Research Biologist
Department Of Agriculture - Boise, ID

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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 Research Biologist position is with the Rocky Mountain Research Station's Grassland, Shrublands, and Desert Ecosystems Science Program. The Program mission focuses on problem areas fundamental to the development of the knowledge, technology, and tools that will enable people to restore and sustain these and similar ecosystems in the western United States and globally.

This is a research position and is classified under the scientist career plan; therefore promotion is dependent upon the incumbent's impact on the assignment, as evaluated through the Forest Service research grade evaluation panel process.

For additional information about the duties of this position, please contact Deborah Finch at 505-724-3671, dfinch@fs.fed.us .

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.
    KEY REQUIREMENTS
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen to apply.
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with the Selective Service.

DUTIES: The scientist defines the studies, conducts the research, reports results, and delivers new findings to appropriate user groups. The scientist collaborates with Bureau of Land Management (BLM), universities, United States Forest Service (USFS), and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) geneticists in the Great Basin and Pacific Northwest to accelerate development of species-specific seed zones for widely distributed grasses and forbs used in restoration. A common garden approach is used to develop empirical seed zones by identifying variation in plant traits that relate to seed source environments. Results are used to produce seed zone maps to guide selection of appropriate seed sources for restoration.

The scientist also conducts research on potential changes in community composition (plant and animal) and species relationships in light of disturbance and climate change. The scientist develops appropriate ex situ gene conservation plans for vulnerable populations. Development of appropriate in situ conservation involves alteration of management plans and may include approaches such as conservation of selected areas, promotion of habitat connectivity and gene flow, enhancement of natural selection, assisted migration trials, and examination of interactions among new species assemblages to provide management guidelines.

The scientist will supervise and direct the work of technicians, students, and volunteers who assist with field and laboratory research, data management, and preparation of research products.

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. Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.

OR

Combination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

In addition to the Basic Requirements, the following additional education and/or experience are qualifying. Transcripts must be provided for qualifications based on education. Your application or resume must clearly show that you possess the appropriate experience requirements.

Specialized experience is defined as experience that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled and has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position.

GS-11: One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-09 level; master's or equivalent graduate degree related to the work of the position; or an appropriate combination of specialized experience and graduate level education. Examples of specialized experience are: Conducting research on the availability of genetically-diverse, regionally adapting native plant materials, examining changes in plant and animal community composition and species relationships in relation to climate change, and selecting appropriate plant materials for restoration. Experience disseminating research findings through peer reviewed journal papers, technical conference presentations, and technical and annual reports.

GS-12: One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 level; Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree related to the work of the position; or an appropriate combination of specialized experience and education (only graduate education in excess of a master’s degree may be used to qualify applicants for this grade level). Examples of specialized experience are: Planning and conducting research on the availability of genetically-diverse, regionally adapting native plant materials, examining changes in plant and animal community composition and species relationships in relation to climate change, selecting appropriate plant materials for restoration, and developing tools for restoration strategies. Experience disseminating research findings through a host of technology transfer activities, including peer reviewed journal papers, technical conference presentations and workshops, technical and annual reports.

GS-13: One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 level. Examples of specialized experience are: Planning, defining, and conducting research on the availability of genetically-diverse, regionally-adapted native plant materials, changes in plant and animal community composition and species relationships in relation to climate change, and developing tools for restoration strategies and management protocols for conserving plant communities and functional ecosystems. Developing empirical seed zones by identifying variation in plant traits that relate to seed source environments. Experience disseminating research findings through technology transfer activities, including peer reviewed journal papers, technical conference presentations and workshops, technical and annual reports, and serving as a liaison to the private sector native seed industry.

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

REQUIREMENTS:

May be subject to satisfactory completion of a three 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.

Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the “Apply Online” button to the right.

To view the application form, visit: https://fs.usda.ntis.gov/cp/?event=jobs.previewApplication&jobid=eafe4dff-75b4-4aaf-9f51-a15d010e653a

BENEFITS: The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at: http://www.usajobs.gov/ResourceCenter/Index/Interactive/Benefits#icc.

OTHER INFORMATION: Relocation expenses are not authorized.

Bargaining Unit Status: Not Eligible.

Government housing is not available.

Forest Service affiliated daycare facilities are not available.

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 http://www.opm.gov/ctap/index.asp .

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.

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