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    Duties

    Summary

    These positions are temporary,  have a Not-to-Exceed date and will be filled for up to 6 months. The appointments may also end early due to lack of work or funds.

    These positions are located within the Mt. Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest. The primary purpose of these positions is to serve as an Avalanche Specialist on a Forest Service unit and to manage an Avalanche Center. The incumbent analyzes and interprets various meteorological and physical data upon which local and regional avalanche advisories are prepared for backcountry travelers and others in the forecast area.

    For additional information about the duties of this position, please contact Michael Schlafmann at (425) 783-6063, mschlafmann@fs.fed.us

    The USDA Forest Service has legislative authority to recruit and fill Permanent (Career/Career-Conditional), Temporary, and Term Appointments under the USDA Demonstration Project. Under this authority, any U.S. citizen may apply.

    Learn more about this agency

    Responsibilities

    Provides leadership and guidance and maintains the Avalanche Center as outlined in the Forest Service National Avalanche Center (FSNAC) Business Plan. Carries out work planning and organization such as planning work on a weekly basis, reviewing work schedules, planning for supplies and equipment, preparing accomplishment reports, etc. Prepares overall program budgets for the continuance and maintenance of the program. 

    Directs and conducts field work and oversees the development of avalanche advisories and avalanche warnings. Conducts snow stability tests and records snowpack observations in the field. Using own judgment, and without supervision, interprets and evaluates raw data dealing with snow stability and, in conjunction with other observations from field personnel, issues daily avalanche hazard advisories and warnings to the public. Using professional judgment and experience, determines when avalanche conditions have abated sufficiently to recommend termination of existing avalanche warnings. Establishes procedures, work priorities, and general operating requirements necessary to redeem responsibilities for insuring accurate avalanche advisories.  

    Evaluates National Weather Service products and observations to create a daily mountain weather forecast, which is included in the avalanche advisories.  

    Oversees and directs the maintenance and operation of avalanche weather stations within the forecast area. Inspects and performs routine user level maintenance and services on various weather station equipment and instruments. 

    Gathers and maintains data about snow conditions, weather, and condition trends using current technology. Performs such tasks as observing, recording, and transmitting atmospheric and weather information including air pressure, temperature, humidity, wind, precipitation, cloud and ultraviolet conditions, snow stability, and analyzes and interprets weather data.

    Maintains professional knowledge of snow physics including snow metamorphism, the distribution patterns of common weak layers, the mechanics of slab failure and classification of snow crystals.  

    In the event of avalanche accidents or fatalities, aids in the preparation of detailed reports of the incident which include snow stability and avalanche information, facts and observations concerning the conditions leading up to the incident, the incident occurrence, and the rescue or recovery operations. Identifies the need for and coordinates critical incident stress briefings for avalanche specialists and search and rescue personnel in connection with avalanche accidents and fatalities. 

    Possesses excellent skills in alpine and cross country skiing in steep backcountry avalanche terrain in order to conduct field observations. Practices mountain and avalanche safety measures while collecting data in high-elevation and avalanche prone terrain. 

    Directs, conducts and oversees avalanche education and outreach efforts, including print, radio, television, internet and social media venues. Writes avalanche related articles for the public in local newspapers, magazines and/or trade journals. Functions as a local point of contact for all media communications regarding avalanches. Develops a working relationship with nonprofit organizations who offer avalanche education and coordinates avalanche education with partners.  

    Is responsible for the work necessary to design and implement studies for solving avalanche related problems.  

    Provides ongoing guidance, coordination and training of volunteer observers, cooperators, and/or students.  

    Pursues and develops long term partnerships with private businesses and public agencies to acquire funding for the Avalanche Center and increase the cooperation with the various groups. Fosters ongoing relationships with partners in the community to maintain support for the Center. 

    Manages the Avalanche Center’s website, which requires working knowledge of computers, internet applications, word processing, and spreadsheets.  

    Teaches avalanche awareness classes to the general public, using multi-media approaches and public speaking. Stays abreast of avalanche education practices and changes in avalanche technology and snow science.  

    Provides training, leadership and guidance to other avalanche professionals, and coordinates with other avalanche centers in the region. Directs, conducts and oversees the avalanche training and certification of Forest Service personnel and partners.

    Travel Required

    25% or less - Position(s) may involve work away the official duty location to remote worksites within commuting distance (49 miles) and may also require overnight travel and/or camping per work/fire assignment.

    Supervisory status

    No

    Promotion Potential

    09

    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.

    Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

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    Requirements

    Conditions Of Employment

    • You must be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National
    • Males born after 12/31/59 must be Selective Service registered or exempt
    • Satisfactory background investigation and/or fingerprint check
    • Skill in alpine and cross country skiing

    ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:

    Must possess excellent skills in alpine and cross country skiing in steep backcountry avalanche terrain in order to conduct field observations. 

    Qualifications

    You must possess the Basic Requirements identified below to be considered eligible for this position. Transcripts must be provided for qualifications based on education. Your application or resume must clearly show that you possess the appropriate experience requirements.

    Degree: Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelors or higher degree that included a major field of study in: physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics. -OR

    Combination of education and experience -- education equivalent to one of the majors shown above that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education. -OR

    2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a masters degree or masters or equivalent graduate degree AND one (1) year of specialized experience. 

    Specialized experience is defined as: Work involving the acquisition, processing, and dissemination of daily weather data from weather stations,climatic grids, or maps of weather indicators; using snowboards, snow guages/rain guages or other ultrasonic depth sensors to determine snowpack conditions and stability; conducting backcountry weather forecasting, winter weather forecasting, avalanche-weather forecasting or mountain weather forcasting; and inside out skiing comfortably in all terrain, adjusting skiing technique to suit all snow conditions through snowsport or snow-related job requirements.

    To receive consideration for this position, you must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

    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 qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

    Education

    Additional information

    • BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK: Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.
    • Bargaining Unit Status: Eligible
    • Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): If you are claiming CTAP or ICTAP eligibility, provide proof of eligibility. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles must meet the agency’s definition for a quality candidate as provided in the How You Will Be Evaluated section of this announcement to be considered. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on OPMs Career Transition Resources website at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/
    • Forest Service daycare facilities are not available.
    • Direct Deposit – Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of your choice.
    • If you are newly hired, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS "E-VERIFY" system. Federal law requires the use of E-VERIFY to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. Under this system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.
    • Government housing is not available. 
    • If you are retired from the Federal Government and are selected for this vacancy, your retirement annuity may be offset from your pay.
    • This position is not eligible for telework.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    You will be evaluated in accordance with the category rating procedure as defined in the USDA Demonstration Project Plan. Applicants who meet the basic minimum qualification requirements established for the position will be placed in the Eligible category. Eligible applicants will be further evaluated against criteria for placement in the Quality category. This evaluation is based on the level of your experience, education, and/or training as determined by your responses to the Assessment Questionnaire. Applicants with veterans' preference are listed ahead of applicants who do not have veterans' preference within each category.

    Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your rating may be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.

    Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the "Apply Online" button to the right.


    To view the application form, visit: https://fs.usda.ntis.gov/cp/?event=jobs.previewApplication&jobid=D0C90324-F6C1-416E-92BD-A81101383591

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Not Applicable

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    Required Documents

    The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

    • Resume that includes: 1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) supervisor's phone number and whether or not the supervisor may be contacted for a reference check; 5) other qualifications.
    • If education is required or you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that evaluate education, visit http://www.naces.org/members.htm. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
    • If claiming veterans preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. Veterans preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veterans preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
    • If claiming 10-point veterans preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans preference see http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/
    • Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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    Benefits

    A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.

    As a temporary employee you may be eligible for health benefits. To be eligible for health coverage as a temporary employee, you must be scheduled to work at least 130 hours per month (30 hours/week) and be expected to work at least 90 days or more. If you meet these requirements, you will receive the government contribution towards the cost of the insurance and pay the same rate as permanent, full time employees.

    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

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    How to Apply

    Please read the entire announcement and all instructions before you begin. You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

    Applying online is highly encouraged. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00a.m. - 4:00p.m., Monday - Friday). If applying online poses a hardship, contact the Agency Contact listed below well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages must be complete and submitted no later than noon ET on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.

    This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact the Agency Contact to request this.

    To begin, click "Apply Online" and follow the instructions to complete the Assessment Questionnaire and attach your resume and all required documents.

    NOTE: You must verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBS transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Applicants may combine all like required documents (e.g., all SF-50s) into one or more files and scan for uploading into the application. Each file must not exceed 3MB. Grouping like documents into files will simplify the application process. Documents must be in one of the following formats: GIF, JPEG, JPG, PDF, PNG, RTF, or Word (DOC or DOCX). Uploaded documents may not require a password, digital signature, or other encryption to open.

    Please view Tips for Applicants – a guide to the Forest Service application process.

    Agency contact information

    HRM Contact Center

    Phone

    877-372-7248 option 2

    TDD

    800-877-8339

    Fax

    866-339-2695

    Email

    fsjobs@fs.fed.us

    Address

    Forest Service
    Do not mail applications see instructions on How to Apply tab
    Albuquerque, NM, 87109
    United States
    Learn more about this agency

    A career with the Forest Service will challenge you to manage and care for more than 193 million acres of our nation's most magnificent lands, conduct research through a network of forest and range experiment stations and the Forest Products Laboratory, and provide assistance to State and private forestry agencies.

    It's an awesome responsibility - but the rewards are as limitless as the views.

    USDA is a great place to start or continue your career. USDA is ranked as one of the top 10 "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" by the Partnership for Public Service (http://bestplacestowork.org/BPTW/rankings/overall/large). Rankings are based on employee feedback regarding satisfaction with their work experience.

    Next steps

    Your application will be reviewed to verify that you meet the eligibility and qualification requirements for the position prior to issuing referral lists to the selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Log in to your USAJOBS account at https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login to check your application status. We expect to make a final job offer approximately 40 days after the deadline for applications.

Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change in the workplace or the way things are customarily done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability. Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) must provide reasonable accommodations:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

Legal and regulatory guidance

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/483578000. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.