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Environmental Specialist (210650)

  • Kansas Department of Health and Environment
  • Topeka (Full-Time)

Posted: Oct 06, 2023


Job Description:

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has an Environmental Specialist opening in Topeka. This position will fill a vacancy within the Watershed Management Section (WMS) Technical Unit (TU). Primary duties include serving as a project officer/grant manager of Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) grants and other EPA Clean Water Act Section 319 grants. The incumbent will also perform technical aspects of EPA 319 funded activities including calculating pollutant load reductions resulting from the implementation of best management practices, performing aerial assessments using geographic information systems (GIS), analyzing and presenting water quality data to stakeholder groups, WRAPS plan review and revisions, as well as grantee reporting mechanism development. As needed the incumbent will serve as lead coordinator of field data collection activities for special WMS projects and those of WMS grantees and contractors. This may include reviewing and/or assisting partners in the development field protocols and quality assurance plans (QAPs) for the collection of biological and chemical water quality samples, habitat surveys and/or performing such activities as needed by WMS.

Job Responsibilities may include but are not limited to the following:

WRAPS Plan Revisions: coordinate with unit manager on a revision process, that will at a minimum, contain the following technical and analytical responsibilities:  Acquire essential existing data from natural resource partners; compile existing assessment results (completed by WMS and other research); analyze water quality data to assess trends since Plan development and implementation; assess all compiled date to determine if the current strategy is sufficient or needs to be modified to insure water quality improvement.  This process will be very interactive with multitude of partners (scientist, biologists, geologists, foresters, engineers) as well as stakeholder such as private landowners and local government officials.  Revision Leader will be responsible for coordinating the finalized process with other Project Officers within KDHE’s WMS section and providing in-house technical assistance.

Serve as Project Leader for all phases of multiple Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) projects. Plan, develop, lead, and coordinate the actions of large groups of local stakeholders made up of scientists, managers, elected officials, and landowners.  Responsible for supervising the activities of a regional unit of WRAPS projects and project coordinators: (A) Independently advises local stakeholders through professional observations and judgments necessary to identify environmental improvements to water quality;  (B) Select and apply appropriate environmental tools including mathematical models and recommend solutions and best management practices to solve specific water quality problems and achieve pollutant reduction goals within the regional unit; (C) Analyze and interpret water quality data for local officials and stakeholder groups and  provide scientific basis to make final decisions of  a technical nature to identify water quality impairments, recommend corrective action through pollutant reduction goals and projects, and to evaluate project performance over time; (D) analyze data and make recommendations to solve specific problems that are not being accomplished; (E) Communicate and coordinate assistance to local stakeholders and external partners regarding Source Water Assessment program principles, objectives and methodologies; and (F) Facilitate cooperation, knowledge and resources from watershed stakeholders.

About the Position:

  • Who can apply: Anyone (External)
  • Classified/Unclassified Service: Unclassified
  • Full-Time/Part-Time: Full-Time
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • Work Schedule: Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm (Flexible schedules available)
  • Eligible to Receive Benefits: Yes
  • Veterans’ Preference Eligible: Yes

Employment Benefits:

  • Comprehensive medical, mental, dental, vision, and additional coverage
  • Sick & Vacation leave
  • Work-Life Balance programs: parental leave, military leave, jury leave, funeral leave
  • Paid State Holidays (designated by the Governor annually)
  • Fitness Centers in select locations
  • Employee discounts with the STAR Program
  • Retirement and deferred compensation programs

Visit the Employee Benefits page for more information.

Minimum Qualifications:


  • Bachelor’s degree in environmental, agricultural, or natural sciences/resources.

Licensing & Certification:

  • Valid Driver’s License – Incumbent is required to have and maintain a valid driver’s license when operating a state vehicle, a private vehicle, or a rental vehicle for the benefit of the State.

Preferred Qualifications:

Any additional skills, experiences, or qualifications that would be beneficial, but aren’t strictly necessary.

  • Master’s degree in environmental, agricultural, or natural sciences/resources.
  • Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access.
  • Proofreading, editing, attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated leadership and teamwork skills.
  • Experience in water pollution control.
  • Knowledge of the principles of natural science related to environmental control or natural resources.
  • Knowledge of the complex and interrelated principles of watershed management and water quality.
  • Knowledge of water pollution biology, chemistry, and bacteriology of water and wastewater.
  • Knowledge of and ability to interpret and apply federal, state, and local environmental and/or conservation.
  • Excellent/well developed oral and written communication abilities.
  • Ability to exercise considerable independent judgment and apply advanced analytical thought.
  • One year of experience in a field of environmental/agricultural sciences or natural sciences/resources.

How to Apply:

Specific instructions for applying, which might include submitting a resume, cover letter, list of references, or completing an online application.

  • Please include the Job ID number when emailing.

Job Application Process:  Only applications submitted within our State of Kansas Careers Portal will be considered.

  • First Sign in or register as a New User at
  • Complete or update your contact information on the State of Kansas Careers Portal > My Contact Information page. *This information is included on all your job applications.
  • Upload required documents listed for each specific job posting.
  • Start your draft job application, upload other required documents, and Submit when it is complete.
    • Manage your draft and submitted applications on the Careers> My Job Applications page.
    • Check your email and My Job Notifications for written communications from the Recruiter.
  • Email – sent to the Preferred email on the My Contact Information page
    • Notifications – view the Careers> My Job Notifications page

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Contact Information:

[email protected]

Salary Range

$ $25.05 to $26.31