This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Biological Science Technician (Plants) GS-0404-07

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Natural Resources Conservation Service

Job Announcement Number:AK-13-10-822493-NM(DEU)

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$21.43 to $21.43 / Per Hour


Wednesday, January 09, 2013 to Wednesday, February 06, 2013




Full Time - Seasonal NTE 1039 Hours




3 vacancies in the following location(s):
Palmer, AK United StatesView Map
Anchorage, AK United StatesView Map
Fairbanks, AK United StatesView Map


United States Citizens


Be Remarkable, Make a Difference! Join the Natural Resources Conservation Service team and help us conserve our nation's Natural Resources!!   Visit our web site ( to learn more. 

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is known worldwide for its accomplishments and innovations in conservation.  The employees of NRCS are recognized for their talent, dedication, and ingenuity in making the agency's programs work as they take necessary steps to reduce erosion, protect wildlife, promote good land use, and other measures to preserve the Nation's natural resources for future generations.  Join us in protecting and conserving natural resources on America's private lands!  (


1. These are temporary position located in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Palmer Alaska.

2. This is a Temporary Appointment that is not to exceed 1 year.  This temporary appointment may be extended for 1 additional year (cannot exceed a total of 2 years.)

3. Additional selections may be made depending upon agency need and budgetary constraints.

4. Relocation expenses are NOT authorized.



Appointments with time limitations may be terminated at any time contingent upon workload, budget limitations or other factors.  This temporary appointment does not make you eligible for noncompetitive conversion to a permanent (i.e., career or career-conditional appointment) in the Federal Service.  You must compete for such an appointment. 


  • U.S. Citizen
  • Suitable for Federal Employment, determined by Background Investigation
  • Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered with Selective Service
  • Valid Motor Vehicle Operators License
  • Incumbents MUST be able to obtain a shotgun certification.


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You will serve as a crew member for vegetation projects; identify vascular and non-vascular plants to the species level using dichotomous keys; assist in developing a collection of voucher specimens for species not identifiable in the field; assist in updating and maintaining geographic information system (GIS) data pertaining to monitoring projects; utilize a variety of software to compile, reduce, store, retrieve, analyze, and report data; assist with photo documentation of project sites; and assist in report preparation.   The incumbent may also assist with special projects including assistance with soils investigations, trip preparation, and equipment organization.

 Work is partially sedentary with prolonged standing, walking and bending often required. Heavy items (packs and equipment) must be lifted and carried on a routine basis, e.g., overnight backpack trips, up to 14 days in duration. Incumbent may be required to carry a 45 lb pack for up to 15 miles per day and to hike in steep, uneven terrain, often in inclement weather.  Camping and hiking is often in country with high densities of brown or black bear.  Incumbent may be required to complete a firearm safety certification prior to starting field work.


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The qualifications for this position are described below and are published in the Qualifications Standards for General Schedule Positions which is as follows:


Qualifying experience for the GS-7 level includes one year of specialized experience at least equivalent to GS-6 which is in or directly related to the line of work of the position to be filled and which has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. Examples of specialized experience for this position are performing duties such as planning field projects and collecting and summarizing field data; using taxonomic keys to identify vascular and non-vascular plants in the field; using compound and dissecting microscopes and taxonomic keys to identify vascular and non-vascular species in the lab; collecting and preparing herbarium-quality specimens of vascular and non-vascular plants; operating and maintaining equipment (e.g., data loggers, dendrometers) used in vegetation monitoring; using a variety of software to compile, summarize and report information; and providing information to other employees and visitors about the natural resources programs. 


SUBSTITUTION OF EDUCATION FOR EXPERIENCE: The experience requirements for the GS-7 level may be met by completion of one (1) year of graduate level education (18 semester/27 quarter hours) in a position-related field of biological sciences.


COMBINATION OF EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: Equivalent combinations of successfully completed education and experience may be used to meet the experience requirements.

If qualifying based on education, you MUST transmit a legible copy of your transcripts.


You must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement. 


Foreign Education:  Education completed outside the United States must have been evaluated by a private U.S. organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign educational credentials, commonly called a credential evaluation service or education that is recognized by the Secretary of Education from an accredited body

Applicants must meet the experience and/or education requirements and qualifications specified in the announcement by the closing date.

Depending on the location and type of work, positions may require some or all of the following as a condition of employment

·  Carry a firearm while performing duties and maintain firearm proficiency.   Employees serving in such positions must be free of any domestic violence convictions.

·  Valid drivers license.

·  Work nights, early mornings, rotating shifts, holidays, overtime, and weekends.

·  Travel may be required, sometimes up to 2 weeks in length. 

·  Carry heavy items while walking over rough terrain for extended periods.

·  Travel in motorized or non motorized boats (kayak, canoe, raft); travel in a helicopter or small single-engine aircraft; or operate an all terrain vehicle (ATV).


Additional Qualifications:·  A Valid State Driver's License.


HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED: Your application will be evaluated and rated under the Category Rating and Selection Procedures.  Your resume must support your responses to the occupational questionnaire. We will review your resume and supporting documentation and compare this information to your responses on the occupational questionnaire to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for this position.    If you are basically qualified for this position, we will evaluate your application package, using a panel of subject-matter experts or HR Specialist to assess the quality, depth, and complexity of your accomplishments, experience, and education as they relate to the critical knowledge, skills, and abilities for the position.  We will then place you in one of the following categories and only those in the Best Qualified category will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES (KSAs):  Your qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of your level of knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies in the following areas: 

1. Knowledge of plant taxonomy and skill in identifying vascular and non-vascular species in the field.

2. Ability to conduct botanical field investigations.

3. Ability to communicate scientific information in writing.

4. Ability to operate for extended periods in remote back country area under primitive conditions.

Applicants will be ranked based on three quality groups, as follows:

Best-Qualified:  Applicant possesses all of the job related competencies identifies as important for successful job performance.

Well -Qualified:  Applicant possesses a majority (i.e., more than half) of the job related competencies needed for successful job performance.

Qualified:  Applicant meets the basic eligibility and minimum qualification requirements, but does not meet the definition of Well-Qualified or Best Qualified describe above.

veterans’ preference is applied after applicants are assessed.  Veterans’ preference eligibles who meet the qualification requirements are place in the appropriate category and are listed ahead of non-preference eligibles.  Veteran preference eligibles that have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent are listed in the highest quality category, except in the case of scientific or professional positions at the GS-9 level or higher.


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These positions will earn annual leave and sick leave.


No benefits are available with this position.  To find out more about benefits, click here:






Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP): ICTAP and CTAP provides eligible surplus and/or displaced Federal competitive service employees with the selection priority over candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your agency has notified you in writing that you are a surplus or displaced employee eligible for ICTAP or CTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your ICTAP or CTAP eligibility; 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement, and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well-qualified you must meet the following:  OPM qualification requirements for the position, all selective factors, where applicable; special OPM approved qualifying conditions for the position; is physically qualified with reasonable accommodation, where appropriate, to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position upon entry; and receives a rating of at least 85 on the questionnaire. You must provide proof of eligibility with your application to receive selection priority. Such proof may include a copy of your written notification of ICTAP or CTAP eligibility or a copy of your separation personnel action form. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on the OPM's Career Transition Resources website at:


Veterans' Preference: If you are entitled to veterans' preference, you should indicate the type of veterans' preference you are claiming on your résumé and submit documents to support your claim.  Your veterans' preference entitlement will be verified by the employing agency.

  • For 5-point veterans' preference, please provide your DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), official statement of service from your command if you are currently on active duty, or other official documentation (e.g., documentation of receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal) that proves your military service was performed under honorable conditions.
  • For 10-point veterans' preference, please submit a Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference and the required documentation.


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


1. Your Résumé
2. A complete Occupational Questionnaire
3. Additional Required Documents (see Required Documents section below)


The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Wednesday, February 06, 2013.

To begin the process, click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account.  Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.
Note: To return to a previously Saved or Incomplete application you may use the following link:


To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload, complete this cover page using the following Vacancy ID 822493.  Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.


If you cannot apply online:

1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire,
2. Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire, and
3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to 1-478-757-3144. Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.


 The following documents are required:

  1. Resume
  2. Responses to the questionnaire
  3. College transcripts if basing qualifications on education 
  4. Veterans Preference documentation (DD-214 or equivalent, SF-15 and VA Letter, as appropriate)


Naomi Mitchell
Phone: (907)761-7743
Agency Information:
800 West Evergreen
Atrium Building
Suite 100
Palmer, AK



Once your Occupational Questionnaire and resume have been received, you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful.  All information provided may be verified by a careful review of your resume, questionnaire responses, reference check, background check, and/or verification of education.  After a qualification review of your complete application package, you will be notified of the status of your application.  If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted.  Any exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempt to conceal information may disqualify you for consideration.  A job offer is typically made within 45 days after the deadline for applications.  You can track the progress of your application package in Application Manager at .

After the vacancy announcement closes, applications are evaluated against the questionnaire responses and placed in the appropriate quality group. The best qualified group is the first to be referred to the hiring facility for further consideration and possible interview.  The remaining groups may be referred based on the number of applicants available.

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