U.S. nationals: Hydrologist

U.S. Forest Service (USFS)

Moscow, ID, USA 🇺🇸



This position is located in Moscow, Idaho, at the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station.

As a member of a research team, the hydrologist operates and maintains research databases; prepares maps and graphs; collects data; interprets hydrologic surveys; analyzes data on watershed streamflow; and conducts quality assurance for hydrometeorological and rainfall data.

For more information about the position contact Dr. Peter Robichaud at 208-883-2349 or [email protected]
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  • Maintains research databases; and prepares maps, remote sensed imagery, graphs, and other presentation materials using software packages.
  • Performs data compilation, quality assurance and statistical analysis for hydrometeorological data, including streamflow, temperature, rainfall data and remote sensed imagery.
  • Prepares and processes sediment samples to determine sediment characteristics using gravimetric methods
  • Compiles reports of processed samples and analyzes data to calculate standard streamflow and precipitation metrics and assess sensor functions at each monitoring station.
  • Compare observed data to hydrologic computer models with statistical analysis and report on findings.
  • Develops and implements quality control and assurance plans for the laboratory, and statistically analyzes hydrologic data to determine the causes of data anomalies
  • Develops, maintains, and trouble-shoots software used at various stages in sample processing and reporting, as well as software used in processing and documenting other hydrologic and remote sensing data from monitoring sites.

Travel Required

25% or less – Post Pandemic-Occasional overnight travel to attend professional meetings and for travel to the field to train staff and monitor Quality Control.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


Job family (Series)

1315 Hydrology

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Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
  • Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered for Selective Service or exempt.
  • Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
  • Successful completion of one-year probationary period, unless previously served.
  • Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution.
  • Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify.


To qualify, you must meet the eligibility and qualifications requirements as defined below by the closing date of the announcement. For more information on the qualifications for this position, visit the Office of Personnel Management’s General Schedule Qualification Standards.

Your application and resume must clearly show that you possess the experience requirements. Transcripts must be provided for qualifications based on education. Provide university course descriptions as necessary.

Basic Requirement for Hydrology Series (1315):
Degree: physical or natural science, or engineering that included at least 30 semester hours in any combination of courses in hydrology, the physical sciences, geophysics, chemistry, engineering science, soils, mathematics, aquatic biology, atmospheric science, meteorology, geology, oceanography, or the management or conservation of water resources. The course work must have included at least 6 semester hours in calculus (including both differential and integral calculus), and at least 6 semester hours in physics. Calculus and physics, as described above, are requirements for all grade levels.


Combination of education and experience: course work as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
Evaluation of Experience: Acceptable experience must have included performance of scientific functions related to the study of water resources, based on and requiring a professional knowledge of related sciences and the consistent application of basic scientific principles to the solution of theoretical and practical hydrologic problems. The following is illustrative of acceptable experience: field or laboratory work that would require application of hydrologic theory and related sciences such as geology, geo-chemistry, geophysics, or civil engineering to making observations, taking samples, operating instruments, assembling data from source materials, analyzing and interpreting data, use hydrologic computer models, compare model output to observed data with statistical analysis and reporting findings orally and in writing. In some cases, professional scientific experience that is not clearly water resource experience may be acceptable if such experience was preceded by appropriate education in hydrology or by professional hydrology experience.

Applicants with related experience in hydrology gained through earlier Federal Government employment might have gained that experience in one or more occupational series. Such series include Soil Conservation, GS-457; Forestry, GS-460; Soil Science, GS-470; Civil Engineering, GS-810; Chemistry, GS-1320; Meteorology, GS-1340; and Geology, GS-1350. Comparable non-Federal experience may be given similar credit.

In addition to meeting the basic requirement, you must also possess experience and/or directly related education in the amounts listed below.

Minimum Qualifications for GS-09:
One year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the next lower grade level (GS-07) or equivalent in the federal service. To qualify at this level, your resume must show 4 out of the 5 following specialized experience:

–Compile and analyze data to answer hydrologic questions and compare hydrologic model results to collected data.
–Write hydrologic report, develop spatial data layers and maps, and orally present finding for scientific or resource management documents.
–Compare data to existing hydrologic model outputs and their results as compared to collected samples with statistical analysis.
–Implement quality control procedures to ensure accurate measurements and efficient data processing.
–Operate hydrologic sensors (turbidity probes, pressure transducers) or sampling equipment (drones) at field sites.
a master’s or equivalent graduate degree or 2 full years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.B. or J.D., directly related to the work of this Hydrologist position. Examples of directly related education are: watershed science, forest hydrology, hydrologic engineering, hydrogeology, hydrology, environmental engineering, civil engineering, agricultural engineering, and soil science.
an appropriate combination of specialized experience and education. Only graduate education in excess of 18 semester hours may be used to qualify applicants for this grade level. The education must have been obtained in an accredited college or university and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.


See required education listed above.