U.S. nationals: Physical Scientist

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Sacramento, CA, USA 🇺🇸

Summary

What General Information Do I Need To Know About This Position?

This is a term appointment not to exceed 13 months with possible extensions up to a total of 4 years without further competition. Appointment to this position will not convey permanent status in the Federal service.

Learn more about this agency

This job is open to

Duties

Salary Information:

GS-5: $41,514 (Step 01) to $53,973 (Step 10)
GS-7: $51,425 (Step 01) to $66,852 (Step 10)
GS-9: $62,903 (Step 01) to $81,771 (Step 10)
NOTE: First time hires to the Federal Government are typically hired at the Step 01.

DUTIES:

As a physical Scientist within the California Water Science Center, some of your specific duties will include:

  • Participates in development of project proposals that summarize critical information relating to the objective, approach, funding, and expected results of proposed investigations.
  • Plans and carries out a wide range of surface-water data collection assignments such as collecting precipitation data, measuring snow fall as part of a snow survey, measuring flow in streams, performing second-order leveling, assessing streambed conditions, flagging highwater marks and collecting data to compute indirect measurements and flood stage.
  • Plans and implements construction and/or installation gages to collect hydrologic information.
  • Uses GIS technology to create straightforward digital maps that contain scientific data.
  • Collects and performs analysis of photogrammetric, GPS data, generation of digital elevation models. Construction and analysis of differences among time series of digital elevation models.
  • Synthesizes data; writes technical reports and prepares portions of scientific papers.
  • Performs analyses and evaluations and formulates scientific findings.
  • Operates a government vehicle as an incidental driver.
  • May operate boats up to 25 feet in length.

NOTE: Above duties are for the GS-09 level. For the lower grade levels, the selectee will perform a wide range of tasks described in the above duties, but at a lower level of work designed to further develop and refine the knowledge and skills of the individual. Assignments will typically combine productive work with on-going training and instruction. Supervision received at the lower level will be closer with oversight and review being provided more frequently.

Physical Demands
The work requires some physical exertion and may require prolonged standing in the laboratory environment. Field assignments involve outdoor work where there is considerable walking and climbing over rough or mountainous terrain. The work requires physical exertion such as lifting heavy objects over 50 pounds and crawling in restrictive spaces.

Work Environment
Work is performed in a field, laboratory and/or office setting. Work performed in the laboratory may involve use of equipment which can result in exposure to dust, toxic chemicals, mechanical and electrical hazards, and noise. Special safety precautions are required including use of laboratory equipment coats, safety glasses, dust masks, gloves, etc. Work in the field involves exposure to extreme outdoor weather conditions with exposure to poisonous growth and insects involving a high risk with exposure to dangerous situations.

Conditions of Employment of the USGS Watercraft Safety Program:

  • Must be able to take and pass the Motorboat Operator Certification Course (MOCC) within six (6) months of employment. (Only applicable for those operating a boat).
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain First Aid and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) certification for the duration of employment.
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain Wilderness or Advanced First Aid certification for duration of employment. (Only applicable for employees who will be over an hour away from emergency services while on a boat).

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

Key Requirements:

  1. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens.
  2. Suitable for Federal employment, as determined by background investigation.
  3. Selectee may be subject to serving a one-year 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.
  6. More requirements are listed under Qualifications and Other Information.

Are There Any Special Requirements For This Position?

  • This vacancy is limited to the first 50 applications received and will close at midnight Eastern Time on the day this application limit is reached regardless of the closing date specified in this vacancy announcement. Any application received prior to midnight Eastern Time of the day the application limit is reached will be accepted and considered. You are strongly encouraged to submit all required supporting documents at the time of application should the vacancy close earlier than stated in this announcement due to the applicant limit being reached. Supporting documents will not be accepted once the vacancy announcement closes.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Throughout the recruitment and hiring process we will be communicating with you via email; therefore, it is imperative that the email address you provide when applying for this vacancy remains active. Should your email address change, please notify the point of contact identified in the vacancy announcement as soon as possible so that we can update our system.

Qualifications

For GS-05
BASICEDUCATIONREQUIREMENT: Applicants must meet A or B below to satisfy the basic education requirement for Physical Scientist, at all grade levels.

A. Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor’s or higher degree in physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours or the equivalent in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics.

**OR

B. A combination of education and experience–education equivalent to one of the majors shown in “A” above (24 semester hours or the equivalent in physical science, engineering, or mathematics) that included at least 24 semester hours or the equivalent in physical science and/or related engineering science as described above, plus appropriate experience and/or additional education for a total of 4 years. The education or combined education and experience must be comparable in type, scope and thoroughness to that acquired through successful completion of a 4-year course of study as described in “A” above. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE)

For GS-07
In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-07 level:

**One year of successfully completed graduate level education (18 semester hours, 27 quarter hours or the equivalent) in physical science or other directly related field of study if it provided the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to do the work of the position to be filled.

**OR Superior Academic Achievement based on undergraduate study. (CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SUPERIOR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT).

**OR one year of appropriate professional experience that is in or related to the duties of the position to be filled is qualifying if it is equivalent to at least the GS-5 level in the Federal service, and if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position.

Examples of GS-5 level experience could include taking measurements and collecting information; learning to take proper samples; conducting routine calculating, plotting, and checking of numerical data; preparing graphs and data profiles; and accomplishing routine analyses. This work experience would have involved receiving clear, specific, and detailed instructions as to the methods, procedures, and guidelines to use.

**OR a combination of successfully completed graduate level education, as described above, and professional experience, as described above. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE)

For GS-09
In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-09 level:

**Two years of progressively higher-level graduate education (36 semester hours, 54 quarter hours or the equivalent) leading to a master’s degree in physical science or other directly related field of study or master’s or equivalent graduate degree in physical science or other directly related field of study if it provided the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to do the work of the position to be filled.

**OR one year of appropriate professional experience that is in or directly related to the duties of the position to be filled is qualifying if it is equivalent to at least the GS-7 level in the Federal service, and if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position.

Examples of such experience may include performing a variety of observations, computations, compilations and analyses in assisting higher-level scientists in carrying out physical science assignments. This work experience would have involved following established methods and procedures, or detailed instructions; using some judgment in applying basic principles and procedures; and independently completing recurring assignments, but referring deviations, problems, and unfamiliar situations to a designated person for decision or help.

**OR a combination of successfully completed progressive graduate level education, as described above, that is beyond the first year of graduate study and professional experience, as described above. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE)

You must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements for the position by the closing date of the announcement.

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. For more information on how foreign education is evaluated, visit: https://www.usgs.gov/about/organization/science-support/human-capital/how-foreign-education-evaluated-federal-jobs .

Additional information

Other Information:

  • Applicants who include vulgar, offensive, or inappropriate language or information in their application package will be ineligible for further consideration for this position.
  • Identification of promotion potential in this announcement does not constitute a commitment or an obligation on the part of management to promote the employee selected at some future date. Promotion will depend upon administrative approval and the continuing need for and performance of higher-level duties.
  • Under Executive Order 11935, only United States citizens and nationals (residents of American Samoa and Swains Island) may compete for civil service jobs. Agencies are permitted to hire non-citizens only in very limited circumstances where there are no qualified citizens available for the position.
  • USGS employees are subject to Title 43, USC Section 31(a) and may not: (a) have any personal, private, direct or indirect interest in lands or mineral wealth of lands under survey; (b) have any substantial personal, private, direct or indirect interests in any private mining or mineral enterprise doing business with the United States; or (c) execute surveys or examinations for private parties or corporations.
  • The application contains information subject to the Privacy Act (P.L. 93-579, 5 USC 552a). The information is used to determine qualifications for employment, and is authorized under Title 5, USC, Section 3302 and 3361.
  • DOI uses E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please visit www.dhs.gov/E-Verify.
  • The Department of the Interior (DOI) places a high value on diversity of experience and cultural perspectives and encourages applications from all interested eligible candidates. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) are fundamental principles that guide the Department and allow us to successfully achieve our mission.
  • THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.

Agency Benefits:

Benefits

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. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

Review our benefits

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

–Vacancy Related Questions: As part of the online application process, you will need to respond to a series of questions designed to assess your possession of the following knowledge skills, abilities and/or competencies:

  • Scientific Knowledge
  • Scientific Instrumentation
  • Collect Scientific Data
  • Information Management
  • Technology Application
  • Written Communication

–Basis of Rating: Category rating will be used in the ranking and selection process for this position. The quality categories are Best Qualified, Well Qualified, and Qualified. You will be rated on the extent and quality of your experience, education, and training relevant to the duties of the position. If you are eligible, your on-line responses to the application questions will determine your placement in the appropriate quality category described above. Your responses must be substantiated by your resume. If you do not respond to the application questions you may be rated ineligible. Veterans’ preference rules for category rating will be applied.

–NOTE: If it is determined that you have rated yourself higher than is supported in your description of experience and/or education as described in your resume/application, or that your resume or application is incomplete, you may be rated ineligible, not qualified, or your score may be lowered.

To preview the announcement questionnaire, click here: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/11783783

Required Documents

Required documents may be: (1) uploaded directly from your desktop; or (2) uploaded directly from your USAJOBS stored attachments.

Transcripts

–If this position requires specific educational course work to qualify, or you are qualifying based in whole or part on education, you are required to provide all unofficial transcripts (undergraduate, graduate, etc.) or list of course work, which includes semester hours earned and grade received, by the closing date of this announcement or you will be disqualified from further consideration. Please ensure that all documentation is legible.

Veterans’ Preference Eligibles

–If you are claiming veterans’ preference you must provide a legible copy of your DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, member 4 copy or any official documentation or statement from the Armed Forces that confirms your dates of service and that your separation, discharge, or release from active duty was under honorable conditions (i.e., Honorable or General Discharge). Note: If you have more than one DD-214 for multiple periods of active duty, submit a copy for each period of service.

–If you are currently on active military duty, you must provide documentation (e.g., campaign document, award citation, etc.), that verifies entitlement to veterans’ preference and that your character of military service is honorable.

–If you are claiming 10-point veterans’ preference, in addition to the documents specified above, you must also submit documentation that supports your claim, e.g., an official statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs (dated 1991 or later) or from a branch of the Armed Forces certifying the existence of a service-connected disability, or the award of the Purple Heart, etc. The overall rating must be identified on your certification letter or separation orders. Documentation must be received by the closing date shown in this vacancy announcement. If you fail to submit any of the required documentation, you will not be granted veterans’ preference.

Additional information on veterans’ preference can be found in the VetGuide.

Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) & Inter-agency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) Eligibles

–If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, the Servicing Human Resources Office must receive proof by the closing date of this announcement that you meet the requirements of 5 CFR 330 Subpart F for CTAP and 5 CFR 330 Subpart G for ICTAP or you will not receive priority consideration. This includes:

  • copy of the agency notice;
  • your most recent Performance Rating; and
  • your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location.

If you are a CTAP or ICTAP eligible, you will be considered well qualified if you earn a minimum score of 85 (prior to the assignment of veteran’s preference points). For more information on CTAP/ICTAP please click here.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

How to Apply

–Applications (resume and application questions) for this vacancy must be received on-line via USAJOBS BEFORE midnight Eastern Time (Washington, D.C. time) on the closing date of this announcement. If you fail to submit a complete online resume, you will not be considered for this position. Requests for extensions will not be granted. Most libraries, employment offices, and all USGS personnel offices can provide access to the Internet. If applying online poses a hardship for you, you must speak to someone in the Servicing Human Resources Office listed on this announcement PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE for assistance.

–Instructions for Applying Online for this Vacancy Announcement: 1)Click the blue “Apply Online” button. 2)If you are not a registered USAJOBS user, please create a new account and follow the instructions to complete your application process. If you are a registered user, login to access your existing USAJOBS profile. 3)As a registered user, select a stored resume and select one or more of your stored documents to attach to your application. 4)Check the “Certification” box and click the “Apply for this position now!” button located at the bottom of the screen. 5)Address the eligibility questions as well as the questionnaire containing questions and/or task statements that address the knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies for this vacancy. 6)Submit required documents using one of the available methods listed below. 7) If you experience technical difficulties during the online application process, please contact the USAJOBS helpdesk.

Agency contact information

 Paj Shua Cha

Phone: 650-439-2455

Email: pcha@usgs.gov

Address

PROJ OFFICE-WATERSHED SCIENCES
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Mail Stop 600
Reston, VA 20192
US

Learn more about this agency

Next steps

–If you are rated as one of the most highly qualified candidates, you will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview. We expect to make a selection within 30-45 days of the closing date of this announcement. You will be notified via email of the outcome. You can also go to “My Account” within USAJOBS to review your Application Status.

Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is set up to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.


POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development