Marine Vegetation Monitoring Scientist, NRSci 1 description image

Marine Vegetation Monitoring Scientist, NRSci 1

Salary: $47,688.00 – $64,092.00 Annually
Location: Thurston County – Olympia, WA
Job Type: Project (limited duration)
Job Number: 2024-4-7305-04549
Department: Dept. of Natural Resources
Opening Date: 04/11/2024
Closing Date: 04/25/2024 11:59 PM Pacific
Category: Environmental Services / Land Use / Natural Resources / Forestry / Statistics/Mathematics / Sciences / Green-Collar/Environmental

Marine Vegetation Monitoring Scientist, NRSci 1 description image



Marine Vegetation Monitoring Scientist, NRSci 1
Recruitment #2024-4-7305
Full-time, Project, Represented position
Anticipated Project employment is June 2024-June 2025
Location: Natural Resources Building- Olympia, WA

Work Hours and Partial Telework flexibility may be available and considered
Salary: $3,974.00 – $5,341.00 Monthly 

Want to join something GREAT and make a difference?
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) seeks to hire a marine monitoring scientist to work as part of a multi-organization team researching factors associated with bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) resilience and loss at a network of sites throughout Puget Sound.

This position is ideal for an entry level scientist who wants to work closely with a diverse set of organizations including government scientists, academic scientists, tribes and volunteers to answer pressing scientific questions about bull kelp stressors.  This cutting-edge project will inform future kelp management and research in Washington State.
The position will:
  • Collect water quality monitoring data, including: sample collection/processing from a small boat (N, TSS, CTD, light attenuation), sample processing, data management.
  • Take part in sampling to assess bull kelp canopy condition (parameters include: extent, depth range, density, kelp morphometrics, reproductive state and condition, photosynthetic capacity, C:N ratio and stable isotopes.)
  • Locate and summarize datasets related to marine vegetation condition and stressors.
  • Collaborate with academic and agency scientists to integrate and interpret data and communicate results. Products will include: technical reports, publications, and recommendations for future monitoring protocols.
More information is available about the project at: Floating Kelp Resilience and Loss Investigation – Fact Sheet. (Download PDF reader)
More information is available about the program at: Nearshore Habitat Program and kelp monitoring.



This position performs research under the supervision of a Natural Resource Scientist 4. Responsibilities include:

  • Collect and manage environmental monitoring data streams and equipment at sites with historical and current floating kelp forests:
    • Conduct monthly field-based collection of point measurements and water samples. Point measurement parameters include CTD casts (conductivity, temperature, depth), light attenuation, secchi depth. Water samples parameters include total suspended solids and nutrients.
    • Maintain in situ continuous instruments that measure light, conductivity, pressure, and temperature using defined methods. Coordinate instrument deployment and retrieval with divers.
    • Download, process and manage data from monthly and in situ continuous instruments. Process water samples for internal analysis or deliver to external laboratories.
    • Assist in field planning and completion, including development of field schedules, float plans, equipment preparation and boat operation.
    • Download, process and summarize data using specialized software for individual sensors, R, ArcGIS, and MS Office Suite.
    • Locate and summarize existing datasets on key environmental parameters, including salinity, temperature, nutrients, suspended solids and other factors that influence kelp performance.
    • Summarize and report data in reports and presentations to project members and to external audiences.
  • Conduct field-based biological data collection, sample processing, data entry and analysis of floating kelp:
    • In collaboration with other project scientists, plan and implement coordinated sampling of floating kelp bed extent, abundance, morphometrics, performance and other indicators of condition. Tasks include field surveys with defined protocols, tissue collection, processing tissue samples in preparation for analysis by an external laboratory, communicating and coordinating with contracted collaborators and laboratories.
    • Process, enter and review data, using R, ArcGIS and MS Office Suite.
    • To provide broader context for synthesis of findings, collaborate with other project scientists to locate and summarize existing datasets that describe floating kelp condition, including bed extent, abundance, morphometrics, performance and other indicators of condition.
    • Summarize and report data in reports and presentations to project members during analysis and to external audiences.
  • Synthesize kelp distribution and condition information by summarizing existing datasets:
    • Summarize information on kelp distribution and condition through locating and extracting information from datasets, maps and historical documents.
    • Synthesize spatial information using ArcGIS. Synthesize tabular information using MS Excel, R or Access.



Required Qualifications: 

  • A Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, biology, ecology or related natural science, AND two years of professional experience,
    OR an equivalent combination of education and or experience.
  • Experience in field and laboratory-based data collection and processing.
  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering and supporting an environment that honors diversity, equity and inclusion and environmental justice practices.
  • Perform assigned duties in a manner consistent with applicable laws, regulations and public records retention and requests are followed.
  • Ability to process scientific data according to defined procedures.
  • Working knowledge of data analysis principles and basic statistics.
  • Ability to create, manipulate and QC data sets using Excel, Access or R.
  • Familiarity with environmental monitoring equipment, particularly water quality sensors.
  • Ability to summarize procedures and scientific findings in written and oral format.
  • DNR Core Competencies:
    • Personal Accountability
    • Value Others
    • Compassionate Communication
    • Inspire Others
    • Commitment to Excellence
Special Requirements and Conditions of Employment:
  • Position is located primarily in the office, with regular field work and occasional travel for meetings and conferences. Required working conditions include the ability to meet the position schedule and travel requirements, and the ability to conduct field work by boat and on foot in nearshore marine environments. Position entails field work on uneven terrain and on a boat in inclement weather conditions and during the night.
  • Up to 7 consecutive days in travel status is expected, approximately 10-15 times per year. Position entails field work and occasional travel for meetings, typically in western Washington. Field work is conducted by boat, van or on foot.
  • A valid unrestricted driver’s license and have two years of driving experience. This position requires driving as an essential function. Finalists and/or interview candidates will be asked to provide a driving record from all states in which they have held a license during the past three years. 
Desired Qualifications:
  • Experience in marine/estuarine ecological research, especially with kelp, eelgrass or other marine vegetation.
  • Knowledge of statistical software, especially R.
  • Knowledge of ArcGIS software.
  • Small boat experience. Small boat safety training and certification such as the WA State Boater Education Card, motorboat operator’s certification course (MOCC).
  • Knowledge of marine and estuarine waters of the Pacific Northwest, especially areas within Puget Sound.
Don’t let doubts stop you from applying for this position – If you have any questions about the required qualifications or how your past experience relates to them, please contact us at A note to potential candidates: Studies have shown that women, trans, non-binary, and Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) are less likely to apply for jobs unless they feel they meet every qualification as described in a job description. We value diversity and inclusion in our organization, and we are looking for the best person for the job. Don’t hesitate to apply! 


Supplemental Information

Application Requirements:

  • Apply online: at (Click on the APPLY button above).
  • Letter of interest: describing your specific qualifications to the position and position required, desired, and special requirements.
  • Resume: that details your experience and qualifications.
  • References: at least three professional references with current telephone numbers– you may attach a document, use the References text field in the online application, or include it with your resume.
  • Important: Do not attach any documents that include photos or private information (social security number, year of birth, etc.).
  • Complete all supplemental questions.
  • Candidates who move forward in the recruitment process may be contacted via email at with interview information/scheduling instructions. Please monitor the email listed in your application materials and check your junk email folder to ensure you receive those communications.
Questions?  Please contact Helen Berry at or e-mail us at

About the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). 
At DNR we approach our work through the lens of making Washington a better place environmentally and are dedicated to serving Washington’s lands and communities through diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
Our Vision – Our actions ensure a future where Washington’s lands, waters, and communities thrive.
Our Mission – Manage, sustain, and protect the health and productivity of Washington’s lands and waters to meet the needs of present and future generations.
Our Core Values:
  • Safety and Well-Being —Our top priority is the safety of the public and our employees.
  • Public Service —We value and respect the public we serve, and we value and respect the people of the Department of Natural Resources who step up to serve.
  • Innovation and Creative Problem-Solving — We solve our state’s most pressing challenges through innovative thinking, dedication, and bold and creative vision.
  • Leadership and Teamwork —We are committed to building leaders at all levels and building teams for success.
DNR provides excellent benefits, a few of which include:
  • Commitment to organizational health and wellness
  • Work/life balance
  • DNR Employee Resource Groups (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, Women’s Employee Resource Group, Veterans Employee Resource Group, etc.)
  • Statewide Employee Business Resource Groups, visit here to learn more
  • Leadership that empowers and supports employees
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Educational and career development aid
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Eligibility
  • Opportunities to participate in wildland fire suppression assignments
  • A comprehensive benefits package that includes employer contributions toward health insurance, paid holidays, retirement plans, sick leave, and vacation days. Visit for more information.
Additional Information:
This recruitment may be extended and may also be used to fill future similar vacancies for up to sixty (60) days.
DNR does not use the E-Verify system. For more information, please visit

Veterans wishing to claim Veteran’s preference please attach a copy of your DD-214, NGB-22, or other verification of military service. Please black out your social security number prior to attaching it. We thank you and are grateful for your service!

Equal Opportunity Employer: The Washington State Department of Natural Resources 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, military spouses 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) 522-2500 or email Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call through the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6384.

Once you submit your online application, you can check your status by logging into your account. If you experience technical difficulties creating, accessing or completing your application call NEOGOV toll-free at (855) 524-5627 or email

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