Physical Scientist, AST, Applications Data Management
National Aeronautics and Space Administration - Greenbelt, MD

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NASA, the world's leader in space and aeronautics is always seeking outstanding scientists, engineers, and other talented professionals to carry forward the great discovery process that its mission demands. Creativity. Ambition. Teamwork. A sense of daring. And a probing mind. That's what it takes to join NASA, one of the best places to work in the Federal Government.

The Science & Exploration Directorate, Earth Sciences Division, Terrestrial Information Systems Lab (Code 619) is seeking a scientist to provide expertise in the quality assessment of global land science products. In this role you will serve as the Quality Assessment lead for products produced by data systems supporting the Terra, Aqua, and Suomi NPP missions.


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To receive consideration, you must submit a resume and answer NASA-specific questions. The NASA questions appear after you submit your resume and are transferred to the NASA web site. If you successfully apply, USAJOBS will show your application status as 'resume received - complete.' If your status is 'Application Started,' you have not successfully applied. Do not rely on a USAJOBS email to confirm successful application only an email from NASA confirms a successful application.

To receive consideration, your resume MUST contain your complete degree information (i.e., type of degree received, year degree received, and major area of study). If you have received a degree in Computer Science, you MUST list all courses you have taken which meet the education requirements as stated in the qualification requirements section as well as the semester hours awarded. You MUST include the descriptive title, course code, and number of semester/quarter hours. (i.e., CMSC-435-Software Engineering, 3 Semester hours) If this information is not provided, your education may not be appropriately evaluated and you may lose consideration for this position. Please note that degrees in engineering technology are not considered to be qualifying for this position. If you are selected for this position, you will have to provide an official copy of your transcripts prior to entering on duty.

If you are an individual with a disability and have questions regarding the Federal special hiring authorities for individuals with disabilities or would like to request a reasonable accommodation for the application or hiring process, please contact the Disability Program Manager by email at Goddard Space Flight Center offers a wide array of reasonable accommodations and programs for individuals with disabilities including onsite sign language interpreters, readers, and is a participating agency with the Computer Electronics Accommodations Program.

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  • A one-year probationary period may be required
  • Applicants must possess at least a Bachelor's Degree or equivalent
  • Occasional travel may be required

DUTIES: As an Aerospace Technologist (AST) specializing in Applications Data Management, you will provide technical leadership to a team of remote sensing analysts and software developers engaged in assessing the quality of global products produced from data collected by moderate-resolution earth imaging satellite instruments, e.g. AVHRR, MODIS and VIIRS. This activity includes developing strategies, formulating requirements and defining priorities for quality assessment and long-term trending of the products. You will lead the development and refinement of procedures and tools for displaying, transforming and evaluating the accuracy of global land products. This includes determining the accuracy, precision and stability of geophysical products over the life of each mission; and developing improvements to product specific metadata. You will collaborate with other remote sensing scientists to address issues with geolocation, calibration, atmospheric correction and cloud screening in order to develop and implement corrections needed to achieve a stable, accurate and consistently processed data record from a variety of data sources. You will explore and define state-of-the-art solutions to address the needs of many diverse groups of scientists and applications users in the quality assessment of global data products, and publish, or contribute to publications, as appropriate.
Responsibilities also include designing, developing and managing the operation of data systems used to evaluate and/or produce large data sets from ground and satellite-based instruments. Activities include: developing and/or reviewing designs for meeting current and future requirements, evaluating enhancements to existing systems and software prior to these changes being promoted to operations, and managing the operations of quality assessment and/or product generation systems. In addition, you will design and oversee the development and maintenance of global science product quality assessment tools to be used by instrument quality assessment teams, instrument science teams and researchers in the science community. The tools will incorporate state-of-the-art algorithms for transforming and analyzing data products in applications that can be easily mastered by researchers and the applications community.
As QA lead, you will plan, manage and coordinate efforts for large-scale science tests leading up to reprocessing campaigns for the entire data record for earth observing satellite instruments. This will include working closely with instrument science team principal investigators and science support team leaders to develop and maintain schedules; developing and reviewing plans for large-scale tests of science software used in the generation of global products; and analyzing the products generated during these tests and providing written recommendations on test findings.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED: In addition to the Basic Education Requirement, you must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade, which has equipped you with the particular competencies needed to successfully perform the duties of the position described above.

Specialized experience is defined as performing quality assessment of long-term global land products produced by Earth remote-sensing satellite instruments; developing software tools for displaying, transforming and evaluating the accuracy of such products; and developing computer systems and maintaining and enhancing applications for producing data products from on-orbit satellite instruments. Experience must have included providing technical leadership, coordination or oversight for such activities.

Basic Education Requirement: A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major study in engineering, physical science, mathematics, life sciences, computer science, or other field of science. Degrees in engineering technology are not considered to be qualifying for this position.

U.S. citizenship is required.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED: NASA uses an automated system (Resumix) that matches the competencies extracted from your resume to the competencies identified by the selecting official for the position. Based on the competencies you match, you are placed in one of three categories identified as 90, 80, or 70 pt. quality categories, which are defined as:

90 pt. Category - Tentatively meets (until subsequent confirmation upon referral) the basic qualification requirements identified in the vacancy announcement and has experience in the same or similar job that has demonstrated superior proficiency in the primary requirements of the position.

80 pt. Category - Tentatively meets (until subsequent confirmation upon referral) the basic qualification requirements identified in the vacancy announcement and demonstrates satisfactory proficiency in the primary requirements of the position.

70 pt. Category - Fails to meet criteria described in the 80 pt. category.
Additional application guidance is available in NASA's Applicant Guide .

Information for Veterans : The Category Rating Process protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category. Preference eligibles who meet qualification requirements and have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent must be listed at the top of the highest quality category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level or higher.

For the purpose of the Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) and the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP), candidates rated in the top quality category are considered well-qualified.

BENEFITS: NASA offers excellent benefit programs and competitive salaries. To learn more about pay and benefits at NASA, click HERE .

OTHER INFORMATION: Any applicant tentatively selected for this position may be required to undergo a pre-employment background investigation.

Individuals who have special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position to receive consideration for special priority selection. See 'How You Will Be Evaluated' for definition of well qualified.

Federal employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP consideration must indicate their eligibility when applying for a position. The USAJOBS resume asks you to identify your ICTAP eligibility; the NASA Supplemental Information asks you to identify your CTAP eligibility. If you are selected for the position, you must be prepared to submit proof that you meet the requirements for CTAP/ICTAP. This includes a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent Performance Rating and a copy of their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location.

As a condition of employment, male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must certify that they have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law.

In order to receive preference in hiring, you must clearly identify your claim for veterans preference on your resume.

U.S. citizenship is required. NASA's Applicant Guide provides the information needed to assist you in determining whether or not you can claim 5 or 10 point veterans preference. You should not submit documents to prove your eligibility for veterans preference at this time. However, you must be prepared to submit proof of veterans preference (DD-214, and, if claiming 10-point preference, SF-15 plus proof required by that form) as requested by the Human Resources Office. Veterans preference will only be considered based on what is supported For instance, if you claim 10-point preference, but are only able to document 5-point preference, you will be considered accordingly. If you fail to provide the required documents within the stated time period, we may withdraw a job offer and/or remove you from further consideration.

Your USAJOBS account asks you to assign a name to each of your resumes. When you apply to a NASA position, we will show you the text of the resume you have submitted, but we do not maintain the name you have assigned to that resume. If you wish to keep track of that information, we recommend you make note of it at the time you apply.

Travel and relocation expenses are not authorized.