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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 570F
Category: Agricultural Operations


Serves as a skilled technical specialist supporting natural resource research or a practicing scientist. Performs journey-level research and investigative duties under technical direction to support studies concerning biological, chemical and physical sciences as applied to agriculture.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Positions perform a wide variety of technical operations in accordance with defined procedures including research and investigative duties requiring the use of complex methods and techniques. Positions assist in planning, designing, and carrying out experiments to their completion or cooperatively plan and execute studies with new materials following previously established protocols under general direction. Positions have a role in design elements of an experiment, interpreting the results of experiments where required, and preparing research summaries for use by the prime investigator or research scientist(s). Positions independently evaluate conditions and data within a predetermined range of variability.

Typical Work

Locates, installs, maintains and measures research plots applying techniques and methods outlined by the supervising scientist;

Operates and maintains instruments and equipment in order to perform precise measurements in laboratory greenhouse, field or nursery; samples, surveys and reports on field or greenhouse conditions;

Directs and accepts full responsibility for a significant operational and/or technical phase of a major project;

Computes, compiles, and summarizes data involving several variables; edits and prepares data for analysis by computer programs; prepares final data summaries for analysis by scientist;

Collects and prepares specimens in order to perform laboratory analysis;

Acts as representative, in lieu of scientist, to gather information or provide technical information to other staff, governmental bodies or private groups;

Prepares charts graphs, tables and maps; writes internal reports;

Conducts literature searches to assist in determining the most suitable methods to be used in research activities;

Assists with animal surgery or plant dissections, preparation of histological specimens, administration of drugs to animals or growth regulative materials and other chemicals to plants;

Grows and maintains bacterial, insect, viral and tissue cultures;

Determines timing and rate of irrigation, fertilization and chemical treatment of field plots; determines feed formulations;

Selects various techniques to analyze biological, chemical and physical charac¬teristics of organic and in-organic materials; performs bio-assays;

Identifies and characterizes physical properties, biological activity, plant and animal responses, appearance and behavior;

Operates, calibrates, and maintains a variety of technical-analytical equipment and instrumentation to examine and measure biological, chemical and physical properties of various plant and animal materials;

Inventory and order materials, equipment and supplies; prepares specifications for equip¬ment and supplies needed in support of research; assists in design and construction of specialized equipment;

Confers with scientists or technical personnel concerning programs or projects; attends seminars and technical meetings;

Performs other work as required;

May assist with the instruction of temporary employees, students, and/or support staff regarding procedures.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: principles, practices and application of technical skills required in research and/or applied science to include: basic statistics; laboratory techniques; basic surveying; sample construction; maintenance of scientific equipment.

Ability to: survey and map research plots; maintain laboratory, greenhouse and field equipment, understand and follow written work plans; collect and compile data, input data into established computer programs, construct graphs, tables and charts; deal effectively with public; write internal reports; train and supervise crew; understand and become knowledgeable in, at a technical level, the particular field of science involved.

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

Baccalaureate Degree in the applied, biological, chemical, physical or agri¬cultural sciences AND one year of experience as an Agricultural Research Technologist 1


Equivalent education/experience

Class Specification History

New class. Consolidates 4505 Agricultural Research Technologist II, 95120 Natural Resource Research Technician 2; adopted May 10, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.

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