Biological Science Technicians – Terns and Plovers: North Dakota, South Dakota

USGS - Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
North Dakota, South Dakota
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Announcement Number: NPWRC-2017-07

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, North Dakota
Hiring Agency: INTERIOR, Geological Survey

Position Title: Biological Science Technician, GG-0404-05/06 (DEU-TEMP)

Type of Appointment: Temporary, Not-to-Exceed 180 days in a service year. The work of this project will not exceed 1039 paid hours in a service year.

Start Date: approximately April 24, 2017

Open Period: 2/16/2017– 2/24/2017

Series/Grade: GG-0404-05

Salary: GG-0404-05: $15.74 per hour
GG-0404-06: $17.25 per hour

Promotion Potential: The grade level for which you are selected is the full performance level.

Duty Location(s):
• FEW in Washburn, ND, US
• FEW in Gettysburg, SD, US
• FEW in Crosby, ND, US
• FEW in Garrison, ND, US
• FEW in Bismarck, ND, US

Who May Apply: United States Citizens
Security Clearance Req: Public Trust-Background Investigation
Duration Appointment: There may be periods of full-time, part-time, and intermittent work.

What General Information Do I Need To Know About This Position?
This vacancy is limited to the first 100 applications received and will close at midnight Eastern Time on the day this application limit is reached regardless of the closing date specified in this vacancy announcement. Any application received prior to midnight Eastern Time of the day the application limit is reached will be accepted and considered. You are strongly encouraged to submit all required supporting documents at the time of application should the vacancy close earlier than stated in this announcement due to the applicant limit being reached. Supporting documents will not be accepted once the vacancy announcement closes.

Supervisory Position: No
Relocation Authorized: No
Travel Required: Occasional overnight travel of up to 5 nights per month may be required.

Key Requirements:
•Applicants must be U.S. Citizens.
•Suitable for Federal employment, as determined by background investigation.
•Overnight travel of up to 5 nights per month may be required.
•Selectee must provide a valid driver's license and safe driving record.
•Selectee required to complete a pre-employment physical.

A background investigation will be required for this position. Continued employment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.

You will be required to operate a government-owned or leased vehicle in the performance of your official duties. Applicants for this position must meet the following requirements: (1) possession of a valid State driver’s license, and (2) possess a safe driving record. If selected, you will be required to provide proof of a valid State license and a copy of your driving record.

Throughout the recruitment and hiring process we will be communicating with you via email; therefore, it is imperative that the email address you provide when applying for this vacancy remains active. Should your email address change, please notify the point of contact identified in the vacancy announcement as soon as possible so that we can update your information.

THIS IS A TEMPORARY EXCEPTED SERVICE POSITION for which all qualified applicants, with or without Federal status may apply and be considered. Appointment to this position, however, will not convey permanent status in the Federal service. Appointment will only be for the duration of the position, in this case, 1039 hours or less. Positions may offer rehire eligibility for subsequent appointments, provided the employee has not exceeded 1039 hours of work in a twelve month period and has achieved an acceptable level of performance.

The USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Center is seeking biological science technicians (crew leads and technicians) for the 2017 summer field season of the Missouri River Project. This position begins approximately April 24, 2017 and will end approximately July 30, 2017:

Duty Stations:
Washburn, ND (Up to 5 individuals)
Garrison, ND (Up to 5 individuals)
Crosby, ND (Up to 3 individuals)
Bismarck ND (Up to 3 individuals)
Gettysburg, SD.

The project is a comprehensive evaluation of shorebird populations and their habitats and movements within the Northern Great Plains. Primary focus will be on movement and productivity of least terns and piping plovers.

The incumbent will perform a variety of tasks to gather and manage field data necessary to meet objectives of an avian ecology research project in the central or northern Great Plains.

The incumbent is assigned to the Center’s Missouri River Piping Plover and Least Tern Program, with principal responsibility for collecting data related to productivity, assessing ecology of piping plovers and least terns. Specific study elements involved include monitoring plover and tern pair and nest locations, collecting data on nest survival, fledging success and/or chick survival. The incumbent works under the general supervision of a Principal Investigator, who outlines the objectives, responsibilities, and priorities to be met. The incumbent’s primary duty is collecting piping plover and least tern data including following procedures and tools for assessment: (1) follows protocol in daily data collection, (2) care for and maintain equipment, and (3) maintaining and entering data. The incumbent acts daily as a member of a field crew and performs correct use of field forms and techniques, organizing field equipment, confirming quality and accuracy of data, and alerting supervisor to procedural, technical, and logistical problems. The incumbent applies and adapts existing methods to accomplish project objectives. The incumbent works independently in most phases of duties and updates the supervisor occasionally to ensure coordination of all phases of the project. The supervisor and other Center staff are available to offer guidance, but the incumbent is responsible for the work. Completed work receives general review by the supervisor.

Duties for the GG-6 level positions may include all duties described above, as well as: (4) assisting with the development and planning of work schedules; and (5) maintaining data and protocol consistency and leading a field crew. Experience to support the primary task incudes banding, re-sighting birds and motor boat experience is vital for employees at this grade.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: Field work will be strenuous at times. Position demands hiking moderate distances in varying temperatures, carrying equipment, and lifting objects weighing up to 40 pounds. The environment is beautiful, but often harsh; exposure to hot, dry, and windy conditions, as well as sudden rain, snow, and thunder storms, is likely.

All Grades: A current driver’s license is required, and familiarity with 4WD vehicles and manual transmissions is desirable. The U.S. Geological Survey has determined that the duties of this position are suitable for telework only during an emergency or natural disaster.
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g. Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

If you are qualifying based in whole or part on education, you are required to provide all unofficial transcripts (undergraduate, graduate, etc.) or list of course work, which includes semester hours earned and grade received, by the closing date of this announcement or you will be disqualified from further consideration. This proof may be faxed, mailed, or emailed to the office (see "Required Documents" and/or "Contact Information"). Please ensure that all documentation is legible. If you are currently employed by the Federal government in the same occupational series as the advertised position, you are not required to submit transcripts at this time. Education completed in colleges or universities outside the United States may be used to meet the above requirements. You must provide acceptable documentation that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. For more information on how foreign education is evaluated, visit:

Basis of Rating: Applicants will not be rated or ranked. All applicants that meet the basic eligibility and qualification requirements of the position will be referred to the selecting official in preference eligible order. NOTE: If it is determined that you have rated yourself higher than is supported in your description of experience and/or education as described in your resume/application, or that your resume or application is incomplete, you may be rated ineligible or not qualified.

GG-5 level:
9 months field survey party experience OR
3 years sub-professional experience OR
3 years college study (equivalent 90 semester/135 quarter hours) related to biology plus 3 months lab or field work experience.

*Satisfactory completion of a field course in biology may be substituted for the 3 months of field and/or laboratory experience.

GG-6 level:
1 year, 9 months field survey party experience OR
4 years sub-professional experience OR
4 years college study (equivalent 120 semester/180 quarter hours) related to biology plus 3 months lab or field work experience.

*Satisfactory completion of a field course in biology may be substituted for the 3 months of field and/or laboratory experience.

Definitions of Experience
Field Survey Party — Experience with a field survey party includes activity associated with making and recording geologic, hydrologic, biologic, or topographic field observations; collecting geologic, biological, or water samples for laboratory analysis; applying accepted data collection techniques and methods in the performance of field work in support of scientific investigations; and using a variety of surveying instruments and electronic or mechanical instrumentation in the making and recording of field measurements and observations designed to collect data for physical/ biological science investigations. Only time actually spent in the field can be credited when qualifying individuals under the field party experience option.

Sub-professional Experience — Sub-professional experience is defined as technical work performed in support of field or laboratory investigations relating to the biological sciences, physical sciences, or closely related disciplines which provided basic knowledge or skills in gathering, recording, and assembling scientific or engineering data; using scientific instruments to measure angles, degrees, weights, strengths, intensities, etc.; setting up and operating test apparatus, and manipulating quantitative data. Experience may include assisting professional employees with such duties as calibrating and operating measuring instruments mixing solutions, making chemical analyses, setting up and operating test apparatus, and compiling and processing scientific data. Experience as a laboratory mechanic or in a trade or craft may be credited as experience when the work was performed in close association with physical or biological scientists or other technical personnel and provided a good working knowledge of appropriate scientific principles, methods, and techniques.

Professional Experience — Professional work experience in the physical and biological sciences may be credited in lieu of or in conjunction with sub-professional experience as defined above.
You must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements for the position by the closing date of the announcement.

Temporary appointees expected to work at least 130 hours per month for at least 90 days will be eligible to enroll in a Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) plan. Individuals eligible under this rule receive the full government contribution to their premiums regardless of work schedule and will also be eligible to participate in the Flexible Spending Accounts and Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program. Temporary appointees are not covered by the Federal Employee Retirement System and are ineligible for Federal life, dental, or vision insurance.

Other Information:
The Hiring Official will determine the work schedule based upon project needs. There will be busy periods when those selected will be required to work full- or part-time schedules and other periods when individuals will be placed on intermittent schedules and will only work when their services are required. Those selected will be required to sign a statement of understanding to this effect.

Field work is extensive, and may require long hours of walking through uplands and wetlands, operating motorboats in shallow water and on moderately fast flowing rivers, extensive exposure to sun, insects, and walking over rough terrain to conduct breeding bird census and behavior observations in wetland, riverine and riparian habitats and from blinds. Most office work (data management and computer use) is performed while seated, although occasional periods of standing, walking, bending, or carrying light objects are required.

Applicants who include vulgar, offensive, or inappropriate language or information in their application package will be ineligible for further consideration for this position. Under Executive Order 11935, only United States citizens and nationals (residents of American Samoa and Swains Island) may compete for civil service jobs. Agencies are permitted to hire non-citizens only in very limited circumstances where there are no qualified citizens available for the position. USGS employees are subject to Title 43, USC Section 31(a) and may not: (a) have any personal, private, direct or indirect interest in lands or mineral wealth of lands under survey; (b) have any substantial personal, private, direct or indirect interests in any private mining or mineral enterprise doing business with the United States; or (c) execute surveys or examinations for private parties or corporations. The application contains information subject to the Privacy Act (P.L. 93-579, 5 USC 552a). The information is used to determine qualifications for employment, and is authorized under Title 5, USC, Section 3302 and 3361.

DOI uses E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.

How to Apply
Carefully read all information and instructions. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the application is completed. This office will not be responsible for soliciting additional information from applicants and will consider individuals based on their applications and supporting documentation as submitted.

Important Note: You only need to submit one application for any combination of the locations and grade levels in which you are interested, but you can only be considered for the locations and grade levels that you specify in your application and/or cover letter. Thus, we strongly suggest that you apply for multiple positions and grade levels to improve your chances of fitting our needs, but if you have preferences please make them clear.

* Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is defined as information which can be used to distinguish or trace an individual's identity, such as their name, social security number, biometric records, etc. alone, or when combined with other personal or identifying information which is linked or linkable to a specific individual, such as date and place of birth, mother’s maiden name, etc. Please ensure that you have removed all Personally Identifiable Information from all documents prior to submitting or uploading your application material.

Applications must be received by the closing date on the announcement to be considered. All application materials must arrive by 5:00 p.m. CDT on the closing date of the announcement, and must include the announcement number of the job for which you are applying.

Submit the following to complete the application process:
(a)cover letter and resume You must indicate the announcement number (NPWRC -2017-07), locations and grade levels for which you want to be considered. If you do not indicate specific announcement number, locations and grade levels your application will be considered incomplete and you will not be further considered.
(b) if qualifying for each grade level based on education, you must submit college transcripts (can be unofficial) or a list of college courses, specifying title of coursework, completion date, semester or quarter hours earned by course title, and grade earned. If selected you will be required to provide official transcripts.

If claiming 5-point veteran’s preference, a DD-214 showing character of discharge is required.
If claiming 10-point veteran’s preference a DD-214 showing character of discharge is required and a VA letter showing % of disability is required.

U.S. Geological Survey, NPWRC
Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
8711 37th St SE
Jamestown, ND 58401
FAX# 701 253 5553

If submitting application by email, please include the Announcement Number in the subject of the email.

Application MUST include:
-Cover letter and resume
-Announcement number (NPWRC -2017-07), title, and grade(s) and duty station(s) of the job(s) for which you are applying.
-Full name, mailing address (with zip code) and day and evening phone numbers (with area code)
-Country of Citizenship
-Veteran’s Preference (10 point, 5 point, Not a veteran)
-Highest Federal civilian grade held, if applicable (also give job series and dates held)
-High School (name, address including zip code)
-Colleges and universities (name, address including zip code)
-Degrees (include type and year of any degrees received. Proof of degree can be listed in transcripts, a copy of the degree certificate, or a letter from the University registrar’s office.)
-College Transcripts (can be unofficial) or a list of college courses completed specifying title of course, semester or quarter hours earned for each course, date completed, grade earned.
Give the following information on your paid and unpaid work experience related to the job:
-Job Title (include series and grade if Federal job)
-Duties and accomplishments
-Employer’s name and address
-Supervisor’s name and phone numbers
-Starting and ending dates (MONTH, DATE and YEAR)
-Indicate if we may contact the supervisor
-Job-related training courses (title, length, date taken)
-Job-related skills (i.e., other languages, computer software/hardware, tools, machinery, equipment operation, first aid, etc.)

VETERAN’S PREFERENCE and ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY If you are claiming veterans' preference you must provide a legible copy of your DD-2 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, member 4 copy or any official documentation or statement from the Armed Forces that confirms your dates of service and that your separation, discharge, or release from active duty was under honorable conditions (i.e., Honorable or General Discharge). Note: If you have more than one DD-214 for multiple periods of active duty, submit a copy for each period of service. If you are currently on active military duty, you must provide documentation (e.g., campaign document, award citation, etc.), that verifies entitlement to veterans’ preference and that your character of military service is honorable.
If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, in addition to the documents specified above, you must also submit documentation that supports your claim, e.g., an official statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs (dated 1991 or later) or from a branch of the Armed Forces certifying the existence of a service-connected disability, or the award of the Purple Heart, etc. The overall rating must be identified on your certification letter or separation orders.

If you fail to submit any of the required documentation, you will not be granted veterans’ preference. Additional information on veterans' preference can be found in the Vet Guide.

All documentation must be received by the closing date shown in this vacancy announcement.

What to Expect Next:
If you are rated as a qualified candidate, you will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview. We expect to make a selection within 30 days of the closing date of this announcement. You will be notified via email.

For More Info:
Christine Williams
U.S. Geological Survey
Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
8711 37th Street SE
Jamestown, ND 58401 701-253-5512
Contact Person
Christine Williams
Contact Phone
Contact eMail
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