Interdisciplinary Fish Biologist (Genetics) or Geneticist (Fisheries)
Department Of The Interior - Longview, WA

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As a Fish Biologist (Genetics), GS-0482, or Geneticist (Fisheries), GS-0440, you will take the lead in genetic data collection, analysis, and report writing for a variety of projects working with different fish species and genetic analysis methods to address questions of population structure, population assignment, and species and sex identification. You will also provide day-to-day coordination among cooperators and staff to ensure consistency and quality control. In addition, you will also use genetic methods to estimate the relative reproductive success of hatchery-origin and natural-origin Pacific Salmon in the wild.

This position is located at the Abernathy Fish Technology Center located in Longview, Washington. For more information about the Abernathy Fish Technology Center visit: .


U.S. Citizenship and Background Investigation
Transcripts required with application
Valid driver's license
Must wear official U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service uniform DUTIES:

1. Works as a member of a team conducting complex molecular genetic analyses for a variety of projects working with different fish species and genetic analysis methods to determine genetic similarities and relationships, assign individuals to population of origin, quantify levels of genetic variation within and among populations, and identify species and sex.

2. Provides overall technical coordination of long-term relative reproductive success studies of hatchery and natural origin Pacific salmon in the Center's Applied Research Program in Conservation Genetics to ensure proper archiving, documentation and scientific integrity of genetic data sets collected by the USFWS and partners over the course of multiple years.

3. Uses DNA markers and automated DNA analyzers/sequences to collect genotypic, gene frequency, and DNA sequence data on hatchery and wild populations of fishes. These procedures include extraction and archiving of DNA, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of target genes/sequences, operation and maintenance of sophisticated laboratory equipment including PCR machines, liquid handling robots, and automated DNA sequencers.

4. Performs statistical analyses and generates graphical representations of study results, and incorporate these data into written reports, scientific publications, and oral presentations. Statistical methods include, but are not limited to: genetic parentage analysis, analyses of genetic variation within and among populations, genetic population assignments, analysis of genetic population structure, genetic identification of hybrids, and stock identification.

5. Delivers oral presentations at workshops, symposia, and other scientific meetings.

You must meet all qualification requirements outlined in this vacancy by 11:59 PM (EST) on the closing date of the announcement.

In order to meet the qualifications of this position you must meet the "Basic Qualifications" for either the GS-0440 or GS-0482, as outlined below AND must have specialized experience and/or directly related education as described in the “Additional Requirements” . In addition, the "Selective Factors" must be met.

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.

GS-0440, Geneticist (Fisheries)

To qualify for the GS-0440 series, you must meet the following scenario:

Degree: genetics; or one of the basic biological sciences that included at least 9 semester hours in genetics. (Transcripts required. Unofficial copies are acceptable; however, if selected, you must provide official copies prior to your start date).

Graduate Education: Genetics, or a curriculum or pattern of training that placed major emphasis on genetics. Graduate study in related fields such as agronomy, horticulture, animal, dairy, or poultry husbandry, entomology, microbiology, plant pathology, chemistry, molecular and cellular biology, and physiology that involved cross-training in genetics is qualifying, provided it placed sufficient emphasis on genetics.

Evaluation of Education: Most students in the field take graduate work because specific training in genetics may be limited at the undergraduate level. Under these circumstances, it may be necessary to evaluate undergraduate course work in genetics in one of two ways, as described below, to determine whether or not it is qualifying.

1. Courses dealing with genetics, some phase of genetics, or specific techniques that are applied in genetics work are acceptable. This includes courses in genetics, plant or animal genetics, molecular and cellular biology, mathematics and statistics (as they apply to genetics), population dynamics, and certain techniques such as those dealing with irradiation.

2. Course work consisting of an appropriate combination of basic courses in genetics and cytology or statistics is also acceptable.

----- OR -----

GS-0482, Fish Biologist (Genetics)

To qualify for the GS-0482 series, you must meet either A or B below:

A. Possess a degree with a major in a biological science that included:

At least 6 semester hours in aquatic subjects such as limnology, ichthyology, fishery biology, aquatic botany, aquatic fauna, oceanography, fish culture, or related courses in the field of fishery biology; and a t least 12 semester hours in the animal sciences in such subjects as general zoology, vertebrate zoology, comparative anatomy, physiology, entomology, parasitology, ecology, cellular biology, genetics, or research in these fields. (Excess course work in aquatic subjects may be used to meet this requirement when appropriate.) OR

B . Possess a combination of education and experience -- courses equivalent to a major in biological science (i.e., at least 30 semester hours), of which a minimum of 6 semester hours were in aquatic subjects and 12 semester hours were in the animal sciences, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. This requires that you possess a core of educational credit, such as described in paragraph A above, plus additional education and/or experience.

----- AND ------

A) Have at least three (3) years, of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. or equivalent graduate doctoral degree that is directly related to fish biology or genetics. (One year of full-time graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent one (1) year of full-time study. If that number cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours will be considered an academic year of graduate study. Part-time graduate education is creditable in accordance with its relationship to a year of full-time study at the school attended.)

----- OR -----

B) Have one (1) year of full-time, specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-9 level in the Federal Government. Specialized experience must be clearly documented in your resume. Specialized experience is defined as performing at least three of the following activities:

1) Using DNA markers and automated DNA analyzers/sequencers to collect genotypic data, gene frequency, and DNA sequence data on populations of fish; and

2) Extracting and archiving DNA from fish populations; and

3) Utilizing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify target genes/sequences; and

4) Conducting molecular genetic analyses of salmonid fishes.

NOTE: One (1) year of specialized experience refers to full-time work; part-time work is considered on a prorated basis. Your resume must include the number of hours worked per week to ensure proper credit.

----- AND -----

In addition to the minimum qualification requirements, selective factors identify any qualifications that are also important for the job. These are already required when the person starts the job. You must meet the following selective factors, in addition to the requirements described above, in order to be qualified for this position.

1. At least two (2) years of professional experience or graduate studies conducting genetic pedigree reconstruction analyses of Pacific salmon, especially steelhead, rainbow trout and Chinook salmon, and the ability to collect and analyze genotypic data from multiple sources and over multiple years.

2. At least two (2) years’ experience serving as the primary researcher on one or more conservation genetic studies, including determining specific research objectives, developing study plans and budgets, executing laboratory and statistical analyses, and being primary author of peer-reviewed reports and publications.

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 .

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

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

OTHER KEY REQUIREMENTS (conditions of employment):
Must serve 1 year probationary period.

Maintain a valid Driver's License.

Wear official Fish and Wildlife Service uniform.

Direct deposit of salary payment.

Apply for Government travel charge card if expected to travel on official business. 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 molecular population genetics statistical methods.
  • Knowledge of the principles, theories, and techniques of molecular and population genetics.
  • Ability to develop and maintain population genetics databases.
  • Ability to communicate orally and in writing.
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.

The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees. For more information about these benefits, please visit

Travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will NOT be paid by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Any moving expenses associated with reporting for duty in this position will be the responsibility of the selected employee.

Veterans Preference: If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-point preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214, showing your character of service (member 4 copy) or other proof of eligibility. If you are claiming 10-point preference, you must also submit an SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference, plus the proof required by that form. For more information about veterans, visit:

SF-15 form can be found at:

Documents needed to receive consideration under CTAP/ICTAP:
1. Proof you are a displaced Federal employee under 5 CFR 330.702, e.g., one of the following: RIF Separation Notice; Notice of Proposed Removal for Declining a Transfer of Function; Agency certification of inability to place after termination of work-related disability compensation; OPM Notice of Termination of Disability Annuity; or certification of a Military Reserve Technician or National Guard Technician special disability retirement annuity.

2. SF-50s (Notification of Personnel Action) sufficient to show all of the following: 1) that you held career/career-conditional competitive status in your position of record; 2) the promotional potential of your position of record; and 3) the duty location of your position of record. NOTE: You may need to submit more than one SF-50.

3. Most Recent Performance Appraisal. This requirement does not apply if you qualify for ICTAP due to injury compensation or disability annuity.

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