National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) Steward

Washington Department of Ecology

Lacey, WA, United States 🇺🇸

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 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Unit within the Information Technology Services Office (ITSO) at our Headquarters building in Lacey, WA is currently looking to fill a permanent National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) Steward (Data Management – Journey) position. The GIS Unit is a cross-functional team of 8 GIS professionals who are dedicated to providing valuable geospatial solutions, data, and support to staff and citizens to realize Ecology’s mission. The goal of the Washington State NHD Steward is to provide an accurate hydrography dataset that meets the needs of stakeholders so that it can be universally adopted across the State.

In this role as the Washington State NHD steward, you will be working with local, state, and federal stakeholders to help maintain and promote a single, statewide, hydrography framework dataset. You will contribute to and manage diverse projects focusing on improving and updating the NHD and associated data. As the subject matter expert, you will advise local and state governments on how to incorporate their data into the NHD framework and develop a strategic plan for the improvement and maintenance of Washington’s portion of the NHD.  As the principal steward you will oversee updates to the NHD and serve as a coach and guide to NHD editors as well as provide access to data sets and derivative products across multiple spatial platforms.  As the Washington State representative to the Pacific Northwest Hydrography Framework (PNWHF) you will participate on advisory and technical calls with group member partners and US Geological Survey.  You will help determine how to utilize current technologies including high resolution elevation data to make efficient improvements to the hydrography network.  You will work in a supportive and professional environment with people who are passionate about the environment and GIS, continual improvement and learning, and prioritize a work-life balance.  Your work will directly support science and policy that is focused on making measurable improvements to the environment in Washington State.

We are looking for candidates who pay attention to detail, enjoy problem solving, possess excellent people skills, and can explain technology to non-technical people. Applicants must have proven proficiency with ArcGIS software and spatial data management and design along with an understanding of hydrography networks and linear referencing. The candidate must develop relationships and communicate effectively with the development staff, administrators, and stakeholders.

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 and follow, like or visit us on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram or our blog.

Some of the key activities of the NHD Steward are:

  • Coordinate the development and evangelize the use of the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD)
  • Use advanced knowledge of database principles and design to ensure all updates to the NHD adhere to the national framework and database schema
  • Publish, coordinate, and synchronize regular updates of the authoritative WA State hydrography and associated datasets
  • Mentor, guide, prioritize and manage workload of the agency NHD team
  • Develop and document workflows to transform data from separate databases and associate their location on the hydrography network
  • Automate workflows to improve efficiency
  • Participate in technical advisory meetings
  • Provide input on updates to the Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD)
  • Provide quality assurance and quality control for WA hydrography and related datasets
  • Manage large-scale NHD projects independently
  • Research and seek out funding opportunities, apply for, and manage grants
  • Coordinate workshops and other outreach events with stakeholders
  • Use knowledge of hydrographic systems and hydrography datasets to promote applied use of the NHD and WBD

This recruitment will remain open until filled. The initial screening will be November 18, 2020. In order to be considered for the initial screening, please submit an application on or before November 17, 2020. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.

As our community responds to the public health emergency, the Department of Ecology’s priority is to keep our staff, candidates and the public safe. Thank you for your patience.

Required Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree or higher in Computer Science, Information Technology (IT) or closely related field and one (1) year of recent professional experience using Esri ArcGIS technology (Arc-GIS Desktop and Server, ArcGIS Online and ArcSDE products). Experience includes SQL programming, experience with entity relationship modeling and notation, or database report development, and independently analyzing, designing, implementing and maintaining databases, and experience with data extraction and transformation (e.g. ETL)


Associate’s degree in Computer Science, GIS Applied Science or closely related field; or completion of a two (2) year accredited vocational training program in GIS, programming, IT or related program and three (3) years of recent professional experience listed above


Five (5) years of recent professional experience listed above.

*Education or accredited vocational training as listed above will substitute year for year for experience.

Desired Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s degree with focus on geography/GIS, computer science. hydrography, or a natural sciences field and four years of data management experience, including project management, application architecture, and database administration.
  • Experience managing projects and a strong understanding of project management principles and concepts.
  • Knowledge of environmental and/or science based business areas.
  • Familiarity with commonly accepted IT industry standards and best practices.
  • Knowledge of hydrographic science principles.
  • Experience in Python development.
  • Demonstrated initiative to improve skills through training or other learning opportunities.

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 for more details.
*See the Benefits tab in this announcement for more information
Supplemental Information

Application Instructions:

Please include the following documents as attachments to your application:

  • Letter of Interest that addresses your interest and ability to perform the responsibilities.
  • Three professional references. 
  • A current professional resume.

Failure to provide the above documents may disqualify you from further consideration.

Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.

Please complete the applicant profile when applying for this position.

Please read the supplemental questions carefully and answer completely. Incomplete responses, including “please see resume” may disqualify you from further consideration.

Department of Ecology employees, please make sure to answer the agency-wide questions regarding permanent status as a classified employee within the Washington General Service or Washington Management Service. Do not forget to select Department of Ecology as a response to question 2, and type your personnel ID number for question 3. If you are not sure of your status or do not know your personnel ID number, please contact Human Resources.

If you are reading this announcement in print format, please visit to access the online recruitment system. Click on “Look for Jobs” and select Dept. of Ecology under the “Department” search list. Click “Apply Search.”

Other Information:

If you need assistance applying for this job, please e-mail [email protected]. Please do not send an email to this address to follow-up the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile’s main page.

If you have specific questions about the position, please email Christina Kellum at: [email protected]. Please do not contact Christina to inquire about the status of your application.

This recruitment may be used to fill other positions of the same job classification across the agency.  Once all the position(s) from the recruitment announcement are filled, the recruitment may only be used to fill additional open positions for the next sixty (60) days.

The act of submitting application materials electronically is considered affirmation that the information is complete and truthful. The state may verify this information and any untruthful or misleading answers are cause for rejection of your application or dismissal if employed.

This position is included in the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) union bargaining unit for the Department of Ecology.

The Washington State Department of Ecology 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) 407-6186. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.