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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Physical Scientist (Space Weather Forecaster) GS-1301-9/11/12 (DE/CR)
Department:  Department Of Commerce
Agency:  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Job Announcement Number:  NWS-NCEP-2013-0031

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$50,923.00 to $96,001.00 / Per Year
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 to Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Competitive: Career/Career-Conditional - Permanent, Full-time
1 vacancy in the following location:
Boulder, CO, USView Map

All qualified United States citizens.


Your Career Forecast is Sunny and Bright with the National Weather Service. The National Weather Service (NWS), the world's preeminent weather and atmospheric sciences organization, offers you an opportunity to help protect American lives and property. Since 1870, the NWS has served the public by providing forecasts and hazardous weather warnings while studying the most dynamic forces of nature. Contribute your talents to this tradition. The National Weather Service...Working together to save lives.

Headquartered in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA), Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) is the nation's official source of Space Weather Services and Information. SWPC is one of nine National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) within the NWS. SWPC continually monitors and forecasts space weather; provides accurate, reliable, and useful solar-terrestrial information; conducts and leads research and development programs; and transitions promising models and techniques into operational products to improve space weather services. If you are looking for a challenging, intellectually stimulating position involving the frontier science of space weather and its practical application, we have the job for you!

*This position is also being advertised under announcement number NWS-NCEP-2012-0033 (status). You must apply separately under each announcement to be considered for each announcement.

Salary ranges for Boulder, CO:

GS-9 - $50,923 - $66,195

GS-11 - $61,612 - $80,093

GS-12 - $73,848 - $96,001

Relocation expenses are NOT authorized.

A one-year probationary period may be required.

This position is a bargaining unit position. 


  • U.S. Citizen.
  • Suitable for Federal employment.
  • Registered for Selective Service, if applicable (
  • All requirements must be met by closing date of announcement.
  • This position requires rotating shift work.


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The individual selected for this position will...

*Provide general space weather information, warnings, alerts, and forecasts to the general public and to special user groups nationwide.

*Develop and issue Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) products, warnings, and forecasts.

*Participate in all SWPC forecast and service programs and develops and/or issues scheduled and unscheduled products and official forecast products for the general public and specialized users nationwide.

*Prepare and issue alerts and warnings concerning a number of hazardous space weather conditions, such as severe ionospheric disturbances, severe geomagnetic storming, and near-Earth energetic particle enhancements.

*Conduct a space weather watch which involves the interpretation of a host of both ground-based and satellite data and imagery including measurements across the electromagnetic spectrum, in-situ particle measurements, solar and ground-based magnetic observations, and a host of empirical and physics-based model output.

*Determine appropriate and relevant data, identifies questionable or conflicting data (resolving those if possible) and analyzes all integrated data sets to determine: 1) need of alerts and/or warnings. 2) need for issuing or updating the space weather probabilistic forecasts.

The above describes full performance of this position. This is a career ladder position covering the GS-9/11/12 grades. Performance at lower grades consist of duties incrementally approaching the full performance level of this position.


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Qualification requirements in the vacancy announcement are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains federal qualification standards. For more information about the qualifications requirements for this position: Click Here.

Basic Requirements:

  1. Degree: 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.


  2. Combination of education and experience -- education equivalent to one of the majors shown in 1 above that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

This announcement requires transcripts. Applicants who meet the basic education requirements for this position MUST submit a copy of all college transcripts. Unofficial copies are acceptable; however, individuals who are selected MUST be prepared to provide official college transcripts.

*If course content cannot be easily identified from the title of the course as listed on your transcript, you must submit an official course description from the college/university that reflects the content at the time the course was taken.

In addition to the basic education requirements, applicants must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to the next lower grade level in the Federal service. Specialized experience is experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of this position, and which is in or related to the work of this position.

To qualify for the GS-9: You must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-7 which is defined as experience with weather forecasting and/or space weather forecasting, interpretive studies, procedure development, systems support, and/or policy development support. OR master's degree or equivalent graduate degree OR 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree or equivalent graduate degree OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.

To qualify for the GS-11: You must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-9 which is defined as experience in space weather forecasting such as solar activity forecasting, interpretive studies, space weather procedure development, systems support, and policy development support. OR Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree OR 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree. OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.

To qualify for the GS-12: You must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 which is defined as experience in developing innovative approaches and techniques for specialized space weather applications sufficient to prepare and issue a variety of forecast products (e.g., solar radiation storm, geomagnetic storm, or solar flare products and services), or to determine needs, techniques, and procedures for specific space weather services. Please note: At the GS-12 there is NO substitution of education for specialized experience.

Applicants must meet specialized experience requirements to be referred at these grade levels. NOTE: Your resume must document specialized experience and support your responses to the vacancy questions.


We will review your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position. If you meet the minimum qualifications stated in the vacancy announcement, we will compare your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to your responses on the scored occupational questionnaire (True/False, Yes/No, Multiple Choice questions) and place you in one of three pre-defined categories. These categories are "gold," "silver," and "bronze." However,your resume and/or optional cover letter must support your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire, or your score may be lowered. Candidates placed in the"gold" category will be identified for referral to the hiring manager and may be invited for an interview.

How vou will be evaluated for preference eligibility: Within each category, those entitled to veterans' preference will be listed at the top of the pre-defined category for which they are placed. Preference eligibles with a service-connected disability of 10% or more will be listed at the top of the highest quality category (gold) depending on the position and grade level of the job.  

The scored occupational questionnaire will evaluate you on the following competencies; please do not provide a separate written response:

*Ability to assimilate and understand solar and geophysical data.

*Knowledge of space weather phenomena, measures of the phenomena, and the associated morphological behavior.

*Ability to use IT applications.

*Knowledge of space weather impacts and their effects on users and systems.

*Skills in summarizing and commununicating complex information to a diverse customer base.

*Knowledge of engineering or physical sciences fundamentals to solve problems and analyze data.

*Ability to communicate effectively.

To preview questions please click here.


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NOAA offers a comprehensive benefits package.  Explore the benefits offered to most Federal employees at


More than selection may be made from this announcement.

ICTAP applicants MUST submit the following documents:

1. A copy of your RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for failure to relocate, notice of disability annuity termination, or certification from the National Guard Bureau or Military Department that you are eligible for disability retirement.
2. A copy of your SF-50 "Notification of Personnel Action", documenting your RIF separation, noting your positions, grade level, and duty location, and/or Agency certification of inability to place you through RPL, etc.;
3. A copy of your latest performance appraisal including your rating; and
4. Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential.

The following links provide information on how you may be eligible for various hiring authorities: • VRA30% or more disabled veteranPersons with DisabilitiesICTAP


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Your complete application, including required documents, must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

To apply on-line, you must complete and submit an application by accessing the USAJOBS website at USAJOBS. To begin, click the Apply Online button near the bottom of this screen and follow the prompts to register into your USAJOBS account, answer the questions, and submit all required documents. To return to your saved application, log in to your USAJOBS account at USAJOBS and click on "Application Status". Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application" to continue.

If you have problems completing your on-line application, including problems submitting your supporting documents, please contact the Help Desk by e-mail at ( or phone at 866.656.6831. The help desk is available Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET.

For instructions on submitting your application in another format please contact the Human Resource Personnel listed in this announcement.


A complete application consists of the following:

• Resume showing relevant experience; cover letter optional. Your resume must indicate your citizenship and if you are registered for Selective Service if you are a male born after 12/31/59. Your resume should also list your educational and work experience including the dates (mm/dd/yy) of each employment, the number of hours worked per week, your salary, and grade of any federal position/s held. Your resume may be used to validate your responses to the assessment tool(s).
• Veterans' Preference documentation. Please indicate on your resume the type of veterans' preference you are claiming and provide the appropriate supporting documentation (DD-214 stating disposition of discharge or character of service, VA letter, SF-15, etc.) to validate your claim. For more information regarding eligibility requirements, please go to: Veterans
• Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) documentation, if applicable (see other information).
• Education. If this position requires proof of higher education, you must submit an unofficial transcript or a list of courses that includes the following information: name of accredited institution, grades earned, completion dates, and quarter and semester hours earned. If the education requirement includes a specified number of credit hours in specific disciplines, your transcript must reflect the required coursework. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the requirements. Please refer to Application of Standards for more information.

Note: You are not required to submit official documents at this time; copies are sufficient.

*Special Instructions for Foreign Education: Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website- Foreign Credentials. You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation by the closing date of the announcement will result in lost consideration.


Diana Cordell
Phone: 816-426-3044
Fax: 000-000-0000
Agency Information:
601 E. 12th Street Room 1737
Kansas City, MO
Fax: 000-000-0000


You will be notified of your application status through USAJOBS at four points during the hiring process, as applicable. You can check the status of your application by accessing the USAJOBS website at: USAJOBS and clicking on "Application Status". The four points of notification are:

1. Application Received or Application Incomplete;

2. Minimum Qualification Requirement Met or Minimum Qualification Requirement Not Met;

3. Eligible (Application Referred to the Selecting Official) or Eligible (Application Not Referred to the Selecting Official)' and

4. Selected or Not Selected.

By submitting your application, you are certifying the accuracy of the information contained in your application. If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; you may be terminated after you begin work; or, you may be fined or jailed. After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation.  You will be required to submit official documentation prior to appointment. The agency will then verify the information provided on your application (i.e., degree, veterans' preference, disability, etc.).

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