Zebra & Quagga Mussel Monitoring Lead – Fish & Wildlife Biologist 3 – Permanent – *06951-24

Salary: $5,088.00 – $6,838.00 Monthly
Location: Thurston County – Olympia, WA
Job Type: Full Time – Permanent
Job Number: 2024-06951
Department: Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
Opening Date: 06/11/2024
Closing Date: 6/25/2024 11:59 PM Pacific
Category: Environmental Services / Animal Control / Natural Resources / Research / Sciences / Green-Collar/Environmental / Wildlife
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Fish Program – Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Unit
Olympia, Washington – Thurston County


This position may be eligible for telework.   The default assigned work location for this position is in Olympia, Washington.  Frequency of onsite work will vary based on business and operational needs.

The Fish Program’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Unit is tasked with preventing the introduction of, and early detection monitoring of, and managing marine and freshwater AIS transported into or spread within the state through multiple pathways. 

Activities of this lead position include development and implementation of a monitoring plan for the state of Washington each year based on the best available science, implementation of complex monitoring methodologies, and managing a complex monitoring data system.

WDFW staff member in a boat checking an AIS trap

WDFW Aquatic Invasive Species staff – Photo Credit: WDFW


In this dynamic role, you will serve as the senior-level professional biologist to lead the early detection zebra and quagga mussel monitoring operations in the Prevention Section of the AIS Unit and assist in AIS rapid response events.


You thrive on building collaboration and teamwork, working with interagency, intrastate, and interstate forums on zebra and quagga mussel monitoring to build partnerships, coordinate monitoring, and new monitoring technology.


With your experience, you will respond to aquatic invasive species rapid responses.


We are seeking a candidate to support the Department’s mission in addressing major environmental issues concerning AIS species.





Here are some things you will do in this role:

Early Detection Zebra and Quagga Mussel Monitoring (EDZQMM) Operations Leadership, Supervision, and External Coordination: 
  • Serves as the unit expert on EDZQMM field operations.
  • Development and implementation of a yearly statewide methods plan.
  • Development and implementation of a schedule for 4 (2-person) teams statewide.
  • The lead trainer for staff and partners to properly conduct EDZQMM for complex methods.
  • Principal responsibility for collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, the development of conclusions and recommendations for management, research or mitigation needs, and the preparation of reports.
  • Conducts quality control and quality assurance on all data collected ensuring accuracy and integrity.
  • Coordinates and advises external partner’s EDZQMM plans.
  • Supervises up to 8 Scientific Technicians at four duty stations and ensures all safety protocols are followed.
  • The lead watercraft operator.
  • Operates and tows trailered hot water pressure washers, cargo trailers, and other trailered equipment for training and field operations.
  • Obtains permission to work on private and public property.
  • Conducts EDZQMM when required. 
  • Procures and inventory a vast variety and quantity of equipment.
  • Maintains all equipment in a safe and proper condition.
  • Work Setting, including hazards:
    • Approximately 40% field and 60% office. Office hazards include working under fluorescent light, repetitively entering data into computer, looking at computer monitor for long periods of time, sitting or standing for long periods of time. Outdoors on water and on land, sometimes independently in remote locations, occasionally during inclement weather, day and night, walking up to five (5) miles on uneven ground, and frequently must be able to lift 75 pounds.
    • Must safely operate and transport 15 feet to 20 feet watercraft, large equipment up to a 25-foot cargo trailer, flatbed trailers, winches, motor vehicles, and complex hot water trailered pressure washers.
    • Must be able to negotiate water in emergency situations.
  • Schedule:
    • Typically, 8 hours per day, Monday through Friday (40 hours per week).
    • Will exceed these hours when needed or work outside of normal business hours during holidays and weekends.
    • May be required to respond on short notice to rapid response AIS emergencies.
  • Travel Requirements:
    • Requires frequent statewide travel and overnight stays up to five days at times.
  • Tools and Equipment:
    • Desktops, laptops, smart phones, electronic tablets, electronic software forms, and satellite messengers. 
    • Standard field sampling gear, complex mobile water quality laboratory, eDNA, and non-electronic biological and environmental sampling devices.
    • Must safely operate and transport 15 feet to 20 feet watercraft, large equipment up to a 25-foot cargo trailer, flatbed trailers, winches, motor vehicles, and complex hot water trailered pressure washers.
  • Customer Interactions:
    • Interacts with the public on a regular basis conducting outreach and educational events, presentations, and monitoring.
    • Occasionally is confronted with citizens that are non-compliant or not cooperative.




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

  • Three (3) years of professional experience in fish management or fish research, wildlife management or wildlife research, or habitat management or habitat research.
    • Please note:
      • Professional equivalent experience may substitute year-for-year for the education requirement – this experience must be in aquatic invasive species, fish, wildlife, or natural resource management.
      • A Master’s degree in the applicable science will substitute for one (1) year of the required experience.
      • A Ph.D. in the applicable science may be substituted for two (2) years of the required experience.
  • Two (2) years as a Fish & Wildlife Biologist 2.
  • Valid driver’s license.
Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:
  • WA State Boater Education Card (within 3 months of hire).
  • First Aid Certification (within 6 months of hire).
  • Incident Command System (ICS) Trainings: 100, 200, 700, 800 (virtual), 300 (in-person) (within 6 months of hire).
  • Successful completion of agency training and/or certification for assigned watercraft when training is available.
In addition to those required qualifications, our ideal applicant will also have some or all of the following:
Experience in/with:
  • Three (3) years of experience in a natural resources-related field.
  • Two (2) years of experience in the aquatic invasive species (AIS) field.
  • Familiar with AIS management principles and procedures.
  • Conducting zebra and quagga mussel monitoring.
  • Stakeholders and public education/outreach events.
  • Conducting public presentations.
  • Excellent safety record operating 4×4 vehicles, watercrafts, hot water pressure washers, and towing trailers in all weather conditions.
  • Familiar with and able to develop, implement, and manage statewide biological studies and management actions.
  • Preparing comprehensive written reports.
  • Database construction, management, and routine analysis functions.
  • Managing a heavy workload.
Ability to:
  • Promote public service motivation and partnership building.
  • Communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
  • Interact with co-workers, agency partners, volunteers, and members of the public with integrity and respect.
  • Conduct performance management with accountability and strategic thinking.
  • Record, gather, and analyze data clearly and accurately.
  • Reason logically, draw valid conclusions, and make appropriate recommendations.
  • Stay organized and detail oriented.
  • Perform a variety of outdoor work in inclement weather.
  • Work independently and in team settings.
  • Think creatively and critically.
  • Use and safely transport and operate vehicles, boats, trailers, etc.
  • Use handheld GPS, smart phones, electronic tablets, PC, and laptops.
  • Use software including ArcGIS, Teams, Access, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and iForms.
  • And willingness to take on opportunities for personal and professional growth and development.


Supplemental Information


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


Experience and education selected, listed, and detailed in the Supplemental Questions must be verifiable in the application.


In order to successfully apply for this position, you MUST complete your profile at www.careers.wa.gov 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. 



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:  https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/form-i-9-acceptable-documents



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 Benefits:

Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s), Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), Vacation, Sick, and other Leave types.


Eleven (11) Paid Holidays per year and one (1) personal holiday if the employee is scheduled to be, or has been, continuously employed by the State of Washington for at least four (4) months.


Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Long Term Disability & Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation Programs, Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), and an Employee Assistance Program.



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.


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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 Cheri.Weld@dfw.wa.gov.
  • Subject line must include recruitment number, position, and Vet (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – Veteran)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in careers.wa.gov.



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

  • Notify us of your military spouse status by email at Cheri.Weld@dfw.wa.gov.  
  • Subject line must include recruitment number, position, and MS (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – MS)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in careers.wa.gov.


Note: Please blackout any PII (personally identifiable information) data such as social security numbers. 


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.

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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 please contact Jayme Chase by phone 360-902-2278 or email Jayme.Chase@dfw.wa.gov, 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 support@neogov.com.


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