Salary: $55,872.00 – $75,120.00 Annually
Location: Thurston County – Lacey, WA
Job Type: Full Time – Permanent
Remote Employment: Flexible/Hybrid
Department: Dept. of Ecology
Job Number: 2023-AQ0917-05295
Closing: Continuous

The Air Quality Program (AQP) within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill an Air Quality Modeling Specialist (Environmental Specialist 4) position. This position is located in our Headquarters Office in Lacey, WA. Upon hire, you must live within a commutable distance from the duty station.
As the Air Quality Modeling Specialist, your focus will be on conducting modeling, meteorological data analysis, and air quality permit model protocol review, and will also join a team conducting research projects and developing modeling scenarios, researching air quality standard exceedances, and analyzing results. You will evaluate Weather Research and Forecasting model runs and other meteorological products to improve statewide air quality forecasts and forecast wintertime air stagnation and need for air quality burn bans. Additionally, coordinating with the National Weather Service, Ecology region offices, local air authorities, and the Environmental Protection Agency, you will determine and evaluate wintertime air stagnation episodes and make burn ban decisions. You will have the opportunity to provide technical support and training to Ecology and local air agency staff involved in smoke management and agricultural burning programs. In this role, you will also collaborate and participate with the NW-AIRQUEST consortium, the Northwest Regional Modeling Consortium, and other programs in air quality modeling research and model improvements. The mission of the Air Quality Program is to protect and improve air quality in Washington. The Air Quality Program’s vision is clean, healthy air and climate for all of Washington.  

Tele-work options for this position: This position will be eligible to tele-work up to three days per week. Applicants with questions about position location options, tele-work, and flexible or compressed schedules are encouraged to reach out to the contact person listed below in “other information.” Schedules are dependent upon position needs and are subject to change.

Application Timeline: This position will remain open until filled, we will review applications on May 8, 2023. In order to be considered, please submit an application on or before May 7, 2023. If your application isn’t received by this date, it may not be considered. The agency reserves the right to make a Hire any time after the initial screening date. 

As the Air Quality Modeling Specialist, you will serve as the agency’s specialist performing air quality modeling and forecasting in support of air quality permitting programs and activities.  You will:

  • Review and approve modeling protocols submitted for air quality permitting (Prevention of Significant Deterioration, air toxics, and minor New Source Review permitting);
  • Provide technical expertise for AQP policy development, including modeling efficacy of various control or emission reduction strategies;
  • Provide technical assistance to air quality permit applicants, facilities, consultants, and affected public in the interpretation of air quality laws and regulations, model results and air quality data.
  • Make Wintertime Stage I or Stage II Burn Ban decisions. Coordinate with National Weather Service, Ecology region offices, local air authorities, and the Environmental Protection Agency to gather information needed to determine and evaluate air stagnation episode extent, duration, and need for air quality state 1 or state II burn ban.

Required Qualifications:
Years of required experience indicated below are full-time equivalent years. Full-time equivalent experience means that any experience where working hours were less than 40 hours per week will be prorated in order to meet the equivalency of full-time. We would calculate this by looking at the total hours worked per week, divide this by 40, and then multiply by the total number of months worked. Examples of the proration calculations are:

  • 30 hours worked per week for 20 months: (30/40) x 20 months = 15 months full-time equivalent
  • 20 hours worked per week for 12 months: (20/40) x 12 months = 6 months full-time equivalent

Experience for both required and desired qualifications can be gained through various combinations of formal professional employment, education, and volunteer experience. See below for how you may qualify.

A total of nine years of experience and/or education as described below:

  • Experience: Involving environmental analysis or control, or environmental planning. 
  • Education: Involving a major study in environmental, physical, or natural science, environmental planning or other allied field.

All experience and education combinations that meet the requirements for this position:

Possible Combinations College credit hours or degree – as listed above Years of professional level experience – as listed above
Combination 1 No college credit hours or degree 9 years of experience
Combination 2 30-59 semester or 45-89 quarter credits 8 years of experience
Combination 3 60-89 semester or 90-134 quarter credits (AA degree) 7 years of experience
Combination 4 90-119 semester or 135-179 quarter credits 6 years of experience
Combination 5 A Bachelor’s Degree  5 years of experience
Combination 6 A Master’s Degree 3 years of experience
Combination 7 A Ph.D. 2 years of experience

Two years of experience as an Environmental Specialist 3, at the Department of Ecology.

Experience must include:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of how synoptic, mesoscale, and microscale meteorology affect the transport and dispersion of emissions from sources ranging from neutrally buoyant surface releases to the highly buoyant plumes from field and forest fires. 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience using meteorological and air quality chemical-dispersion models to predict weather and air quality for both short-term episode forecasting and long-term planning and regulatory purposes.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment: 

  • Must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license.

Desired Qualifications:
We highly encourage you to apply even if you do not have some (or all) of the desired experience below.

  • Demonstrated ability to step into a position as the program specialist for the state in air quality permit modeling protocol review and approval and Wintertime Stage I or Stage II Burn Ban decisions.
  • Demonstrated understanding of Federal, State, and Local laws, regulations, rules, policies, and guidance that affect permitting and operation of facilities and other sources of air emissions in Washington.
  • Should be comfortable with exploratory data analysis and familiar with non-parametric statistics.
  • Demonstrated ability to build rapport and partner with others.
  • Demonstrated skill in writing and preparing presentations, and the ability to present technically complex information in a way that is understandable to the audience.

Note: Having some (or all) of this desired experience may make your application more competitive in a highly competitive applicant pool.

Other Information
If you have specific questions about the position, please email Christopher Hanlon-Meyer at: Please do not contact Christopher to inquire about the status of your application. To request the full position description: email

Application Instructions
It’s in the applicant’s best interest to submit all of the documents listed below. Applications without these documents may be declined.

  • A cover letter describing why you are interested in this position.
  • A resume outlining your experience and education (if applicable) as it relates to the minimum qualifications of this position.
  • A list of three professional references.

Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.  

For more information and to apply:

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