Technical Unit Supervisor (Hydrogeologist 4)

State of Washington

State of Washington

IT, People & HR, Operations
Lacey, WA, USA
Posted on Friday, February 17, 2023
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Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

The Water Resources (WR) program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a Technical Unit Supervisor (Hydrogeologist 4) position This position is located in our Southwest Region Office in Lacey, WA. Upon hire, you must live within a commutable distance from the duty station.

In this role, you will manage and protect Washington’s ground water and surface water supplies, protect senior water rights (including yet to be quantified Tribal water rights), protect streamflows and provide technical assistance to a wide range of state residents, local and Tribal government agency staff, hydrogeological, engineering and environmental consultants, real estate agents, attorneys and sister state agencies such as the Department of Health and Department of Fish and Wildlife. This is extremely rewarding and challenging work.  

Ecology’s Southwest Region has an overall population of over two million people. The Region is comprised of 12 Counties (ranging in population from 4,000 to over 900,000 people), 14 sovereign Tribal Nations, 20 different watersheds (12 of which have separate and specific instream flow regulations), and a wide variety of water uses ranging from municipal, multiple domestic, irrigation, fish propagation, power generation to single domestic uses.  

In addition, Ecology’s Southwest Region has two National Parks, one National Volcanic Monument, the mouth and lower portion of the 4th largest river discharge in North America and several thousand miles of ocean and inland sea coastline.

If you like doing field visits to the different reaches of this Region, this position may be especially rewarding to you.

Agency Mission: Ecology's mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's environment and to promote the wise management of our air, land and water for the benefit of current and future generations.  

Program Mission: The mission of the Water Resources Program is to is to support sustainable water resources management to meet the present and future water needs of people and the natural environment, in partnership with Washington communities.


During Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery, employees are working a combination of in-office and/or telework based on position and business need. This position will be required to spend about one day per week in the office.

Application Timeline: This position will remain open until filled; with a next screening date of May 24, 2023. In order to be considered for the next screening, please submit an application on or before of May 23, 2023. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date. 

Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:
Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s)Public Employees Retirement System (PERS)Vacation, Sick, and other Leave*, 11 Paid Holidays per year*, Public Service Loan ForgivenessTuition Waiver,  Long Term Disability & Life InsuranceDeferred Compensation ProgramsDependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP),  Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA)Employee Assistance ProgramCommute Trip Reduction Incentives (Download PDF reader)Combined Fund DriveSmartHealth *Click here for more information 

About the Department of Ecology

Protecting Washington State's environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. We are a culture that is invested in making a difference. Join a team that is highly effective and collaborative, with leadership that embraces the value of people. To learn more, check out our Strategic Plan
Ecology cares deeply about employee wellness; we go beyond traditional benefits, proudly offering:

  • A healthy life/work balance by offering flexible schedules and telework options for most positions.
  • An Infants at Work Program that is based on the long-term health values of infant-parent bonding and breastfeeding newborns.
  • Continuous growth and development opportunities. 
  • A wellness program that offers education, fitness classes, and an agency-wide fondness for outdoor meetings.
  • Opportunities to serve your community and make an impact through meaningful work.

Our commitment to DEIR
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR) 
are core values central to Ecology’s work. We strive to be a workplace where we are esteemed for sharing our authentic identities, while advancing our individual professional goals and collaborating to protect, preserve, and enhance the environment for current and future generations.

Diversity: We celebrate and appreciate diversity; our unique perspectives and abilities enrich us all and lead to innovative approaches and solutions.
Equity: We champion equity, recognizing that each of us need different things to thrive.
Inclusion: We intentionally create and hold space so that we all have meaningful opportunities to participate and contribute to Ecology’s work.
Respect: We treat each other with respect and dignity, acknowledging the inherent worth of our diverse perspectives and lived experiences, even in times of uncertainty and disagreement.
We believe that DEIR is both a goal and an action. We are on a journey, honoring our shared humanity and taking steps to demonstrate our commitment to a vision where each of us is heard, seen, and valued. 


What makes this role unique and challenging? 

Ecology’s Southwest Region in particular has a wide variety of water availability challenges with annual precipitation rates ranging from 15 inches to over 100 inches and geological conditions that create sustainable groundwater supplies in some part of the Southwest Region and limited supplies in other parts of the region.  

The daily working experience in Ecology’s Southwest Region also includes working with a wide variety of dedicated and passionate hydrogeologists, environmental scientist, attorneys, policy and management professionals. Daily outreach to the public we serve (who have a variety of educational, economic, cultural and social backgrounds) also makes this job professionally challenging and rewarding.  

Drafting Reports of Examination and comment letters and water system plan review letters is an added challenge that will greatly enhance one’s writing and communication skills.

What you will do:  

  • Supervise a Unit of 5 water rights permit writers (three Hydrogeologists and 2 Environmental Specialists) 
  • Analyze water rights permit applications – research, acquire, assemble, extract, document and analyze water rights records from Ecology and other relevant sources.
  • Draft Reports of Examination - prepare written reports of examinations that result in agency decisions on water rights applications.  
  • Review and recommend for approval or denial Reports of Examination drafted by hydrogeological consultants on behalf of applicants that are participating in the "Cost Reimbursement Program".
  • Conduct field investigations of water rights applications and give public presentations on water rights and water resources related issues when necessary/needed.


Required Qualifications:

Option 1: A Bachelor’s degree involving a major study in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field AND Five years of professional experience as a hydrogeologist, hydrologist, geologist or closely allied profession. 

Option 2: A Master’s degree with a major study in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field AND Three years of professional experience as a hydrogeologist, hydrologist, geologist or closely allied profession. 


Option 3: A Ph.D. with major research in hydrogeology, hydrology, geology, or closely allied field AND Two years of professional experience as a hydrogeologist, hydrologist, geologist or closely allied profession. 


NOTE: All options listed above require the possession of a valid Washington State geologist license and a hydrogeologist specialty license.


Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:

  • This position requires the possession of a valid Washington State geologist license and a hydrogeologist specialty license.
  • This position requires the possession of a valid Driver’s License.

Desired Qualifications:
We highly encourage you to apply even if you do not have some (or all) of the desired experience below.

  • Previously demonstrated knowledge base, skills and abilities to represent the Water Resources Program regarding complex and/or controversial water allocation issues when interacting with local, state and federal agencies and water user groups.


Note: Having some (or all) of this desired experience may make your application more competitive in a highly competitive applicant pool.

Supplemental Information

Ecology seeks diverse applicants: We view diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect through a broad lens including race, ethnicity, class, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, military background, language, education, life experience, physical disability, neurodiversity, and intersectional identities. Qualified candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Need an Accommodation in the application and/or screening process or this job announcement in an alternative format?

  • Please call: (360) 407-6186 or email: and we will be happy to assist.
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing you can reach the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.
  • If you need assistance applying for this job, please e-mail Please do not send an email to this address to follow-up on the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile's main page.
  • If you are reading this announcement in print format, please enter the following URL to your search engine to apply:   
Application Instructions:

It's in the applicant's best interest to submit all of the documents listed below. Applications without these documents may be declined.

  • A cover letter describing why you are interested in this position.
  • A resume outlining your experience and education (if applicable) as it relates to the minimum qualifications of this position.
  • Three professional references.

Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.  
For Your Privacy:
When attaching documents to your application (such as Resume, Cover Letter, Transcripts, DD-214, etc.):

  • Please be sure to remove private information such as your social security number, date of birth, etc. 
  • Do not attach documents that are password-protected, as these documents may not be reviewed and may cause errors within your application when downloaded. 
Additional Application Instructions for Current 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.

Application Attestation: 

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. 

Other Information:

If you have specific questions about the position, please email Mike Gallagher at: Please do not contact Mike to inquire about the status of your application.
To request the full position description: email

Why work for Ecology?

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.

Joining Ecology means becoming a part of a team committed to protecting and restoring Washington State's environment. A career in public service allows you to help solve some of the most challenging problems facing our state, while keeping your health and financial security a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to life/work balance.

To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at and follow, like or visit us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or our blog.

Equal Opportunity Employer: 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, military spouses 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.

Note: This recruitment may be used to fill other positions of the same job classification across the agency.