Local recruitment: Senior Physical Hydrogeologist

Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD)

Salem, OR, USA 🇺🇸


The Oregon Water Resources Department (WRD) seeks to hire three full-time Senior Physical Hydrogeologists (Natural Resource Specialist 4). As a Senior Hydrogeologist you will design and execute a groundwater data collection program for one or more areas of the state and independently interpret that data to support the agency’s mission and core work. Your work will primarily focus on the Willamette, Umatilla, or Klamath and Southwest Coastal Basins (one hydrogeologist per basin), which currently face unique challenges and opportunities in water management. You will be a member of the Groundwater Hydrology Section within the Technical Services Division. Consider joining our team and advancing our mission to practice and promote responsible water management in Oregon!

What you will do:

As water scarcity and uncertainty increase, the State of Oregon must work with partners to find ways to address complex water management challenges. You will play a critical role in understanding the state’s groundwater resource, applying that understanding to the core functions of the Department, and communicating your expertise to a wide range of stakeholders. As an agency expert in groundwater hydrology, you will:

Design and execute a groundwater data collection program for one or more areas of the state.

Independently analyze quantitative hydrogeologic data.

Apply data and professional interpretations to support groundwater right transactions, the distribution and regulation of groundwater, and planning efforts to meet future groundwater needs.

Coordinate with technical staff in other local, state, and federal agencies to perform comprehensive groundwater basin evaluations.

Draft technical specifications for observation well installations and other contracting work related to groundwater data collection. Direct consultants and contractors in the field to execute this work.

Provide technical input to develop or amend administrative rules through the agency’s schedule for rulemaking, prepare for and testify in legal cases as an expert witness, and lead development and implementation of policies, projects, and programs.

Mentor early to mid-level groundwater staff.

Many of the duties and responsibilities of this position require the incumbent to apply hydrogeologic, geologic and other scientific principles constituting the public practice of geology. Therefore the successful candidate should be recognized by the Oregon State Board of Geologist Examiners as a Registered Geologist, or provide evidence of the ability to obtain registration within six months of hire.

What’s in it for you? The opportunity to:

Engage in a rewarding mix of field data collection, desktop data analysis, and public collaboration, which provides variety and a grounding in applied science.

Engage with a team in complex, basin-scale work bringing together science, policy, and public engagement to address groundwater management issues.

Support a sustainable groundwater future for Oregon’s economy, environment, and communities.

Join an organization with smart, driven co-workers who care about public service, water resources, and their co-workers.

Work with a team that welcomes new ideas.

Natural Resource Specialist 4 Salary – The State of Oregon conducts a pay equity analysis to determine what pay step within the salary range to offer the successful candidate based on the experience documented in your application. The NRS-4 salary ranges are as follows:

NON-PERS eligible – Includes most new hires to state government. Employees typically gain PERS eligibility after six months of state service.

$5,487 – $8,427

PERS eligible – Typically current or former employees of Oregon state or local government, public schools, universities, etc. 6% is deducted for PERS.

$5,869 – $9,014

We offer a competitive benefits package that includes:

Exceptional medical, vision and dental plans with employees paying 1-5% of the total premium.

Leave accrual starting at 8 hours of sick and 8 hours of vacation leave per month, with your vacation leave accruals increasing every 5 years.

Access to and additional four days of discretionary leave – 3 days of personal business leave and one day of Governor’s Leave to use at your discretion each year.

Eleven paid holidays per year.

Membership in the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), including a pension and employer contributions to the Individual Account Program.

Optional benefits (such as term life insurance, long-term and short-term disability, long-term care, health and dependent care flexible spending accounts, enrollment in the Oregon Savings Growth Plan, a deferred compensation program with a wide variety of investment options).

The opportunity to receive loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (must qualify).

The team you will join :

The Groundwater Section is the primary entity responsible for collecting groundwater data statewide, organizing and interpreting that data, and applying that data and information to support groundwater right transactions, the distribution and regulation of groundwater, and planning efforts to meet future groundwater needs. We and our colleagues across the Department are working to implement our 2019-2024 Strategic Plan and live out our agency core values of:

Integrity – We are accountable for all that we do. We act with honesty and promote transparency.

Service – We are dedicated to providing outstanding service and treating everyone equitably in our management and stewardship of state resources.

Technical Excellence – We base our resource decisions on law, science, and expertise.

Teamwork – We are united in our mission, relying on one another and working together with the communities we serve.

Forward-Looking – We seek innovative and practical solutions to the water challenges of today and tomorrow.

Our position on diversity, equity, and inclusion:

The Oregon Water Resources Department is committed to creating a workplace culture that understands and appreciates differences among people and is welcoming and inclusive to all. By fostering fairness and equity in its work culture, the Department strives to improve services for all Oregonians. We acknowledge that not all people have experienced equitable opportunities or fair treatment. We are committed to increasing our awareness and understanding of historic injustices and building a foundation for meaningful change. We value a wide range of professional and lived experiences, and people of underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

What we are looking for?

We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may not meet every one of our listed qualifications. Lived experience may count towards the preferred qualifications listed below. If you are excited about this position, we encourage you to apply. If you are unsure as to whether or not you meet the qualifications of this position, please contact the hiring manager to discuss your application.

Minimum required qualifications:

A Bachelor’s degree in Water Resources, Geology, Engineering, or related field with coursework in quantitative hydrogeology and

Four years of experience in groundwater resource management at a technical or professional level performing activities in natural resources such as researching and analyzing data, conducting investigations, applying pertinent laws and regulations, or coordinating and monitoring project activities.

Note: A Master’s degree in a natural resource area will substitute for up to one year of the required experience. A Doctorate degree in a natural resource area will substitute for up to two years of the required experience.

Desired attributes:

Registered Geologist – You are licensed by the Oregon State Board of Geologist Examiners, or hold registration in another ASBOG state that can be converted to a cooperative registration in Oregon, or hold qualifications to sit for the ASBOG fundamentals and practice exams within 6 months of employment.

Technical computing skills – you have experience using ArcGIS, SQL, Python, or other similar GIS, database, or programming languages and software.

Project management skills – you have experience managing projects and overseeing drilling and professional service contractors.

Critical thinking skills – You have the ability to identify connections and generate ideas for navigating complex problems.

Equity and environmental justice – You are informed and engaged with issues of equity and environmental justice and seek to continue to learn and grow in these areas.

Self-starter and team player – You possess the ability to work both independently and as part of a team to move projects forward.

Effective Communication – You are able to communicate with a wide variety of audiences and be able to accurately distill highly technical and complex information (law, policy, and science).

Where will you work?

Enjoy access to city life, the coast, and the mountains—each only an hour away? Interested in wine tasting, craft breweries, u-pick fruits and vegetables, and hiking through old growth forests on sunny Willamette Valley summer days? The senior hydrogeologist positions will be based in Salem, Oregon.

This position can work remotely on a schedule agreed upon by the manager and employee. This position may work remotely and/or in an office environment. Overnight travel will be required to perform field data collection, attend meetings, and develop relationships with groundwater stakeholders.

Vaccination requirement :

The State of Oregon requires all executive branch employees to complete their COVID-19 vaccination series or have an approved exception to the requirement due to a medical condition or sincerely held religious belief. Successful candidates for this position must submit vaccination documentation or be approved for an exception prior to their first day of employment. Failure to provide proof of full documentation or receipt of an approved exception will lead to withdrawal of the job offer.

How to apply

Provide a brief (no more than 1 page) cover letter indicating why you are interested in, and a good candidate for the position.

Provide a brief (no more than 2 page) resume indicating your experience pertinent to the required qualifications and desired attributes in this announcement.

Warning! The Workday system will timeout after 15 minutes of inactivity.

This recruitment is open until filled. Applications will initially be reviewed on Feb 28, 2022 and the recruitment may close at any time after that date. Applications will continue to be reviewed periodically, until the position is filled.

After you apply :

Log in to your Workday account before the job announcement closes to see if you have any pending tasks or actions, and make sure to complete these tasks or actions before the job announcement closes. These can be found under the “My Applications” section.

Be sure to check both your email and Workday account for updates regarding this recruitment.

Work authorization – WRD does not offer visa sponsorship. Within three days of hire, applicants will be required to complete I-9 documentation and confirm authorization to work in the United States. If your employment authorization and documentation is contingent on sponsorship now or in the future, you will not meet DAS employment eligibility standards.

Veterans – Eligible veterans who meet the qualifications will be given veterans’ preference. For further information, please see the following website: Veterans Resources, or call Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs at: 1-800-692-9666 NOTE: If claiming veterans’ preference please be sure to check your Workday account for pending tasks or actions under your “My Applications” section.

Current COVID precautions – WRD employees are currently working remotely to the fullest extent possible due to the current health crisis. While working remotely, home internet connection and availability is required to perform duties appropriately. Remote working conditions are subject to change as necessary and/or required.

Salary – The salary listed at the top of the announcement is the non-PERS qualifying salary range and assumes the candidate is a Registered Geologist in Oregon. If the successful candidate is PERS qualifying, the salary range will reflect an additional 6.95%.  A 3.1% cost of living adjustment will be added December 1, 2022. Please review the Classification and Compensation page for more details.