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Research Geomorphologist to investigate forestry and landslides in Washington State

Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission
Olympia, Washington State
$66,386 - $94,618 DOQ
Closing date
Mar 19, 2023

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Hydrology, Interdisciplinary/Other, Natural Hazards
Career Level
Education Level
Desired Certifications
Professional Geologist
Job Type
Relocation Cost
Sector Type

Must be authorized to work in the USA. The NWIFC will not sponsor applicants for work visas.

Come work with us as we develop the science around the effects of timber harvest and other forest practices on erosion processes and aquatic habitat!  We seek a research scientist to participate in investigations on slope stability and landslides in forests and the effects of timber harvest and buffers on them.  We seek a scientist with knowledge of geomorphology, slope stability (shallow and deep-seated landslide processes), erosion/sediment transport, statistical study designs, geographic information systems (GIS), and analyses of complex natural systems and what is necessary to differentiate treatment effects from highly variable background conditions.  Knowledge of remote sensing and GIS methods will be crucial in this role, and knowledge of machine learning techniques will be valuable.  Knowledge of forestry, field-based slope stability assessment, and aquatic habitat is also highly desirable.  Most importantly, we need someone with a strong research background who is willing to work on stakeholder teams doing science in collaboration with other scientists, including other geologists.  You will be joining a small team consisting of a forest hydrologist, a wetland scientist, and a riparian ecologist, along with several project managers with ecological backgrounds who are staff researchers for the Cooperative Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research committee (CMER) committee.  We have two landslide-related research projects in progress by contractors, and you would be the internal representative working with the CMER committee members to evaluate and guide those.  We also have a long-term road sediment project underway and several studies in headwater stream channels with which you might become involved.  There is an opportunity to lead upcoming research as a principal investigator.  As a small science staff, we often work on projects together, and we all work closely with the CMER and subcommittee member scientists.  Other team members contribute where our expertise is germane to certain aspects of projects and the holder of this position is likely to, at times, contribute to non-geologic projects when and where their expertise is needed. 

CMER is the science arm of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources Forest Practices Adaptive Management Program. Our job is to perform scientific investigation to evaluate forest practices rules that apply to timber harvest and other forest practices on state, local government, and private lands in the State of Washington.  The CMER committee is composed of scientists from state agencies, private timberland owners, native tribes, and conservation organizations that together decide how to conduct and interpret scientific studies to answer questions related to the state forest practices rules.  Our research informs statewide decision-making by the Forest Practices Board, often confirming the rules in place are having the desired effects on aquatic habitat and sometimes resulting in changes to the rules where undesirable effects are discovered.

For more information about CMER and the adaptive management program see:

This position is located in Olympia, Washington.  A hybrid between in-office and remote work is possible.  The job requires field work in remote and difficult terrain.

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