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    This position is for a Student Trainee (Biological Sciences), GS-0499-4.

    Salary: The salary for each location may vary depending on locality. Locality tables may be found here.

    Learn more about this agency


    Pathways Intern NTE: This is a Pathways Internship Program position not to exceed 1 year. This position may be terminated at any time or may be extended at management's discretion without further competition if the employee remains eligible for employment in the Pathways Intern Program.

    This is a Temporary Pathways Student Intern position. This appointment may be extended based on continued needs/funds for the position and the students continued eligibility for the Pathways Program. For information concerning the work schedule (e.g. part-time/full-time) and anticipated duration of the position please visit this link*.

    ***These positions are not anticipated to start until the timeframe of March-June of 2021. If you will have completed or will be completing all degree requirements before September of 2021 and do not plan on pursuing additional education, you will be found ineligible for this position. If there is no documentation provided with your application materials indicating that you intend on continuing your education past March of 2021, you will be found ineligible for this position.***

    Duties of the position may include but are not limited to the following:

    Conduct biological surveys, wetland work, and invasive plant management.

    Assist in all aspects of the biology and habitat management programs to include water management, invasive species control, prairie vegetation surveys, grassland bird transects, waterbird and other biological surveys.

    Assist in various aspects of the biology, habitat, and facility management programs to include biological surveys (4 square mile waterfowl and vegetative) and invasive species management (utilizing chemical, hand pulling and mechanical treatment).

    Assist in water management by removing beaver dams, and banding wood ducks.

    Assist in all aspects of the biology and habitat management programs to include biological surveys and invasive species management.

    Assist in Lake sturgeon culture and care, water quality monitoring and management of warm water fish culture ponds general maintenance.

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


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    Conditions Of Employment

    • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National
    • Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered for Selective Service
    • Resume and supporting documents (See How To Apply)
    • Suitability for employment, as determined by background investigation
    • You may required to take a drug test for this position
    • You may be required to take a medical exam for this position at your expense
    • May be required to successfully complete a probationary period
    • Must meet Pathways eligibility requirements
    • Selectee will be required to sign a Pathways Agreement form
    • Valid state issued driver's license required
    • Wearing of official U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service uniform may be required depending on location selected
    • Must designate a financial institution for direct deposit of pay prior to appointment
    • Selectee may required to obtain a watercraft/boat operators license within 90 days of being hired depending on location selected
    • See Additional Information section for link to additional conditions of employment applicable to each position advertised


    Only experience and education obtained by 01/08/2021 will be considered.

    OPM's Qualification standard: http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/final-groupcoveragequalificationstandardforpathwaysprogramschedule-20d.pdf)

    To be eligible for a Pathways Program internship program, you must meet the following requirements:
    • You must be a student accepted for enrollment or enrolled in a degree or certificate program on at least a half-time basis and in good standing who will be continuing my education into the next semester have received a notice of acceptance for enrollment. (You are required to submit a copy of your transcript or notice of acceptance.)
    • Enrollment must be with an accredited educational institution or state-approved home school. These may include high schools, colleges, universities, technical, trade, vocational, or business schools, and state approved home school secondary and post-secondary programs.
    • Qualifying certificate programs are post-high school programs equivalent to at least one academic year of full-time study that is part of an accredited college-level, technical, trade, vocational, or business school curriculum.
    • Educational institutions must be accredited by organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. To see if your school is accredited, please isit: http://www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation/

    Pathways Student Intern: The Department of the Interior Internship Program (Pathways) is designed to provide students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school.

    Minimum Qualifications at the GS-04 grade level:

    Completion of 2 full academic years of post-high school study or an associate's degree (as determined by the educational institution attending). OR

    Possess 6 months general experience and 6 months specialized experience. General experience is defined as (1) any type of work that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform the work of the position, or (2) experience that provided a familiarity with the subject matter or processes of the broad subject area of the occupation. Specialized experience is defined as experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA's) to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level. Examples of specialized experience include: collecting and assembling biological data, assisting in performing biological studies, assisting in conducting wildlife surveys, providing scientific or outdoor recreation information to the general public and assisting with construction/maintenance on habitat restoration projects; OR

    An equivalent combination of successfully completed post-high school education and experience. To determine qualification based on a combination of education and experience, determine total qualifying experience as a percentage of the above requirement; then determine education as a percentage of the above requirement. Add the two percentages. The total percentage must equal at least 100 percent to qualify an applicant at the GS-4 grade level.


    PROOF OF EDUCATION: All applicants who are using education or a combination of education and experience to qualify must submit copies of official or unofficial transcripts which include grades, credit hours earned, major(s), grade point average or class ranking, institution name, and student name. If any required coursework is not easily recognizable on transcripts, or if you believe a portion of a particular course can be credited toward meeting an educational requirement, you must also provide a memorandum on letterhead from the institution's registrar, dean, or other appropriate official stating the percentage of the course that should be considered to meet the requirement and the equivalent number of units. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable; however, if you are selected for the position, you will be required to produce the original official transcripts.

    PASS/FAIL COURSES: If more than 10 percent of your undergraduate course work (credit hours) were taken on a pass/fail basis, your claim of superior academic achievement must be based upon class standing or membership in an honor society.

    GRADUATE EDUCATION: One academic year of graduate education is considered to be the number of credits hours your graduate school has determined to represent one academic year of full-time study. Such study may have been performed on a full-time or part-time basis. If you cannot obtain your graduate school's definition of one year of graduate study, 18 semester hours (or 27 quarter hours) should be considered as satisfying the requirement for one year of full-time graduate study.

    FOREIGN EDUCATION: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html

    Additional information

    To register or verify your registration go to the Selective Service System at https://www.sss.gov/RegVer/wfRegistration.aspx

    FWS has determined that the duties of this position are not suitable for telework.

    Telework: Please see additional information about each vacancy here.

    Conditions of Employment: Please see additional information about each vacancy here.

    Additional Vacancies: One or more positions may be filled from applications received under this announcement in the advertised office or other U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service offices in the local commuting area.

    A PCS move is not authorized.

    If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application: https://help.usastaffing.gov/Apply/index.php?title=Alternate_Application_Information.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    Once the announcement has closed, a review of your resume and supporting documentation will be used to determine whether you meet the basic qualification requirements listed on this announcement. If you meet the basic qualifications your resume and supporting documentation will be compared against your responses to the assessment questionnaire to determine your level of experience. If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and/or experience which resulted in you being listed in the highest quality category, you may lose consideration, or be assigned to a lower quality category for this position. Please follow all instructions carefully when applying, errors or omissions may affect your eligibility.

    Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics):

    Knowledge in a variety of activities including conducting field work, collecting and specimens, water quality data, and habitat measurements, as well as administrative and general maintenance duties as needed.

    Knowledge in the processing of field preserved biological specimens, including performing dissections and sample preparations.

    Ability to enter field, location, and other biological and resource data, into computerized databases.

    Communication skills, both verbal and written.

    If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-point veterans' preference, you must attach a copy of your DD-214 showing you were honorably discharged. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, you must attach an SF-15," Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference" in addition to the proof required by that form.

    Unranked list: Applicants who meet basic eligibility criteria are listed by veterans' preference category: 10 percent or more compensable disabled veterans, 10-point preference eligible veterans, 5-point preference eligible veterans and non-preference eligible veterans. Agencies must consider the candidates in the highest preference group first. Agencies cannot select nonpreference eligible veterans until the preference eligible veterans are exhausted or the agency has gone through the proper pass over procedures with respect to the remaining preference eligible veterans
    § 302.302 Examination of applicants.
    (a)Eligibility. An evaluation of the qualifications of applicants for positions covered by this part may be conducted at any time before an appointment is made. The evaluation may involve only determination of eligibility or ineligibility or may include qualitative rating of candidates. If the evaluation involves only basic eligibility numerical scores will not be assigned and eligible candidates will be referred in accordance with the procedures described in paragraph (b)(5) of § 302.304.

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Not Required

    Drug test required


    Position sensitivity and risk

    Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

    Trust determination process


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    Required Documents

    To apply for this position, you must submit a complete Application Package which includes:

    1. Resume or Application. At a minimum, your resume MUST contain job title (include job series and grade, if federal), duties, starting and ending dates (month and year), hours worked per week, and salary. USAJOBS has a template to ensure a complete resume. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YX7o1PBoFk
    2. Other supporting documents:
    • Cover Letter, optional
    • You MUST submit proof of enrollment and education. Degree Audits or Unofficial Transcripts are acceptable.
    • Official or unofficial College Transcript(s), if the position has education requirements, or if you are using your education to qualify. Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. A copy of your official transcripts will be required if you are selected. If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html
    • Veterans' Preference documentation, if applicable (e.g., DD-214 Member Copy 4 showing type of discharge/character of service, SF-15 Form and related documentation, VA letter, etc.)
    • If applicable, documentation/proof that you are eligible Career Transition Assistance Program/Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program documentation, if applicable (e.g., Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, or Notice of Proposed Removal; SF-50 that documents the RIF separation action; and most recent performance appraisal.)

    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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    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.


    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

    1. Review the Appointment Eligibility Criteria: The eligibility section of the application process is designed to allow you to choose how you wish to be considered for this vacancy announcement. You will ONLY be considered for the appointment eligibilities that you selected. You must provide proof of your eligibility as required by appointment eligibility to be considered.
    2. Resume or Application. At a minimum, your resume MUST contain job title (include job series and grade, if federal), duties, starting and ending dates (month/day/year), hours worked per week, and salary. USAJOBS has a template to ensure a complete resume.
    3. You must also complete the online application and assessment questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below.
    DEADLINE DATE: A complete application package must be received by 11:59 PM (EST) on 01/08/2021 to receive consideration.
    • To begin, click Apply to access the online application. You will need to be logged into your USAJOBS account to apply. If you do not have a USAJOBS account, you will need to create one before beginning the application.
    • Follow the prompts to select your resume and/or other supporting documents to be included with your application package. You will have the opportunity to upload additional documents to include in your application before it is received. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.
    • After acknowledging you have reviewed your application package, complete the Include Personal Information section as you deem appropriate and click to continue with the application process.
    • You will be taken to the online application which you must complete in order to apply for the position. Complete the online application, verify the required documentation is included with your application package, and submit the application.
    • You will be considered for all eligibilities for which you select "yes" and submit the required documents and supporting documentation (e.g. DD 214, Schedule A letter, etc.). The supporting documentation you submit will be used to determine your eligibility. Please review the list of documentation provided in the eligibilities language to ensure you provide the appropriate information.
    • Please note, your eligibility will be based solely on the selections you have indicated "yes" in this section. You must provide the supporting documentation to support your claim to be considered. You may choose more than one eligibilities in this section.
    • To view the assessment questionnaire, click here: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10975974

    After Program Completion:

    Note: If this position were converted, the anticipated position would be to a 0404 or 0401 Occupational Series GS-04. The anticipated position may change based on the needs of the organization. Interns must meet the qualification requirements for the position to which converted.

    This Pathways intern position may be converted to a term, career, or career conditional position, upon successful completion of the program. Conversion is neither mandatory nor guaranteed and would need to occur within 120-calendar days of successful completion of degree requirements.

    Applicants that will not be able to meet the minimum requirements listed below will be ineligible for conversion.
    To be eligible for possible conversion to a term or career conditional position, the intern MUST:
    • Complete at least 640 hours of work experience acquired through the Internship Program prior to completing degree requirements.
    • Successfully complete their degree or certificate requirements.
    • Meet the qualification standards for the position to which the Intern will be converted, including any minimum education requirements.
    • Meet agency-specific requirements as specified in teh Participant's Agreement.
    • Performance must be rated at least at a fully successful level.
    • Must be a U.S. citizen.
    • Be recommended for conversion by the supervisor.
    To verify the status of your application, log into your USAJOBS account (https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login), all of your applications will appear on the Welcome screen. The Application Status will appear along with the date your application was last updated. For information on what each Application Status means, visit: https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/how-to/application/status/.

    Agency contact information

    Human Resources Staffing Division


    Division of Human Resources
    5275 Leesburg Pike
    Falls Church, VA 22041
    Learn more about this agency

    You too can make a difference in our world. The work of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is meaningful and varied. Want to know more about what it is like to work for us? Click here to watch short podcasts entitled Meet Your New Boss and Diversity is our Strength.

    Visit our careers page

    Learn more about what it's like to work at Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service, what the agency does, and about the types of careers this agency offers.


    Next steps

    Once you submit all the required documents and the online application in USAJOBS, you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful. After the evaluation process is complete, you will be notified of your status and/or referral to the hiring official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted.

    You will be notified if this job is filled or canceled. Timelines for this process vary widely.

    You may check the status of your application at any time by logging in to your USAJobs Account.

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 to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • 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.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Legal and regulatory guidance

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/588437200. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.