U.S. nationals: Student Trainee (Hydrology)

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Sacramento, CA, USA 🇺🇸

Summary

General Information: To be eligible for this position, you must be able to: (1) report to the duty station location listed in this vacancy announcement, if selected; and (2) be available to work the schedule identified. Please note, housing will not be provided.

Salary:
GS-04: $16.95 (Step 01) to $22.03 (Step 10)
GS-05: $18.96 (Step 01) to $24.65 (Step 10)
NOTE: First time hires to the Federal Government are typically hired at the Step 01.

Duties

The USGS California WaterScience Center is seeking an associate, undergraduate, graduate level student working towards a degree in Physical Science, Geology, Hydrology, or Earth Sciences to gain practical experience in water quality, ground water, stream gaging, information management, geographic information systems, and data visualization.

Duties include:

  • Gathers basic hydrologic data concerning any one or a combination of four areas, i.e., quantity, quality, availability, and movement and distribution of water.
  • Develops hydrologic and precipitation data for current projects.
  • Collects and process data to be used in computing stream discharge, determining ground water availability or calculating sediment, chemical, or biological concentrations and physical characteristics.
  • Receives supplemental training in combined office, classroom, and home study of textbooks, publications, and office manuals covering theory, methods, instrumentation and equipment under the tutelage of either a training officer or other qualified professional hydrologists.
  • Operates a government motor vehicle as an incidental driver.

Please Note: Both grade levels perform a wide range of tasks similar in nature to those described in the above listing of functional area duties and responsibilities. At the lower level the intern will be assigned work designed to further develop and refine their technical knowledge and skills. Assignments will typically combine productive work with ongoing training and instruction. Supervision received at the lower grade level will be closer with oversight and review being provided on a regular basis.

Physical Demands: Work is physically demanding and includes walking, bending, climbing, and lifting of equipment up to 100 pounds when in the field, sometimes during adverse weather conditions.

Work Environment: The work is primarily performed outdoors, and involves moderate or sometimes extreme exposure to the discomforts of rain, cold/hot weather, and rapidly running or icy streams and rivers. Special safety precautions are required in many cases, and the employee typically wears life jackets, special safety boots, waders, and reflective rain gear. Help

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

Key Requirements:

  1. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens.
  2. Suitable for Federal employment, as determined by background investigation.
  3. The entire period served under the Intern Program counts as a trial period.
  4. Selectee must provide a valid state driver’s license & safe driving record.
  5. Selectee subject to successful completion of a pre-employment medical exam.

Are There Any Special Requirements For This Position?

  • If selected you may be asked to provide information regarding your COVID-19 vaccination status for the purposes of implementing workplace safety protocols, such as those related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.
  • Because this position requires travel for official business, the selectee will be required to apply for a charge card within 30 calendar days of appointment. Individuals who have delinquent account balances from a previous Government charge card will be required to satisfy their existing obligation before a new card can be issued.
  • If selected, you will be required to provide official transcripts &/or letter from the school stating you are enrolled in a degree/certificateprogram on at least a half time basis in good standing and your expected graduation date.
  • If converted to a permanent or term appointment, the anticipated target position will be a Hydrologic Technician with an FPL of a GS-5; however, the target position and FPL may change based on the need of the organization at that time. Interns must meet the qualification requirements for the position to which converted.
  • A background investigation will be required for this position. Continued employment will be subject to the applicant’s successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.

Qualifications

Eligibility Requirements – Eligibility requirements for an appointment under the Pathways Internship Program:

  • You must be a student accepted for enrollment or enrolled in a degree or certificate program on a full- or half-time basis as defined by the school (certificate program means post-secondary education, in a qualifying educational institution, equivalent to at least one academic year of full-time study that is part of an accredited college-level, technical, trade, vocational, or business school curriculum); AND
  • Enrollment is with a qualifying educational institution such as a high school or state-approved homeschool; or accredited technical or vocational school; a 2- or 4-year college or university; a graduate or professional school (e.g., law school, medical school); or a post-secondary home school curriculum; AND
  • Students currently enrolled must be in good academic standing maintaining a 2.0 grade point average on a cumulative basis; AND
  • The duties of this position should be related to your academic or career goals.

You must continue to meet these eligibility requirements throughout the duration of your appointment under the Pathways Internship Program.


Qualification Requirements – This internship is geared toward students majoring in one of the following areas of study: Hydrology.

For GS-04 Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-04 level:

Six months of general experience and 6 months of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-03 level in the Federal service that is in or related to the duties of this position. NOTE: Excess specialized experience beyond the required 6 months may be substituted for general experience; i.e., one year of creditable specialized experience will meet the requirements for 6 months of general experience and 6 months of specialized experience. General experience is any type of work that demonstrates the applicant’s ability to perform the work of the position to be filled, OR experience that provided a familiarity with the subject matter or processes of the broad subject area of the occupation for which the applicant is applying.

Specialized experience may include work as a technician or aid in engineering, earth, physical, or natural science, forestry, soil conservation, or surveying; trades or crafts work in maintenance or construction of facilities or equipment related to hydrology; drafting; or construction estimating if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position.

Examples of GS-03 level work assignments include: 1) Performing minor repairs at gaging stations, to water level recorders and other equipment used in hydrologic investigations; 2) Assisting in making measurements of stream flow or making simple current meter measurements on small streams; 3) Recording routine measurements of water levels at specified observations wells; 4) Collecting water quality samples and assisting in making laboratory determinations of water quality parameters by predetermined methods; 5) Maintaining and assisting in readying current meters and sampling equipment for field work. For examples 1-5, a designated authority made assignments by giving complete, explicit oral and/or written instructions at the beginning of each assignment, covering work methods, available equipment, procedures, reference guidelines, etc. Recurring assignments were carried out within well-established procedures, with minimal instruction and were only infrequently spot checked or observed by a designated authority. Less routine assignments were occasionally checked in progress or upon completion.

**OR** applicants may substitute successful completion of two full years of study that included at least 12 semester hours, or the equivalent, in any combination of courses such as engineering, industrial technology, construction drafting, surveying, physical science, biology, or mathematics.

**OR** a combination of successfully completed post-high school education and specialized and/or general experience may be used to meet the qualification requirements for the GS-04 level. NOTE: When crediting education to meet any part of the experience requirement, such education must include the appropriate number of directly related credit hours required in any combination of courses such as engineering, industrial technology, construction drafting, surveying, physical science, biology, or mathematics. When crediting this education, you must prorate the number of hours of directly related courses required as a proportion of the total education to be used. HOW TO COMBINE EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE


For GS-05: Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-05 level.

One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-04 level in the Federal service that is in or related to the duties of this position. Specialized experience may include work as a technician or aid in engineering, earth, physical, or natural science, forestry, soil conservation, or surveying; trades or crafts work in maintenance or construction of facilities or equipment related to hydrology; drafting; or construction estimating if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position.

Examples of GS-4 level work assignments include: 1) Making adjustments and minor repairs to water level recorders, or other equipment used in water investigations; 2) Following well-defined methods and designated formulas; computing, extracting, compiling, and presenting geological or hydrologic data in prescribed tabular or graphic form; 3) Computing mean daily gage heights from water stage record charts, editing record tapes, and making corrections based on field notes. For examples 1-3, the work assignments involved familiar conditions, concepts, and methods that were made in terms of the objectives to be achieved without explicit instruction as to work methods. Assignments involving new, more difficult, or unfamiliar areas of work were given with more specific guidance. Explicit instructions were provided for solving technical problems involving unfamiliar conditions, methods, or concepts.

**OR** Applicants may substitute successful completion of a full four year course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree (a) with major study in an appropriate field of science (i.e., geology, chemistry, physics, geophysics, biology, ecology, mathematics, soils, forestry, meteorology, hydrology, oceanography, physical science, atmospheric science) engineering, construction, or industrial technology, or (b) that included at least 24 semester hours, or the equivalent, in any combination of courses such as engineering, industrial technology, construction drafting, surveying, physical science, biology, or mathematics.

**OR** A combination of successfully completed post-high school education and specialized experience may be used to meet the qualification requirements for GS-05. Only progressive education in excess of the first 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours (i.e., beyond the first two years) of a course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree is creditable toward meeting the specialized experience requirement, assuming the education includes the appropriate number of directly related semester hours, or the equivalent, in any combination of courses such as engineering, industrial technology, construction drafting, surveying, physical science, biology, or mathematics. HOW TO COMBINE EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE

You must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements for the position by 04/29/2022.

Education

  • 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.
  • Education completed in colleges or universities outside the United States may be used to meet the above requirements. You must provide acceptable documentation that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. HOW FOREIGN EDUCATION IS EVALUATED

POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL