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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 523Y
Category: Science & Engineering


Is an entry level professional biologist working under direct or close supervision that conducts professional biological studies or projects, follows prescribed procedures to collect, organize and analyze data. Provides analysis and assessment of fish, wildlife, lands or habitat management data using common and established scientific principles and techniques for review by senior staff.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Positions at this level learn and perform professional level duties under direct or close supervision. The supervisor will review work in progress, ensures biological studies or projects are adhered to, provides advice or direction regarding prescribed procedures and protocols, and may assist with work prioritization. Assignments are focused on specific guidelines or requirements of the studies or projects rather than an overall objective; and/or comprise a portion of a larger assignment carried out by the supervisor.

The professional biologist in this level requires a background sufficient to perform basic biological work under the supervision of a higher level professional involved in Fish and Wildlife biological studies, research, or field reviews.

Basic scientific studies, surveys, or scientific analysis: Provides support to higher level fish and wildlife staff by gathering and evaluating specific information necessary in formulating a sound recommendation in relation to the (state’s goal of protecting, preserving and enhancing natural resources. Researches, conducts necessary sampling or tests; and gathers information either through on-site field studies, surveys, or scientific literature review. Conducts routine sampling and tests; analyzes, evaluates, and interprets data; and writes reports pertaining to the specific applications of the data.

Typical Work

Conducts fish, wildlife, lands, or habitat monitoring, restoration, management, or research under the supervision of a higher level professional position involved in Fish and Wildlife biological studies, research, or field reviews.

Conducts biological studies, research, or field reviews using established procedures for which precedence and patterns have been established. Summarizes biological data, drafts summaries using established data conversion and statistical procedures, prepares reports or report segments.

Participates in sampling programs designed to provide harvest, effort, mortality, species composition, life history, abundance, distribution, age, growth, and other basic biological data for resource management purposes;

Examines animals to determine effects of diet variations, introduction of pollutants and poisons, and other factors in controlled environment experiments;

Gathers a variety of biological samples and performs routine chemical tests and microscopic examinations;

Collects data on terrestrial and aquatic environment for use in assessment of its suitability as fish and wildlife habitat;

Assists in the review and/or development of mitigation plans;

Reviews environmental documents, or portions of the documents, from local governments, state and federal agencies, and private individuals or organizations; makes initial determination and/or recommends conditions of permits;

Works with higher level biologist(s) to determine techniques and procedures, and/or performs field investigations or research projects, and assists in preparing management/research reports or proposals based on those activities;

May supervise or lead assigned personnel in a variety of field or laboratory activities;

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: principles and procedures of biological research, basic methods of problem solving, research methods, logic and grammar; the Agency’s purposes, objectives and activities; food and habitats of fish and wildlife species; standard laboratory and field methods; statistical techniques; population measurement techniques; fish, wildlife, and habitat ecology.

Ability to: use standard laboratory and field equipment; reason logically, draw valid conclusions and make appropriate recommendations; gather and analyze data; apply standard statistical techniques in analysis of research data; prepare detailed written reports on technical studies; communicate effectively and perform a variety of outdoor work in inclement weather.

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.

Persons legally authorized to work in the U.S. under federal law, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, are eligible for employment unless prohibited by other state or federal law.

Desirable Qualifications

A Bachelor's degree in fisheries, wildlife management, natural resource science, or environmental science. Twelve semester hours or eighteen quarter hours of specific course work may be required for certain positions.


Equivalent education/experience.

Class Specification History

New Class: Effective 7-1-97
Revised new class code: (formerly 93640) effective July 1, 2007
Revised class code, formerly 523L, effective August 17, 2007.
Salary adjustment adopted 6/30/2015, effective 7/1/2015.
Revised definition; adopted August 13, 2015; effective August 14, 2015
Revised definition and distinguishing characteristics; adopted on an emergency basis 5/12/2016, effective 5/13/2016
(5/19/2016) Revised typical work. 
Final adopted on August 11, 2016, effective August 12, 2016 


Revised Legal Requirements; effective June 6, 2024, due to adopted legislative action.