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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Biologist, ZP-0401-3 (DE/CR) Term Appointment NTE 1 Year
Department:  Department Of Commerce
Agency:  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Job Announcement Number:  NMFS-AKC-2013-0012

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$61,255.00 to $95,444.00 / Per Year
Friday, March 22, 2013 to Thursday, March 28, 2013
Competitive: Career/Career-Conditional - Term/Full-time
1 vacancy in the following location:
Seattle, WA, USView Map

All United States citizens.


The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is dedicated to stewardship of our nation's living marine resources, and the habitat on which they depend, through scientific research, management and enforcement. NMFS provides effective stewardship of these resources to benefit the nation, through domestic and international programs supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, while providing safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the public.

This position will be assigned in the NMFS Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC), National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML), and will assist in the support of NOAA Fisheries goals and objectives regarding study of whales.

This is a term position not to exceed 13 months. It may be extended for a total of four years.

This position does not confer competitive status. If you wish to apply for this position and are a current Federal employee in a permanent position, be advised that you are not guaranteed a return to your permanent position upon termination of this appointment.

This position is covered by the Department of Commerce (DOC) Alternative Personnel System. This system replaces the federal GS pay system and structure. Under the System, positions are classified by career path, series, and pay band. The ZP-3 is equivalent to a GS-11/12. For additional information visit CAPS Information.

Must be able to acquire and maintain a boat operating certification. 

A one-year trial period may be require.

Relocation is not authorized.

More than one selection may be made from this announcement.

This position is not in the bargaining unit.


  • U.S. citizen.
  • Registered for Selective Service if applicable (
  • Suitable for Federal employment.
  • Qualifications must be met by closing date of announcement.


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In this position the incumbent will:

  • Carries out projects as a full member of a research team or as an independent researcher under general direction and guidance on project objectives, limits, work plans, and conclusions, assessing accuracy and reliability of results and documenting assignments according to accepted principles and methods.
  • Coordinate activities relating to Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program (CAEP) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit including writing permit applications and reports; lead marine mammal aerial and vessel surveys in Alaskan Waters, including developing survey designs.
  • Serve as a marine mammal observer in aerial and vessel surveys collecting sightings data, to be used in stock assessments.
  • Serve as a small boat operator during sampling procedures; photograph, biopsy, and tagging marine mammals, especially baleen whales; manage CAEP's Alaska humpback whale photographic catalogue for individual identification, including organizing and cataloging photographs, maintaining meta data on the photographs.
  • Analyze both real-time and recorded acoustic data from baleen whales including identifying sounds made by baleen whales from other ocean noises.
  • Analyze spatial distribution of cetaceans in relation to oceanographic features in a Geographic Information System (GIS) framework; manage and process data from aerial and shipboard cetacean surveys.
  • Write manuscripts in standard scientific format (abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, references, tables, and figures) resulting from research activities for submission to peer-reviewed journals.


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Qualification requirements in vacancy announcements are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains federal qualification standards. This handbook is available on OPM's website at: QUALIFICATIONS.

A. Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.


Combination of education and experience -- Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

This announcement requires transcripts.

*You MUST provide all transcripts from all degrees received (unofficial copies are acceptable) by the closing date of this announcement. Individuals who are selected must be prepared to provide official 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.

Applicants must possess 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-9 or equivalent level in the Federal service obtained in either the private or public sector, performing the following types of tasks:Specialized experience for this position is defined as:

Performing marine mammal research activities; collecting photographs and biopsies of marine mammals; reviewing marine mammal permit applications and reports for accuracy and completeness; maintaining a catalogue of marine mammal data; evaluating spatial distribution data of cetaceans; and drafting scientific publications for peer reviewed journals.

NOTE: Your resume must document specialized experience and support your responses to the vacancy questions.

For more information about the qualifications requirements for this position: Click Here.


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 self-assessment questions, 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 you 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 oversee the marine mammal permit, application and reporting process.

* Knowledge of project planning and management theories and principles.

* Ability to plan and conduct marine mammal aerial and vessel surveys in various oceanic climates and conditions.

*Skill in collecting data for marine mammal stock assessments from ships, aircraft, or small boats.

*Ability to manage photographic databases.

*Ability to analyze spatial distribution of cetaceans in relation to oceanographic features in a Geographic Information System framework.

*Ability to analyze both real-time and recorded acoustic data from marine mammals.

*Ability to write scientific publications for peer reviewed journals.

For more information on category rating, please click here.
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 Benefits.


ICTAP candidates will be eligible if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining at least a rating of 85 out of 100. Information about ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management's Career Transition Resources website at: ICTAP  

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, 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 Apply Online 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 Resources Specialist 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 along with the number of hours worked per week. 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. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the requirements. Please refer to Qualifications for more information.

Note: You are not required to submit official documents at this time; copies are sufficient. You must provide all the required documents by the closing date of the announcement or you may lose consideration for this vacancy.

*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 Qualifications. 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.


Janet Rizzi
Phone: 816-426-3044
Fax: 000-000-0000
Agency Information:
WFMO/Kansas City Staffing Division
601 E. 12th Street, Rm 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 "Track Your Online Application." 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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