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Toxicologist - Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Notice!This listing has expired and should not be applied for.
Location: Helena, MT
Full-time position
Closing Date: open until filled
Job #11583
Posted: June 30, 2017

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) is recruiting a Toxicologist and an Environmental Health Epidemiologist to lead the Montana Environmental Health Education and Assessment (MEHEA) program. These staff will conduct public health risk assessments or exposure investigations in communities with state or federal superfund sites and brownfields. This work will require close coordination with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and local government. These staff will also provide technical assistance on other environmental health issues such as fish consumption or harmful algal blooms.

This is a new program at DPHHS. We are looking for energetic professionals to lead this new work at DPHHS. Excellent communication skills and the ability to provide excellent customer service are a must!  This position is located in beautiful Helena, Montana where world-class fishing, hiking, biking, skiing and camping are out your front door.

Conduct Health Assessments, Health Consultations, and Exposure Investigations

  • Provides specialized technical assistance and interpretations of data to the Superfund program and to state, local and other federal agencies related to the human health impacts of hazardous wastes, toxic substances, and pesticides on the environment at and near hazardous waste sites.
  • Prepares detailed scientific reports and documents for use by state, local, and federal agencies for use in the evaluation of hazardous substance problems, including recommended procedures for protection of human health.
  • Directs monitoring and epidemiologic studies on certain high priority or high risk chemicals and identifies potential toxic chemical problems at hazardous site through the conduct of toxic characterizations studies.
  • Designs, critiques, and evaluates results of exposure-based data gathering efforts at hazardous sites.
  • Advises state, local, and federal agencies on toxicological issues which relate to potential response actions at hazardous sites.  
  • Responds to requests for assistance from the pubic related to local conditions at hazardous waste sites being addressed by federal or state superfund programs.
  • Develops protocols to respond to investigation of emergent health situations.
  • Prepares Health Assessment, Health Consultation, and Exposure Investigation reports following Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) guidelines. 

 Consultation and Education    

  • Provides consultation and assistance to state, local, and federal agency staff as well as community members related to risks and mitigation recommendations at hazardous waste sites. 
  • Provides toxicology consultation to divisions throughout Department of Public Health and Human Services and other state agencies.
  • Develops and conducts various trainings related to toxicology and environmental health related issues.                 

Project and Program Management     

  • Project management includes planning, coordinating, and directing interdisciplinary (toxicology, chemistry, epidemiology, ecology,) technical studies, designs, and construction plans and specifications.
  • Grant management including grant reporting and regular communication with funding agency.
  • Budget management and oversight.
  • Management of Core Activity Work Plans using the performance management system HealthStat. 


  • Conducts staff meetings and promotes information exchange.
  • Recommends and justifies requests for additional personnel as necessary and hires employees.
  • Determines training needs of staff through analysis of program effectiveness; new standards, specifications, technologies, and policies; and staff performance. 
  • Evaluates the performance of positions directly supervised and completes performance evaluations. 
  • Ensures staff complies with personnel rules, regulations, and policies. 

Physical and Environmental Demands

Most work is conducted in a typical office environment with occasional (several times a year) site visits, which will expose the employee to local weather and may expose the employee to unpleasant and noxious fumes and odors.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of toxicological science and risk assessment sufficient to modify or adapt standard techniques, processes, and procedures, to assess and apply precedents to devise strategies and plans to overcome significant scientific problems. This includes intensive knowledge and competence in advanced techniques of a highly complex area of toxicology sufficient to serve as a trouble shooter, specialist, or coordinator.
  • Experience in exposure assessment and risk assessment for toxic chemical or radiological environmental hazard sites.
  • Ability to analyze environmental information and determine potential human health risk.
  • Ability to provide outstanding customer service.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills including risk communication and public speaking.
  • Ability to identify problems, researching to develop and implement solutions.
  • Ability to work with a variety of interest groups and the general public.
  • Ability to delegate work, guide and mentor staff.


Minimum Qualifications

  • PhD or Master’s degree in toxicology, pharmacology, environmental health or environmental sciences, ecology, or a closely related degree.
  • Three years of job related experience in toxicology or public health risk assessment.
  • Other combinations of directly related education and experience may be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Preferred Qualifications

  • PhD in in toxicology, pharmacology, environmental health or environmental sciences, ecology, or a closely related degree.
  • Bachelor’s and master’s coursework  that includes 15 term hours (10 semester) in toxicology, 20 term hours (14 semester) in chemistry (including inorganic, organic, and biochemistry) and 35 term (24 semester) hours in any combination of the following:  physiology, histology, pathology, statistics, environmental science, microbiology, physical or environmental chemistry (in addition to the above indicated 20 term hours), anatomy, pharmacology, epidemiology, industrial hygiene, toxicology (in addition to the above indicated 15 term hours) or vertebrate biology or zoology.
  • One year of professional experience in assessing and controlling the impact of toxic substances on human health and the environment and/or supervision experience.

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