Managing Entomologist


Managing Entomologist

$76,184.00 – $89,826.00 Annually
Thurston County – Olympia, WA
Job Type
Full Time – Permanent
Dept. of Agriculture
Job Number
6/1/2018 11:59 PM Pacific
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The Washington State Department of Agriculture services the people of Washington by supporting the agricultural community and promoting consumer and environmental protection.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has been serving the state’s agriculture community and the public for more than 100 years. Through service, regulation, and advocacy, WSDA supports the viability and vitality of agriculture while protecting consumers, public health and the environment. WSDA serves the people of Washington State by supporting the agricultural community and promoting consumer and environmental protection.

The mission of the Pest Program is to protect the agriculture, environment and natural resources of Washington State by preventing the introduction and spread of high risk invasive insects, terrestrial snails, plant diseases and noxious weeds.  As manager of the Entomology Branch, the Managing Entomologists contributes to this mission by supervising programs that prevent the introduction and spread of a select group of highly destructive invasive insects and terrestrial snails. Moreover, this position contributes to the continued export of the state’s agriculture, forestry and nursery products by maintaining the pest free areas of the state.  The permanent establishment of these invasive pests would result in; major forest defoliation and mortality, damage to commercial agricultural production, the imposition of costly quarantine restrictions on exports and damage to the environment.

We are always searching for the brightest and best to join our team and are committed to fostering employee growth and development. We want to give you the chance to grow at Agriculture! In addition to the amazing career potential, we also offer a generous benefit package which includes 11 paid holidays, sick and vacation leave, retirement and insurance, health, dental, and vision coverage, tuition reimbursement, training classes, and much more.

For more information about the Washington State Department of Agriculture, visit us at


  •  Manages the entomology branch, overseeing 12 to 14 invasive pest programs, over 70 employees and a accumulative budget of approximately $2.8 million a year.
  • Supervises four pest biologists, the GIS supervisor, the procurement specialist and the secretary supervisor or administrative assistant.
  • Assigns and directs goals, project activities, and resources to entomology branch staff.
  • Reviews scientific research and risk analysis on exotic insect and snail pests to inform decisions about program priorities and to select high priority species targets that pose the greatest threat to Washington state and the western U.S.
  • Oversees the development of work plans and financial plans for procuring funds for numerous projects that prevent the introduction and spread of a select group of invasive insects and snails.
  • Meets project reporting requirements including completion of semi-annual and annual summary reports and public presentations at professional meetings.
  • Works with Financial Services to execute cooperative agreements, track project budgets and balance project finances at the end of the fiscal year.
  • Serves as primary contact for the entomology branch with other government agencies and industry by participating in meetings discussing management priorities, project development and field operations.
  • Reviews the data generated from project activities and makes recommendations to the Pest Program  Manager and the Assistant Director of the Plant Protection Division on future agency operations.
  • Oversees compliance with state and federal environmental regulations when conducting eradication and control activities.
  • Convenes interview panels for the selection and hiring of key positions within the entomology branch.
  • Works with WSDA’s communications staff developing outreach materials on project goals and operations. These activities may include; media interviews; written notifications to stakeholders, public officials and the public; supervising public open houses; creation of pamphlets and posters; entomology program web pages; and social media.

We are looking for a highly functioning professional who possess the following:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in a scientific field related to entomology, biology, environmental science or related field.
  • Public speaking and writing skills necessary to represent the program or agency on complex or controversial issues.
  • Experience in negotiating and resolving conflict.
  • Self-motivated and independent.
  • Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively with groups having disparate interests.
  • Ability to develop long-range plans.
  • Experience serving as a project manager or technical advisor in a natural resources field, including the development and implementation of significant policies, programs or projects.
  • Experience developing and implementing budgets.
  • Supervisory and employee development skills, especially involving employees who are geographically dispersed.

The following knowledge and experience is preferred, but not required for this position:

  •  An MS or Ph.D. in a scientific field related to entomology, biology, environmental science or related field.

The State of Washington actively supports diversity in the workplace and is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants who need assistance in the application process or who need this announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 902-1979 or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf at 800-833-6388.

How do I apply?

In addition to completing the online application, applicants must attach the following documents to their profile in order to be considered for this position:

  • Letter of interest describing how you meet the specific qualifications for this position;
  • Current resume detailing experience and education.
  • Three professional references, including title, email and current phone number.

The initial screening will be solely based on the contents and completeness of your application and the materials submitted. All information may be verified and documentation may be required.

To take advantage of Veteran’s preference please attach your DD-214, member 4 long form, or the NGB-22. Please black out your social security number prior to attaching.

Applications with comments such as “see attachments” or “N/A” in the supplemental question responses will be considered incomplete.

General suggestions for creating a good application packet:

  • Read the job posting very carefully. Find out as much as you can about the position.
  • Make sure you are very diligent in following all the application instructions.  Include all requested documentation.
  • Make sure your application and supplemental question responses address how you meet each of the required and desired qualifications.
  • Carefully read each of the supplemental questions and respond completely to each one.  Pay careful attention to each component of the question, providing examples, and thoroughly describing when and where you achieved the proficiency level, and detail the types of work you performed, the work products, etc., to demonstrate ‘how’.
  • Specifically include all of your work experiences doing the same or similar work, especially if you reference work in these jobs in describing when/where you gained proficiency level skills.
  • Make sure your application reflects your best writing.

If you are unable to apply on-line, please contact Please include your last name and the position title in the subject line of your email.

If you are having technical difficulties creating, accessing or completing your application, please call NEOGOV toll-free at (855)524-5627 or email

Supplemental Information:

Prior to a new hire, a background check including criminal history will be conducted. Information from the background check will not necessarily preclude employment but will be considered in determining the applicant’s suitability and competence to perform in the position.

The Human Resource Division may use referrals from this recruitment to help fill future similar vacancies for up to six months.

The State of Washington actively supports diversity in the workplace and is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants who need assistance in the application process or who need this announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 902-2020 or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf at 800-833-6388.

More than Just a Paycheck!
Employee benefits are not just about the kind of services you get, they are also about how much you may have to pay out of pocket. Washington State offers one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation.

We understand that your life revolves around more than just your career and that your priority is making sure that you and your family will maintain health and financial security. That’s why choice is a key component of our benefits package. We have a selection of health and retirement plans, paid leave, staff training and other compensation benefits that you can mix and match to meet your current and future needs.

Read about our benefits:
The following information describes typical benefits available for full-time employees who are expected to work more than six months. Actual benefits may vary by appointment type or be prorated for other than full-time work. Check with the agency human resource office for specific benefit information.
Insurance Benefits
Employees and families are covered by medical (including vision), dental and basic life insurance.  There are multiple medical plans with affordable monthly premiums that offer coverage throughout the state.  Staff are eligible to enroll each year in a medical flexible spending account which enables them to use tax-deferred dollars toward their health care expenses.  Employees are also covered by basic life and long term disability insurance, with the option to purchase additional coverage amounts.  To view premium rates, coverage choice in your area and how to enroll, please visit the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) website.
Retirement and Deferred Compensation
State Employees are members of the Washington Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS).  New employees have the option of two employer contributed retirement programs.  For additional information, check out the Department of Retirement Systems‘ web site.
Employees also have the ability to participate in the Deferred Compensation Program (DCP).  This is a supplemental retirement savings program (similar to an IRA) that allows you control over the amount of pre-tax salary dollars you defer as well as the flexibility to choose between multiple investment options.
Vacation (Annual Leave)
You begin accruing vacation starting your first month of employment. Since we value your loyalty, the amount of vacation you can accrue increases the longer you work with us. Washington State supports members of the armed forces with 21 days paid military leave per year. Vacation accrues for full-time employees per WAC 357-31-165.


Full-time employees are entitled to eleven* paid holidays:

New Year’s Day
January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday
Third Monday in January
Presidents’ Day
Third Monday in February
Memorial Day
Last Monday in May
Independence Day
July 4
Labor Day
First Monday in September
Veterans’ Day
November 11
Thanksgiving Day
Fourth Thursday in November & Friday after
Christmas Day
December 25
Personal Holiday
Employee’s selection each calendar year

*Employees who are members of certain Unions are entitled to an additional personal leave day of their choice. Please refer to specific Collective Bargaining Agreements for more information.

Social Security
All state employees are covered by the federal Social Security and Medicare systems. The state and the employee pay an equal amount into the system.
Sick Leave
Full-time employees earn eight hours of sick leave per month. Paid sick leave may be used for reasons included in WAC 357-31-130.
Please visit the State HR Website for more detailed information.
Describe your experience with speaking publicly and representing a program or agency on complex or controversial issues.
Describe your experience with public outreach and conducting media interviews.
Describe your experience working with the agricultural industry.
Are you willing to travel to attend conferences, staff meetings and meetings with stakeholders, which may include overnight stays?

  • Yes
  • No
What experience do you have working with interagency cooperators and stakeholder groups such as various government agencies, elected public officials and representative industry organizations?
Describe your experience with project management such as writing work plans and creating and managing financial plans.

Required Question

State of Washington
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