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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Oceanographer (Biological) GS-1360-11/12/13
Department:  Department Of The Interior
Agency:  Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Job Announcement Number:  BOEM-KN-13-MM929200 (DEU)

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$62,467.00 to $115,742.00 / Per Year
Monday, August 05, 2013 to Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Full Time - Permanent
Few vacancies in the following location:
Herndon, VA United StatesView Map
United States Citizens


The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) manages the exploration and development of the nation’s offshore resources. It seeks to appropriately balance economic development, energy independence, and environmental protection through oil and gas leases, renewable energy development and environmental reviews and studies.

As a biological oceanographer, you will develop and oversee oceanographic studies, provide technical reviews, coordinate diverse efforts within and outside of BOEM and ensure consistency of effort with BOEM and Department national policies, resources and priorities. You will be responsible for policy coordination in support of BOEM-authorized activities, particularly as they relate to environmental studies of biological and oceanographic resources (e.g. corals, chemosynthetic and other benthic communities, avian resources, fish and fisheries, coastal and marine processes).


This is a full-time permanent position.

The full performance level is GS-13.


Salary Range: 

GS-11: $62,467 - $81,204 

GS-12: $74,872 - $97,333

GS-13: $89,033 - $115,742

First time hires to the federal government typically start at the beginning salary in the range for their respective grade.


BOEM has determined that the duties of this position are suitable for telework and the selectee may be allowed to telework with supervisor approval.


This vacancy is also announced as BOEM-KN-13-MM929201(MP) for those applicants who wish to apply and be considered under Merit Promotion procedures (i.e. current competitive service employees, have reinstatement eligibility for the competitive service, or who are eligible for special appointing authorities).  You must apply and submit required documents for both announcements if you wish to receive consideration under both Merit Promotion and Delegated Examining procedures.




  • You must be a U.S. Citizen.
  • You will be subject to a background/suitability investigation/determination
  • You must submit ALL required documents and a completed questionnaire.
  • Relocation expenses will not be authorized.
  • Travel of 1-5 nights per year may be required.
  • You will be required to have federal payments made by Direct Deposit.


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Major Duties 

As experience is gained, the selectee will perform a broader range of assignments under less supervision.  At the full performance level of GS-13, the major duties include, but are not limited to:   

  • Provides scientific advice and oversees coordination on biological oceanographic and/or marine ecological studies. Represents the Bureau or Department with respect to large, overarching scientific questions and/or concerns such as climate change, utilizing adaptive management in decision-making, marine productivity and environmental sensitivity.

  • Oversees the coordination, planning, budgeting and execution of environmental studies at the headquarters level by providing technical reviews and oversight and coordinating diverse efforts both within and outside the bureau.

  • Independently reviews and evaluates environmental documents, proposals, and studies concerning environmental science issues and the potential impacts of energy activities on the Outer Continental Shelf.

  • Prepares technical and policy documents, Departmental and Bureau correspondence, and briefing materials concerning environmental issues relevant to BOEM regulated activities.

  • Instructs personnel concerning actions required to comply with procurement processes related to scientific issues.

  • Evaluate Bureau procedures and documents to help ensure environmentally sound activities by adhering to applicable federal environmental laws and regulations.

  • Prepare detailed written explanations of procedures and findings, and makes oral presentations as warranted.


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To qualify for this position you must meet the (1) Basic Educational Requirements AND (2) Specialized Experience (or education substitution where applicable) for the grade to which you are applying.


Please Note: This position requires specific educational coursework to qualify. You MUST provide transcripts in order to verify that the educational requirements have been met. This information must be received by the closing date of the announcement. Failure to provide this information will result in you receiving an "INELIGIBLE" rating.


1.  Basic Educational Requirements:

A.    Degree: major study of at least 24 semester hours in oceanography or a related discipline such as physics, meteorology, geophysics, mathematics, chemistry, engineering, geology, or biology, plus 20 additional semester hours in any combination of oceanography, physics, geophysics, chemistry, mathematics, meteorology, computer science, and engineering sciences.


B.     Combination of education and experience -- course work as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. 

*Applicants who qualify on the basis of major study in biology or geology must have had at least 6 semester hours in the major directly concerned with marine science or 6 semester hours in oceanography; applicants who qualify on the basis of other physical sciences or engineering must have had differential and integral calculus and at least 6 semester hours in physics. 

2. Specialized Experience Requirements:

GS-11 Specialized Experience Requirements: Applicants must have 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-9.  Specialized experience is 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 position to be filled.  Specialized experience is defined as: (1) Collecting and analyzing data to evaluate biological impacts in the marine environment AND (2) Preparing written explanations of procedures and findings of oceanographic studies. (must meet both)




Substitution of Appropriate Education for Experience

You may substitute education (that is directly related) for experience at the GS-11 level if you have achieved:

A Ph.D. or equivalent graduate degree or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree.


GS-12 Specialized Experience Requirements: Applicants must possess at least one full year of specialized experience at or equivalent to at least the next lower grade level (­­­­GS-11).  Specialized experience that which 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 position to be filled. Specialized experience is defined as: (1) independently, or as part of a team, conducting environmental analysis for projects in the marine environment with respect to biological oceanography or marine ecology; AND (2) identifying areas for research and/or coordinating the procurement of environmental studies related to biological oceanography or marine ecology. (must meet both)


GS-13 Requirements:  Applicants must have 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12.  Specialized experience is 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 position to be filled. Specialized experience is defined as:  (1) organizing, directing and/or coordinating complex research activities in biological oceanography; AND (2) giving professional presentations, or authoring professional documents related to biological oceanography or marine science. (must meet both)


Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualification Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions and is available at OPM’s website:

Education: If this position requires specific educational course work to qualify, or you are qualifying based in whole or part on education, you are required to provide transcripts as proof of meeting the requirements. Failure to provide the documents will result in you receiving an ineligible rating.

Foreign Education: Education completed in colleges or universities outside the United States may be used to meet the specific educational requirements as stated above. You must provide acceptable documentation that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. For more information on how foreign education is evaluated, visit:

Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service system, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law.


Veterans Preference: If you are entitled to veteran's preference, indicate the type of preference you are claiming on your resume, and in the occupational Online Questionnaire  Your veteran's preference entitlement will be verified by the employing agency. 


Your resume and responses to the self-assessment questions are an integral part of the process for determining your qualifications for this position.  Therefore, it is important that your resume supports your responses to the assessment questions.


There are several parts of the application process that affect the overall evaluation of your application:

1. Your resume which is part of your USAJOBS profile
2. Your responses to the online questionnaire
3. Your required and supporting documents, as outlined in the announcement


Category Rating will be used in the ranking and selection process for this position.  The categories are Best Qualified, Well Qualified, and Qualified.  Veterans’ preference rules for category rating will be applied.


Once the application process is complete, we will review your application to ensure you meet the job requirements.  To determine if you are qualified for this job, a review of your resume, supporting documentation, and responses to the (View Assessment Questions) will be made. The numeric rating you receive is based on your responses to the questionnaire.  The score is a measure of the degree to which your background matches the knowledge, skills and abilities required for this position. Your resume must clearly support your self-elected responses to the occupational questionnaire/assessment associated with this vacancy announcement. In the event your self-elected responses to the occupational questionnaire/assessment cannot be verified within the contents of your resume, your rating will be adjusted accordingly, and may subsequently place you in a lower quality category. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating.

As part of the application process, you are required to respond to a series of questions designed to assess your possession of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Technical Knowledge-Knowledge of biological oceanography and marine sciences and the ability to utilize this knowledge in the description and impact assessment of biological communities, habitat, and process in the marine environment.
  • Research- Ability to conduct scientific investigations to include research, studies and projects related to biological oceanography and marine sciences.
  • Written and Oral Communication- Skill in oral and written communication in order to convey the results of scientific studies and collaborate on projects as a member of a multi-disciplinary team.



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To explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees, visit the Office of Personnel Management's website at .


Important Note: All Department of the Interior (DOI) employees are subject to the conflict of interest restrictions imposed upon all employees of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government and may be required to file a Financial Disclosure Report. In addition, DOI employees, GS-15 and above, who work in the Office of the Secretary; along with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) employees (at ALL grade levels), are further restricted concerning their interests in Federal lands and resources administered or controlled by the Department of the Interior. This includes holding stock in energy corporations which lease Federal lands (e.g.: oil, gas, coal, alternative energy resources, etc.). If you have any such investments you should contact the DOI, BOEM or BSEE Ethics Office before accepting employment. DOI employees are held to the highest level of integrity. Employees must be objective and impartial in the performance of their work. All potential issues (e.g.: work-related interactions with friends, family members, or previous employers) must be disclosed at the time of application or during the interview process.


If you are a status applicant (current permanent Federal employee or former permanent Federal employee with reinstatement eligibility), or are eligible under a special appointing authority and you are selected under this vacancy, you may be subject to serving a new one-year probationary period.


Beginning January 1, 2010, agencies must seek prior approval from OPM before they can appoint a current or recent political appointee to a competitive or non-political excepted service position at any level under the provisions of title 5, United States Code.  If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, or Non-career SES employee in the executive branch, you MUST disclose that to the Human Resources Officer.


If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, you must submit proof by the closing date of the announcement that you meet the requirements of 5 CFR 330.605(a) for CTAP and 5 CFR 330.704 for ICTAP or you will not receive priority consideration. The proof includes a copy of the agency notice, your most recent Performance Rating, and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty station. To be considered well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, you must earn a minimum score of 85 or above (prior to the assignment of veteran's preference) on the rating criteria for this position.
Recruitment methods and selection procedures will be based solely on merit after fair and open competitive, and will be made without regard to political, religious, or labor organization affiliation or non-affiliation, marital status, race, color, sex, national origin, non-disqualifying disability, sexual orientation, or age.


A preliminary background check must be completed before a new employee can begin work with the U.S. Department of the Interior.  The preliminary background check consists of a search of Office of Personnel Management and Department of Defense background investigation files and an FBI National Criminal History Fingerprint Check; it may take up to 3 weeks to complete.  If selected for this position, you will be extended a tentative offer of employment pending a satisfactory background check.  Current Federal employees or individuals with an existing completed background investigation may not be required to undergo another background check; these will be handled on a case-by-case basis in coordination with the Bureau security office. 


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To apply for this position, you must complete the occupational questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below.

The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Tuesday, September 03, 2013 to receive consideration.

§  To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.

§  Click the Submit My Answers button to submit your application package.

§  It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.

§  To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account,, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.

§  To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.

All applicants are required to submit the following supporting document type(s):

Applicants may also submit the following supporting document type(s),which may not be required for all applicants:
   ·Cover Letter
   ·Other Veterans Document

Faxing Applications or Supporting Documents:

You are encouraged to apply online. Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application.

NOTE: If you applied online and your application is complete, do not fax the paper application (1203FX) as this will overwrite your prior online responses and may result in you being found ineligible.

If you completed the occupational questionnaire online and are unable to upload supporting document(s):

1.   To fax your documents, you must use the following cover page provide the required information. The Vacancy ID is 929200

2.   Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

If you cannot complete the Application Package online, you may fax all of your materials. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Tuesday, September 03, 2013 to receive consideration. Keep a copy of your fax confirmation in the event verification is needed.

To complete the occupational questionnaire and submit via fax:

1.   Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire.

2.   Print the 1203FX form, follow the instructions and provide your responses to the occupational questionnaire items

3.   Fax all six pages of 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.




Your resume must contain information sufficient to make a valid determination that you fully meet the specialized experience requirements as stated in this vacancy announcement and OPM qualification standards for each grade level(s) for which you are applying.  It is strongly recommended that you use the USAJobs Resume Builder as it was designed to ensure that your resume includes the standard information needed.  The Resume Builder is available at .

Your application package must include:
• Resume showing relevant experience as written in your own words.
• Completed online Assessment Questionnaire or faxed OPM Form 1203FX.
• College transcript is required for verification of qualifying education. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable; however, an official transcript may be requested at a later time.
• Certificates, license, etc. (if applicable)
• Veterans Preference Documentation (if applicable)
      o If claiming 5 point preference:
         • DD-214 (member 4 copy or a copy that shows the nature of service)
         • If you are currently serving on active duty, an official Statement of Service from your command.

  • Current Active Duty members must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty under honorable conditions dated within the last 120 day.
           o Other Official Documentation (e.g. copy of military orders, campaign documents such as: expeditionary award citation, etc.) that proves your military service was performed under HONORABLE conditions and that your service meets the OPM criteria for veterans preference to be awarded.
          o If claiming 10-point preference or greater:
             • DD-214 (member 4 copy or a copy that shows the nature of service) and;
  • An official statement dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs, or from a branch of the Armed Forces, certifying that the veteran (i.e., the applicant) has a service-connected disability of 10% or more.  
NOTE: If you submit an incomplete application, you will be given credit only for the information you provide. You are responsible for submitting all required documentation in support of your application in order to receive full credit for your experience, education, training, and/or veterans preference.


For additional veterans employment information please visit, or call 1-800-827-1000. 



HR Assistant
Phone: (703)787-1446
Agency Information:
381 Elden Street
Herndon, VA


If you are rated as one of the best qualified candidates, you will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview. After a selection is made all applicants for this position will be notified of their status either by letter or e-mail.

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