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Salary: $16.46 – $21.27 Hourly
Job Number: 2020-05303
Closing: 8/3/2020 11:59 PM Pacific

Scientific Technician 2’s

Are you a problem solver that enjoys a challenge? Do you want to make a difference by making a positive impact on the environment? If so, then join a great team that shares your interests!

We are looking for applicants who possess excellent people skills, the ability to juggle several high-priority scopes of work, and who want the opportunity to independently problem-solve.
WDFW employees are provided one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation – find out more about us and the important work we are a part of at

We are seeking six (6) highly motivated and experienced Scientific Technicians to work alongside a diverse team promoting the conservation of Washington State’s salmonid population.

Our ideal applicants will have a positive can-do attitude as they collect/sample data.  In addition, the candidate will share our values of trust, respect, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and is eager to work hard and have fun in an environment where there’s never a dull moment.

WDFW is recruiting for seven (6) On-Call, Fishery Observers, a 3.5-month non-permanent Scientific Technician 2 position for the Fish Management Program. The incumbent’s duty station will either be their home address or the WDFW’s headquarter location in Olympia, WA.

About the Position: Our Fishery Observers are WDFW’s eyes and ears on the Puget Sound. These positions are with the Puget Sound Commercial Salmon Monitoring Program during the Sockeye, Chinook and Chum fisheries. The onboard observer sampling program fulfills agency commitments made during the 2019 North of Falcon/Pacific Fisheries Management Council proceedings. Data collected by Observers are essential in the estimation of by-catch and impacts to ESA listed Chinook, Steelhead, and Marbled Murrelets during the fisheries. Data collected also provides agency fishery managers and co-managers with valuable in-season management information.

Observers work closely with research vessel operators, biologists and fishery managers in the Fish Management Unit. Fishery observers will also work closely with commercial fishing vessel crews while on board purse seine and gillnet fishing vessels. Observers conduct a variety of onboard sampling, sample processing, and data recording/entry. Fisheries observers report directly to the Puget Sound Commercial Salmon Monitoring Biologist.

DutiesOnboard fish sampling and data collection

  • Board commercial fishing vessels while underway via vessel to vessel transfers.
  • Interact professionally with commercial fishing crews and captains.
  • Use paper and electronic sampling to accurately collect catch, by-catch, and vessel effort data.
  • Identify salmon and other marine fish to species, records marked status of all released salmon.
  • Collect biological samples including: tissue for GSI/DNA analysis, scales, sex/lengths, otoliths, and possible bird carcasses.
  • Observe and record seabird and marine mammal interaction/encounters with fishing gear.
  • Observers are also required to review and summarize data for mid-day and end of day reporting.

Participate in the Apple Cove Test Fishery

  • Work with Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission and tribal staff members to collect biological and catch composition data during the test fishery. This may include: CWT wanding and snout collection, proper fish handling techniques, species ID, scale sampling, and collecting tissue for GSI/DNA analysis.

Participate in other sampling duties as required

  • These duties may include: Charter boat observing, dockside/creel sampling for other species, beach seine sampling, and marine laboratory work.

Other duties as assigned

  • Participate as Research Vessel deck crew: handling lines, assisting in vessel maintenance, loading gear, assisting in launch/retrieval, and following vessel operators instructions.
  • Work with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access) to assist in data archiving of previous years sampling efforts.
  • Data entry and Quality Assessment/Quality Control (QA/QC) of datasheets, assisting with office work.

Working Time and Conditions:

  • Intermittent, on-call 7 days per week during the open commercial fishery season.
  • Work days are often more than 12 hrs.
  • Hazards include: sampling on a working commercial fishing vessel, transferring safely from boat to a fishing vessel while vessels are underway, exposure to rough sea states with rain/wind. Long hours require the observers to remain alert and adaptable to changing schedules. Inter acts with commercial fisherman including vessel captains.
  • Research boats may not have heat; therefore, appropriate layers of warm clothing will be needed during colder months. Warmer months may require sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water.
  • Research boats may not have bathroom facilities (heads), it is possible to dock and use shoreside facilities.

Travel Requirements:

  • Observers will be required to travel to and from their duty station to the location of the research boat. Traveling often occurs in the early morning and late night hours.
  • Overnight stays are expected when sampling fishing fleets occur in certain areas.
  • Mileage from duty station to the vessels along with hotel stays are reimbursable. May require use of personally-owned vehicle with mileage reimbursement. Per diem rates are given during travel status.
  • Valid driver’s license may be required/is highly desired.

Travel is required during sampling days. Observers must be willing to drive from their duty station to the launch location of the research boat. Overnight stays may be required.

This position is in the bargaining unit represented by the Washington Association of Fish & Wildlife Professionals and is subject to the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the State of Washington, Department of Fish & Wildlife, and the Washington Association of Fish & Wildlife Professionals.”  QualificationsRequired Qualifications

Education: High School Diploma or GED, including one year of science coursework.
Professional Experience: Two (2) years of experience as a Scientific Technician 1 OR two (2) years of laboratory or field experience as an assistant to a biologist, chemist, or zoologist.

Note: College course work involving major study in biology, zoology, fisheries, chemistry, natural sciences or closely allied field will substitute, year for year, for experience, provided the course work includes at least six semester or nine quarter hours of natural science classes.

An ideal candidate should demonstrate the following knowledge, skills and abilities:
Technical Competencies:
Salmon identification expertise.
Marine fish identification experience.
Fisheries sampling experience.
Small boat experience, not prone to motion or sea sickness.

Behavioral Competencies:
High level of emotional intelligence and integrity.
Experience communicating with the public: professional demeanor and composure at all times.
Ability to maintain situational awareness and focus in a fast paced work environment
Memory, accuracy, and attention to detail.
Ability to recall instructions functioning independently, and as a crew member
A high level of comfort on boats and in rough seas.
The ability to make swift but accurate decisions about safety.

Supplemental InformationIn order to successfully apply for this position you MUST complete your profile at and attach the following to your profile before completing the online application:

  • A cover letter on how you meet the competencies and qualifications for this position. (Generic cover letter will not be accepted) Please ensure your application reflects this experience.
  • A current resume
  • Three professional references

Pursuant to the Governor’s Directive, 20-08, this position will be subject to one furlough day per week through July 25, 2020, and one day per month beginning August 1, 2020, through November 30, 2020.

Learn about our agency and the perks of working for WDFW!
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has some of the most talented people in the natural resource field.  We celebrate and value diversity, appreciating that a workforce composed of those from different backgrounds and experiences creates an inclusive environment, strengthens positive relationships with the local community, and brings new perspectives and approaches to fulfilling the agency’s mission. We value demonstrated skill in living WDFW values of professionalism, accountability, empathy, integrity, service, and respect.

To take advantage of veteran preference, please do the following:

  • Email a copy of your DD214 (Member 4 copy), NGB 22 or USDVA signed verification of service letter to
  • Subject line should include recruitment number, position and Vet (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – Veteran)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in

To take advantage of military spouse preference, please do the following:

  • Notify us of your military spouse status by email at 
  • Subject line should include recruitment number, position and MS (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – MS)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in

As part of WDFW’s efforts to advance respectful and inclusive work environments, the Agency expects inclusivity as part of our professional interactions and communications.  Therefore; we want to ensure that all individuals feel welcome, are treated fairly and respectfully.  All staff are empowered to fully contribute to serving their work unit, Agency, and the citizens of Washington.”  

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is an equal opportunity employer.  We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity.  Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, disabled and Vietnam era veterans and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply.  Persons needing accommodation in the application process or this announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 902-2276 or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) at (800) 833-6388.

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