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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 523O
Category: Science & Engineering


Is an expert level biologist under administrative direction with significant ongoing leadership responsibility within a program of resource assessment and management.


And one or more of the following:


Responsible for independently directing, developing, evaluating, managing and implementing statewide biological studies, research, resource assessments, policies, legislation or regulation;


Serving as the district biologist responsible for all of a program’s activities within a district and supervises permanent, full-time professional staff;  


Negotiates mitigation for projects of state, national or international significance as the agency lead. 

Distinguishing Characteristics

Assignments are complex in nature, involve responsibility for a large array of activity or geographic area, may be responsible for supervision of permanent professional biological staff as a majority of their assigned duties and involve more independence and responsibility than a Fish and Wildlife Biologist 3. As an expert biologist, under minimal supervision and direction, in their assigned area of responsibility, this position is responsible for determining what information, results, management practices or research specifics or techniques and/or protocols are needed to effectively run the project or program for which they have primary responsibility to achieve results expected.

Typical Work

Directs fish, wildlife, or habitat management programs or studies on a statewide basis; 

Independently prioritizes, plans, and coordinates all work in assigned area of responsibility; supervises full-time professional staff; 

Manages the design and implementation of management actions involving fish, wildlife, or habitat biological resources resulting from legal settlements; 

As agency lead, evaluates techniques and mitigation needs which will offer management solutions to preserve, protect, perpetuate or enhance the resource; assesses political and social impacts of management alternative of state, national, and international significance; 

Analyzes fish and wildlife populations and develops harvest recommendations to conserve species and promote recreation opportunity; 

Functions as a statewide resource expert; 

May direct and supervise staff and other assigned personnel involved in Fish and Wildlife biological studies, research, or field reviews; 

Manages budget and staffing requirements for area of responsibility; 

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of:  environmental regulations; stream hydraulics; land management and development; soil conservation; fish and wildlife rules and regulations; statistical software packages; laboratory and chemical tests used for bioassays; principles of harvest management and natural production; lake and stream management; principles and procedures of wildlife, fish and habitat management and biological research; methods of biological fish, wildlife, or habitat data collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation; statistical and research theory and techniques; experimental design; population measurement techniques; GIS, Statistical, Database, and Office software; silvaculture.  

Ability to: define research problems and determine extent and type of information needed; initiate plan and design independent experimental research; implement results of research findings; plan, organize and supervise the work of others; develop new techniques and programs in resource management; analyze environmental information to apply solutions, guidelines, and policy to field problems; develop methods of data collection and interpret data; speak and write effectively; train and supervise personnel.

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 in fisheries, wildlife management, natural resource science, or environmental science 


Five years of professional experience in fish, wildlife, or habitat management or research, wildlife management or wildlife research, or habitat management or habitat research. Twelve semesters or eighteen-quarter hours of specific course work is required for certain positions. 

Note: A Master’s degree in the applicable science will substitute for one year of the required experience. 

Note: A Ph.D. in the applicable science will substitute for two years of the required experience. 


Four years as a Fish & Wildlife Biologist 3.  

Class Specification History

New Class: Effective 7-1-97
Revised minimum qualifications: 1-11-02
Revised new class code: (formerly 93643) effective July 1, 2007
Revised definition; adopted August 13, 2015; effective August 14, 2015.
Salary adjustment adopted 6/30/2015, effective 7/1/2015.
Revised definition and distinguishing characteristics; adopted May 12, 2016, effective May 13, 2016
(5/19/2016) Revised typical work
Final adopted August 11, 2016, effective August 12, 2016