Washington State Air Quality Modeling Specialist (Environmental Specialist 4) in Lacey, Washington


Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

Protecting Washington State's environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. We have a culture that is invested in making a difference. If you want to join a team that is highly effective, collaborative, with leadership that embraces the value of people, Ecology is a great fit.

The Air Quality Program (AQP) is looking to fill an Air Quality Modeling Specialist (Environmental Specialist 4) position. This position is located in our Headquarters Building in Lacey, WA.

This position serves as the environmental section specialist for the AQP in air quality forecasting and for air quality permit modeling, contributing to the accomplishment of the AQP mission by providing the scientific core knowledge for air quality analysis necessary for the program to carry out its mission. This includes:

  • Providing technical support for PSD, air toxics, and NOC permitting.
  • Providing technical expertise for AQP policy development, including modeling for assessing efficacy of various control strategies.
  • Assessing air quality stagnation episodes and making wood stove curtailment decisions for the program.

We are looking for applicants who have a good understanding of when and how to use different air quality models, applicants who are interested in understanding environmental data, able to communicate technical information to diverse audiences, and are capable of delivering scientifically defensible results even when on tight schedules.

As an agency, our mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's environment for current and future generations. We invest in our employees to create and sustain a working environment that encourages creative leadership, effective resource management, teamwork, professionalism and accountability. Maybe you've seen some of our recent stories on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or our blog.

To learn more about our agency, please visit our website at www.ecy.wa.gov.

Local efforts... Diverse people... Statewide impacts


The Air Quality Program's mission is to protect, preserve, and enhance the air quality of Washington to safeguard public health and the environment, and support high quality of life for current and future citizens.

The Air Quality Program and its partners use the data collected within the Washington ambient air monitoring network to:

  • Determine if air quality is meeting federal standards.
  • Provide near-real-time air quality information for the protection of public health.
  • Forecast air quality.
  • Make daily burn decisions and curtailment calls.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of air pollution control programs.
  • Evaluate the effects of air pollution on public health.
  • Determine air quality trends.
  • Identify and develop responsible and cost-effective pollution control strategies.

Some of the key duties of the Air Quality Modeling Specialist position include:

  • Serves as the environmental section specialist in providing modeling, meteorological, and other technical support for internal and external customers for PSD and air toxics (second and third tier reviews), and other air quality permitting analyses.
  • Works with other state, local, and federal agencies on a national level to establish issues, needs, priorities, and Ecology's role/response.
  • Serves as the program environmental section specialist in CALPUFF, CMAQ, AERMOD and other models, enabling the AQP to meet our obligations under Federal and State Clean Air Acts and other applicable laws and rules.
  • Makes use of time series analysis and other parametric and non-parametric statistical methods to determine the accuracy of input data used, and to establish the credibility of conclusions made.
  • Plans and develops computer dispersion modeling in coordination with EPA, Ecology, and local, state, and provincial air quality agencies for activities that affect Washington State's air quality.
  • Works with regional (e.g., NW AIRQUEST, the Northwest Regional Modeling Consortium, WESTAR and WRAP) and national committees (e.g., NACAA and EPA) to influence and set priorities for research and development to further the capabilities of air quality modeling.
  • Makes recommendations on air dispersion modeling adequacy and priorities of monitoring network, including types, location, and number of sites.
  • Uses extensive knowledge of air dispersion meteorology and mesoscale and synoptic scale meteorology to plan analyses and modeling and other environmental analyses.
  • Participates in and reviews research projects, either independently or in concert with others from academia and industry, to solve air pollution problems in Washington State and nationally.
  • Presents papers at professional conferences and/or publishes in peer-reviewed journals describing the results of the projects.

This position will remain open until filled. The initial screening will be August 12, 2016. In order to be considered for the initial screening, please submit an application on or before August 11, 2016. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.


Required Qualifications:

A Master's degree involving major study in environmental, physical, or one of the natural sciences, ANDthree years of professional level experience in environmental analysis or control, or environmental planning, which includes one year equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above.

The experience as an Environmental Specialist 3 can include a combination of the following: 1) investigating and / or resolving complaints involving science or technology content, 2) performing inspections, 3) drafting technical evaluations and reports, 4) develops plans for researching information used for technical projects, regulatory or policy development, 5) plan and facilitate public meetings and hearings, 6) project work requiring specialized knowledge of industry processes, pollutant sources or natural processes, 7) providing technical assistance for complex scientific content and/ or support for implementing scientific content programs, 8) conducting tests, analyzing and evaluating data, 9) using environmental databases to support technical projects, 10) developing scientific studies and resource management plans, 11) providing environmental technical and administrative assistance to grant/ contract/ loan recipients of environmental protection projects.


A Ph.D. in one of the above fields AND two years of professional-level experience as required above which includes one year equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above.


Two years of experience as an Environmental Specialist 3, provided that a Master's degree has been attained in one of the above fields.

In addition to the above, this position requires:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of how synoptic, mesoscale, and microscale meteorology affect the transport and dispersion of emissions from sources ranging from neutrally buoyant surface releases to the highly buoyant plumes from field and forest fires.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience using meteorological and air quality chemical-dispersion models to predict weather and air quality for both short-term episode forecasting and long-term planning and regulatory purposes.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated ability to step into a position as the program expert for the state in air quality forecasting and for air quality permit modeling.
  • Demonstrated ability to understand and use programming code in modeling evaluations. Fluent in the FORTRAN programming language and at least one scripting language such as Perl or PHP.
  • Demonstrated understanding of Federal, State, and Local laws, regulations, rules, policy, and guidance that affect permitting and operation of facilities and other sources of air emissions in Washington.
  • Should be comfortable with exploratory data analysis and familiar with non-parametric statistics.
  • Demonstrated ability to build rapport and partner with others.
  • Demonstrated skill in writing and preparing presentations, and the ability to present technically complex information in a way that is understandable to the audience.
  • Can be relied upon to achieve excellent results with little need for oversight; earns the trust, respect, and confidence of co-workers and customers through consistent honesty, forthrightness and professionalism in all interactions; logically integrates various ideas, intentions, and information to form effective goals, objectives, timelines, action plans, and solutions.

Special Requirements / Conditions of Employment:

Must obtain and maintain a valid Washington driver's license.

Supplemental Information

Application Instructions:

In order to be considered, applicants MUST include the following documents as an attachment to their application:

  • A cover letter describing how your experience, skills and abilities meet the required qualifications of this position.
  • A resume outlining your professional experience.

Please complete the applicant profile when applying for this position. Or, you may paste the text of your resume within the profile's resume text field.

Please read the supplemental questions carefully and answer completely. Incomplete responses, including "please see resume" may disqualify you from further consideration.

Department of Ecology employees, please make sure to answer the agency-wide questions regarding permanent status as a classified employee within the Washington General Service or Washington Management Service. Do not forget to select Department of Ecology as a response to question 2, and type your personnel ID number for question 3. If you are not sure of your status or do not know your personnel ID number, please contact Human Resources at (360) 407-6186.

If you are reading this announcement in print format, please visit www.careers.wa.gov to access the online recruitment system. Click on "Look for Jobs" and select Dept. of Ecology under the "Department" search list. Click "Apply Search."

Other Information:

If you need assistance applying for this job, please call Human Resources at (360) 407-6186 or e-mail careers@ecy.wa.gov. Please do not call this number or send an email to this address to follow-up the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile's main page.

If you have specific questions about the position, please email Chris Hanlon-Meyer at: christopher.hanlon-meyer@ecy.wa.gov. Please do not contact Chris Hanlon-Meyer to inquire about the status of your application.

The act of submitting application materials electronically is considered affirmation that the information is complete and truthful. The state may verify this information and any untruthful or misleading answers are cause for rejection of your application or dismissal if employed.

This position is included in the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) union bargaining unit for the Department of Ecology. All employees covered by the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the WFSE will, as a condition of employment, either become members of the WFSE and pay membership dues or, as non-members, pay a representation fee as described in the CBA, no later than the 30th day following the effective date of this CBA or the beginning of their employment.

The Washington State Department of Ecology 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, veterans or people with military status, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application/testing process or this job announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 407-6186. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.

Job Type: Full Time - Permanent

Job Number: 2016-AQ0917-08094

Department: Dept. of Ecology

Closing: Continuous

Agency: State of Washington

Address: View Job Posting for Agency Information View Job Posting for Location, Washington, 98504.

Website: http://www.careers.wa.gov

Salary: $48,060.00 - $63,036.00 Annually

Location: Thurston County – Lacey, WA