools for use in making smoke management decisions. 

  • Serves as an ERO regional technical expert representing the Department of Ecology and working closely with delegated permitting authorities, federal land managers, state and local governments, tribal governments, and private entities in the implementation of Washington's outdoor burn regulations, WAC 173-425.  

  • Responsible for coordination with regulators in both Washington and Idaho, and local governments in Oregon on smoke control measures and trans-boundary impacts in shared air sheds. 

  • Identifies critical and emerging issues and recommends preventive or corrective measures. 

  • Represents the program/agency in public meetings, hearings and workshops, serves as agency representative to commissions, committees, and organizations.  Serves as the senior environmental section specialist working closely with delegated authorities with permitting and AQPPS training and use.  WAC 173-430.

  • Works with headquarters staff on upgrades and continued usability of the online permitting program, AQPPS.

  • Responsible for regional air quality compliance for outdoor and agricultural burning.  Completing complaint investigations, inspections and compliance investigations. Initiates, recommends, and supports warranted enforcement actions and technical assistance to ensure future compliance.

  • Documents violations, notifies alleged violators, prepares recommendations for Enforcement Actions, NOV and NOP, and file management.

  • Enforcement is conducted consistent with Ecology procedures.

  • Works as part of the regional air quality monitoring unit maintaining and upgrading monitoring sites in accordance with federal and state standards.

  • Works on special projects as assigned by the Program Manager, Section Manager or Smoke Unit Supervisor.

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



Required Qualifications:

A Bachelor's degree involving major study in environmental, physical, or one of the natural sciences, environmental planning or other allied field and five years of professional-level experience in environmental analysis or control, or environmental planning which includes one year equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above or two years equal to an Environmental Specialist 2 or above. 

Additional qualifying experience will substitute, year for year, for education.  


A Master's degree in one of the above fields and three years of professional - level experience as required above which includes one year equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above or two years equal to an Environmental Specialist 2 or above.  


A Ph.D. in one of the above fields and two years of professional-level experience as required above which includes one year equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above or two years equal to an Environmental Specialist 2 or above.


Two years of experience as an Environmental Specialist 3.  

Note: The experience as an Environmental Specialist 2 can include assisting in any of the following areas: 1) performing field surveys or studies, 2) responding to complaints involving scientific or technical content, 3) preparing public meetings and hearings, 4) assistance with routine inspections or investigations requiring specialized knowledge of industry processes, pollutant sources or natural processes, 5) responding to routine inquires or requests for technical assistance involving scientific content, 6) special projects that are scientific in nature, 7) conducting routine sampling and testing analyses, interprets data, writing reports 8) performing basic sampling data review, 9) maintaining an environmental data base to support technical projects, 10) providing routine environmental technical and administrative assistance to grant/ contract/ loan recipients of environmental protection projects.
The experience as an Environmental Specialist 3 can include a combination 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, 11) providing environmental technical and administrative assistance to grant/ contract/ loan recipients of environmental protection projects.

Desireable Qualifications

  • Preferred education and advanced experience in computer programs/ applications such as Access, Excel, GIS, Web Applications (FrontPage, Perl, etc.), modeling, etc.

  • Can be relied upon to achieve excellent results with little need for oversight; earns the trust, respect, and confidence of coworkers and customers through consistent honesty, forthrightness and professionalism in all interactions; logically integrates various ideas, intentions, and information to form effective goals, objectives, timelines, action plans, and solutions.

  • Must be able to communicate effectively in writing and verbally with a diverse set of clients and coworkers.

  • Ability to identify and advocate for changes necessary to better meet client needs.

  • Research and Investigation: Determines sources of information and methods for informational gathering and analysis; provides guidance on program investigations; may conduct more complex investigations and prepare cases for enforcement action and hearings.

  • Experience in compliance and enforcement is desirable as well as high level analytical/ reasoning skills.

  • Ability to withstand times of high stress and complete goals with time constraints during these periods with minimal mistakes.

Special Requirements / Conditions of Employment:
Must be able to obtain and maintain a valid Driver's License.



Supplemental Information


Application Instructions:[0]=Dept.%20of%20Ecology&sort=PositionTitle%7CAscending&page=1&pagetype=jobOpportunitiesJobs


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

  • A cover letter describing how your experience, skills and abilities meet the required 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 Kary Peterson at: Please do not contact Kary 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. All employees covered by the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the WFSE will, as a condition of employment, either become members of the WFSE and pay membership dues or, as non-members, pay a representation fee as described in the CBA, no later than the 30th day following the effective date of this CBA or the beginning of their employment.

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.