Biological Science Technician (Fisheries)
Department Of The Interior - Arcata, CA

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These are TEMPORARY positions with the Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office, located in Arcata or Weaverville, California. The duration of these appointments may vary from three months to one year. The appointments may be extended without further announcement. Maximum total appointment will not exceed 2 years.

You will provide tasks related to fisheries field survey work relating to problems impacting anadromous fish in Northwestern California.
Additional positions may be filled from this vacancy announcement should the need arise.

For more information on the Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office visit: http://www.fws.gov/arcata/default.htm

KEY REQUIREMENTS

U.S. Citizenship and Background Investigation

Transcripts may be required with application (See How to Apply)

Pre-employment and random drug testing

Valid driver's license required

Operation of motorized and non-motorized watercraft is required.

May be required to complete and pass safety and certification course

DUTIES:
Perform field work relating to fish populations and associated aquatic habitat conditions in northwestern California.

Conduct field sampling techniques that may include seining, electrofishing, underwater observation, weir operation, water velocity and river discharge measurement, acoustic and radio telemetry, and habitat typing.

Conduct fish and fish habitat related field investigations and surveys such as creel census, fish tagging, recovery operations, fish habitat use and instream flow studies.

Compute, compile, and summarize data in tabular, graphic, or narrative form.

Operate boats up to 25 feet in length and utilize technical equipment, such as electroshockers, nets, seines, survey equipment, and microscopes.

At the GS-6 and GS-7 grade level, the incumbent will perform these additional duties:

Assist in planning multifaceted fisheries studies by contributing ideas, determining research methods, establishing practical procedures for accomplishing and reporting the work and determining other needs, such as costs, equipment and personnel.

Assist biologists in monitoring, assessment, and preparation of reports of fish and fish population in response to large-scale river restoration and land water management.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:
You must meet all qualification requirements outlined in this vacancy by 11:59 PM (EST) on the closing date of the announcement. Applicable regulatory requirements, such as time-in-grade, must also be met by the closing date.

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED (minimum): You must meet at least one of the following:

To qualify at the GS-05 grade level - applicants must possess:

A. At least one year of full-time specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-4 grade level in the Federal service which is directly related to this position and demonstrates that you have the knowledge’s, skills and abilities to perform the work. To meet this requirement, the applicant MUST have experience that included as primary duties working as part of a crew under supervision, such as: conduct field surveys of fish abundance; identify and monitor number and distribution of fish species; participate in studies of fish habitat conditions; assist with fish capture and tagging procedures; record, compile, and organize biological data.
  • OR-
B. Successful completion of all requirements for a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor’s degree with a major study or at least 24 semester/36 quarter hours in any combination of scientific or technical courses such as biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics. At least 6 semester/9 quarter hours of courses must be directly related to the occupation, such as fishery biology, ichthyology, limnology, aquaculture, etc. You must submit a copy of your transcripts .
  • OR-
C. A combination of qualifying specialized experience and education as described in A and B above. To combine your education and experience, determine your total qualifying experience as a percentage of the experience required. Then determine your qualifying education as a percentage of the required education. The two percentages must equal at least 100% of the Basic Qualification. Note: only education in excess of the first 60 semester hours of a course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree is creditable toward meeting the specialized experience requirements when combined. You must submit a copy of your transcripts.

To qualify at the GS-06 grade level - applicants must possess:
A. At least one year of full-time specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-5 grade level in the Federal service which is directly related to this position and demonstrates that you have the knowledges, skills and abilities to perform the work. To meet this requirement, the applicant MUST have experience that included as primary duties working with crews, mostly independently, such as: conduct field surveys of fish abundance; identify and monitor number and distribution of fish species; participate in studies of fish habitat conditions; assist with fish capture and tagging procedures; record, compile, and organize biological data.
  • OR-
B. Successful completion of one-half year of graduate education (9 semester/13.5 quarter hours, or the school’s equivalent) in an accredited college or university that included courses directly related to the occupation, such as fishery biology, ichthyology, limnology, aquaculture, etc. You must submit a copy of your transcripts.
  • OR-
C. A combination of qualifying specialized experience and education as described in A and B above. To combine your education and experience, determine your total qualifying experience as a percentage of the experience required. Then determine your qualifying education as a percentage of the required education. The two percentages must equal at least 100% of the Basic Qualification. You must submit a copy of your transcripts.

To qualify at the GS-07 grade level - applicants must possess:
A. At least one year of full-time specialized experience equivalent to the GS-06 grade level in the Federal service which is directly related to this position and demonstrates that you have the knowledges, skills and abilities to perform the work. To meet this requirement, the applicant MUST have experience that included as primary duties, working independently and/or leading or training others as part of a crew, duties such as: conducting field investigations, studies, and surveys, such as fish tagging and recovery operations to gather data for fishery management studies; conducted creel census surveys, identified fish take species; and recorded and reported observations.
  • OR-
B. Successful completion of one year of graduate level education (18 semester/27 quarter hours or the school's equivalent) in an accredited college or university of that included courses directly related to the occupation, such as fishery biology, ichthyology, limnology, aquaculture, etc. You must submit a copy of your transcripts.
  • OR-
C. A combination of qualifying specialized experience and education as described in A and B above. To combine your education and experience, determine your total qualifying experience as a percentage of the experience required. Then determine your qualifying education as a percentage of the required education. The two percentages must equal at least 100% of the Basic Qualification. You must submit a copy of your transcripts.

Note: All applicants (including current and former employees) who are using education or a combination of education and experience to qualify must submit copies of transcripts, which include grades, credit hours earned, major(s), and grade point average or class ranking. Even if you are in or have previously held a position in the series, you must submit the required documents to be considered for this position.

If any required course work is not easily recognizable on transcripts, you must submit written course descriptions from the school (e.g., from the school catalog, official course syllabus, or course description verified by the school) for those classes to be credited.

EDUCATION

All qualifying education must have been obtained in an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. You can verify accreditation at http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html .

Foreign Education: You can receive credit for education earned outside the United States if you provide evidence that it is comparable to an accredited educational institution, or that full credit has been given by an accredited institution in the United States. For more information, see http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html

It is your responsibility to provide evidence that educational provisions are met when applying.

OTHER KEY REQUIREMENTS (conditions of employment)
Travel may be required during periods of intense fieldwork (March - July and/or September - December). May require up to four nights of travel per week.

Must be able to pass Department of the Interior/Fish and Wildlife Service Motorboat Operator certification.
Must be able to pass Swiftwater Rescue Training.
Incumbent must be able to recognize hazards in swift flowing rivers and have competent swimming abilities.
Direct deposit of salary payment.

Pay Rates (per annum) for both Arcata and Weaverville, CA:
GS-5: $31,315 - $40,706
GS-6: $34,907 - $45,376
GS-7: $38,790 - $50,431

Physical requirements : The work requires average agility, dexterity and strength. Physical exertion will be required, such as regular and recurring walking or climbing over wet, rough, uneven, or rocky surfaces; bending, crouching, stooping, lifting or reaching to observe collect, or record field data. The duration of such physical activity might be for most of a work day. Work may also require carrying objects weighing up to 50 pounds.

Work Environment : Work is performed both indoors and outdoors. Exposure to adverse weather conditions or weather extremes, such as cold, dampness, humidity and insects are often encountered outdoors. Safety precautions and protective clothing or gear are required when working in and around water and with chemicals and equipment. Travel is required and incumbent will often work in remote locations and will be required to regularly spend nights away from the duty station.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
Your application will be evaluated and rated under the Category Rating and Selection Procedures.

If you meet the minimum qualifications for this job, your evaluation will be based on a review of your complete application package and the extent to which your responses to the Questionnaire relate to the knowledge, skills and abilities listed below:

Knowledge of basic fisheries biology, aquatic ecology, and fish population dynamics

Knowledge of fish sampling methods and procedures

Ability to record and compile scientific data

Leadership skills

Communication skills

We will then place you in one of three categories:
Qualified: Meets minimum qualifications established for the position, but fails to meet the benchmark definition for the Well Qualified category
Well Qualified: Demonstrates overall competency in the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the position.
Best Qualified: Demonstrates high proficiency and comprehensive level of knowledge, skills, and abilities of the position.

Please make sure that your responses to the questionnaire are supported in your resume. Also, follow all instructions carefully as errors and omissions may affect your score.

Note: If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is apparent in your description of experience and/or education, OR that your application is incomplete, you may be rated ineligible, not qualified, or your score may be lowered.

Application of Veterans’ Preference: Category rating and selection procedures place those with veterans’ preference above non-preference eligibles within each category. Veterans who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements and who have a compensable 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-9 grade level or higher.

BENEFITS:
The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees.

Most Federal employees earn both annual and sick leave. For additional information, visit Leave Administration .

Temporary employees are not eligible for life or health insurance. If your appointment is extended beyond 1 year, health insurance is available; however, you will pay the full cost.

You will earn Social Security credit while working with the government.

OTHER INFORMATION:

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