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Assistant State Physical Anthropologist (Forensic Scientist 2) / Non-Permanent

State of Washington
Tumwater, Washington
Closing date
Sep 26, 2023

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Position Type
Cultural Resource Management
Full Time
Organization Type
This recruitment will be used to fill a temporary vacancy in the Anthropology Unit at the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. The employment only has funding to last 8 months. Legislative approval is being sought to extend the length of the position but there is no guarantee beyond the 8 months. Application review will be ongoing therefore applicants are encouraged to submit their application materials as soon as possible.

The hiring authority reserves the right and may exercise the option to make a hiring decision at any time. It will be to the applicant's advantage to submit application materials as soon as possible.

Schedule and Salary: While the DAHP allows telework in some cases, this position requires in person work within the agency at its office in Olympia, Washington.

The annual salary range of compensation for this position is dependent upon qualifications, although the expected hiring salary will typically be less than the top of the range, to allow for growth and development movement.

  • Excellent benefits?
  • Career Growth Opportunities?
  • An opportunity to be part of a team of dedicated professionals responsible for historic preservation throughout the State of Washington?
  • Employment opportunities that recognize military veterans and/or military spouse per Governor Executive Order 19-01?
  • Work/Life balance opportunities such as:
  • Infants at Work
  • Telework
  • Alternate Work Schedules

Who We Are:

The Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) is the principal Washington State agency charged with the identification, protection, and regulation of cultural resources, historic properties, and archaeological sites under state and federal laws.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are values central to DAHP's productivity. We strive to be a collaborative workplace that honors and respects authenticity and unique perspectives while advancing our goals of protecting and preserving historical and cultural resources for future generations. We support taking time for self-care and work-life balance to promote personal and professional growth. DAHP recognizes this is a journey and we are constantly learning and taking steps to enhance our commitment to a vision where each one of us is seen, heard and valued.


The Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation is seeking a highly motivated Assistant State Physical Anthropologist. The assistant will work under the direction of the State Physical Anthropologist on the identification, removal, and re-interment of non-forensic human skeletal remains finds throughout the state of Washington.

The assistant may also determine whether additional remains or archaeological deposits may be in a project area once an initial set of remains is identified, coordinate findings with the cemetery database manager, and fill out archaeological site forms.

The assistant will assist the State Physical Anthropologist with the completion of case reports, data entry, site form completion, and official letter notifications.

The assistant will assist with the administration of the grant program reimbursing property owners for the cost of the removal of human remains when the State Physical Anthropologist is unable to conduct removal activities themselves.

  • At the direction of the State Physical Anthropologist, responds to state and local governments when human remains are discovered. Visits discoveries, provides advice, expertise, field analysis, fieldwork, reporting and oversight as necessary, reporting directly to the State Physical Anthropologist.
  • At the direction of the State Physical Anthropologist, notifies Tribes and appropriate parties when human skeletal remains are discovered. Utilizing the Human Remains Database, records information relevant to current human skeletal remains cases and uses the program to generate notification letters to affected tribes and appropriate cemeteries. Tracks responses to those notifications in the case file and database.
  • At the direction of the State Physical Anthropologist, conducts the removal and re-interment of human remains as necessary. Utilizing standard archaeological excavation and recording techniques, excavates non-forensic human skeletal remains.
  • Assists the State Physical Anthropologist with cemetery recording and locational data and provides GIS information relating to cemeteries and burial data to DAHP GIS staff. Works with those staff to correctly record human remains finds.
  • Assists the State Physical Anthropologist in the inventory and analysis of non-forensic human skeletal remains utilizing standard osteological protocols. Compiles draft summary reports regarding non-forensic human skeletal remains finds at the direction of the State Physical Anthropologist. Using clear and concise writing skills, prepares draft summary reports of human skeletal remains cases. These tasks also include the compilation of archaeological site forms utilizing DAHP's WISAARD.
  • Assists the State Physical Anthropologist in conducting training and public outreach activities, as well as presenting research at professional conferences.


At least a Master's degree in either biological anthropology or bioarchaeology

  • Experience in human osteology, bioarchaeology, and/or forensic anthropology.
  • Experience in the identification, analysis, and treatment of human skeletal remains.
  • Experience in preparing professional reports summarizing the analysis and documentation of human skeletal remains.
  • Must meet minimum qualifications for a professional archaeologist as defined in RCW 27.53.030.
  • Experience and expertise in archaeological field methods and theory.
  • Must be able to repeatedly and regularly lift/move/transfer items weighing up to 30 pounds.
  • Knowledge of Section 106, RCW 27.53, RCW 27.44, RCW 68.60, SEPA, NAGPRA and all federal and state laws and regulations as they apply to archaeological properties, cemeteries, and human remains.
  • Must have a valid Washington driver's license or be able to get one upon employment. The position requires expected and frequent travel statewide on short notice.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft programs including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access applications.
  • Excellent research and analytical skills including ability to perform archival research.


Doctoral degree in either biological anthropology or bioarchaeology

  • Significant experience in human osteology, bioarchaeology, and/or forensic anthropology.
  • Experience working with Native North American Tribes and/or Descendant-Communities particularly in the West.
  • Knowledge of GIS applications, land use history, mapping, and land use divisions.
  • Knowledge of forensic osteological programs including FORDISC.

Who May Apply:

The recruitment is open to anyone who meets the minimum qualifications for the Assistant State Physical Anthropologist. The State of Washington is an equal opportunity employer.

How To Apply:

Please complete the on-line application process at If you have questions regarding this announcement, please contact Dr. Guy Tasa at (360) 790-1633 or

Supplemental Information:

Please provide the following documents to be considered; failure to do so may result in you not being considered for the position:
  • A letter of interest, describing how you meet the qualifications for this position as outlined in the job posting;
  • A current resume or vita, detailing experience, and education; and
  • A current list of at least three (3) professional references with current contact information (attached or available to provide at the time of interview)


Education verification is part of the selection process. If selected as a top candidate, all applicant specified education must be verified. Please do not send these transcripts at the time of application. If you are selected as a top candidate, you will be contacted by the Human Resource Division and asked to provide transcripts at the appropriate time.

NOTE: By submitting these materials, you are indicating that all information is true and correct. The state may verify information. Any untruthful or misleading information is cause for removal from the applicant pool or dismissal if employed. A resume will not substitute for completing the "duties summary" section of the application. Please do not refer to resume for detail, or your application may be disqualified.

The candidate evaluation and selection process will include a preliminary screening of application materials for qualifications, clarity, and completeness. The applicants who meet or exceed the required qualifications and possess the most competitive background in directly related experience, knowledge, and training may be invited for interviews and testing by one or more panels.

Opportunity for All:

The DAHP celebrates our differences and we are committed to a workplace that supports equal opportunity employment and inclusion regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, citizenship or immigration status, marital status, families with children (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sex, sexual orientation, gender identity diversity, age, status as a protected veteran, honorably discharged veteran or military status, status as an individual with the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with disabilities or other applicable legally protected characteristics. We will also consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state and local laws.

You are welcome to include the name and pronoun you would like to be referred to in your materials and we will honor this as you interact with our organization.

Contact Information:

Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call through the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.

For questions about this recruitment or to request a reasonable accommodation in the application process, contact Angie Anderson at (360) 407-8446 or email

If you have questions regarding this announcement, please contact Dr. Guy Tasa at (360) 790-1633 or

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