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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Category: Maintenance Trades & Labor


This is the journey level of the series. Performs a variety of basic weather observation and avalanche control tasks such as, but not limited to, recording wind speed and direction, air temperature, dew point and humidity, snow crystal classification; conducting snow pit investigations; installing and servicing weather instrumentation; placing and detonating explosives; diagramming snow conditions. Unusual problems that may occur are brought to a higher level supervisor with probable outcomes and solutions. May supervise and train lower level technicians.

Typical Work

Without direct supervision, records weather instrument readings; conducts snow pit investigations; documents ongoing observations and evaluations and trends; compiles records and prepare summaries;

Perform datalogger and weather system programming. Advanced knowledge of computer systems, batch file programming, and data management is required;

Utilizing weather observations from instruments and other study plots, calculates and draws water equivalence, snow density, precipitation intensity, and snow strength diagrams;

Installs, services, and disassembles for maintenance, wind and temperature sensing equipment;

Formulates hazards forecast based on observations and analysis; coordinates with maintenance division to schedule required control activities; communicates observations with Northwest Weather and Avalanche Control Center and other agencies as required;

Conducts field studies in avalanche terrain to include hazard mapping, current and historical snow pack information, and graphical representation and explanation of findings;

Operates snow vehicles and heavy equipment required to transport explosives;

Conducts training activities in avalanche awareness and rescue.

May supervise lower level staff.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: techniques of traveling and surviving in mountainous terrain under adverse weather conditions; ordnance weapons used in avalanche control; explosives handling and use; avalanche control methods; heavy equipment operation; radio equipment operation; principles of weather instrumentation; highway maintenance operations.

Ability to: handle ordnance weapons and explosives in a prudent and safe manner; operate snow vehicles and heavy equipment; ski in difficult terrain with loaded back pack; work effectively under difficult conditions; record weather data and maintain records.

Legal Requirement(s)

A Washington State Explosives Users License with certification for Avalanche Control must be obtained within the first six months of employment.

A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Class B without air brake restriction must be attained within the first six months of employment.

Desirable Qualifications

High school graduation or GED certificate and one year of experience involving ski patrol, snow safety, avalanche control, military gunnery, or explosive demolition work. Satisfactory physical condition as indicated by an agency approved physical examination and physical fatigue examination is required. Must be able to ski advanced terrain in heavy snow and adverse weather, making parallel turns while carrying a loaded pack weighing not less than 25 pounds; must be able to work at heights and when suspended by ropes. Must provide personal skis and cold weather clothing.

Class Specification History

New class, replaces 69010 Avalanche Control Technician, effective January 1, 2006.
Revise class. General revision; adopted May 10, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.

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