Fish & Wildlife Biologist 4 – Oil Spill Planning & Response Specialist – Permanent – *15599-22

Department of Fish & Wildlife

Olympia, Washington

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $61,632.00 – $80,952.00 Annually
Deadline Nov 17, 2022


Habitat Program
Olympia, Washington – Thurston County

Serve as a vital team member and be responsible for directing, developing, evaluating, managing, and implementing statewide plans and policies to protect fish, wildlife, and their habitats relative to oil spills. You will conduct resource assessments related to oil spills.

This position negotiates mitigation for oil spill incidents of state, national, or international significance as the agency lead. You will assess and interpret abundance, distribution, life history and other ecological information relative to the impact of petroleum spills on fish and wildlife species and their habitats.

Picture yourself providing technical support for natural resource damage assessment activities.

In this dynamic role, you will serve as a senior biologist and the agency’s statewide expert on directing and developing response and damage assessment activities to protect and restore fish, wildlife, and their habitats from the impacts of oils spills.

With your experience, you will provide analysis and recommendations to ensure that the needs of fish and wildlife are given sufficient consideration.

You are excited to represent the Department as a technical expert for fish and wildlife issues during spills.


Our Oil Spill Planning & Response Specialist:

  • Works with Federal and State government Trustees along with wildlife response service providers, Tribal and private interest groups to develop cooperative response plans.
  • Participates in team efforts to develop, update, and improve geographic response plans to provide protection to sensitive natural resources in collaboration with state and federal trustees and other stakeholders in the planning process.
  • Reviews and comments on industry, state and federal strategic and tactical plans, administrative rules and other documents that govern oil spill response in Washington.
  • Serves as team “Duty Officer” in rotation with other team members as assigned (typically one-week (24/7) rotations). The Duty Officer is responsible for determining potential risk to fish and wildlife resources from spills and providing response recommendations as appropriate. 
  • Participates in initial response activities as needed. These may include reconnaissance efforts (air, land, and water) and early sampling activities to assess risks and to document injuries to fish and wildlife resources.
  • Works with other team members to maintain the ability to help fulfill WDFW roles in the Incident Command System.
  • Participates in tabletop and deployment oil spill drills as assigned.
  • Provides fish and wildlife expertise and technical support to the Incident Command System primarily within the Wildlife Branch or Environmental Unit.
  • Issues emergency Hydraulic Project Approvals associated with oil spill response activities.
  • Provides technical expertise and logistical support for natural resource protection, wildlife rescue, and resource damage assessment activities during spill response.
  • Assists in the routine maintenance of the team equipment as required.


  • Work Setting, including hazards:
    • Although the position works primarily in an office setting, the work requires the ability to work in field locations, including working in boats, planes, and helicopters.
    • This position may be exposed to, and work in, oiled environments under adverse weather conditions.
    • Must be able to negotiate water in emergency situations.
    • This position requires the ability to make timely decisions and to represent/coordinate agency interests within dynamic and stressful circumstances during emergency situations.
  • Schedule:
    • Generally, Mon-Fri, 40 hours/week although the position may be required to work additional work hours and outside of normal business hours.
    • Standby Requirement: This position is responsible to be on standby in rotation with other team members for seven-day (24 hours/day) duty cycles.
  • Travel Requirements:
    • This position may require occasional overnight travel for up to several nights.
  • Tools and Equipment:
    • General office equipment, digital camera, handheld GPS, binoculars, team vehicles, and small power vessels.
  • Customer Interactions:
    • This position interacts with state, federal, tribal, and local governmental entities.
    • Routinely interacts with representatives of petroleum companies, contractors, environmental NGOs, and wildlife response service providers.
    • During spill responses, this position may serve in lead or technical specialist roles within the Incident Command System.
    • This position may also be assigned to lead or represent DFW interests on workgroups during the natural resource damage assessment and/or restoration processes.


Closely related qualifying experience may be substituted for the required education on a year-by-year basis.

  • Bachelor’s degree in fisheries, wildlife management, natural resource science, or environmental science.


  • Five (5) years of professional experience in fish management or fish research, wildlife management or wildlife research, or habitat management or habitat research.


  • Two (2) years as a Fish & Wildlife Biologist 3.

Please note:

  • Master’s degree in the applicable science may substitute for one (1) year of the required experience.
  • Ph.D. in the applicable science May substitute for two (2) years of the required experience.


  • Valid driver’s license.


  • LNI respirator training (or equivalent as determined by the WDFW Safety Office) and successful completion of a respirator fit test.
  • Successful completion of the following courses: Incident Command System (ICS) 100, 200, 700 within the first 90 days of employment. ICS 300 is also required and needs to be successfully completed within one year of employment.
  • Successful completion of the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard Program (HazWoper) 40-hour training within the first 90 days of employment. An annual 8-hour refresher is required.
  • Successful completion of agency training and/or certification for assigned watercraft is dependent on supervisory direction, position need and training availability.
  • WDFW flight safety training, within one year of employment and as mandated by WDFW PRO 2006, including Aviation Egress with Emergency Breathing Device, or equivalent as determined by the WDFW Safety Office.
  • NOAA Science of Oil Spills training within one year of employment.
  • NOAA Aerial Observation of Oil Spills within one year of employment.

In addition to the above:

  • Must have the ability to arrive at the Natural Resources Building (in Olympia), ready to conduct extended field operations, within one-hour of notification while on rotation.


  • Knowledge of fish and wildlife biology and ecology (particularly of fish and wildlife species that are dependent on aquatic ecosystems).
  • Knowledge of effects and risks of oil and hazardous substances on fish, wildlife, and habitats.
  • Familiarity with spill response techniques and the Incident Command System.
  • Knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of spill response technologies and their potential impacts on natural resources.
  • Experience operating within a dynamic emergency environment, including making decisions that direct the activities of others.
  • Familiarity with wildlife rehabilitation techniques (capture and rehabilitation).
  • Use of Geographic Information System (GIS) software.
  • Knowledge of the Hydraulic Code (RCW 77.55, WAC 220-660) and issuance of emergency HPAs.


As a result of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14 (Download PDF reader) issued on August 9, 2021, all Washington State Agencies are requiring employees to be fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of your employment. Pursuant to this mandate, you will be required to provide proof of vaccination as a part of the hiring process.  Please do not upload your vaccination documentation with your application materials – your vaccination status will be verified by your supervisor prior to your first day of work.  Exemptions may be granted for religious or medical purposes.

Supplemental Information

Please note: Failure to follow the instructions below may lead to disqualification.

In order to successfully apply for this position, you MUST complete your profile at and attach the following to your profile before completing the online application:

  • A cover letter describing how you meet the qualifications of this position (Generic cover letter will not be accepted).
  • A current resume. 
  • Three professional references. 


The Department of Fish and Wildlife’s priority during the Covid-19 health crisis is to keep our staff, candidates, and the public safe.  We are hiring and encourage you to apply to open positions. We have transitioned to a virtual recruitment process, to include web-based interviews.

All new employees must complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9 Form) on their first day of work. If hired for this or any position at WDFW, you will be required to provide documentation proving you are eligible to work in the United States. For a list of acceptable documents, please use the following link:


Learn about our agency and the perks of working for WDFW!

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has some of the most talented people in the natural resource field.  We celebrate and value diversity, appreciating that a workforce composed of those from different backgrounds and experiences creates an inclusive environment, strengthens positive relationships with the local community, and brings new perspectives and approaches to fulfilling the agency’s mission. We value demonstrated skill in living WDFW values of Accountability, Service, Professionalism, Integrity, Respect, and Empathy (ASPIRE).

WDFW 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 Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Long Term Disability & Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation Programs, Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), Employee Assistance Program, Commute Trip Reduction Incentives, Combined Fund Drive, SmartHealth.


This position is in the bargaining unit represented by the Washington Association of Fish & Wildlife Professionals and is subject to the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the State of Washington, Department of Fish & Wildlife, and the Washington Association of Fish & Wildlife Professionals.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Employer

To take advantage of veteran preference, please do the following:

  • Email a copy of your DD214 (Member 4 copy), NGB 22 or USDVA signed verification of service letter to
  • Subject line should include recruitment number, position, and Vet (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – Veteran)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in 

To take advantage of military spouse preference, please do the following:

  • Notify us of your military spouse status by email at  
  • Subject line should include recruitment number, position, and MS (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – MS)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in

Note: Please blackout any PII (personally identifiable information) data such as social security numbers. For further information, please contact us at

As part of WDFW’s efforts to advance respectful and inclusive work environments, the Agency expects inclusivity as part of our professional interactions and communications.  Therefore, we want to ensure that all individuals feel welcome, are treated fairly and respectfully.  All staff are empowered to fully contribute to serving their work unit, Agency, and the citizens of Washington.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife 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, disabled and Vietnam era veterans and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply.  

Persons needing accommodation in the application process or this announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 902-2276 or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) at (800) 833-6388.

If you are having technical difficulties creating, accessing, or completing your application, please call NEOGOV toll-free at (855) 524-5627 or

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