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Who we are

The Science and Technical Support Section ("Science Section") is composed of scientists with a wide variety of backgrounds in applied work. For example, we are fisheries biologists, water quality specialists, hydrologists, hydrogeologists, modelers, terrestrial ecologists, and stream gagers. We have a depth of experience in applied work, with expertise in marine biology and nearshore ecology, environmental chemistry, limnology, risk assessment, toxicology, wildlife biology and biodiversity, and invertebrate zoology.

What we do

The Science Section’s mission is “to provide scientific knowledge, information, and analysis in support of regional environmental resource management.” We collect, analyze, model and interpret information that supports a variety of King County’s environmental programs, including those that address land use, habitat management, wastewater treatment, salmon and biodiversity, water resource, and surface water management.

We monitor water quality of streams, and the Hydrologic Information Center provides flow and temperature data for our streams and rivers. Our benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring program takes our scientists to stream sites all over King County each summer to sample them for stream bugs, which are indicators of stream health. Also, the Science Section often works with the Flooding Services group, who produce flood warnings and alerts data.

We monitor water quality of small lakes and large lakes, and a set of large lake buoys also collect water quality data. We monitor the water quality and temperature of swimming beaches.

We conduct marine monitoring to identify sources of pollution, provide water and sediment quality information for management decisions, and evaluate status and trends of marine waters and sediments within King County.

We monitor groundwater in areas around the county.

We interpret chemical and toxicity data to provide guidance on environmental contamination issues such as contaminant sources and pathways, permit compliance, site remediation, and environmental policy. Our group designs and conducts customized studies to gather additional data as needed and conducts long-term monitoring for toxic chemicals in aquatic biota.

Watershed and Ecological Assessment
We conduct a variety of ecologic and hydrologic assessments for customers in and outside of the County. Our group’s expertise spans fisheries biology, wildlife biology, ecology, botany, hydrology, and geology.

Projects and Programs
We complete many short-term and long-term projects and programs.

What we say

We produce reports and provide information on key scientific questions to inform management and policy decisions.

Science Section Documents
Reports and other materials produced by the Science Section.

Technical Document and Research Center
Technical reports produced by and for King County, especially the Department of Natural Resources and Parks. Includes Metro reports dating back to the 1960s.

Science Seminars
The Science Section periodically hosts science seminars that showcase our work.

SciFYI Newsletter
Newsletter produced by the Science Section to promote the use and general public understanding of scientific data. These newsletters are produced approximately one or more times per year.