You are here

Home » State Human Resources » Compensation & job classes » Classified Job Listing » » State of Washington Class Specification

State of Washington Classified Job Specification


<< Classified Job Listing

Class Code: 569S
Category: Agricultural Operations


Expert level pest biologist under administrative direction with significant ongoing leadership responsibility within a program of regulatory/resource protection and management, which includes one or more of the following:
  • Responsible for independently directing, developing, evaluating, managing and implementing statewide pest surveys, environmental and plant protection policies, legislation or regulation;
  • Serving as the district pest biologist responsible for all program activities within a district and supervises permanent, full-time regulatory staff;
  • Negotiates mitigation for projects of state, national or international significance as the agency lead.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Positions at this level work independently and are responsible for planning, designing and carrying out projects in accordance with broad policy statements or legal requirements and exercise independent decision-making authority for determining work objectives and goals to be accomplished;

As the agency expert, responds directly to highly complex and/or politically sensitive inquiries for technical assistance requiring expert scientific knowledge;
Represents the agency as the recognized expert in one or more significant and complex program specialty areas or agency initiatives. Serves as the agency lead in the development, implementation, and evaluation of state and federal programs to mitigate or prevent environmental contamination by invasive pest species, including enforcement of plant health laws and regulations;

Typical Work

Is designated to identify critical or emerging issues and to recommend preventative or corrective measures;

 Advises program management on survey/sampling policies, priorities, effectiveness and cross-agency issues and requirements; 

Advises program management on violations of critical/controversial agency interest, evaluates rule effectiveness and recommends enforcement/compliance rule making; may represent the program on highly complex or controversial enforcement/compliance actions involving other programs or agencies; 

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

Administers statewide grant and aid programs; provides financial and technical assistance to federal, state and local agencies, private organizations, and individuals; negotiates contracts and amendments, evaluates contractor performance;

Evaluates databases/inventories for policy or regulation development; determines new, changing or emerging requirements for databases/inventories; may work with other programs or agencies on database/inventory requirements; 

Works with other programs and agencies in identifying information required for policy development, legislation, regulations and recommended priorities; 

Oversees the organization’s efforts to be uniform and consistent with like programs of other states, federal agencies, and provinces;

Has lead responsibility on controversial or critical plans for natural resource protection, policy or regulation development or statewide eradication priorities; 

Represents agency and testifies at legal or public hearings or conferences and as policy expert; 

Provides expertise and/or historical background not otherwise available to the Department which is used as a basis for agency management decisions; 

Manages the design and implementation of eradication or management actions involving plant pests and diseases of quarantine significance, federally, regionally or at the state level; 

Prepares budget requests, provides advice and information related to financial status and problem areas to higher-level administrative staff; prepares funding proposals for submission to external state and federal funding entities;

Evaluates equipment inventories for material readiness, amortization and technology transfer; management of contracted services, equipment utilization; conducts equipment needs assessments;

Represents the agency on national, regional or multi-state commissions, environmental panels or professional organizations as the expert in the assigned specialty area; 

Evaluates and assesses the scientific rigor of research studies and surveys on various pests and their impact on the environment. Develops policy options to address problems caused by ongoing introduction of quarantine pests;

Designs, develops and conducts statewide pest surveys addressing significant and complex environmental issues;

Assists in drafting agency rules and statewide guidelines for the program area; 

Ensures that program operations comply with federal rules in order to avoid sanctions resulting in the curtailment of federal funds or the imposition of difficult requirements for new industries; 

Acts as the state’s lead in coordinating the response to emergent situations involving plant health and exotic pest introductions. Has direct management of state, federal, and tribal natural resource trustees in seeking a uniform and coordinated response to avoid natural resource losses;

Represents the program on highly complex or controversial enforcement/compliance actions involving other programs or agencies;

Performs other duties as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: applicable state, federal and local plant protection regulations and policies; methods for the development of a quarantine program or complex study; multimedia environmental principles and practices. 

Knowledge of: environmental regulations; laboratory and chemical tests used for bioassays; principles of planting stock production and management; pest survey data collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation; statistical and research theory and techniques; experimental design; population measurement techniques; Geographic Information Systems, statistical, database, and office software;

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.

Ability to: identify and assess program/agency service delivery needs and requirements; recognize emerging issues and conduct advance planning to address those issues; represent program or agency management on complex or controversial issues with other agencies, jurisdictions or interest groups; effectively negotiate and resolve conflict; effectively communicate technical information clearly, both orally and in writing; demonstrate a high degree of technical expertise in a particular field or specialty as shown through the publication of papers in peer reviewed and scientific or technical journals and/or the presentation of papers at professional conferences.

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 involving major study in environmental studies, horticulture, plant physiology, plant pathology, entomology, or a closely related natural science, or environmental science

Five years of professional experience in plant pest quarantine enforcement, regulatory work, pest survey development and implementation, or nursery stock production and handling.

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 Pest Biologist 3 or Environmental Specialist 3.

Class Specification History

New Class effective 07/01/2023.