Job Description

Come work at a place where you have a direct impact on the quality of life for Kent residents, business owners and visitors alike!

The City of Kent is currently accepting applications for the position of Senior Ecologist in our Public Works Department.  Are you a dedicated professional who is passionate about the environment, particularly efforts to enhance environmental quality?  Are you familiar with city codes and state, tribal, and federal regulations regarding natural resources management, critical areas requirements, and restoration/mitigation site construction standards? If you are a highly motivated and detail-oriented individual who can identify potential environmental problem areas and provide recommendations for solutions, this position may be perfect for you!


$7,829.00- $9,527.00 monthly, depending on qualifications

This job is open until filled with a first review date of July 25.

This is a benefited position and it is not represented by a union. Please contact Human Resources if you have questions regarding the employment status of this position.  

**Application Checklist

1. Cover letter

2. Resume (indicate duties/responsibilities, years/months of employment, supervisor’s name/email/phone number, and reason for leaving a job)

3. Responses to Supplemental Questions

4. Sample(s) of technical writing/reports written

All of the above documents are required with your online application in order for your application to be considered complete.  Uploading your resume to auto-fill portions of the application does not automatically attach it to your application.  Incomplete applications will not be considered for this position.  Please note that you cannot attach documents to your application after it has been submitted.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding your online application, please call our office at (253) 856-5270 and we will do our best to assist you.**


Under the direction of the Environmental Supervisor, or designee, perform a variety of advanced-level professional duties related to designing, planning, implementing, and monitoring of natural resource enhancement and mitigation construction projects. Duties also include inspections of projects and properties to ensure compliance with environmental laws/regulations/codes, and other field reconnaissance and reporting activities related to environmental conservation within and around the City of Kent. 

Work is characterized by performing independent, routine, and usually specialized technical duties associated with environmental conservation programs including, but not limited to managing natural resources and ecological infrastructure projects. Duties include, but are not limited to, planning and developing habitat restoration and mitigation projects; preparing and/or reviewing design plans and project reports; performing field inspections of construction and mitigation sites; maintaining inspection files and records; grants application and reporting; contract management; coordinating with project internal and external stakeholders; collecting data and writing reports; conducting outreach activities; and attending meetings as required. The incumbent will also investigate other water quality and environmental issues, including reports of illegal dumping, spills, or stormwater-related and critical habitats/wetlands complaints.

Work is performed with limited supervision. The supervisor defines group objectives, priorities, and deadlines. The incumbent plans and carries out assignments, and handles problems and deviations in accordance with instructions, policies, procedures, and/or accepted practices. The incumbent keeps the supervisor informed of progress, potentially controversial matters, or those with far reaching implications.   Work is evaluated for technical soundness and conformity to established practices and policy.


Perform research and development of natural resource protection and restoration strategies and enhancement programs throughout the City.

Lead the design and preparation of construction documents for Public Works stormwater/flood management/critical areas improvement, habitat restoration, and mitigation projects in accordance with established standards of safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. 

Prepare project plans and specifications; analyze project requirements, physical location, and other pertinent data; prepare estimate of cost as needed; ensure that project designs are in compliance with a variety of state, federal, and local laws, codes, ordinances, and regulations governing construction projects.

Perform contracting tasks including development and review of Statements of Qualifications and Scopes of Work, selection/evaluation of consultants/ contractors, routing requests for contract, coordinating with contractors, monitoring contract budget and contractor performance, negotiate and recommend contract changes if necessary, and processing of invoices. Review plans, specifications and other documents needed to implement Public Works capital improvement and operations projects and associated mitigation plans.

Identify wetland mitigation areas, develop plan elements, and secure permits for wetland restoration and mitigation projects. Utilize professional biological expertise and training to determine habitat needs and niches required by specific plant and wildlife species and to develop strategies to meet restoration and monitoring goals. Coordinate the planting and plant maintenance activities and sites monitoring with Operations staff.

Analyze the proposed project or development activity in relation to its impact on critical areas.  Prepare and review proposed mitigation plans in relation to their ability to protect critical areas from development.

Plan, develop, and implement monitoring of mitigation and/or habitat enhancements projects. Collect, analyze, and interpret data/information and prepare monitoring reports with adaptive management recommendations.

Conduct site/habitat evaluations, wetland delineations/assessments, field studies on critical habitats/aquatic/endangered species, monitoring of vegetation, hydrology, water quality, wildlife, and fisheries, as well as coordinate habitats and threatened/endangered species management. Visit construction sites to inspect work progress and coordinate with the construction engineer/inspector during construction.

Perform field reconnaissance and natural resources/water quality investigations to identify and assess environmental problems throughout the City and natural resources conservation and project mitigation/restoration areas. Attend hearings to present testimony as needed.

Inspect capital, mitigation, and other natural resources construction projects for compliance with applicable permits during and after construction.

Function as a lead providing guidance and training to junior staff on technical and other program/project-related matters as needed to accomplish the tasks as assigned.

Investigate reports of unpermitted activities and hazardous chemical spills or illicit discharges onto wetlands and critical areas. Assess magnitude and possible remedies and notify appropriate internal and external response parties per standard operating procedures.

Collect or lead sample collection (soil, plant, water, animal/fish) activities from construction sites and natural resources conservation areas; identify appropriate parameters for analysis; prepare samples for delivery to laboratories for evaluation; summarize and interpret analytical results for reporting and enforcement actions as necessary and recommend adaptive management strategies for implementation.

Apply for grants and project permits, and write/submit required monitoring, progress, and expense reports related to natural resources, water quality and other environmental conservation and outreach projects covered by grants and permits.

Provide input and direction to the public, developers, and consultants on the preparation of project construction documents and wetlands/critical area mitigation plans and reports.

Develop educational materials associated with protecting natural resources, critical areas/habitats, water quality/quantity; including but not limited to presentations, brochures, flyers, signage, newsletters, website updates, and handouts.

Perform a variety of technical engineering design and layout activities to assist in the preparation of plans for environmental projects using aerial imagery, and GIS data.

Participate in various technical committees, study groups, and taskforces to provide engineering and technical expertise. Conduct presentations to students, citizens, staff, developers and elected officials. Communicate project information and requirements with property owners, consultants/contractors, internal departments, external agencies, etc.

Represent the City at various meetings with citizens, contractors, consultants, and outside agencies. Interface with regulatory agencies, local agencies, consultants, other city departments, volunteer and school groups, and the general public.

Actively support the vision, mission, values, and goals of the department and the City.


Perform related duties as assigned.



  • Principles of environmental science, natural resources management, land use and watershed management

  • Wetlands identification, delineation, assessment and monitoring

  • Plant species identification and vegetation surveying methods/techniques

  • Fish biology and fisheries science

  • Riverine ecosystems and reservoir habitats and biota

  • Salmonid fish habitat and fish passage requirements

  • City codes and other applicable state and federal regulations related to critical areas, stormwater management, municipal water supply, and construction standards

  • City utilities, including water, sanitary sewer, and stormwater

  • Applicable health and safety regulations

  • Methods, procedures, and materials used in construction

  • Erosion and sediment control

  • Stormwater management practices and systems

  • GIS and use of GPS technologies; Computer-Aided Design and Drafting (CADD)

  • Computer software programs applicable to the position

  • Recordkeeping and file management techniques

  • Research and analytical methods, practices, and procedures


  • Oral and written (both technical and creative) communications

  • Field investigation of potential environmental problems including wetlands/critical habitats and stormwater management issues and pollutant sources

  • Wetlands and aquatic habitat restoration/management, planning, designing and implementing mitigation plans, monitoring hydrology, identifying plants, and surveying vegetation in mitigation/restoration sites

  • Analyzing technical material related to management and protection of natural resources, fish and wildlife, wetlands, and critical areas

  • Using qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze data/findings

  • Establishing and maintaining cooperative and effective working relationships with others

  • Maintaining accurate records and preparing routine reports and correspondence

  • Effectively planning, organizing, and prioritizing work activities

  • Using interpersonal relations in a tactful, patient, and courteous manner when dealing with fellow employees, contractors/vendors, and citizens/public.

  • Anticipating problems and eliminating them where possible, or coming up with solutions


  • Perform construction compliance and restoration/mitigation site visits and inspection

  • Work independently or in a team setting and ability to track multiple projects and tasks

  • Understand construction plans, site drawings, sketches, and electronic files

  • Perform moderate physical labor including, but not limited to, inspecting natural resource sites, walking on irregular terrain, etc.

  • Identify project/environmental issues while in the field

  • Read, interpret, and apply laws, codes, rules, regulations, policies, and procedures

  • Analyze situations and adopt an effective course of action to solve practical problems

  • Plan, organize, and prioritize work assignments to meet schedules and timelines

  • Lead junior staff

  • Maintain records and prepare reports

  • Work effectively on multiple projects concurrently

  • Effectively present information in one-on-one situations to the supervisor and/or other employees of the City and to respond to inquiries from within the office or the public



Bachelor’s degree or higher education in an accredited college/university specializing in environmental science/studies, natural resources management, fish and wildlife biology, geology/hydrogeology, ecology, or related field; and


Five (5) years of work experience in the areas of environmental science, environmental inspections and assessments, wetlands management, ecological, and/or fish and wildlife management and/or research.


  • A Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) or ability to obtain it within one year of employment preferred

  • Valid Washington State driver's license, or the ability to obtain within thirty (30) days of employment

  • Valid First Aid/CPR card, or the ability to obtain within ninety (90) days of employment

  • Must successfully pass the City's pre-employment driver's records check and maintain an excellent driving record

  • Must successfully pass a position specific background inquiry


Typical business office machines and equipment including, but not limited to, personal computer and related software, GIS equipment, soil/water sampling tools/equipment, telephone, cellular phone, pager, fax machine, copy machine, and calculator.

The incumbent is also required to operate a City vehicle.


The physical demands described herein are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

While performing the duties of this job, the incumbent is regularly required to sit; use hands to hold, handle, or feel; and talk or hear normally with or without mechanical assistance. The incumbent must regularly lift and/or move up to 30 pounds, frequently lift and/or move up to 50 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 80 pounds or more with assistance. Occasionally required to stand, walk, and reach with hands and arms.

Specific vision abilities required by this job include close, distance, color, and peripheral vision; depth perception; and the ability to adjust focus.


Work is performed in an indoor/outdoor field environment and in an indoor office environment. While performing the duties of this job, the employee may be exposed to moving mechanical tools and may be walking/climbing high, precarious places. The employee may be frequently exposed to fumes or airborne particles, outside weather conditions including inclement weather, and other risks associated with the job performance. The employee may be occasionally exposed to vibration. The incumbent is subject to driving from site to site and may need to occasionally work during weekends as needed. During field work, the incumbent may be exposed to individuals who are irate or hostile. The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate in the office and moderate to loud in the field.

The City of Kent is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Application Instructions

Please click on the link below to apply for this position. A new window will open and direct you to apply at our corporate careers page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Apply Online