U.S. nationals: Hydrologist

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Ephrata, WA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Experience Level: 
Not Specified


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.


Reclamation is seeking a career professional looking for an opportunity to capitalize on his or her expertise as a Hydrologist. Make a difference in the West by assisting in meeting increasing water demands while protecting the environment. 

Here is an opportunity to join a great organization with excellent growth potential!


  • Performs a variety of work in water operations and management of the Columbia Basin Project reservoirs and water conveyance systems.
  • Schedules, collects, tracks, and verifies hydrologic data from analog and digital sources at over 20 gauging stations.
  • Plans, manages, and conducts water quality data collection and sampling, including sampling handling and shipping, while following scientifically accepted sampling and collection techniques and processes.
  • Plans, manages, and conducts snow surveys of the Crab Creek drainage to formulate short and long-range runoff studies designed to produce comprehensive data used to show their impact to Project facilities.
  • Operates Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system to adjust canal structures, canal levels, and reservoir levels.
  • Trains and instructs field technicians or other employees to collect water quality data and samples.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Occasional travel may be required.

Supervisory status No

Promotion Potential 11


Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizenship or National
  • Suitability for Federal employment determined by a background investigation
  • Must submit a resume and supporting documentation - See How to Apply
  • Must meet specialized experience requirements - See Qualifications
  • Submit transcripts to verify education requirements
  • For veterans consideration, submit documents under Required Documents

Applicants must meet all qualification requirements and any selective factors, by the closing date of the announcement.


Basic Education Requirements: 

  • 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. OR
  • Combination of education and experience -- course work as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Specialized Experience Requirements:

In addition to the basic education requirement, in order to be rated as qualified for this position, the HR Office must be able to determine that the applicant meets the specialized experience requirement - this information must be included in the resume.

To qualify at the GS-09 level applicants must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-07 in Federal service. Specialized experience at this level is defined as: computing and compiling hydrographic data to prepare rating tables, data reports on flood stage and discharge, canal diversions, and reservoir regulation; OR 2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree; OR master's; OR equivalent graduate degree; OR a combination of graduate level education and professional experience that meets 100% of the qualification requirements for this position.

To qualify at the GS-11 level applicants must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-09 in Federal service. Specialized experience at this level is defined as: experience directing, maintaining and developing a hydrography program; updating hydrologic curves for reservoir operation; identifying and adapting new flow measurement technologies such as Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers and Acoustic Velocity Meters as well as determining and using the appropriate instruments to use for flow measurement, groundwater monitoring, water level measurement and other measurement parameters at new and existing gauging stations and locations; OR 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree; OR Ph.D.; OR equivalent doctoral degree; OR a combination of education and experience that meets 100% of the qualification requirement for this position.

Preferred applicant has ability to write utility programs using standard programming language (e.g., C++ or similar) and correct minor software problems.

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. Applicants will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

If selected, the selectee will be required to provide official college transcripts to verify educational qualifications. An official transcript bears the University Seal and a signature certifying its authenticity and must be provided from the institution awarding the degree. Academic transcripts certified by notary publics are NOT official. Official transcripts must be submitted prior to reporting to work as a condition of employment. Failure to submit official transcripts may be grounds for dismissal or rescission of the job offer.


This vacancy announcement allows substituting education for experience. Applicants must submit a copy of college transcript(s) (unofficial copy is acceptable) to support claimed education if substituting education for experience. Transcripts must include the name of the college or university and date the degree was conferred. Non-submission may result in being rated not-qualified for the position.

This position has a mandatory education requirement. Applicants must submit a copy of college transcript(s) (unofficial copy is acceptable) to support claimed education if substituting education for experience. Transcripts must include the name of the college or university and date the degree was conferred. Non-submission will result in being rated not-qualified for the position.

Foreign Education: To receive credit for education completed outside the United States, applicants must show proof that the education has been submitted to a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign educational credentials and such education has been deemed at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education programs.

Additional information

Position is being advertised concurrently under BR-PN-VA-CCA-19-147 for current Federal employees serving under a competitive service career or career-conditional appointment or reinstatement eligible. Applicants interested in applying under both announcement numbers, must submit application packages for each.

Reclamation has determined that the duties of this position are suitable for telework and the selectee may be allowed to telework with supervisory approval. 

The career ladder promotion potential of this position is the GS-11 level.  However, this position may be filled at a lower grade. If so, when and if it is determined that a subsequent promotion is warranted, it may be made without further competition.  Promotion up to and including the GS-11 level is neither guaranteed nor automatic.

Location – Ephrata, WA http://www.usbr.gov/pn/about/hr/area-information.html

At the present time, we have one vacancy; however, this announcement may be used to fill additional, equivalent positions at this duty location.

Applicants initially appointed to a career-conditional position must serve a 1-year probationary period.

Current permanent Federal employees who are selected from this announcement may be required to serve a 1-year probationary period.

DOI uses E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E-Verify, including applicant rights and responsibilities, please visit www.dhs.gov/E-Verify.

Selective Service:  Male applicants born after December 31, 1959 must certify registration with the Selective Service System or that the applicant is exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law.  Go to: http://www.sss.gov

Public Trust Background Investigation. The selectee must successfully undergo Public Trust background investigation. The selectee will be required to undergo a reinvestigation of his/her background every 5 years.  If the selectee is found to be unsuitable for the position, either initially or upon the reinvestigation, he/she will be removed from the position.

Will be required to be on call for operations during a scheduled weekly rotation for a significant part of each year and emergencies all year. Will be required to work overtime, holidays, as weekends on an assigned weekly shift. 

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Category rating and selection procedures will be used to evaluate applications from this announcement. If an applicant meets the basic qualification requirements, his/her on-line responses to the vacancy assessment questionnaire will be used to determine the quality and extent of his/her experience, education, training, etc., for placement in one of the following categories: 1) Best Qualified, 2) Well Qualified, and 3) Qualified. Qualified candidates will be assigned a numerical score on a scale of 70-100 and veterans with preference will be placed at the top of the respective category. The assessment questionnaire will take approximately 45 minutes to complete.

Applicants will be further evaluated on the following “Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs)” through his/her resume and responses to the online questions. 

KSA 1: Professional knowledge of hydrology, the hydrologic cycle and water resources in order to perform surface water measurements, data collection, and records computations.

KSA 2: Skill in the use of computers, calculators, water measuring devices, radios, and electronic telemetry equipment, and interpretation of hydrologic data.

KSA 3: Knowledge to use computers to analyze, compile and report water records and hydrologic data. 

Applicant’s answers to questions will be verified against information provided in their online resume. Be sure that the resume clearly supports the responses to all the questions by addressing experience, education, and/or training relevant to this position. Applicants must make a fair and accurate assessment of their qualifications. If a determination is made that an applicant has rated themselves higher than is apparent in his/her description of experience, competencies, skills, and/or education/training OR that his/her resume/application is incomplete, the applicant may be rated ineligible or his/her score may be lowered.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance Not Required

Drug test required No

Required Documents

To be considered for this position, applicants are required to submit a resume (with dates of employment, i.e. years and months), an on-line assessment questionnaire, and the following supporting documents, as appropriate.

DD-214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty:  Applicants who are entitled to veterans’ preference must submit a copy of his/her DD-214 (Member 4 Copy), or an official statement of service from his/her command if he/she is currently on active duty, or other official documentation (e.g., documentation of receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal) that proves the applicants military service was performed under honorable conditions. If the applicant has a compensable service connected disability, submit a Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and the required documentation requested by this form, in addition to the DD-214.

For information on veteran's eligibility visit: https://www.fedshirevets.gov/hire/hrp/vetguide/index.aspx

CTAP/ICTAP: CTAP/ICTAP provides placement assistance to permanent Federal employees who are surplus, displaced, or involuntarily separated. Applicants claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit a copy of their most recent performance appraisal, proof of eligibility, and most current SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with their application. To be considered under CTAP/ICTAP, applicants must be well-qualified (i.e., meet the minimum qualification requirements, including selective factors, education and experience requirements) and score at least 85.0 on the assessment questionnaire as established, and be able to perform the duties of the position upon entry. 

For information on CTAP visit:  https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/unique-hiring-paths/f...

For information on ICTAP visit:  https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/unique-hiring-paths/f...

Applicants MUST furnish a copy of college transcripts.  If selected, the applicant will be required to provide official college transcripts to verify educational qualifications prior to reporting for work.


A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.

Working for the Bureau of Reclamation offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. To explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees, visit: http://www.opm.gov/insure/fastfacts/quickguide.pdf

How to Apply

Applications (resume and assessment questionnaire) for this vacancy MUST be received online BEFORE midnight Eastern Time (Washington, DC time) on the closing date of this announcement. To apply, click the blue APPLY ONLINE button at the top of the page.

This vacancy is being announced through Bureau of Reclamation’s Hiring System—HireMe. For more information, please visit: https://www.usbr.gov/hr/

As part of the on-line application process, applicants may be required to submit supporting documents. Failure to submit the requested supporting documents may result in the applicant not being considered for this position. Options for submitting supporting documentation include:

  • Auto Requested Fax or uploading from the applicants USAJOBS profile – instructions provided during the online application process
  • E-mail to
  • Fax directly to the HR Office at (208) 378-5023
  • Mail to the Bureau of Reclamation, ATTN: PN-1446, 1150 North Curtis Road, Suite 100, Boise, Idaho 83706-1234 – or – 
  • Hand deliver to the Bureau of Reclamation, Human Resources – Room 109, 1150 North Curtis Road, Boise, Idaho.

Include the applicant name and vacancy number on supporting documents.

Agency contact information

Human Resources

Phone 208-378-5155

Fax 208-378-5023



1150 N. Curtis Road, Suite 100
Attn: PN-1446 
Boise, Idaho 83706-1234
United States