Air Monitoring Scientist

  • Washington State Department of Ecology
  • Shoreline, WA
  • Mar 02, 2022
Full time Scientific Research Science

Job Description

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Per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.2 (Download PDF reader), Washington State employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As a condition of employment, the successful candidate will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination as part of the hiring process, prior to their start date. Requests for medical and religious exemptions will be considered. If you have questions, please contact with “COVID-19 vaccination” in the subject line.  

Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen
The Air Quality Program (AQP)  within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill an Air Monitoring Scientist (Natural Resource Scientist 3) position. 
This position is located in our Northwest Regional Office (NWRO) in Shoreline, WA.

The greater Puget Sound region is close to a violation of the federal health-based ozone standard. Ozone is formed from a complex soup of precursor chemicals and compounds. Understanding the relationships and complex interactions of those precursors is key to preventing a violation of the ozone standard and ensuring healthy air for everyone.

The federal Photochemical Assessment Monitoring Stations (PAMS) is a newly-required program in Washington State that is designed to measure, characterize, and understand ozone precursors. The information that this program produces will be critical in guiding successful ozone pollution reduction strategies. As the Air Monitoring Scientist, you will lead these efforts through the implementation of the PAMS program at the Air Quality Program’s Beacon Hill air monitoring site in Seattle. With the beautiful scene of Jefferson Park as a backdrop, as a you will apply your atmospheric and chemistry scientific expertise to conduct research into ozone precursors, measuring over 50 volatile organic compounds every hour via a laboratory-grade automated gas chromatograph, as well as oxides of nitrogen, meteorology, and other pollutants. You will analyze collected datasets to build a thorough understanding of the complex relationships and interactions of ozone precursors and advise management of your findings to help the Air Quality Program reduce ozone pollution and prevent a violation of the federal ozone standard. Being a self-starter, an excellent problem solver, and a natural collaborator is a must as you will function both independently and as a part of our regional and statewide teams of dedicated air monitoring professionals. This is the perfect opportunity for those that are looking to put their scientific expertise and training to use in helping solve an environmental problem. 

The mission of the Air Quality Program (AQP) is to protect and improve air quality in Washington. The Air Quality Program’s vision is clean, healthy air and climate for all of Washington. One of our goals is to inform decisions, and raise public awareness and engagement by providing accurate and timely information on ambient air pollution and its impacts.  

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.
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.

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. 

During Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery, employees are working a combination of in-office and/or telework based on position and business need. Ecology is following current state guidance regarding mask requirements, health screening questions before entry, and social distancing. 

Please Note: The salary posted above does not include the additional 5% premium pay that this position will receive due to this position's location in King County.      

Application Timeline: This position will remain open until filled, with an initial screening date of March 22, 2022. In order to be considered for initial screening, please submit an application on or before March 21, 2022..The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date. 


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What makes this role unique?

A primary focus of this position is the operation, maintenance, and calibration of a laboratory-grade automated gas chromatograph (auto-GC) and associated sub-systems. The auto-GC measures concentrations of over 50 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) each hour and is the most complex air monitoring system in the Washington State Ambient Air Monitoring Network. This position will apply atmospheric science and chemistry expertise to analyze and interpret the results of these measurements, as well as measurements from other ambient air monitors, to help the Air Quality Program understand ozone formation, transport, and fate in the greater Puget Sound region.
 What you will do: 

  • Conduct atmospheric science and chemistry research and measurements and use/develop data analysis tools to characterize, understand, and describe ozone chemical precursors and their interactions, as well as other air quality datasets (e.g., continuous and manual method volatile organic compounds, oxides of nitrogen, and carbonyls), where precedents are limited
  • Calibrate, maintain, and operate a laboratory-grade automated gas chromatograph and linked sub-systems to provide continuous measurements of over 50 different volatile organic compounds. Sub-system elements that must be maintained including the sample pre-concentrator, zero-air generator, hydrogen generator, heated sample inlet and all valves controlling sample flow pathways
  • Operate highly complex air monitoring equipment including field sampling at other sites in Ecology’s Northwest Region; calibrate air monitors, perform quality control checks, gather data, and conduct research on air pollution
  • Write and maintain R scripts, or other software analysis tool and use those to visually analyze complex datasets and increase program understanding of ozone precursor pollution formation, transport, and fate
  • Perform and/or coordinate site contract development for installation of monitoring shelter, power, telemetry, and instrumentation
  • Install new monitoring sites throughout Ecology’s Northwest Region and install all associated equipment
  • Create visual representations of results/findings of data analyses for use by the Air Quality Program leadership, scientists, and non-scientific audiences
  • Serve as an air monitoring science technical advisor, plan and conduct air monitoring training programs, lectures, and workshops on scientific area of expertise


Required Qualifications:
Experience for both required and desired qualifications can be gained through various combinations of formal professional employment, educational, and volunteer experience. See below for how you may qualify.

Education and Experience:

Option One:

A Bachelor’s degree with major study in a natural science.
Four years of professional research work experience in atmospheric science or environmental chemistry.  Must include one year of professional-level experience in conducting air monitoring or laboratory analysis of volatile organic compounds as well as analysis of environmental data.
Option Two:

A Master's degree in atmospheric science or environmental chemistry.


Two years of professional research work experience in atmospheric science or environmental chemistry.  Must include one year of professional-level experience in conducting air monitoring or laboratory analysis of volatile organic compounds as well as analysis of environmental data.
Option Three:

A Ph.D. in atmospheric science or environmental chemistry.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment: 

  • Must obtain and maintain 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.

  • Experience in gas chromatography
  • Experience calibrating, maintaining, and operating air monitoring equipment
  • Extensive experience using R or other similar data analysis software applications/tools
  • Experience interpreting, and applying federal and state laws, regulations, rules, policy, and guidance
  • Experience interpreting, and applying 40 CFR, Part 58, Appendix A to air monitoring networks
  • Experience with exploratory data analysis and familiar with non-parametric statistics.
  • Experience using GIS systems (such as ArcGIS) to analyze and display environmental information
  • Ability to interpret and explain technical information to non-technical individuals

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 Scott Dubble at: Please do not contact Scott 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.

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 Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver,  Long Term Disability & Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation Programs, Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP),  Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), Employee Assistance Program, Commute Trip Reduction Incentives (Download PDF reader), Combined Fund Drive, SmartHealth *See the Benefits tab in this announcement for more information 

Student debt: how working for Ecology can help
The Department of Ecology is a qualifying employer for the Public Service Forgiveness Program (PSLF). See for more details.

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.

Collective Bargaining: This is a position covered by a bargaining unit for which the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) is the exclusive representative.   

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. Once all the position(s) from the recruitment announcement are filled, the recruitment may only be used to fill additional open positions for the next sixty (60) days. 


Environmental Protection-Conservation, Biological-Chemical Research, Environmental-Geological Testing & Analysis, General-Other: R&D-Science



$61,224.00 - $80,292.00 Annually

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