Salary: $63,216.00 – $93,840.00 Annually
Location: Thurston County – Olympia, WA
Job Type: Full Time – Permanent
Department: Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
Job Number: 2023-04586
Closing: Continuous

Habitat Program
Olympia, Washington 

We are recruiting to hire at the Fish & Wildlife Research Scientist 1 or 2 level, and we will train a Research Scientist 1 hire to become a Research Scientist 2 .

Depending on which level you are hired at, your salary will be as follows:

Research Scientist 1 – $5,268 – $7,085 Monthly
Research Scientist 2 – $5,813 – $7,820 Monthly

This is an exciting opportunity to provide specialized expertise in fluvial geomorphology and scientific leadership for directing a multidisciplinary research program. This position is the agency’s designated consultant on the interactions between hydraulic structures (hydraulic structures encompasses culverts, bridges, river and stream bank armoring, marine shoreline armoring) and fish and shellfish habitats. 

Lead effectiveness monitoring of freshwater hydraulic structures

  • Plans, designs, conducts, coordinates, and manages effectiveness monitoring regarding the effects of hydraulic structures on fish and shellfish habitats.
  • Oversees up to 4 employees engaged in data collection for effectiveness monitoring. 
  • Works with other agency staff on effectiveness monitoring database development and upkeep and on data quality control.
  • Analyzes data and writes detailed reports on the results of effectiveness monitoring or research studies.

Oversee research projects regarding the impacts of hydraulic structures on fish and shellfish habitats.

  • Manage all aspects of a research project: study design, hiring and training technicians, site selection, data collection, data management, statistical analysis of data, modelling, report writing, etc.
  • As funding opportunities arise, seek grant money. This task includes study design, budget development, and proposal writing.

Serve as expert consultant to WDFW staff (primarily civil engineers and habitat biologists) on geomorphological issues pertaining to hydraulic structures.

  • Visits project sites to assess issues and provides technical information or expert advice.


  • Work Setting, including hazards:
  1. Work is performed primarily in an office environment, with exposure to hazards mostly limited to those commonly found in government office environments. Office work includes extended work with personal computers. 
  2. Field work can vary from 10% to 60% of work time depending upon season. Field work includes travel to and from field sites, performing measurements in extreme weather conditions, and maneuvering over rough terrain while carrying up to 30 pounds of equipment. Field work is conducted on foot in wadeable streams where slippery rocks, sticky mud, and steep banks are often encountered. Field work will entail working inside and on top of hydraulic structures such as culverts and marine bulkheads.
  • Schedule:
    1. Standard business hours are Monday – Friday from 8:00a.m. to 5:00p.m., but the incumbent must be willing to work a non-scheduled work week to align with business needs. However, during field season could work 4 ten-hour days per week. 
    2. A flexible work schedule will be considered at the incumbent’s request, subject to supervisory approval. Requirements for work hours in the Natural Resources Building will be subject to WDFW’s COVID and telecommuting policies. 
  • Travel Requirements:
  • Multi-day, overnight travel may be required during field season (June through mid-November) to efficiently conduct data collection tasks and/or supervise field crews. Travel requirements include travel throughout the state.
  • Tools and Equipment:
  • Instruments or devices used for the measurement of stream channels, hydraulic structures, and fish habitats, including surveyor’s levels, laser levels, laser range finders, global positioning systems, water current meters, and electronic data loggers. 

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

This in-training series provides mentoring and career development opportunities for candidates with limited experience.  

Candidates will be hired as a Fish & Wildlife Research Scientist 1 or 2, dependent on skills and experience. 

  • A Master’s degree in fluvial geomorphology, hydrology, civil engineering, or closely allied field; 


  • Professional experience designing, conducting, and supervising research on one or both of the following: 
  1. Fluvial geomorphology 
  2. The impacts of hydraulic structures (e.g., culverts, shoreline armoring) on stream channels. 

Please note: A Doctoral degree in one of the above fields of study will substitute for one year of the required professional experience. 

Job knowledge 

  • Proven expertise in fluvial geomorphology.
  • Practical experience in managing field crews.
  • Understanding of sampling design and practical experience in developing and implementing field research projects.
  • Proficient with some types of advanced statistical analysis (e.g., nonparametric statistics, multivariate analyses, information theoretic approaches, etc.).


  • A valid Driver’s License


  • A Doctoral degree in fluvial geomorphology, hydrology, civil engineering, or closely allied field.
  • At least four (4) years of professional experience designing, conducting, and supervising research in fluvial geomorphology or closely allied field.
  • Has authored or co-authored three articles (published or in press) in peer-reviewed, refereed literature (two articles should be as senior author, the third article should be as senior or secondary author). 

Job knowledge 

  • Familiarity with hydraulic structures (particularly culverts) and their potential effects on fluvial geomorphology and hydrology at the site and reach scales.
  • Familiarity with 2-D hydrodynamic and morphodynamic modelling based on computational fluid dynamics

CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT: WDFW requires all employees to be fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment.  You will be required to provide proof of vaccination as 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 before you will be allowed to work. Exemptions may be granted for religious or medical purposes.

To Apply
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. 

For more information and to apply:

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