Regional Hydrogeologist (Hydrogeologist 3)

Washington Department of Ecology

Spokane, WA, USA 🇺🇸

Please Note: This position is covered by Proclamation 21-14  Covid-19 Vaccination Washington(Download PDF reader).

Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

The Solid Waste Management (SWM) program is looking to fill a Regional Hydrogeologist (Hydrogeologist 3) position. This position will be located in our Eastern Regional Office (ERO) in Spokane, WA.

In this role you will review groundwater monitoring reports from landfills to ensure any impacts get attention right away. If cleanup actions are triggered, you may serve as a site cleanup manager. Additional activities may include: Reviewing hydrogeologic assessments for new or expanding landfills, assisting with proposed biosolids sites for potential impacts to groundwater and helping with emerging contaminants of concern, such as PFAS, by conducting monitoring of landfill leachate, groundwater, or landfill gas.

The mission of the Solid Waste Management (SWM) program is to reduce the amount and the effects of wastes generated in Washington State.

Please note: This position is being listed as a full-time position, we are open to considering applicants who only want to work part-time.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. Join a team that is highly effective and collaborative, with leadership who embrace the value of people.
Ecology cares deeply about employee wellness; we go beyond traditional benefits, proudly offering:

  • A healthy life/work balance by offering flexible schedules and telework options for most positions.
  • An Infants at Work Program that is based on the long-term health values of infant-parent bonding and breastfeeding newborns.
  • Continuous growth and development opportunities. 
  • A wellness program that offers education, and fitness classes.
  • Opportunities to serve your community and make an impact through meaningful work.

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR) are core values central to Ecology’s work. We strive to be a workplace where we are esteemed for sharing our authentic identities, while advancing our individual professional goals and collaborating to protect, preserve, and enhance the environment for current and future generations.
Diversity: We celebrate and appreciate diversity; our unique perspectives and abilities enrich us all and lead to innovative approaches and solutions. Equity: We champion equity, recognizing that each of us need different things to thrive. Inclusion: We intentionally create and hold space so that we all have meaningful opportunities to participate and contribute to Ecology’s work. Respect: We treat each other with respect and dignity, acknowledging the inherent worth of our diverse perspectives and lived experiences, even in times of uncertainty and disagreement. 
We believe that DEIR is both a goal and an action. We are on a journey, honoring our shared humanity and taking steps to demonstrate our commitment to a vision where each of us is heard, seen, and valued. 

During Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery, employees are working a combination of in-office and/or telework based on position and business need. Ecology is following current state guidance regarding building occupancy, mask requirements, health screening questions before entry, and social distancing. 
Application Timeline: This position will remain open until filled, with an initial screening date of September 1, 2021 . In order to be considered for initial screening, please submit an application on or before August 31, 2021 . The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.

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What makes this role unique?

A unique aspect of this position is our partnership with local health departments. They serve as permitting lead for landfills and we provide them technical expertise, essentially acting as their consultants. Having little direct authority over landfills means our role is collaborative and cooperative, rather than authoritative.

What you’ll do:

  • Provide technical review and guidance to clients, local governments, and the public based on in-depth knowledge relating to groundwater monitoring standards at solid waste facilities and associated environment protection.
  • Serve as lead over an independent cleanup action to ensure it continues to progress in accordance with the Model Toxics Control Act, and provides hydrogeologic review and expertise for landfill cleanups with other staff leads.
  • Serve as technical lead for all section discussions involving groundwater monitoring, modeling, groundwater quality standards, groundwater investigations, and rule interpretation.
  • Coordinate and administer technical training activities for jurisdiction health agencies, solid waste facilities, or for other stakeholders. Assists in the creation of training programs associated with adoption and implementation of solid waste regulations.
  • Is responsible for review of quarterly and annual monitoring reports, preparing environmental indicators for landfills in the region, and conducting statistical analysis of groundwater sampling data. 
  • Help with emergency contaminants of concern as related to landfills.
  • Ensure accuracy of data uploaded to Ecology’s Environmental Information Management database.


Required Qualifications:There is more than one way to qualify for this position. See options below:

Option 1: A Bachelor’s degree involving a major study in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field AND three years of professional experience as a hydrogeologist, geologist, or closely allied profession.

Option 2: A Master’s degree with a major study in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field AND one year of professional experience as a hydrogeologist, geologist, or closely allied profession.

Option 3: A Ph.D. involving a major study in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field. 

Option 4: A Bachelor’s degree or higher involving a major study in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field AND One year of experience as a Hydrogeologist 2 level or higher.

NOTE: Must possess or become a Licensed Hydrogeologist in the State of Washington within 6 months after hiring.

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.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:

  • Must have or complete Manager of Landfill Operations certification within first two years of hire.
  • Must possess or obtain a valid driver’s license within 3 months after hiring.

Desired Qualifications:

We highly encourage you to apply even if you do not have some (or all) of the desired experience below.

  • Experience or training in solid waste management and/or sustainable resource management and environmental protection.  
  • Experience or training in hydrogeologic site characterization, groundwater monitoring networks, pollutant migration pathways, and/or assessing extent of contamination to ground and surface waters.   
  • Experience or training in statistical procedures and associated software for evaluating environmental monitoring data.
  • Experience or training in GIS.
  • Experience or training in groundwater contaminant fate and transport modeling.
  • Experience or training in contaminated site remediation in accordance with Washington’s Model Toxics Control Act or comparable state or federal requirements including identifying the extent and magnitude of contamination, potential impacts to receptors, cleanup technologies, establishing cleanup standards, remedy selection, public participation, and administrative procedures.

Note: Having some (or all) of this desired experience may make your application more competitive in a highly competitive applicant pool.Supplemental Information

Ecology seeks diverse applicants: We view diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect through a broad lens including race, ethnicity, class, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, military background, language, education, life experience, physical disability, neurodiversity, and intersectional identities. Qualified candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Need an Accommodation in the application and/or screening process or this job announcement in an alternative format?

  • Please call: (360) 407-6186 or email: [email protected] and we will be happy to assist.
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing you can reach the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.
  • 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 are reading this announcement in print format, please enter the following URL to your search engine to apply:   

Application Instructions:
It’s in the applicant’s best interest to submit all of the documents listed below. Applications without these documents may be declined.

  • A cover letter describing why you are interested in this position.
  • A resume outlining your experience and education (if applicable) as it relates to the minimum qualifications of this position.

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

For Your Privacy:
When attaching documents to your application (Resume, Cover Letter, Transcripts, DD-214, etc.):

  • Please be sure to remove private information such as your social security number, date of birth, etc. 
  • Do not attach documents that are password protected, as these documents may not be reviewed and may cause errors within your application when downloaded. 

Additional Application Instructions for Current 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.

Application Attestation: 

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. 

Other Information:

If you have specific questions about the position, please email Marni Solheim at: [email protected]Please do not contact Marni to inquire about the status of your application.
To request the full position description: email [email protected]

Why work for Ecology?

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.

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 your health and financial security a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to life/work 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 *See the Benefits tab in this announcement for more information 

Student debt: how working for Ecology can help
The Department of Ecology is a qualifying employer for the Public Service Forgiveness Program (PSLF). See for more details.

To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at and follow, like or visit us on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram or our blog.
Collective Bargaining: This is a position covered by a bargaining unit for which the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) is the exclusive representative.   

Equal Opportunity Employer: 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.Note: 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.