U.S. nationals: Physical Scientist (Lower Mississippi Gulf Water Science Center)

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Little Rock, AR, United States 🇺🇸

Summary

General Information

  • Salary: $43,683 (Step 01) to $69,462 (Step 10); NOTE: First time hires to the Federal Government are typically hired at the Step 01.

Responsibilities

As a Physical Scientist within the Lower Mississippi Gulf Water Science Center, some of your specific duties will include:

  • Uses GIS and computer code and scripting languages to manage and process large data to develop three-dimensional geohydrologic framework models.
  • Demonstrates effective written and oral communication skills.
  • Assists in and performs hydrologic studies focused on water availability, water quality, and water use.
  • Conducts statistical analysis of data to evaluate hydrologic processes.
  • Operates a government owned or leased vehicle as an incidental driver.
Physical Demands: The work requires 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, crawling in restrictive spaces and defending oneself against physical attack.

Work Environment: Work is performed in a field, laboratory or office setting. Work area is adequately lighted.

Travel Required

25% or less – You may be expected to travel up to 5 nights per month for this position.

Supervisory status

No

Promotion Potential

12

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 duration of the Recent Graduates appointment is a trial period.
    4. More requirements are listed under Qualifications and Other Information.
    5. Selectee must provide a valid state driver’s license & safe driving record.
    6. Selectee subject to successful completion of a pre-employment medical exam.

    Are There Any Special Requirements For This Position?

    • 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.
    • You will be required to operate a government-owned or -leased vehicle in the performance of your official duties. Applicants for this position must meet the following requirements: (1) possess a valid State license, and (2) possess a safe driving record. If selected, you will be required to provide proof of a valid State license & a copy of your driving record.
    • Taking and passing a pre-employment medical examination at Federal expense is required due to the physical demands of this job.
    • The Recent Graduate Program lasts for 1 year. Participants who successfully complete the Recent Graduate Program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent appointment or a term (1-4 years in duration) appointment without further competition.
    • 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.
    • 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

    In order to be eligible for an appointment under the Pathways Recent Graduate Program you must meet the following requirements:

    • You must be a recent graduate who has completed, within the previous two years, an associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution such as an 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. Note: Certificate program is defined as post-secondary education in a qualifying educational institution equal to at least one academic year of full-time study that’s part of an accredited college-level, technical, trade, vocational, or business school curriculum.
    • Veterans who were precluded from applying due to their military service obligation begin their 2-year eligibility period upon release or discharge from active duty; however, eligibility for these veterans cannot exceed 6 years from the date on which the degree or certificate was obtained. The date of release or discharge from active duty should be later than the date the degree or certificate was obtained.

    Qualification Requirements

    BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENT: Applicants must meet A or B below to satisfy the basic education requirement for Physical Scientist, 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.

    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:

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

    **OR Possess 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 Possess 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:

    **Possess 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 Possess 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 Possess 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

    Education Requirements:

    • 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

    • This position is being filled under the Pathways Recent Graduate Program that affords developmental experiences in the Federal Government intended to promote possible careers in the civil service to individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs.
    • 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 DOI places a high value on diversity of experience and cultural perspectives and encourages applications from all interested eligible candidates, including candidates from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, women, LGBT individuals, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.
    • THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.
    Agency Benefits:

    How You Will Be Evaluated

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

    –Basis of Rating: You will be rated on the extent and quality of your experience, education, and training relevant to the duties of the position. If you meet the basic eligibility and qualification requirements, your on-line responses to the application questions will determine your placement in the appropriate quality group (i.e., Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified). These responses must be substantiated by the resume. Veterans’ preference rules apply.

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

    • Compile/Analyze Data
    • Information Management
    • Modeling Knowledge
    • Technology Application
    • Interpersonal Communication
    • Program/Project Management
    • Written Communication
    • Scientific Knowledge
    • Ground-water Scientific Knowledge
    To preview the announcement questionnaire, click here https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/11094457

    Close

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Not Required

    Drug test required

    No

    Position sensitivity and risk

    Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

    Trust determination process

    Credentialing

    Required Documents

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

    Transcripts

    You are required to provide all unofficial transcripts (undergraduate, graduate, etc.) or list of course work, which includes semester hours earned, grade received, and the date that the degree/certificate was conferred, by the closing date of this announcement or you will be disqualified from further consideration. This proof may be faxed, document uploaded, or hand delivered to the servicing Human Resources Office (see “Required Documents” and/or “Contact Information”). Please ensure that all documentation is legible. If selected, you will be required to provide official transcripts.

    Veterans

    Veterans who were precluded from applying due to their military service obligation must submit documentation that confirms the period of active duty that kept them from applying during the typical 2-year eligibility period. The date of release or discharge from active duty should be later than the date the degree or certificate was obtained.

    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.

    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.

    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 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.

    Next steps

    –If you are 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.


    POSITION TYPE

    ORGANIZATION TYPE

    EXPERIENCE-LEVEL