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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 523Z
Category: Science & Engineering


Is a journey level professional biologist under general supervision that conducts professional biological studies; and/or is responsible for monitoring, restoration, management or research of fish, wildlife, lands or habitat. Using predefined methodologies and/or predetermined criteria, biologists in this class also interpret data in relation to laws, rules, and regulations to make decisions in response to emerging situations in the field ,on public or private lands. Using established procedures, collects, organizes, and/or provides analysis and assessment of fish, wildlife, lands or habitat management data and actions.  

Distinguishing Characteristics

As a professional biologist working under the general supervision of a higher level professional involved in Fish and Wildlife biological studies, research, or field reviews and focus on a broader review and/or study, rather than on a specific portion of the assignment or will conduct a scientific study focusing on inter-related impacts rather than on specific applications of the data. Assignments are varied in scope (such as conducting population surveys, morphometric data, and animal and habitat assessments for a project or defined area using methodologies defined by higher level professional and in accordance with direction from higher level professionals), complexity and responsibility, and are performed more independently than a Fish and Wildlife Biologist 1, but still make use of previously established procedures and criteria.

Positions are distinguished from the Fish and Wildlife Biologist 3 class in that assignments are routine in nature and positions follow clearly defined work procedures, formats, and priorities. Work is reviewed for accuracy, completion, and adherence to instructions and established standards.

Using predefined methodologies and/or predetermined criteria for scientific studies, surveys, and/or scientific analyses:  Conducts professional scientific studies and provides analysis and assessment of data collected to provide impacts or determine analysis that may lead to change of agency goals or mission objectives and/or provide other factors on fish and wildlife conservation, habitat or land use. Gathers and/or analyzes samples to study the effects of particular affect or mitigation strategies that may contribute to fish and wildlife priorities.  Summarizes and assesses data using standard statistical procedures and scientific analysis.  Develops initial reports of findings and provides recommendations to higher level fish and wildlife staff. May respond to routine inquiries or requests for technical assistance regarding the scientific background and technical implementation of agency programs.

Typical Work

Organizes and conducts fish, wildlife, lands, recreation, or habitat monitoring, restoration management (effectiveness of aquatics, riparian buffers, vegetation, forest practices, etc.) or research studies; determines extent of sampling necessary for prescribed standards of accuracy; performs independent office and/or field investigations; 

Using established statistical and research procedures; determines extent of sampling necessary for prescribed standards of accuracy; evaluates and analyzes collected data; formulates conclusions and writes reports or summaries; drafts technical report sections for review by supervisory biologists; 

Organizes and conducts research and management projects to determine the behavior, abundance, distribution, survival, mortality, growth, catch harvest of wildlife, and artificial or natural fish production; 

Implements field projects designed to improve or create fish and wildlife habitats; coordinates research project work plans with Federal, State, local governments and private and other  organizations; reports progress to joint committees; submits periodic progress reports outlining current project status, findings, plans, and recommendations; 

Collects and analyses hunting and/or fishing season harvest data; maps and/or analyzes data to determine status of population; assists in formulating hunting and/or fishing seasons and changes in regulations; analyzes and interprets impacts on fish and wildlife; 

Conducts surveys to determine abundance, distribution and population trends of fish and wildlife species; 

Analyzes and interprets fish and wildlife habitat relationships; evaluates potential impacts of developments to species of concern; prepares technical management plans;  

Provides technical consultation to landowners, businesses, agency personnel and others on fish and wildlife issues and recreation; consults with other agencies, organizations and governmental units; 

Reviews residential or commercial development projects, or focused parts of such reviews, to assess potential impacts on fish, wildlife, and habitat; reviews mitigation plans and recommends mitigation measures; provides agency comment of permit applications to other government agencies; ensures that fish, wildlife, and habitat protection regulations (e.g., State Environmental Policy Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Hydraulics Code, Shorelines Management Act, Growth Management Act, Endangered Species Act, Priority Habitats and Species Act, etc.) are properly applied and implemented; 

May negotiate agreements with outside entities;  

Reviews Hydraulic Permit Applications and Forest Practice Applications and provides recommendation(s); prescribes conditions of operation and issues permits; investigates and resolves citizen reported complaints; Prepares Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) or supplement EIS's and Environmental Assessments for projects of moderate complexity;  

Maintains records and prepares report; prepares detailed summary reports; 

May supervise or lead staff; 

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: basic methods of problem solving, research methods, logic and grammar; the Agency’s purposes, objectives and activities, methods and practices of land management; soil conservation, habitats, food and habits of wildlife; technical habitat processes; elements of habitat for wildlife and fish; fish and wildlife habitat management techniques; environmental regulations; principles and procedures of fish, wildlife or habitat biological research; standard negotiating practices; principles and procedures of biological research, fish culture, and fish management; standard laboratory and field methods and statistical data processing relating to fisheries work; fish species, their habits, and life histories; factors influencing the capacity of water bodies to sustain fish populations; hatchery operations and treatments for common fish diseases and parasites; fish collection and spawning procedures; fishing regulations.  

Ability to:  reason logically, draw valid conclusions and make appropriate recommendations; gather and analyze data; write and speak clearly and effectively; synthesize research findings and formulate fish management recommendations; coordinate, lead, or supervise technical or nontechnical volunteers or staff; negotiate resolution of disputes between competing parties; perform a variety of outdoor work in inclement weather; organize and schedule fish research or management studies; apply research and statistical methods and techniques to a project or program; utilize microcomputers for routine data analysis and word processing tasks; synthesize research findings and formulate fish management recommendations; gain cooperation of interested groups or landowners on Department fish management programs; supervise use and maintenance of land, buildings, and equipment; coordinate, lead, or supervise technical or nontechnical volunteers or staff; perform a variety of outdoor work in inclement weather; analyze environmental information; participate in conferences and interviews; speak and write effectively; establish and maintain effective working relationships; prepare written reports and make oral presentations; interpret environmental regulations and related laws.

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 AND one year of professional experience in fish/ wildlife/ habitat management or research 

Note: A Master’s degree or Ph.D, 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.  


Equivalent education/experience. 

Class Specification History

New Class: Effective 7-1-97
Revised minimum qualifications: 1-11-02
Revised new class code: (formerly 93641) effective July 1, 2007
Revised class code, formerly 523M, 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 May 12, 2016, effective May 13, 2016
(5/19/2016) Revised typical work
Final adopted August 11, 2016, effective August 12, 2016