U.S. nationals: Hydrologist

U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Carlsbad, NM, USA 🇺🇸

Farmington, NM, USA 🇺🇸


  • Accepting applications
  • Open & closing dates: 11/07/2023 to 11/21/2023
  • Salary: $46,696 – $86,041 per year
  • Pay scale & grade: GS 7 – 9
  • Locations: 2 vacancies in the following locations:
  • Remote job: No
  • Telework eligible: Yes—as determined by the agency policy.
  • Travel Required: Occasional travel – You may be expected to travel for this position.
  • Relocation expenses reimbursed: No
  • Appointment type: Permanent –
  • Work schedule: Full-time –
  • Service: Competitive
  • Promotion potential: 11
  • Job family (Series): 1315 Hydrology
  • Supervisory status: No
  • Security clearance: Not Required
  • Drug test: No
  • Position sensitivity and risk: Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk
  • Trust determination process: CredentialingSuitability/Fitness
  • Announcement number: BLM-NM-24-12156884-DE-OPM
  • Control number: 758865700


This position is located within BLM New Mexico, at the Carlsbad Field Office.

This position is concurrently open to Merit Promotion eligibles under Announcement Number BLM-NM-24-12156885-MP-OPM.

Salary Range:
Carlsbad, NM: $54,111 – $86, 041
Farmington, NM: $46,696 – $74,250

Learn more about this agency

This job is open to

Clarification from the agency

U.S. Citizens, CTAP, ICTAP

This job is also open in another announcement to:

  • Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL)
  • Family of overseas employees
  • Federal employees – Competitive service
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Land & base management
  • Military spouses
  • Peace Corps & AmeriCorps Vista
  • Special authorities
  • Veterans


This position is located in the Carlsbad Field Office of the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. This position is responsible for participating on hydrological studies of considerable scope and complexity or serving as a member of an interdisciplinary team performing complex work with wide latitude for the exercise of professional judgment. Performs and/or coordinates comprehensive hydrological studies or significant components of extensive studies, that describe and interpret hydrological conditions in order to define, analyze, forecast, or describe both natural and human-induced hydrological changes in the area.

The advanced trainee (GS-7) the candidate should have knowledge or experience on selecting samples, interpolating missing data, solving minor problems and performing basic scientific analyses in support of higher-level scientists.

The GS-9 scientist is responsible for organizing work, following prescribed methods and guidelines, and recognizing conditions and results that may affect the findings.

  • Contribute to planning, review, and evaluation of multi-basin, multi-aquifer investigations.
  • Carry out a broad range of monitoring/mitigation measures to ensure that impacts are minimized.
  • Provide current information on resource management and technical requirements.
  • Serve as a project member for completing hydrologic investigations by planning, conducting, and reporting on interpretive findings on limited independent studies or contributing to large, expansive studies.
  • Work on complex water issues whose solutions require a proven understanding of hydrology and one or more related disciplines such as hydraulics, geology, geochemistry, and the complexities of ground or surface water flow.
  • Work with State, local and/or tribal land managers to ensure water resources management practices are consistent with Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Federal Land Management Policy Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act, state laws, and various regional, State. Federal, and local policies and procedural guidance and with Interior Board of Land Appeal decisions.

Physical Demands: The work is typically performed in an office setting with no special physical demands. However, work may also be performed in the field which involves periods of walking, bending, climbing, or driving motor vehicles to worksites. The work may also involve some overnight travel for training, meetings, and site visits. The work regularly combines both office and field assignments. Field work requires physical exertion, such as long periods of standing, or recurring and considerable walking, stooping, bending, crouching, crawling, and climbing such as in regular and periodic construction activities and field inspections. Work may also include frequent lifting of moderately heavy items weighing less than 50 pounds. Field assignments may also involve operating small watercraft, driving motor vehicles to work sites, some of which may be remote, and include overnight stays in remote locations.

Working Conditions: The work is usually performed in an office setting. However, work time may also be spent periodically visiting field sites. Field site visits are typically performed in either an outdoor setting subject to weather changes, diverse terrain, and safety hazards associated with working around complex features and/or construction, or an industrial setting subject to noise, fumes, and moving machinery. Both settings may require the use of personal protective equipment. Safety precautions and protocols are observed at all times and the scientist complies with safety instructions and regulations and ensures individual and others’ safety by promptly reporting unsafe acts, unsafe conditions, and accidents to the supervisor. The work involves regular and recurring exposure to moderate risks, discomforts, and unpleasantness such as: high noise levels, infectious materials, or toxic or irritating chemicals; travel in safety approved small aircraft and water craft; high winds and low or high temperatures; infestation of dangerous reptiles or poisonous plants, snakes, or insects; adverse weather conditions; noxious fumes; flammable liquids; or radiation. The work involves performing tasks in close proximity to rotating heavy mechanical and electrical machinery and may involve working within confined spaces for extensive periods of time. Special safety precautions and protocols such as protective clothing and gear are necessary and observed at all times and the scientist complies with safety instructions and regulations and ensures individual and others’ safety by promptly reporting unsafe acts, unsafe conditions, and accidents to the supervisor.


Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizenship required
  • May be required to complete background investigation and drug screening.
  • Meet Selective Service Registration Act requirement for males
  • Must provide resume and supporting documents (See required documents).
  • You cannot hold an active real estate license, nor can you have an interest or hold stocks in firms with interest in Federal Lands.
  • If you are a new employee or supervisor in the Federal government, you will be required to complete a one-year probationary period.
  • Selectee will be required to participate in the Direct Deposit Electronics Funds Transfer Program.
  • You may be required to travel overnight away from home up to 5 nights per month. You must obtain a government charge card for travel purposes.
  • You will be required to obtain and maintain a valid state driver’s license.


In order to qualify, you must meet Both the Basic Education Requirement AND the Additional specialized experience and/or education requirements described below. Your resume must clearly describe your relevant experience. If qualifying based on education, a copy of your unofficial transcripts must be provided with your application.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: To be considered minimally qualified for this position, you must demonstrate that you have the required specialized experience and/or education for the respective grade level in which you are applying:

BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENT-Successfully completed a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a Bachelor’s degree (or higher) with a major study in 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. (NOTE: You must submit a copy of your transcripts).

OR, An equivalent combination of education and experience in courses equivalent to a major course of study, as shown in statement A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. Appropriate experience is defined as the 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. Examples 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, and reporting findings orally and in writing. (NOTE: You must provide a copy of your transcripts and your resume must clearly describe your relevant experience).


Specialized Experience GS-07 : One year of specialized experience comparable in scope and responsibility to the GS-05 grade level in the Federal service (obtained either in the private or public sectors) performing the following: (1) performing a range of standard tests to determine the chemical and/or biological components of water samples; (2) assisting with hydrologic data collection; (3) conducting water use inventories based on water rights.

OR, Education: Successfully completed one (1) year of graduate education from an accredited college or university in a field directly related to the work of the position. Such education must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work of this position. (NOTE: You must submit a copy of your transcripts).

OR, Combination: An equivalent combination of specialized experience and graduate level education described above, when combined, equals 100% of the total requirement. This education must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work of this position. (NOTE: You must submit a copy of your transcripts).

OR, Superior Academic Achievement (SAA) Successfully completed all the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in a curriculum that is qualifying for this position, from an accredited college or university, and meet one of the requirements for Superior Academic Achievement based on the following: (1) class standing (upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision, such as the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Business Administration, based on completed courses.); (2) grade-point average (3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 as recorded on the official transcript, or as computed based on 4 years of education, or 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 as computed based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum; or (3) election to membership in a national scholastic honor society. (NOTE: You must submit a copy of your transcripts).

Specialized Experience GS-09: One year of specialized experience comparable in scope and responsibility to the GS-07 grade level in the Federal service (obtained either in the private or public sectors) performing the following: (1) planning hydrologic studies to determine the condition of water resources; (2) utilizing relational databases and related applications to maintain hydrologic data for planning analyses; (3) providing information on water resource management to customers; (4) preparing scientific and technical reports on hydrologic related study findings.

OR, Education: Successfully completed at least two years year of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master’s degree or master’s or equivalent graduate degree from an accredited college or university in a field directly related to the work of the position. Such education must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work of this position. (NOTE: You must submit a copy of your transcripts).

OR, Combination: An equivalent combination of specialized experience and graduate level education described above, when combined, equals 100% of the total requirement. Please note only graduate education in excess of one year (18 semester hours) may be used to qualify under this option. This education must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work of this position. (NOTE: You must submit a copy of your transcripts).

Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s).

Volunteer Experience: 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.

You must include months, years and hours per week worked to receive credit for your work and/or volunteer experience. One year of specialized experience is equivalent to 12 months at 40 hours per week. Part-time hours are prorated. You will not receive any credit for experience that does not indicate exact hours per week or is listed as “varies”.


To qualify based on education, you must submit a legible copy of transcripts from an accredited institution with your name, school name, credit hours, course level, major(s), and grade-point average or class ranking. Transcripts do not need to be official, but if you are selected for this position and you used your education to qualify, you must provide official transcripts before you begin work.

If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet qualification requirements, you must show that your education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university.

PASS/FAIL COURSES: If more than 10 percent of your undergraduate course work (credit hours) were taken on a pass/fail basis, your claim of superior academic achievement must be based upon class standing or membership in an honor society.

GRADUATE EDUCATION: One academic year of graduate education is considered to be the number of credits hours your graduate school has determined to represent one academic year of full-time study. Such study may have been performed on a full-time or part-time basis. If you cannot obtain your graduate school’s definition of one year of graduate study, 18 semester hours (or 27 quarter hours) should be considered as satisfying the requirement for one year of full-time graduate study.

Additional information

Promotion to the full performance level is neither guaranteed nor implied and will be based solely on your ability to satisfactorily perform the work of the position, existing work at the higher grade level, and recommendation by the position’s supervisor.

Position may be required to operate a motor vehicle as an incidental driver. Employees who operate a motor vehicle on public roadways require a valid drivers’ license.

Position may be required to operate or be a passenger in small watercraft. Employees who operate a small watercraft are required to possess safety certification or pass an appropriate safety training course commensurate with watercraft used in the performance of duties.

Positions involving arduous field work may require a pre-employment medical examination.

The Bureau of Land Management has determined that the duties of this position are suitable for telework only during an emergency or natural disaster.

BLM may use certain incentives, currently offered by the Federal government, to attract high quality applicants.

Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) or Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP): For information on how to apply as an ICTAP or CTAP eligible see http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/ctap_guideline.pdf. To be well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, displaced Federal employees must be rated at 90 or above on the rating criteria for this position.

If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, please contact San Antonio Services Branch at [email protected] or 816-541-8101.


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.

A review of your resume and supporting documentation will be made and compared against your responses to the Occupational Questionnaire to determine if you are qualified for this job. If your resume is incomplete or does not support the responses provided in the Occupational Questionnaire, or if you fail to submit all required documentation, you will be rated ‘ineligible’, ‘not qualified’, or your score may be adjusted accordingly. If a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications or experience, you may lose consideration for this position. Please follow all instructions carefully; errors or omissions may affect your rating.

You will be evaluated based on how well you meet the qualifications listed in this vacancy announcement. Your qualifications will be evaluated based on your application materials (e.g., resume, supporting documents), the responses you provide on the application questionnaire, and the result of the additional assessments required for this position.

In order to be considered for this position, you must complete all required steps in the process. In addition to the application and application questionnaire, this position requires successful completion of additional assessments, including a subject matter expert resume review. These assessments measure the critical competencies listed below that are required to successfully perform the job.

Candidates will be rated and ranked using Category Rating procedures. These procedures place candidates with veteran’s preference above non-preference eligibles within each category. Veterans with a service connected disability of at least 10 percent are listed in the highest quality category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level or higher. Under Category Rating, candidates will be rated and ranked into one of three categories:

  • Best Qualified – applicants possessing experience that substantially exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors and are highly proficient in all requirements of the job and can perform effectively in the position
  • Well Qualified – applicants possessing experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors and are proficient in most of the requirements of the job
  • Qualified – applicants possessing experience that meets the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors and are proficient in some, but not all of the requirements of the job.

You will be evaluated on the following competencies:

  • Accountability
  • Hydrology
  • Problem Solving
  • Teamwork
  • Technical Competence

Required Documents

The following documents are required and must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on 11/21/2023.

  1. Resume which includes a list of all significant jobs held and duties performed, with dates specified in month and year format, and indicate hours worked per week. If military or civilian, please include your rank and/or grade.
  2. A complete Occupational Questionnaire
  3. College transcripts.
  4. Other Supporting Documents, if applicable, such as:
  • Veterans Preference Documentation:
    • If you are a Discharged, Non-Disabled Veteran, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 showing character of discharge (Member 4 copy), or other Documentation of Service and Separation under Honorable Conditions, as listed on the SF15. If you don’t have your DD-214, you may request it after discharge from the National Archives.
    • If you are a veteran within 120 days of discharge, you must submit signed documentation from the Armed Forces certifying: 1) your expected release/retirement from active duty, 2) under honorable conditions, 3) your pay grade/rank/rate at time of discharge, 4) dates of active duty service, 5) any campaign or expeditionary medals received, & 6) dated within 120 days of your separation.
    • If you are a Disabled Veteran, Purple Heart Recipient, or Mother or Spouse of a Disabled or Deceased Veteran, you must submit all additional proof required by the SF15, and if applicable, a completed SF15. You may request a copy of your Department of Veterans Affairs letter from www.ebenefits.va.gov or call 1-800-827-1000 to establish proof of disability.
    5. Documentation for Interagency/Career Transition Assistance Plan consideration if you are a displaced Federal employee within the local commuting area. You must include: 1) Proof you are a displaced Federal employee, e.g., RIF Separation Notice, Notice of Proposed Removal, etc; 2) SF-50s (Notifications of Personnel Action) showing career/conditional tenure competitive status, promotion potential and duty location; and 3) your most recent performance appraisal. To exercise selection priority, displaced or surplus Federal employees must be rated well-qualified or above 90 on the rating criteria for this position.

Do not submit photographs with your application package. Documents with photographs may not be seen by hiring officials – you must remove your image from any badges, licenses, etc.

Do not upload Adobe portfolio documents. Adobe portfolio documents are not viewable by our agency’s staffing offices.

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

To apply for this position: You must complete the occupational questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below. To receive consideration, the complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on 11/21/2023. WE DO NOT ACCEPT HARD-COPY OR E-MAIL APPLICATION PACKAGES.

  1. Select Apply. If you are not logged in, you will be prompted to login or create an account.
  2. Prompted to Start the Application Process by selecting “Start Application.”
  3. Select or add the resume you want to use for this application. Click here on how to build a resume in USAJOBS.
  4. Select documents you want included in this application.
  5. Review package to acknowledge your documents were reviewed.
  6. Select if you want to include your demographic information.
  7. After reading and certifying the application is true and submitted in good faith, select “Continue to Agency Site.”
  8. Follow onscreen prompts and instructions to complete your application.
  9. Add the supporting documents by indexing your documents with the dropdown.
    • Upload any missing required documents or optional documents.
  10. Review and Submit Application.
  11. While logged in, you can check the status of your application by selecting “+” next to the job title for this position.
  12. You can review or revise your application at any point during the open period of the announcement.
    • To update an application, you should log into your USAJOBS account and select “+” next to the job title for this position. Select “Update Application” for this job.
    • Note: When you click Update Application, you will be prompted to re-select your documents from USAJOBS. Documents submitted with the first application will no longer be associated with the applicant record. So it is important that you select all documents you want to use in the re-application.

Agency contact information

 San Antonio Services Branch




[email protected]


BLM New Mexico State Office
BLM New Mexico, NM-951
301 Dinosaur Trail
Santa Fe, NM 87508

Learn more about this agency

Next steps

Once the Occupational Questionnaire is received you will receive acknowledgement that your submission was successful. If you are among the most qualified candidates and your name is referred to the hiring official, you may be contacted directly for a possible interview. You will be notified of the status of your Application Package at the time candidates are referred for consideration, and when the selection process is complete.

Applicants who apply under this job opportunity announcement agree to have their application, associated documents and applicable personal information shared with other Bureaus/Offices within the Department of the Interior (DOI) who have vacancies within the same occupational series, grade, full performance level and in the same geographic location(s), including within the same metro/commuting area. Applying to this announcement does not replace the need to apply to other job opportunity announcements for which you wish to receive consideration

This announcement may be used to fill additional positions if identical vacancies occur within 90 days of the issue date of the referral certificate.

Fair & Transparent

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




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