Natural Resource Specialist 3 (Water Quality Analyst)

Portland, OR, United States 🇺🇸


The Department of Environmental Quality’s mission is to be a leader in restoring, maintaining and enhancing the quality of Oregon’s air, land and water. As a regulatory agency whose job is to protect the quality of Oregon’s environment, DEQ works collaboratively with Oregonians for a healthy, sustainable environment. 

The Watershed Management Section is in the Environmental Solutions Division and implements the Water Quality Program.  The Watershed Management Section oversees development and maintains the water quality management plan; establishes total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), waste load allocations and load allocations to be achieved for those streams and water bodies that do not currently meet water quality standards; evaluates progress achieving TMDL allocations and water quality standards; coordinates on Nonpoint Source Program issues internal and external to DEQ; administers the 319 Grant Program; statewide coordination for drinking water source protection  (Drinking Water Protection Program); and provides statewide coordination of water quality activities on the Columbia River.

The Watershed Management Section has an opening for a Natural Resource Specialist 3 position.  This position is located at DEQ headquarters and will provide: water quality or watershed modeling; water quality data analysis; evaluation and assessment of water quality using statistical methods, under the direction of senior water quality analysts for the purpose of TMDL development and TMDL implementation evaluation.  This position will primarily use water quality or watershed models, R, GIS, and other programming languages and software technologies to evaluate environmental data. This position will coordinate with the laboratory, regions, and other DEQ programs, and external stakeholders.  This position requires interagency coordination and communication and works closely with DEQ’s Nonpoint Source and TMDL staff.

The pool of qualified applicants established from this announcement may be used to fill future vacancies, both limited duration and permanent, and for other DEQ office locations.

Duties & Responsibilities

Duties of the position include but are not limited to:

  • Obtains water quality, water quantity, stream morphology, stream habitat, climate, land cover and land use, remote sensing data and other related data from electronic databases, publications, documents, files and other agencies for TMDLs
  • Analyze and interpret water quality monitoring data: summarizing and characterizing daily, annual or seasonal results; identify and summarize water quality status and trends in specific watersheds
  • Conducts water quality and watershed modeling
  • Develops R scripts for data checking and formatting, conducting statistical or other analysis and the interpretation and graphical presentation of results 
  • Conducts geospatial analysis of environmental data.  Prepares raster and vector GIS databases for use in water quality analysis and modeling.  Develops GIS maps and images for meetings and reports 
  • Prepare presentation materials including graphs and data tables
  • Develop written reports, TMDLs, and summary fact sheets
  • Develop and document study designs and monitoring proposals for future assessment
  • Present project information and related data to agency and local stakeholders
  • Assists in responding to agency, public or media questions, comments and concerns related to the technical basis for water quality analysis
  • Provides technical advice on monitoring plans, water quality modeling, and other project functions that are contracted or delegated outside the agency

Working Conditions
Most of the work is performed in an office environment with some travel to attend meetings.


Qualifications, Required & Requested Skills

Minimum Qualifications – To be considered a qualified applicant you must meet the following criteria:

  • Three years of experience in a physical science, environmental science or closely related natural resource field.
  • At least one year of the experience must be at a technical or professional level performing activities in a natural resource program conducting investigations, applying pertinent laws and regulations, determining compliance or noncompliance with laws and regulations and recommending enforcement actions; AND                   
  • A Bachelor’s degree in a physical science, environmental science or a closely related natural resource field, OR 
  • Three additional years of related, pertinent, experience.                           

A Master’s degree in a physical science, environmental science or a closely related natural resource field will substitute for up to one year of the required experience.    

A Doctorate degree in a physical science, environmental science or closely related natural resource field will substitute for up to two years of the required experience.

Note: A copy of all transcripts (if education is required to qualify) must be attached at the time of application in order to receive credit for college degrees or coursework. Transcripts must include coursework and indicate that a degree was conferred. Online transcripts are acceptable. Official or original transcripts are not required; however, they may be required to validate education.

Requested Skills – Preference may be given to applicants who possess the following:
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience interpreting rules, regulations, laws, agency guidance and procedures
  • Experience planning field work, obtaining and assessing data.
  • Experience with Geographic Information System (GIS)
  • Experience with water quality or watershed modeling
  • Experience with R-scripts for data analysis
  • Experience with statistical analysis of environmental data
  • Experience with scripting or computer programming
  • Experience researching complex issues and problems and proposing solutions      
  • Ability to work well with other staff members, and regulators and professionals outside the program, the agency, and outside government   
  • Experience and skill in writing concise and clear reports and interpreting data


Additional Information


  • To apply for this position, follow the “Apply” link above and complete the Oregon employment application online.
  • All application materials must be received by the closing date and time posted on this announcement.

Complete Application
The application must include work experience that supports how you meet the minimum qualifications and requested skills. A resume (attached or text) will not replace the work experience section of the application.

Work Experience
Work experience is based on a 40 hour work week. (Example: 20 hours a week for one year would equal six-months of work experience.)

If you are using education (a degree or coursework) to qualify for this position, transcripts must be submitted for all required or related courses. (A copy of your diploma will not substitute for the required transcripts.) Transcripts can be official or unofficial at time of application. If you are using your education to meet the minimum qualifications and do not attach your transcripts your application may be removed from consideration.
For application purposes, scanned copies are acceptable. Transcripts must be from an accredited institution and clearly show (1) your name, (2) the name and address of the institution, (3) the degree received and date conferred, and (4) required courses completed with a passing grade. The official or original degree documentation may be requested for education validation.

Work Authorization
The Department of Environmental Quality does not offer visa sponsorships. Within three days of hire, all applicants will be required to complete the US Department of Homeland Security’s Form I-9, confirming authorization to work in the United States.

Veterans’ Preference
Eligible veterans who meet the qualifications will be given veterans’ preference. To receive preference you MUST attach appropriate documentation as outlined by the Department of Administrative Services at the following website or you may call the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs at 1-800-692-9666.

Protect Your Confidential Information
To protect your confidential information, please redact (black out) your social security number on all documents before attaching them to your application.

Email Address
You must have a valid email address to apply for jobs with the Department of Environmental Quality. All communication regarding your application and status will be done by email.
Contact Information
For additional information about this opening you may contact Carrie Adams at (503) 229-5963 or [email protected] 

If you need an alternate format in order to complete the application process, please contact Carrie at (503) 229-5963 or [email protected] Be prepared to describe the alternate format needed.

Special Information
  • Note: All application materials will be reviewed for communication at a professional level with attention to proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Only candidates who meet the qualifications for this position and with work experience most closely meeting the desired attributes (requested skills) of this position will be invited to an interview.
  • Be sure to attach all required documentation listed above. Failure to attach the required documentation may result in your application being removed from further consideration.
  • Job posting reference number DEQ17-0110 
The Department of Environmental Quality is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer Committed to Workforce Diversity