Physical Science Technician: Utah

Moab, Utah
Job Category
GIS & Computing
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Physical Science Technician (GG-1311-07)
USGS - Southwest Biological Science Center - Moab, UT
$19.49 an hour - Full-time, Part-time, Temporary



POSITION: Physical Science Technician

SALARY: GG-1311-07: $19.49

OPEN PERIOD: 4/17/2017 - 4/23/2017 19:00 MST

TYPE OF APPT: Temporary, Not-to-exceed 180 working days. The work of this project will not exceed 1039 paid hours

TOUR OF DUTY: Full-Time, with possible periods of part-time and intermittent work


LOCATION: Southwest Biological Science Center, Canyonlands Research Station, Moab, Utah


THESE ARE TEMPORARY EXCEPTED SERVICES POSITIONS for which all qualified applicants, with or without Federal status, may apply and be considered. Appointment to these positions, 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 12-month period and has achieved an acceptable level of performance. Temporary employees are covered by the Social Security Retirement System and annual and sick leave will be accrued; and employees are eligible for health insurance coverage.

The U.S. Geological Survey has determined that the duties of this position are not suitable for telework.

Description of Duties: The Physical Science Technician will be responsible for preparing and managing regional GIS datasets consisting of both raster and vector data in support of building application toolsets for land monitoring and management. Work encompasses projects in natural resources management, rangeland management, soil science and hydrology. Technician will utilize GIS software and applications (including digital soil mapping), custom GIS coding (e.g. Python or R), relational databases, raster manipulation and erosion modeling (e.g. APEX, RUSLE2, WEPP, WEPS). Specifically, the technician will use Python and R to automate and analyze large amounts of spatial data for mapping soil salinity and analyzing risks of salinity loading into surface waters. This position is with the Southwest Biological Science Center, duty station Moab, Utah.

Major Duties
Post-processes image-based landcover classification data in a GIS environment to clean up erroneously classified data.
Performs GIS analyses to describe the spatial patterns and characteristics of landcover classes in the post-processed classification data.
Performs GIS analyses to characterize changes in post-processed landcover classification data between datasets of difference dates.
Summarizes results of GIS analyses in tabular and written report formats.
QUALIFICATIONS: To qualify for a GG-7 you need 2 years, 9 months of field party experience OR 5 years of sub-professional experience OR 5 years of college with courses (with 18 hours of graduate level course work or equivalent) related to the field of employment plus 3 months of lab or field work experience. Sub-professional experience consists of working as a technician or aid in a laboratory or similar environment.

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.

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, emailed or hand delivered to the point of contact listed in the "How to Apply" section of this announcement.

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: http://www.

BASIS OF EVALUATION: 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. Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

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.

Applicants for this position must meet the following requirements: (I) possession of a valid State driver's license, and (2) possess a safe driving record. If selected, you will be required to provide a proof of a valid State License and a copy of your driving record. Familiarity with 4WD vehicles is desirable.

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.

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HOW TO APPLY: Carefully read all information and instructions. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the application is completed. The personnel office will not be responsible for soliciting additional information from applicants or from official personnel records, but will consider individuals based on their applications as submitted.

Applications must be received by the closing date of the announcement to be considered. If you are e-mailing applications, supporting materials such as transcripts not available electronically, can be faxed separately or mailed under separate cover but must arrive by 5:00p.m. of the day following the closing date of the announcement (not including Saturdays, Sundays, or government holidays), and must include the announcement number of the job for which you are applying.

* 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 yon have removed all Personally Identifiable Information from all documents prior to submitting or uploading your application material.

If you are claiming veterans' preference you must submit a copy of your DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, by the closing date of this announcement. 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 DD-214, you must submit documentation that supports your claim (e.g., an official statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs or from a branch of the Armed Forces certifying the existence of a service-connected disability; or receipt of a Purple Heart). 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:

The following must be included in your application form:

Announcement number, title, and grade(s) of the job for which you are applying.

Full name, mailing address (with zip code), email, day and evening phone numbers (with area code)
Country of Citizenship
Veterans preference (with supporting documentation, DD-214)
Highest Federal civilian grade held (also give job series and dates held)

High school (name, address, including zip code if known)
Colleges and universities (address including zip code if known) Majors, Type and year of any degrees received (if no degree, show total credits earned and indicate whether semester or quarter hours)
Send a copy of your college transcripts or list of college courses completed. Specify title of course, semester or quarter hours earned for each course, date completed, grade earned.

Give the following information on your paid and non-paid work experience related to the job for which you are applying (do not send job descriptions)

Job Title (include series and grade if Federal job)
Duties and Accomplishments
Employers name and address
Supervisors name and phone number
Starting and ending dates with Month and Year (Example: Feb 2001 thru Jan 2002)
Hours worked per week (e.g., 40 hr/wk, 20 hr/wk, etc.)
Indicate if we may contact your current supervisor

Job-related training courses (title, length, date taken)
Job-related skills (other languages, computer software/hardware, tools, machinery, typing speed, first aid, etc)
Job related certificates and licenses (current only)
Job-related honors, awards, and special accomplishments (IE, publications, memberships in professional or honor societies, leadership activities, public speaking, and performance awards). Give details but do not send documents unless requested.


This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process, please notify the agency.

Relocation expenses will not be paid.

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) 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.

Contact Person
Erika Geiger
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