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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 516K
Category: Science & Engineering


Performs scientific natural resource research of a specialized nature, under technical direction.

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 of a specialized nature, under technical direction, develop projects and studies as defined, and assist in project formulation.

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.


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

A Master's degree in the specific specialty field will substitute for the experience.

Class Specification History

New class Effective June 15, 1970
Revised February 16, 1973 Title change (formerly Forest Scientist I) and revises minimum qualifications
Revised October 12, 1973 Revises definition
Revised class code: (formerly 95600) effective July 1, 2007