Physical Scientist
Department Of Agriculture - Missoula, MT

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A career with the Forest Service will challenge you to manage and care for more than 193 million acres of our nation's most magnificent lands, conduct research through a network of forest and range experiment stations and the Forest Products Laboratory, and provide assistance to State and private forestry agencies.

It's an awesome responsibility - but the rewards are as limitless as the views.

This is a term, time-limited appointment with an initial duration no less than 13 months and can be extended up to a total of 4 years.

The USDA Forest Service has legislative authority to recruit and fill Permanent (Career/Career-Conditional), Temporary, and Term Appointments under the USDA Demonstration Project. Under this authority, any U.S. citizen may apply.

This position is located in the Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program at the Rocky Mountain Research Station. This position will work with Program scientists, scientists from other Station Programs, and individuals from National Forest System Regions and their partners in developing science/manager partnerships to synthesize science findings related to research and development in fire, fuel, smoke, and the effects of climate change. The incumbent will develop tools for managers and stakeholders, and provide usable research results to natural resource managers.

For additional information about the duties of this position, please contact Kristine Lee at 406-829-6977,
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen to apply.
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with the Selective Service.

DUTIES: Duties include providing communication linkage between fire research and fire and fuel management. Develops and implements communication, outreach, science delivery, and technology transfer activities related to fire and fuel management, fire effects, climate change, and landscape restoration. Compiles, synthesizes, and integrates scientific models, data, papers, and other resources to analyze natural resource opportunities. Summarizes data, makes calculations, uses simulation modeling systems, and performs statistical analysis when appropriate. Produces scientific reports, original research papers, and other peer-reviewed documents. Organizes and participates in scientific workshops, seminars, and meetings. Presents new research information, results, and syntheses to scientific audiences. Collaborates with research and management partners on a wide variety of projects. Participates in the planning, development, and implementation of research projects. Organizes workshops, seminars, trainings, and scientific meetings. Communicates scientific, technical, and management information to non-technical and professional audiences using a variety of print- and web-based media.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED: You must possess the Basic Requirements identified below to be considered eligible for this position. Transcripts must be provided for qualifications based on education. Your application or resume must clearly show that you possess the appropriate experience requirements.

Bachelor's 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.


Combination of education and experience -- education equivalent to one of the majors shown above that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

GS-12: One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 level. Examples of specialized experience are: Developing and implementing communication, outreach, science delivery, and technology transfer activities related to fire and fuel management, fire effects, climate change, and landscape restoration. Writing and producing materials, including presentations, briefings, brochures, websites, and interactive activities. Summarizing data and using simulation modeling systems to investigate the relationships between wildland fire, climate change, forest and/or grassland ecosystems. Serving as a liaison with public groups and conservation organizations. Organizing and implementing training in fire analysis practices and techniques.

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, applicants must report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly.

Foreign Education: Education completed outside of the United States must be deemed equivalent to that gained in conventional/accredited U.S. education programs to be acceptable for Federal employment. Applicants must provide documentation with their application that the education was evaluated by a U.S. organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign educational credentials, commonly called a credential evaluation service. For further information on the evaluation of foreign education, refer to the U.S. Department of Education's website at .

To receive consideration for this position, you must meet all qualification requirements as of the closing date of the announcement.


May be subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary or trial period.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED: You will be evaluated based on the category rating procedure as defined in the USDA Demonstration Project Plan. Applicants who meet the basic minimum qualification requirements established for the position will be placed in the Eligible category. Eligible applicants will be further evaluated against criteria for placement in the Quality category. This evaluation is based on the level of your experience, education, and/or training as determined by your responses to the Occupational Questionnaire. Applicants with veterans’ preference are listed ahead of applicants who do not have veterans’ preference within each category.
To view the application form, visit:

BENEFITS: The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at:

OTHER INFORMATION: Relocation expenses are not authorized.

This is a bargaining unit designated position.

Government housing is not available.

Forest Service affiliated daycare facilities are available.

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK: Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.

Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, provide proof of eligibility. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles must meet the agency's definition for a quality candidate to be considered. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at - 24 months ago - save job
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