Management Support Specialist, ZA-0301-3 (DE/CR)
Department Of Commerce - Pago Pago, AS

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NMFS is dedicated to stewardship of our nation's living marine resources, and the habitat on which they depend, through scientific research, management and enforcement. NMFS provides effective stewardship of these resources to benefit the nation, through domestic and international programs supporting coastal
communities that depend upon them, while providing safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the public.

This position will be located in the National Marine Fisheries Service, Pacific Islands Regional Office, Observer Program Division, located in Pago Pago, American Samoa.

As the Hawaii Observer Program Coordinator for Pacific Islands Regional Office in American Samoa, the incumbent is responsible for coordinating with port authority in American Samoa and works with the American Samoa government and government observer program representatives from other countries.

This position will be filled under the DOC Alternative Personnel System (CAPS). This system replaced the Federal GS pay plan and structure. Under CAPS, positions are classified by career, pay plan, and pay band. The ZA-3 is equivalent to the GS-11/12.

There is a Post Deferential of 25% for American Samoa.

Payment of relocation expenses is NOT authorized.

A one-year probationary period may be required.

This is a non-bargaining unit position.


U.S. Citizen.

Qualification requirements must be met by closing date of announcement.

Must be suitable for Federal employment.

Registered for Selective Service if applicable (

This position requires the operation of a Federal motor vehicle.

The incumbent in this position will serve as a Federal Employee in charge of the Hawaii Observer Program office and administration of the program in American Samoa. The incumbent will also:

Maintain quality control of data collected by observers and review observers data.

Advise observers in collection of protected species and fisheries research data; train and debriefs observers.

Arrange for transfer of samples to the lab and order supplies as needed for sampling and write sampling protocol.

Interact with Coast Guard and the NMFS OLE regarding violations.

Conducts safety drills and inspections.

Meet with boat captains and owners to arrange placements of observers and conducts orientations regarding their roles on board.

Work with American Samoa government and government observer program representatives from other countries.

Qualification requirements in 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 OPM's website at:

There is no education requirement required for this position.

NOTE: Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for all grade levels for which both education and experience are acceptable.

  • You must provide all transcripts from all degrees received (unofficial copies are acceptable) by the closing date of this announcement. Individuals who are selected must be prepared to provide official transcripts.
  • If course content cannot be easily identified from the title of the course as listed on your transcript, you must submit an official course description from the college/university that reflects the content at the time the course was taken.
Applicants must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to the next lower grade level (GS-9/ZA-2) 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.

Specialized experience at this level includes: Experience in vessel operations during various ocean conditions; experience in recording data on protected species observations and fishing operations; experience reviewing recordings of encounters with sea turtle, seabird, and marine mammal incidental to fishing operations; experience packaging and shipping biological samples from postmortem specimens; and experience monitoring data entry into a database via computer.

SUBSTITUTION OF EDUCATION FOR SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE - Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or L.L.M, if related.

SELECTIVE PLACEMENT FACTOR: Selective factors are knowledge, skills, abilities, or special qualifications that are in addition to the minimum requirements in a qualification standard, but are determined to be essential to perform the duties and responsibilities of a particular position. APPLICANTS WHO DO NOT MEET THE FOLLOWING SELECTIVE FACTOR ARE INELIGIBLE FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION: MUST possess and maintain valid drivers license.

Your resume must document specialized experience and support your responses to the vacancy questions.

For more information about the qualifications requirements for this position:

We will review your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position. If you meet the minimum qualifications stated in the vacancy announcement, we will compare your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to your responses on the scored occupational questionnaire (True/False, Yes/ No, Multiple Choice questions) and place you in one of three pre-defined categories. These categories are "gold," "silver," and "bronze." However, your resume and/or optional cover letter must support your responses to the self-assessment questions, or your score may be lowered. Candidates placed in the "gold" category will be identified for referral to the hiring manager and may be invited for an interview.

How you will be evaluated for preference eligibility: Within each category, those entitled to veterans' preference will be listed at the top of the pre-defined category for which they are placed. Preference eligibles with a service-connected disability of 10% or more will be listed at the top of the highest quality category (gold) depending on the position and grade level of the job.

The scored occupational questionnaire will evaluate you on the following competencies; please do not provide a separate written response:

Ability to drive a government vehicle.

Skill in reviewing observer data, forms and reports.

Knowledge of fishery observer programs.

Knowledge of observer work onboard a commercial fishing vessel.

Skill in communicating and interacting with people of different races, cultures and foreign government.

Knowledge of fishery regulations.

Skill in developing and managing office budget.

For more information on category rating, please go to:
To preview questions please click here .

NOAA offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the benefits offered to most Federal employees at

Additional vacancies may be filled under this announcement.

ICTAP candidates will be eligible if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining at least a rating of 85 out of 100. Information about ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management's Career Transition Resources website at: ICTAP

ICTAP applicants MUST submit the following documents:
1. A copy of your RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for failure to relocate, notice of disability annuity termination, certification from the National Guard Bureau or Military Department that you are eligible for disability retirement.
2. A copy of your SF-50 "Notification of Personnel Action", documenting your RIF separation, noting your positions, grade level, and duty location, and/or Agency certification of inability to place you through RPL, etc.;
3. A copy of your latest performance appraisal including your rating; and
4. Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential.

The following links provide information on how you may be eligible for various hiring authorities:
  • VRA
  • 30% or more disabled veteran
  • Persons with disabilities

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