Job Code Pay Scale Group Pay Scale Type Bargaining Unit Civil Service or Non-Civil Service Last Executive Board Change Executive Board Change History
14710 06 ST B4 C 812-11 05/31/2023
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JOB CODE: 14710

SERIES NATURE OF WORK: The Aquatic Biologist job series describes work in the assessment of aquatic communities and surface waters.

DEFINITION: This is professional work in the field of aquatic biology.

An employee in this job conducts routine surveys or assists in conducting comprehensive field studies in a regional office; or performs data management and analysis work to provideinput into the development of water standards, monitoring techniques, and training in the central office. In a regional office, mineral resource district office, or oil and gas district office, typical assignments include conducting lake and wetland surveys, investigations, and in-stream comprehensive evaluations; conducting environmental analyses to provide technical input on permit applications that impact waterways and wetlands; assessing the impact of point source and nonpoint source pollution on aquatic life and habitat; conducting cause and effect surveys, point of first use surveys, and use attainment assessments; assessing the impact of construction, discharges, pesticide use, mining, and oil and gas extraction on waterways and wetlands; evaluating drinking water sources; or monitoring and suppressing water-borne vectors. In a central office setting, work involves performing data analysis and management to provide input into the development of water standards, monitoring techniques, and training; assisting in the development and implementation of protocols for surface water assessments; and entering results of assessments and monitoring activities into electronic databases, geographic information systems, and statistical software to establish long term water quality records and document the results of surface water monitoring and assessment activities. Work is assigned by a professional supervisor in the form of specific goals, objectives, and priorities. Work is reviewed through the evaluation of interim and final reports and conferences.

EXAMPLES OF WORK: (NOTE: The examples of work are representative of the work, but every position classified to this job may not perform all examples of work listed. Conversely, this is not an all-inclusive list of work examples.)

• Performs routine scientific studies to assess aquatic communities and water quality in lakes, streams, and wetlands.

• Gathers background data on waterways for use in developing a field study or biological survey plan.

• Follows established methodologies to conduct field investigations, biological surveys, and ecological studies of aquatic habitat and environmental conditions.

• Identifies and delineates wetlands, including the identification of hydrophytic plant species, hydric soils, and hydrologic indicators.

• Reviews and evaluates environmental aspects of permit applications for waterways encroachments and obstructions, wastewater and storm water discharges, construction activities, mining and oil and gas extraction activities, pesticide applications, and other regulated activities.

• Reviews water withdrawal plans associated with permit applications.

• Evaluates the biological, chemical, or physical data of various water bodies or drinking water sources to determine if they meet potable water standards.

• Reviews biomonitoring test results submitted for permitted wastewater facilities to determine if the impact of effluent is within permit conditions and if a treatment system is effectively treating discharge.

• Conducts investigations of environmental conditions to determine compliance with permit conditions.

• Assists in conducting investigations and completing follow up surveys of pollution incidents and fish kills.

• Conducts investigations of nonpoint source impacts on stream biota and recommends methods to reduce nonpoint source pollution within the area of investigation.

• Collects biological, physical, and chemical field samples.

• Conducts laboratory examinations of samples to identify and assess the health of wetland vegetation, aquatic macroinvertebrates, fish, amphibians, and reptiles.

• Inputs results of data assessments into databases and geographic information systems.

• Assembles, organizes, and analyzes results of investigations.

• Develops geographic information system maps, combines data layers, and conducts spatial analysis.

• Reviews wetland, stream, and aquatic ecosystem mitigation plans in conjunction with approved permits and monitors compliance with plans.

• Prepares or reviews waterborne vector control plans.

• Participates in the development of sampling and testing protocols, water quality standards, and biologic indicator values.

• Assists in performing statistical analysis of data to determine trends in the attainment of water quality goals and in controlling vector populations.

• Monitors grant and contract project work for compliance with plans and specifications.

• Operates, calibrates, and maintains specialized scientific equipment.

• Operates motor vehicles and trailers to travel to remote field sites and project locations.

• Makes microscopic and laboratory examinations of biological samples.

• Assists in research of field techniques, methods, and procedures.

• Assembles, organizes, and analyzes the results of aquatic biology investigations, and prepares reports and recommendations for submission to senior and executive staff.

• Cooperates with conservation agencies and educational institutions in the assigned region.

• Performs related work as required.


• Knowledge of the principles and practices of aquatic biology relative to water quality, water pollution, and watershed management.

• Knowledge of the principles and practices of aquatic biological survey and sampling activities.

• Knowledge of the methods and techniques used in the identification and classification of aquatic plants, fish, macroinvertebrates, and invertebrates.

• Knowledge of aquatic ecology, invertebrate zoology, microbiology, entomology, hydrology and soils, and botany as related to water quality and aquatic biology.

• Knowledge of organic and inorganic chemistry.

• Knowledge of the care and use of laboratory and field equipment for aquatic biology work.

• Knowledge of research methods and techniques.

• Knowledge of the methods and techniques used to collect and identify aquatic biota.

• Knowledge of the methods and techniques used to assemble, organize, and present technical and scientific data.

• Knowledge of mathematic and statistical methods used in biological data gathering, analysis, and presentation.

• Knowledge of the use and functionality of Microsoft Office Suite software.

• Ability to read and interpret written materials.

• Ability to communicate effectively orally.

• Ability to communicate effectively in writing.

• Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships.

• Ability to operate a motor vehicle to travel to remote field sites or project locations.

MINIMUM EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING: (NOTE: Based on the Entry Level Knowledges, Skills, and Abilities)

• A bachelor's degree with a major in a biological science, natural science, environmental science, or natural resource management, including or supplemented by six college credits in freshwater aquatic biology, aquatic ecology, aquatic botany, water pollution biology, entomology, limnology, or closely related aquatic science coursework;


• An equivalent combination of experience and training that includes six college credits in freshwater aquatic biology, aquatic ecology, aquatic botany, water pollution biology, entomology, limnology, or closely related aquatic science coursework.


• All positions require possession of an active motor vehicle license.