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Air Quality Modeling Specialist (Environmental Specialist 4)

Washington State Department of Ecology
Lacey, Washington State
$55,872.00 - $75,120.00 Annually
Closing date
May 26, 2023

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Atmospheric Sciences
Career Level
Early Career (up to 10 years past degree)
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

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Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen


The Air Quality Program (AQP) within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill an Air Quality Modeling Specialist (Environmental Specialist 4) position. This position is located in our Headquarters Office in Lacey, WA. Upon hire, you must live within a commutable distance from the duty station.
As the Air Quality Modeling Specialist, your focus will be on conducting modeling, meteorological data analysis, and air quality permit model protocol review, and will also join a team conducting research projects and developing modeling scenarios, researching air quality standard exceedances, and analyzing results. You will evaluate Weather Research and Forecasting model runs and other meteorological products to improve statewide air quality forecasts and forecast wintertime air stagnation and need for air quality burn bans.
Additionally, coordinating with the National Weather Service, Ecology region offices, local air authorities, and the Environmental Protection Agency, you will determine and evaluate wintertime air stagnation episodes and make burn ban decisions. You will have the opportunity to provide technical support and training to Ecology and local air agency staff involved in smoke management and agricultural burning programs. In this role, you will also collaborate and participate with the NW-AIRQUEST consortium, the Northwest Regional Modeling Consortium, and other programs in air quality modeling research and model improvements.
The mission of the Air Quality Program 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.  


Tele-work options for this position: This position will be eligible to tele-work up to three days per week. Applicants with questions about position location options, tele-work, and flexible or compressed schedules are encouraged to reach out to the contact person listed below in “other information.” Schedules are dependent upon position needs and are subject to change.


Application Timeline: This position will remain open until filled, we will review applications on May 8, 2023. In order to be considered, please submit an application on or before May 7, 2023. If your application isn't received by this date, it may not be considered. The agency reserves the right to make a Hire 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. 
  • 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. 




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    As the Air Quality Modeling Specialist, you will serve as the agency’s specialist performing air quality modeling and forecasting in support of air quality permitting programs and activities.  You will:
    • Review and approve modeling protocols submitted for air quality permitting (Prevention of Significant Deterioration, air toxics, and minor New Source Review permitting);
    • Provide technical expertise for AQP policy development, including modeling efficacy of various control or emission reduction strategies;
    • Provide technical assistance to air quality permit applicants, facilities, consultants, and affected public in the interpretation of air quality laws and regulations, model results and air quality data.
    • Make Wintertime Stage I or Stage II Burn Ban decisions. Coordinate with National Weather Service, Ecology region offices, local air authorities, and the Environmental Protection Agency to gather information needed to determine and evaluate air stagnation episode extent, duration, and need for air quality state 1 or state II burn ban.



    Required Qualifications:
    Years of required experience indicated below are full-time equivalent years. Full-time equivalent experience means that any experience where working hours were less than 40 hours per week will be prorated in order to meet the equivalency of full-time. We would calculate this by looking at the total hours worked per week, divide this by 40, and then multiply by the total number of months worked. Examples of the proration calculations are:

  • 30 hours worked per week for 20 months: (30/40) x 20 months = 15 months full-time equivalent
  • 20 hours worked per week for 12 months: (20/40) x 12 months = 6 months full-time equivalent
  • Experience for both required and desired qualifications can be gained through various combinations of formal professional employment, education, and volunteer experience. See below for how you may qualify.

    A total of nine years of experience and/or education as described below:
    • Experience: Involving environmental analysis or control, or environmental planning. 
    • Education: Involving a major study in environmental, physical, or natural science, environmental planning or other allied field.
    All experience and education combinations that meet the requirements for this position: Possible Combinations College credit hours or degree - as listed above Years of professional level experience - as listed above Combination 1 No college credit hours or degree 9 years of experience Combination 2 30-59 semester or 45-89 quarter credits 8 years of experience Combination 3 60-89 semester or 90-134 quarter credits (AA degree) 7 years of experience Combination 4 90-119 semester or 135-179 quarter credits 6 years of experience Combination 5 A Bachelor's Degree  5 years of experience Combination 6 A Master’s Degree 3 years of experience Combination 7 A Ph.D. 2 years of experience  
    Two years of experience as an Environmental Specialist 3, at the Department of Ecology.

    Experience must include:
    • 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.

    Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment: 
    • Must possess 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.
    • Demonstrated ability to step into a position as the program specialist for the state in air quality permit modeling protocol review and approval and Wintertime Stage I or Stage II Burn Ban decisions.
    • Demonstrated understanding of Federal, State, and Local laws, regulations, rules, policies, 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.
    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.
    • A list of 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. 

Per Governor Inslee’s Directive 22-13.1, state employees must be fully vaccinated effective November 4, 2022. Providing proof of being fully vaccinated is a condition of employment and your vaccine status will be verified prior to starting work. Being fully vaccinated means two weeks after you have received the second dose in a two-dose series of a COVID-19 vaccine or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use, licensed or otherwise authorized or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or listed for emergency use or otherwise approved by the World Health Organization. If you have questions, please contact with “COVID-19 vaccination” in the subject line.  

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 Christopher Hanlon-Meyer at: Please do not contact Christopher 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 LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram 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. 

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