This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  INTERDISCIPLINARY: Research Plant Physiologist/Ecologist/Entomologist/Geneticist/Biologist
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Agricultural Research Service
Job Announcement Number:  ARS-X13W-0031

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$96,867.00 to $155,500.00 / Per Year
Friday, January 18, 2013 to Thursday, February 28, 2013
Full Time - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Davis, CA United States
US Citizens and Status Candidates


Find Solutions to Agricultural Problems that Affect Americans Every Day, From Field to Table

The Exotic and Invasive Weeds Research Unit is seeking a scientist at its Davis, CA worksite, to conduct research and serve as Lead Scientist on an aquatic plant management project using integrated control approaches.  Initial focus is expected to be on invasive plants important to the Sacramento/ San Joaquin River Delta and will include both submerged and floating aquatic plants such as Brazilian Waterweed and Water Hyacinth.  Depending upon the discipline of the successful candidate, a comprehensive research program is expected that combines descriptive and experimental scientific activities that will lead to holistic and sustainable methods of managing aquatic invasive species in the Western United States.  This research effort is expected to be conducted cooperatively with other state and federal agencies, including but not limited to, the University of California, California Department of Boating and Waterways, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation and others.


This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.


  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position
  • Suitable for Federal employment, determined by a background investigation
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service


Major Duties:


  • Investigate environmental and physiological controls on growth and phenology of submersed aquatic weeds such as Egeria densa and Myriophyllum specatum.
    • Develop novel methods to eradicate or reduce weed infestations.
    • Examine growth, phenology, reproduction and environmental tolerances of submersed and other aquatic weeds.
  • Determine optimal methods for herbicide use in an integrated framework including biological, mechanical and cultural control.
  • Assess the impact of submersed and other aquatic weeds and of control methods on critical abiotic and biotic indicators.
  • Quanitative testing of new and improved integrated control strategies.





    Basic Requirements:


    Research Biologist (0401) 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, biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position, plus appropriate experience or additional education.  


    Research Ecologist (0408) Degree: biology, or a related field of science underlying ecological research that included at least 30 semester hours in basic and applied biological sciences.  These hours must have included at least 9 semester hours in ecology and 12 semester hours in physical and mathematical sciences. 


    Research Entomologist (0414)  Degree: entomology; or a related discipline of the biological or physical sciences that included at least 16 semester hours in entomology OR  combination of education and experience -- courses equivalent to a major that included course work in entomology; or a related discipline of the biological or physical sciences, plus appropriate experience or additional education.


    Evaluation of Education: Applicants with major fields of study in biology, zoology, or invertebrate zoology may fully meet the basic educational requirements if their academic preparation included substantive instruction (including appropriate laboratory and field work) in basic general entomology, taxonomy, physiology, ecology, general and organic chemistry, general physics, and mathematics or statistics that provided some training in the analysis of variables.


    Research Plant Physiologist (0435):  Degree: botany or plant physiology; or a related scientific discipline that included at least 10 semester hours in plant physiology.


    Evaluation of Education: The 10-semester-hour requirement in plant physiology is specific. Course work is qualifying if it dealt with plant physiology, some phase of plant physiology, or methods and techniques applied in plant physiology work. Other course work in borderline areas should be evaluated on the basis of content.


    Research Geneticist (0440) Degree: genetics; or one of the basic biological sciences that included at least 9 semester hours in genetics.


    Additional Requirements:


    GS-13:  One year specialized experience equivalent to the GS-12 grade level in the Federal service.


    GS-14:  One year specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 grade level in the Federal service.


    GS-15:  One year specialized experience equivalent to the GS-14 grade level in the Federal service.

     Specialized Experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled.  The specialized experience requirements for this position are:

    1.   Knowledge of biological science (plant physiology, ecology, entomology, genetics) to investigate environmental and physiological controls of submersed aquatic weeds.   

    2. Ability to select and use appropriate research techniques or procedures to conduct studies in aquatic weed biology and aquatic ecology.

    3. Ability to develop and maintain professional and stakeholder collaborations concerning research goals and studies.


    4. Ability to plan, conduct, and publish research in peer-reviewed scientific journals and make presentations at scientific meetings.

    Applicants must address the specialized experience requirements in their resume (or application documents).  Applications that do not reflect the specialized experience requirements will not be deemed qualified.

    To be considered for a research scientist position, you must submit a one-page abstract of your MS thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation.  Also, submit a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of persons familiar with your stature, contributions, recognition; any honors or awards received; memberships in professional or honor societies; invitations to make presentations at scientific/technical meetings; scientific society office and committee assignments; presentations (other than invitation); and publications.

    Vacant research positions may be filled at one of several grade levels depending upon the scientific impact of the person selected.  A peer review may be required to determine the appropriate grade level of the position and supplemental materials may be required from the selectee.

    esearch scientists have open-ended promotion potential.  Research accomplishments and their impact on the duties and responsibilities of positions are evaluated periodically.  The grade level is limited only by the individual's demonstrated ability to perform research of recognized importance to science and technology.  *Final grade level may be determined by a peer review panel.

    This position has a positive education requirement.  You must submit a copy of your academic transcripts OR a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grade point average or class ranking to verify education when applying for this position.  If this information is not provided, your education may not be appropriately evaluated and you may lose consideration for this position.  If you are selected for this position, you will have to provide an official copy of your transcripts prior to entering on duty.

    Education completed outside of the United States must be deemed equivalent to that gained in conventional/accredited U.S. education programs to be acceptable for Federal employment.  It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying.  Please visit the Office of Personnel Management's website for additional information on this topic.

    Time-in-grade restrictions apply for all candidates considered under Alternative Merit Promotion.

    All qualification requirements must be met within 30 days of the closing date of this vacancy announcement.

    Applicants must be available to report for duty at the time a selection is made.  Selections are typically made within 30 days of the closing date of the announcement.



    You will be evaluated to determine if you meet the basic and any additional requirements.  The Agricultural Research Service uses a category rating process.  Based on evaluation of all written materials submitted in application for the position, you will be determined to be Ineligible if you do not meet eligibility and/or minimum qualifications criteria; Eligible if you meet all eligibility and minimum qualifications criteria; OR Quality if you meet quality criteria in addition to eligibility and minimum qualifications criteria.


    The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees.  The following link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees:



    Displaced/Surplus Employees:  Individuals eligible under the USDA Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position to receive consideration for special priority selection.  CTAP and ICTAP eligibles within the local commuting area will be considered well qualified if they meet basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors, and are rated in the Quality Category as described in the How You Will Be Evaluated section.  Employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent performance rating and a copy of their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level and duty location.  Click here for additional information on CTAP and ICTAP.

    If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-point veterans' preference, you must attach Member 4 copy of your DD-214. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, you must attach an SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference plus the proof required by that form.

    Qualified candidates eligible under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA), a special hiring authority, will be considered.  VEOA eligibles are preference eligibles or veterans who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of active service.  Veterans who are released under honorable conditions shortly before completing a 3-year tour are also eligible.

    Status candidates who wish to be considered under both alternative merit promotion and non-status competitive examining must submit two complete applications when the position is open to both status and non-status candidates.  When only one application is received, it will be considered under alternative merit promotion procedures.

    Financial Disclosure Requirement:  Federal employees are subject to prohibitions against officially dealing with outside organizations in which they have a financial interest.  If hired for this position, you may be required to submit a financial disclosure report within 30 days of the effective date of your appointment and annually thereafter.

    False statements:  If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; may be fired after beginning work; or may be fined or jailed.

    Reasonable Accommodation:  If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, or have questions regarding reasonable accommodation and/or accessibility for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact the Disability Program Manager on 202-720-6161 or through the DC Relay Service on 202-855-1234 (TDD).


    Applications may be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to the appropriate address and/or facsimile number listed below, but they must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, February 28, 2013.  Certain individuals are entitled to file a late application and must contact the Agency Contact listed below for details and application instructions.

    Department of Agriculture
    5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Stop 5106
    Beltsville, MD  20705-5106



    If sending your application as an attachment to an email, do not send zipped files.  They will be removed in accordance with standard electronic security procedures.  If hand delivered, be sure your application is received in the Human Resources Division on or before closing date.


    To ensure your application fully outlines your qualifications and eligibility for this position, please review the application package checklist at:

    NOTE:  Applications received in postage paid government envelopes will not be considered.


    Kathy Sciannella
    Phone: (301)504-1568
    Fax: (478)757-3144
    TDD: 202-855-1234
    Agency Information:
    Agricultural Research Service
    5601 Sunnyside Avenue
    Beltsville, MD
    20705 Fax: (478)757-3144


    You will be notified by mail once your application is received.  After a review of your complete application is made, you will be notified or your rating and/or referral to the hiring official.  If further evaluation or interviews are required you will be contacted.   

    Control Number: 335133700
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