U.S. citizens: Lead Hydrologist

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Norton, MA, US


This position is located in the National Weather Service (NWS), Regional Operations Centers (ROC), with 1 vacancy in State College, Pennsylvania and 1 vacancy in Norton, Massachusetts.
This position is also announced under vacancy number NWS-2018-0201, which is open to status candidates. You must apply to both announcements if you want to be considered for both.

Salary ranges will vary based on the location. Please visit: OPM Salary Charts for specific salary information related to a specific location.
* 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 Lead Hydrologist, GS-1315-13 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 Lead Hydrologist, you will be performing the following duties:

  • Perform lead Hydrologic forecast functions in the day-to-day hydrologic operations of the River Forecast Center (RFC) including both real- and non-real time operations, with the latter supporting procedure development activities critical to the enhancement, implementation and maintenance of the forecast system technology.
  • Perform routine daily short-range forecast operations before and during high water and flood episodes including stage forecasts, discharge forecasts, daily forecasts of inflow volume for reservoirs and river velocity forecasts.
  • Perform long-range water resources forecast operations include spring snowmelt flood outlooks, reservoir inflow forecasts, river volume forecasts and minimum flow forecast.
  • Participate in RFC effort to increase interaction and cooperative support between RFC and stakeholders including Weather Forecast Office (WFO) personnel.
  • Perform special non-real time procedure development activities including providing background information, help and training to RFC staff and implementing new or enhanced operational procedures.

Travel Required

Occasional travel – Up to 10% Domestic travel may be required.


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 in order to be found minimally qualified. Transcripts must be submitted with your application package. You MUST meet the following 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.
Combination of education and experience: course work as shown in A above, 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.