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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 516L
Category: Science & Engineering


Performs natural resource research to meet specific and limited objectives requiring the use of conventional techniques, under administrative supervision.

Distinguishing Characteristics

The research situation, the duties and responsibilities assigned to the position and the qualifications of the incumbent are considered in the allocation of positions to this class series since these factors together constitute the actual position responsibility and form the basis for determining grade level. Incumbents allocated to this classification perform research to meet specific and limited objectives involving the use of conventional techniques, under administrative supervision.

Typical Work

Defines the research project; consults with agency management to determine needs, goals and objectives; 

Conducts surveys, analyzes and records field conditions; selects tree, plant, or ecological system and sets the parameters of the study, including environmental manipulations or treatments involved; 

Develops and defines the record keeping and reporting procedures; trains and supervises other personnel in survey, sample plot installation, field evaluation and reporting work; gathers and evaluates sample data; formulates and justifies conclusions and recommendations; 

Writes reports; analyzes and applies related research work conducted by others in specialty field; provides consultative service to Resource Managers in specialty field; plans and directs control or treatment projects, including the hiring, training and supervision of field crews; 

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of:  statistical theory and techniques; logic and grammar, basic methods of problem solving; research methods; the body of knowledge in specialty field; agency's purposes; objectives of programs and activities. 

Ability to: reason logically, draw valid conclusions and make appropriate recommendations; gather and analyze data; participate in conferences and interviews; speak and write effectively; establish and maintain effective working relationships.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

A Bachelor’s degree with major study in a natural science.




Three years-professional research work experience in a specific specialty field (the specialty field is designated for each position).


A Master’s degree will substitute for two years and a Ph.D. degree will substitute for all of the required experience, provided the field of major study was in the specific specialty. 

Note:  Some positions require possession of a valid Washington State Geologist license. Some positions may additionally require possession of a Washington State Engineering Geologist specialty license and/or a Washington State Hydrogeologist specialty license.

Class Specification History

New class: 6-15-70
Revised minimum qualifications and title changed (formerly Forest Scientist): 2-16-73
Revised definition: 10-12-73
Revised minimum qualifications to reflect licensure requirements: 11-15-02
Revised class code: (formerly 95620) effective July 1, 2007