Nature & Purpose of the Position

Pierce Conservation District is seeking up to five seasonal full-time Knotweed Project Technicians. Technicians will directly support our 11+ year efforts in removing invasive knotweed from priority watersheds in order to restore critical riparian areas and salmon habitat. Technicians will assist one of the largest and most established riparian knotweed control programs in the Puget Sound Region. The technicians will operate as a crew, under the direction of the Habitat Improvement Coordinator, to treat invasive knotweed on South Prairie Creek, the Upper Nisqually River, and their tributaries. Treatments will occur through aquatic-approved herbicide application.

The ideal candidate will enjoy working almost exclusively outside, perform well on a team, be familiar with local native and non-native plant identification, and have a demonstrated interest in conservation ecology. Successful technicians will be thorough, able to quickly learn and adhere to protocols, have attention to detail, practice strong communication, and adapt well to changing circumstances.

About the Pierce Conservation District

Pierce Conservation District is government that works. We work strategically and passionately to conserve and restore the natural resources of Pierce County. Our work improves both rural and urban communities to benefit the health and well-being of our citizens. We work in five core program areas: Farm Assistance, Water Quality Improvement, Habitat Restoration, Urban Agriculture, and Environmental Education. The District works for clean water, healthy soil, salmon recovery and local food access for all.  When you join the Pierce Conservation District, you join a team of talented and committed people who are mission-driven and care deeply about improving our environment and our community.

Primary Job Responsibilities

  • Learn, and practice daily, appropriate pesticide handling and application techniques and protocols (primarily foliar spray applications and associated tasks)
  • Use appropriate protocol to treat known knotweed stands using herbicide along the Upper Nisqually River and its tributaries, South Prairie Creek and its tributaries, and other project sites as needed
  • Assist with the daily completion of project and herbicide application records
  • Search thoroughly for knotweed within the project area
  • Use digital handheld maps (ArcGIS Collector) to navigate in-field as well as to map and survey knotweed
  • Prepare and maintain project equipment and supplies
  • Communicate effectively with the crew lead and/or Habitat Improvement Coordinator regarding site conditions, progress, and challenges
  • Identify and prepare restoration planting sites which were formerly infested by knotweed.
  • Occasionally assist with miscellaneous administrative, clerical, and/or outreach facets of the project


  • Ability to work efficiently, systematically, and positively as part of a crew; as well as independently
  • Knowledge and experience in environmental studies and Puget Sound plant species identification (native and non-native)
  • Interest in and commitment to salmon restoration, natural resource enhancement, and/or environmental education
  • Ability to hike up to several miles per day in streams or over uneven terrain with a 24+ lb. backpack sprayer
  • Willingness to work near fast-moving water with some exposure to insects and other potential hazards
  • Ability to work outside in remote locations
  • Ability to work outside in inclement and/or hot weather
  • Ability to outfit self with appropriate field gear (i.e. durable clothing, rubber boots, rain gear, etc.)
  • Ability to maintain accurate records regarding project sites, application details, timekeeping, and authorized expenses
  • Service-oriented attitude and constructive problem-solving skills
  • Strong oral and written communication skills

Desired Skills

  • A WSDA Public Operator’s pesticide license with an Aquatics endorsement (, or the ability to quickly obtain one
  • Experience with noxious weed identification, ecology, and management
  • Experience with herbicide practices and protocols
  • Working knowledge of GPS units and GIS
  • Valid driver’s license, insurance, and ability to operate a 4-wheel drive vehicle

Licenses, Certificates & Other Requirements

  • Valid Washington State driver’s license at time of appointment with maintenance thereafter
  • Preferred: WSDA Public Operator’s pesticide license with Aquatics endorsement

Work Conditions, Schedule, and Physical Requirements

This is a full-time seasonal position, with a fixed term of July 8 – September 19. The technician will work 40 hours/week, working four 10-hour days, Monday – Thursday, 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

The technician will report to one of three work sites each day, per the schedule below:

  • July 9: Pierce Conservation District office, Puyallup
  • July 10-August 22: Pack Forest, Eatonville*
  • August 26 – September 19: South Prairie Creek Preserve, South Prairie*

*discounted or free camping options are available at these locations

Work takes place almost exclusively outdoors, in or near forested or rural streams, on a variety of private and public lands (some of which are quite remote). The technician may be exposed to typical hazards encountered at such work sites.

The technician must be physically capable of carrying a 24+ lb backpack through sometimes densely vegetated and/or uneven terrain, walking up to several miles per day.

Compensation & Benefits

The compensation for this position is $15-$19/hour, depending on experience. There are no medical or other benefits. Holidays will be observed without pay. One hour of paid sick leave is accrued per each 40 hours worked (RCW 49.46.210).

Hip waders and/or chest waders will be provided for the duration of the employment term. Camping options near project sites may be available at discounted rates to Knotweed Project Technicians.

To Apply

Follow the “Apply Now” link and fill out the form, attaching both a cover letter and resume complete with three (3) professional references.


Applications open until: 11:59 p.m. on May 19, 2018.
Position Start Date: July 8th, 2018

Pierce Conservation District is an equal opportunity employer – we make an effort to recruit people of color and individuals from diverse backgrounds for open positions.

Contact Information
Kate Terpstra
Habitat Improvement Coordinator
253-845-9770 ext. 108

Apply Online