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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 516F
Category: Science & Engineering


Serves as a principal research methods advisor to management and staff using advanced statistical sampling theory, experimental design and computer applications within an eco-system management approach


Designs, conducts and manages research studies in one or more specialized fields of wildlife, habitat, or fisheries science to further natural resource management and policy implementation. Plans, designs, coordinates, evaluates, and reports results of such studies, and acts as a designated consultant in a specialized area of expertise.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Working under general direction positions perform as senior survey and research design and implementation scientist. Lead scientific methodology development and conduct and coordinate scientific study and research. Assignments are complex in nature for various activities or geographic area.

Typical Work

Determines research and analysis needs and prioritizes studies (projects) in response to specific problems/questions raised by management staff;

Responsible for all aspects of research studies (projects), such as experimental design, budgeting, proposal writing, data accumulation, statistical summarization and analysis of data, technical report writing, and formulating management recommendations based on results;

Formulates research programs and mathematical methods for use in estimating and forecasting fish and shellfish populations, movements, locations, impacts of artificial propagation; and results of natural and artificial controls;

Researches legal and ethical considerations and scientific effectiveness when recommending use of advanced scientific tools and methods;

Examines potential research areas to determine degrees of inter-relationships and multi-project applicability of possible research; recommends extent, procedure, and order of studies to be undertaken;

Examines current and past research to assure optimum use of sampling data presented and to advance techniques of data handling which will facilitate additional or improved use of data already gathered;

Confers and collaborates with representatives of other state, interstate and international agencies and organizations, for resolution of scientific aspects of fish and wildlife population and habitat management, hatchery programs, fish and wildlife migration, and harvest control issues;

Acts as advisor and consultant to staff in statistical methodology and application of electronic data procedures to fish and wildlife research and management;

Authors and publishes peer reviewed research findings; keeps abreast of relevant research developments;

Prepares scientific reports on statistical theory and mathematical models related to fish and wildlife research and management;

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: wildlife, habitat, and/or fisheries; population dynamics; statistical theory, advanced mathematics and statistical analytical procedures; stochastic processes; building of mathematic models of animal populations; computer programming and analysis techniques; experimental design appropriate to the field.

Ability to: define parameters of population dynamics; evaluate pertinence of available data; determine and estimate costs of solution to population dynamics problems; initiate and plan independent experimental research; coordinate research with the needs of the Department; develop methods of data collection and interpret data; recommend how to implement results of research findings; speak and write effectively.

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 Doctoral degree with a major in mathematics or statistics with emphasis in animal population or management, natural resource science or management with an emphasis in mathematics or statistics relative to animal population biology or management.


A Master's degree in wildlife, habitat, or fisheries science, biology, zoology, or in mathematics with emphasis on animal population biology, or closely allied field.


Five years of professional experience as a Fish and Wildlife Biologist 4 or equivalent.


Two years of professional experience designing statistical or mathematical research in population biology or population management or designing and conducting wildlife, habitat, or fish-related research studies, in addition to two articles published or in press in refereed literature, (one article must be as senior author, the second article must be as senior or secondary author.)

Class Specification History

New class consolidates (formerly 92580 Fisheries Biometrician; 92870 Fish and Wildlife Research Scientist 1 ) Adopted May 11, 2007 Effective July 1 2007.
Revised definition, distinguishing characteristics, typical work, knowledge and abilities, and desirable qualifications, salary range adjustment, adopted June 22, 2023, effective July 1, 2023.