Water Quality Planner/Project Manager II – Oceanographer – Seattle, WA


WHO MAY APPLY: This position is open to the public

King County values diverse perspectives, life experiences and differences.  The Water and Land Resources Division encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and veterans.  We are committed to being equitable and fair in providing equal access to opportunities for all.

Forms and Materials Required:

  • King County application form (applying online satisfies this)
  • Resume,
  • Cover letter, and
  • Answers to two supplemental questions are required.

Position Purpose
King County Water and Land Resources Division maintains an ongoing, long-term marine monitoring program that tracks Puget Sound physical, chemical, and biological conditions over time and assesses impacts from human activities. More information about this program is available here: http://green2.kingcounty.gov/marine. The person in this position will be part of the small Marine Monitoring Program team within the WLRD Science Section.  This team coordinates closely with field and laboratory staff who are primarily responsible for data collection. The person in this position will lead efforts to provide technical support within and outside WLRD by evaluating a wide variety of physical and chemical marine water data to describe conditions and impacts, seasonal and annual variability and trends, and compliance with water quality regulations. The person in this position will conduct quality assurance and quality control review of continuous and discrete physical and chemical marine water data, trouble-shoot any identified data quality issues with field and laboratory staff, conduct statistical analyses of marine data, manage data contracts with other organizations, prepare data reports and sampling and analysis plans. The person in this position will make presentations to both technical and non-technical audiences. The person in this position will also be participating in regional marine monitoring programs, such as the PSEMP Marine Waters Workgroup, is expected to take a leadership role in providing technical expertise on marine water quality issues, such as nutrients and ocean acidification.Job Duties

  • Conduct quality control/quality assurance review of physical and chemical marine water datasets collected as part of an ongoing, long-term monitoring program, including continuous sensor, CTD profile, and discrete samples.
  • Trouble-shoot data quality issues with field and laboratory staff and assist in developing methods and protocols that maximize data quality and reliability.
  • Design project strategies, schedules, and work plans – taking a lead role in working with field staff at the KCEL.
  • Analyze, interpret, and present physical and chemical marine water data for spatial and temporal differences and trends, correlations between parameters and other factors, and comparisons to water quality criteria.
  • Preparation of technical memoranda, sampling and analysis plans, and reports for physical and chemical marine water data.
  • Enter physical and chemical marine water data into data management systems, and assist with identifying and guiding improvements to the data management systems.
  • Assist with the coordination of marine waters field-sampling and analysis activities with the King County Environmental Laboratory and occasionally assist with field sampling activities.
  • Serve as a technical lead in regional marine monitoring program work groups and provide expertise on Puget Sound marine water quality issues, such as nutrients, ocean acidification, and climate change.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

  • Bachelors’ degree in oceanography, marine science, or closely related discipline or equivalent education or experience.
  • Knowledge of the principles of oceanography equivalent to that obtained in the earning of a bachelor’s degree in oceanography or the equivalent.
  • Experience synthesizing technical information and writing reports and memos for technical audiences.
  • Knowledge of sampling protocols pertaining to the use of continuous sensors in marine waters and the collection of discrete samples for laboratory analyses.
  • Experience assessing marine pH data and knowledge of ocean acidification sampling protocols and data quality control.
  • Knowledge of Puget Sound circulation and water quality.

Two years of experience:

  • Assessing physical and chemical marine water data, including quality control of continuous and CTD sensors.
  • Assessing data quality, including review of any available quality assurance/quality control samples and assignment of data qualifiers for continuous sensor and CTD profile data.
  • Conducting statistical analyses with marine data and using graphical and statistical software beyond Excel such as R, Ocean Data View, Python, Matlab, SigmaPlot, Primer, etc.

Supplemental Information

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to carry 20 pounds over uneven ground to sampling sites along the shoreline.
  • Ability to collect field samples from a boat.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Knowledge of state and federal water quality standards and criteria.
  • Knowledge of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit program.
  • Knowledge of ArcGIS, and SQL.

Work Location: King Street Center, 201 South Jackson Street, Seattle, and various field locations along King County’s Puget Sound shoreline and on boats on Puget Sound.

Work Schedule: This position works a 40-hour week and is not overtime eligible.

Working Conditions
Work will generally be performed in an office environment with minimal exposure to safety and health hazards. Occasional field work is required on boats and along the shoreline.

Necessary Special Requirements

  • A valid Washington State Driver’s License or the ability to travel throughout the County in a timely manner.
  • An offer of employment will be contingent on the success of a pre-employment physical examination.

Positions in this classification are represented by Teamsters, Local 117

Supplemental Questions (will serve as writing example)
Please submit answers to the following two questions, limiting your answers to one (1) page total for both questions combined.



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