Water Quality Specialist

Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

Salary: $30.73 – $36.30 Hourly
Location: P7160, MN
Job Type: Full-time
Division: Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board
Job Number: REQ00758
Closing: 11/29/2022 4:00 PM Central


Established in 1883, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) oversees a renowned urban park system spanning 6,809 acres of parkland and water. Featured among its 180 park properties are 55 miles of parkways, 102 miles of Grand Rounds biking and walking paths, 22 lakes, 12 formal gardens, 7 golf courses and 49 recreation centers. The MPRB is proud to provide services, programs and activities that meet the park and recreation needs of diverse communities and ensure race equity, gender inclusion and universal access.  Altogether, MPRB properties receive about 26 million visitors annually, and employs approximately 617 full-time and 1,400 part-time and seasonal employees. 

Park it here for an exciting career by joining the #1 urban park system in the United States as recognized by the Trust for Public Land in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2020.


As a Water Quality Specialist, you will design, coordinate and implement water quality sampling of lakes, storm sewers, best management practices, streams, and groundwater monitoring wells on city-wide lakes.  Specialist will have extensive use of various hand-held meters and auto-monitoring equipment while following precise procedures to document and analyze data to fulfill annual reporting requirements. Start date for this position will be on or after January 3, 2023.  

What You’ll Do

  • Responsible to perform water quality sampling and monitoring of stormwater ponds, wetlands, innovative best management practices, groundwater, lakes, and streams to ensure compliance with federal and state water quality standards individually and as part of a team.
  • Expertly install and operate a variety of manual and automatic water monitoring and sampling equipment (e.g. Hydrolab, HOBO, YSI, ISCO)
  • Troubleshoot, maintain, repair, and calibrate a variety of water sampling and monitoring equipment.
  • Efficiently enter and maintain data using appropriate software.
  • Effectively identify data outside of norms.  Use various software and watershed computer models to calculate statistics for reporting purposes (e.g. R, Excel, P8, Flowlink).
  • Accurately write reports in compliance with reporting requirements and maintain proper records.
  • Accurately prepare reports on water quality sampling findings and trends for MPRB staff, the general public, and other public agencies (e.g. City of Minneapolis, DNR).
  • Assist in conducting aquatic plant surveys utilizing GPS and GIS tools.
  • Assist MPRB in identifying and addressing the park and recreation needs of underserved and under-represented communities.

What To Bring

Need to Have:
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in ecology, limnology, geology, hydrology, environmental science, engineering or a related field.
  • Experience in water quality sampling and field work:  at least one (1) year.
  • Combination of coursework and experience equivalent to the above may be considered.
  • Experience with canoes, boats and boat trailers.
  • Valid driver’s license.
Physical Requirements
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential duties of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential duties.

Climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, reaching, standing, walking, driving, pushing, pulling, lifting, fingering, grasping, feeling, talking, hearing, seeing, and repetitive motions.

Medium Work:  Exerting up to 50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 20 pounds of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects.

The ability to safely operate a motor vehicle as incumbents are subject to local travel to and from work locations.  Ability to safely operate canoe, boat with outboard motor, and operate a truck with a boat trailer.  Operating office equipment requiring continuous or repetitive hand/arm movements.  The ability to remain sitting or standing for extended periods of time.

The incumbent may be required to traverse on rough, uneven terrain as well as wet and slippery surfaces and to ascend and descend ladders to access work areas.  Regular work occurs in outside weather conditions year round including hot and humid summer conditions, rain, and conditions below freezing in winter months.

Incumbent must have or be able to obtain confined space entry training as there is periodic work in confined spaces (e.g. storm sewers).

Combination of field and office work.  Field work occurs year round with the bulk of outdoor work occurring between April and November.

 Skills Crucial to Success in This Role: 
  • Knowledge of water quality, flow-monitoring, and sampling experience. 
  • Knowledge of GIS and GPS techniques, software, and equipment.
  • Displays strong computer skills including word processing, database management, development and use of spreadsheets, and statistical functions.
  • Ability to work in a team environment and adapt to changing conditions and situations.
  • Ability to work independently  within the framework of a team.
  • Provide both oral and written communication that is easily understood and direct in its content.
  • Effectively convey technical information and presentations to a wide range of audiences.
  • Outstanding customer service principles and practices and standards for a diverse customer base. 

Additional Information

FLSA Status:  Non-Exempt
Union:  AFSCME

Job Information Session:  A 30 minute Job Information Session will be held on Friday, November 18, 2022 at 3:00PM via telephone conference. This is your opportunity to ask questions about the position and to gain a better understanding of the civil service application process.  Interested parties are encouraged to attend.  Please join us via phone conference at (612) 230-6594. 

View a full list of qualifications and job description 

Learn more about Veteran’s Preference

Selection Process:

To apply for this full-time civil service position, applicants must complete an online application with supplemental questions at www.minneapolisparks.org/jobs.  Late applications will be rejected.

What steps the selection process involves:

  • We review your minimum qualifications.
  • We rate your training and experience based on application materials and supplemental questions (30%).
  • We conduct a structured panel interview (oral exam) (70%).
  • We calculate your civil service score based on the above components and place you on the eligible list if all testing components are passed (passing score for each component and as an overall score is 70.00 or above).  Eligible list will expire in three (3) months.
  • We refer the top finalists to the hiring manager for an interview.
  • References, including verification of employment and work performance, may be considered. 
  • We conduct a background check.  Upon receiving a conditional offer of employment, the applicant will be asked to sign an informed consent allowing the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to obtain their criminal history in connection with the positions sought. View the MPRB Background Check Policy at https://www.minneapolisparks.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Background-Check-Policy.pdf
  • Upon receiving a conditional offer of employment, applicants will also need to successfully pass a pre-employment physical examination paid for by the MPRB.

Please note that HR reserves the right to limit the number of people invited to successive testing events.

The MPRB is a tobacco-free workplace and park system.

The MPRB is an Equal Opportunity Employer.