Hydrogeologist 4

Washington Department of Ecology

Richland, WA, US

Protecting Washington State’s environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. We are a culture that is invested in making a difference. If you want to join a team that is highly effective, collaborative, has leadership that embraces the value of people, and believes in the fun factor, Ecology is a good fit.

The Nuclear Waste Program (NWP) program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a Hydrogeologist 4 position. This position is located in our Richland Field Office (RFO) in Richland, WA.
The Hydrogeologist 4 position serves as a hydrogeologist supporting multiple projects with expert advice, and technical reviews.  This position serves as the technical expert for 100 and 200 Area non-tank farm groundwater actions, including oversight of remediation activity, and evaluation of the groundwater/vadose portion of risk documents, including CERCLA Remedial Investigation, Feasibility Studies and Work Plans.  This position is also the program lead expert on groundwater requirements for permitting actions.
We are looking for an individual that likes to work in a challenging environment with complex hydrogeologic issues.  Good people and communication skills are a plus.

As an agency, our mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington’s environment for current and future generations. We invest in our employees to create and sustain a working environment that encourages creative leadership, effective resource management, teamwork, professionalism and accountability.

To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at www.ecology.wa.gov and follow, like or visit us on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram or our blog.


The Nuclear Waste Program’s (NWP) mission is to lead the effective and efficient cleanup of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Site, ensure sound management of mixed hazardous wastes in Washington, and protect the state’s air, water, and land at and adjacent to the Hanford site.

This position is the program lead expert on groundwater requirements for permitting actions.  Responsible for independently planning, developing, directing, and overseeing hydrogeological analyses and technical services; and cleanup or permitting of hazardous waste sites at Hanford within the Tri-Party Agreement (TPA), state and federal requirements. This position is the subject matter expert for the Central Plateau on the Hanford Site.  The Central Plateau has a complex hydrogeologic system that has been contaminated by surface and subsurface activities.
Some of the key work activities of the Hydrogeologist 4 are:
  • Evaluates the impact of current and past Hanford activities on the groundwater. 
  • Reviews reports and data and provides an evaluation of the results.
  • Gives input into the complex geology of the Hanford Site and the transport mechanisms for various contaminants
  • Works in a collaborative environment with various teams’ members focused on different aspects of the Hanford Site cleanup.

This position will remain open until filled. The initial screening will be on March 24, 2020. In order to be considered for the initial screening, please submit an application on or before March 23, 2020. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.
Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.

Required Qualifications:

A Bachelor’s degree involving a major study in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field AND five (5) years of professional experience as a hydrogeologist, hydrologist, geologist, or closely allied profession at the Hydrogeologist 2 level, higher or equivalent.

A Master’s degree with a major study in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field will substitute for two (2) years of experience. 

A Ph.D. will substitute for three (3) years of experience if major research was in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field. 

Knowledge of: physical and natural sciences related to ground/surface water quantity and quality, monitoring of groundwater and surface water; principles and practices of hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, well hydraulics, soils, geochemistry, and meteorology.

Desired Qualifications:

Knowledge of waste disposal practices; computer sciences; well construction; field surveying techniques, instruments, and mapping; Water Code, Ground Water Quality Stan­dards, Dangerous Waste Regulations, and related departmental regulations; and tech­niques and procedures for water sampling and monitoring, hydrogeologic issues associated with the Hanford area or arid environments.
Special Requirements / Conditions of Employment:

  • Possession of a valid Washington State Geologist license and a Washington State Hydrogeologist specialty license.
  • Must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license.
  • NOTE:  Individuals who are interested in applying to this position, and believe they meet licensing requirements for the State of Washington based on reciprocity, are responsible for ensuring they meet licensing requirements for the State of Washington prior to submitting their application materials.  These requirements can be found at the following website:  WA State Licensing (DOL) Official Site: How to get your license: Geologists, engineering geologists, or hydrogeologists by reciprocity.
  • Must be able to pass DOE Hanford access requirements (HGET).
Why work for Ecology?

Joining Ecology means becoming a part of a team committed to protecting and restoring Washington State’s environment.

A career in public service allows you to help solve some of the most challenging problems facing our state, while keeping the health and financial security of you and your family a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to work/life balance.

Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:
Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s)Public Employees Retirement System (PERS),  Vacation, Sick, and other Leave*, 11 Paid Holidays per year*, Public Service Loan ForgivenessTuition Waiver,  Long Term Disability & Life InsuranceDeferred Compensation ProgramsDependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP),  Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA)Employee Assistance ProgramCommute Trip Reduction Incentives (Download PDF reader)Combined Fund DriveSmartHealth

Student debt and how working for Ecology can help
Employees may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, which forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. See https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service for more details.