U.S. citizens: Physical Scientist

National Water Center
Tuscaloosa, AL, 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.


This position is at the National Water Center (NWC), located on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL. Officially opened in 2015, The NWC is a modern 65,000-square- foot “green” facility designed to be the nation’s research, development, and operations hub for hydrologic modeling, water prediction, and related decision support services. The NWC also facilitates collaboration among the water resources enterprise, including federal water science and management agencies and the academic community, to achieve a shared vision of improving water-related forecasting, preparedness, response, and planning activities. The NWC is a component of the National Weather Service’s Office of Water Prediction, whose mission is to collaboratively research, develop, and deliver state-of-the-science water information, services, and guidance to support and inform essential emergency services and water management decisions. 

This position is also announced under vacancy number NWS-2018-0207, which is open to status candidates. You must apply to both announcements if you want to be considered for both.

If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you may be non-competitively promoted if you perform successfully and if recommended by management.
* A one year probationary period may be required.
* Payment of relocation expenses is not authorized.
* This position is in the bargaining unit.
This Job Opportunity Announcement may be used to fill other Physical Scientist, GS-1301-09/11/12 positions throughout NOAA.  The position must be alike (e.g.: within the same geographic locations, same grade/band and requires the same qualifications and specialized experience as indicated in this vacancy announcement).


As a Physical Scientist, you will perform the following duties:

  • Conduct routine scientific analyses and tests to produce event reports and GIS-formatted situational awareness graphics.
  • Serve as an Emergency Management Specialist/Physical Scientist in the OWP Water Prediction Operations Division, including leading briefings for senior leaders, core partners and other federal agencies about routine and high impact weather events.
  • Support NWS Social Scientists on operational research projects, assisting with literature reviews, surveys and interviews as schedule permits.
  • Help promote consistency across the agency through collaborative efforts with Regional and National Centers, NWS Offices, Senior Duty Meteorologists and other subject matter experts as needed.

These duties are described at the FPL GS-12, the GS-09 and GS-11 are developmental leading to such performance.


Qualification requirements in the vacancy announcements are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains federal qualification standards.  This handbook is available on the Office of Personnel Management's website located at: http://www.opm.gov/qualifications.

Basic Requirements: This position has a positive Education Requirement in addition to at least one year of Specialized Experience OR substitution of education for experience OR combination (if applicable) in order to be found minimally qualified. Transcripts must be submitted with your application package. You MUST meet the following requirements:
A. Degree: physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics.

B. Combination of education and experience: Education equivalent to one of the majors shown in A above that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
Specialized Experience: 
Applicants must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to the next lower grade level in the Federal Service.  Specialized experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular competencies/knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. 

This experience need not have been in the federal government. 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.