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

Job Title:Hydrologist (DE)

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Natural Resources Conservation Service

Job Announcement Number:ID-13-944651-DH

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$31,315.00 to $61,678.00 / Per Year


Monday, August 19, 2013 to Tuesday, September 03, 2013




Full Time - Permanent




1 vacancy in the following location:
Boise, ID 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.

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! (


This is a Non-status vacancy announcement, open to all US Citizens.

This position is located in the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Office located in Boise, ID  and will be part of the Snow Survey Staff.  The incumbent will perform the duties of a Hydrologist which include maintaining SNOTEL sites, collecting data from these sites and preparing hydrologic reports and water supply forecasts to used by organizations within the state and country.


Travel and relocation expenses are not authorized.  Any travel, transportation and relocation expenses associated with the reporting for duty to this position will be the responsibility of the selected applicant.


  • U.S. Citizen
  • Suitable for Federal Employment, determined by Background Investigation
  • Positive Education required with specialized experience-see Qualifications
  • Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered with Selective Service
  • Valid Motor Vehicle Operators License
  • Incumbent will be required to complete a physical prior to entering duty


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  • Responsible for the collection of hydrometeorological data within the boundaries of the Snow Survey Data Collection Office jurisdiction. Ensures that data observations are conducted in a timely manner, and the data are accurate.   Maintains current and accessible automated snow course, streamflow, precipitation, and reservoir data files for the areas of jurisdiction.
  • Utilizes Geographic Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to develop and disseminate snow survey and water supply products to water users, the research community, other government entities, and the public.
  • Assists in developing snow survey products such as surface water supply indexes, soil moisture products, snowpack and precipitation products, streamflow models and others for use by the water user communities.
  • Assists with hydrologic investigations involving all aspects of the hydrologic cycle under the supervision of the Data Collection Officer.


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In addition to meeting the basic educational requirements listed in this announcement, applicants must also have the following:


To qualify for the GS-05 in Federal service you must have:

One year of specialized experience comparable to the GS-4 level.  Experience at the GS-4 level is demonstrated by: Gathering hydrologic data and performing tests and calculations in the field and in the office. Additionally, observing and recording conditions and circumstances that may affect the data and perform inspection and maintenance of data collection devices.


Combination of education and experience -- at least 30 semester hours in any combination of courses in hydrology, the physical sciences, geophysics, chemistry, engineering science, soils, mathematics, aquatic biology, atmospheric science, meteorology, geology, oceanography, or the management or conservation of water resources. The course work must have included at least 6 semester hours in calculus (including both differential and integral calculus), and at least 6 semester hours in physics. Calculus and physics, as described above, are requirements for all grade levels.


To qualify for the GS-07 in Federal service you must have:

One year of specialized experience comparable to the GS-5 level.   Experience at the GS-5 level is demonstrated by:   Taking measurements and collecting information; learns to take proper samples; conducts routine calculating, plotting, and checking of numerical data; prepares graphs and data profiles; and accomplishes routine analyses. The following is illustrative of acceptable experience: Assist survey staff in data collection, verification and quality control, processing and archival. Assist in developing snow survey products such as Surface Water Supply Indices, Reservoir Operating Guides, snowpack and precipitation products, soil moisture products, and streamflow models.


In addition to meeting the basic educational requirement, I have successfully completed one full year (18 semester hours) of graduate education or possess a master's degree or higher graduate degree with a major field of study as listed in Education Requirements below.

Combination of education and experience that qualify me for consideration as a GS-07. Graduate level education for this grade must exceed the amount required for the next lower grade level.


D. Meet the requirements for Superior Academic Achievement AND have a Bachelor's degree with a major field of study as listed in Education Requirements (Refer to the instructions in the vacancy announcement for information on the Superior Academic Achievement provision).


In addition to meeting the basic educational requirement, possess one full year of relevant employment as a Student Trainee with at least one work period of not less than 60 days as a GS-5.

To qualify for the GS-09 in Federal service you must have:

One year of specialized experience comparable to the GS-7 level.   Experience at the GS-7 level is demonstrated by:  Performance of scientific functions related to the study of water resources, based on and requiring a professional knowledge of related sciences and the consistent application of basic scientific principles to the solution of theoretical and practical hydrologic problems. The following is illustrative of acceptable experience: field or laboratory work that would require application of hydrologic theory and related sciences such as geology, geo-chemistry, geophysics, or civil engineering to making observations, taking samples, operating instruments, assembling data from source materials, analyzing and interpreting data, and reporting findings orally and in writing. In some cases, professional scientific experience that is not clearly water resource experience may be acceptable if such experience was preceded by appropriate education in hydrology or by professional hydrology experience.

Have at least 2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Master's degree (36 semester hours) or higher graduate degree with a major field of study as listed in Education Requirements.


Have a combination of  education and experience that qualify for consideration as a GS-09. The combination of education and experience must exceed what is required for the next lower grade level.

This position has a positive education requirement which means you must meet the basic requirements to be considered.


Educational requirement:

  • Degree: physical or natural science, or engineering that included at least 30 semester hours in any combination of courses in hydrology, the physical sciences, geophysics, chemistry, engineering science, soils, mathematics, aquatic biology, atmospheric science, meteorology, geology, oceanography, or the management or conservation of water resources. The course work must have included at least 6 semester hours in calculus (including both differential and integral calculus), and at least 6 semester hours in physics. Calculus and physics, as described above, are requirements for all grade levels.

  • OR

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


For institutions on a QUARTER HOUR schedule: one QUARTER hour is equivalent to .67 of a SEMESTER UNIT/HOUR as described above.  If it not clear from your transcripts that your units are either semester or quarter, please indicate the type of units you earned on your application.


 IMPORTANT - How to document your education and experience:

Documenting Education:  IT IS MANDATORY TO SUBMIT COLLEGE TRANSCRIPTS TO DOCUMENT YOUR EDUCATION.  Photocopies are acceptable.  Failure to submit transcripts will result in removal from further consideration. Please ensure your transcripts show proof of degree (when applicable) and contain enough information to show you meet educational requirements (list of courses with credit hours, major(s), and grade point average).  If it is not readily apparent from a course title that a specific class meets the requirements for this position, please submit a course catalog description or other supporting documentation.   If we cannot determine, from the materials submitted, that a class meets the requirements listed above, we will not credit that class and you may be rated as ineligible for this position. 

Foreign Education: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that 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:  Note the processing of this vacancy announcement will not be held/delayed pending your evaluation of foreign education. You must adequately document that you meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

Additional Qualifications:

  • Travel is required 80% of the time during the months of June through September 
  • Status Applicants must meet 12 months/52 weeks of service equivalent to the next lower grade in the normal line of progression for the position to be filled.
  • You will need to work outdoors, often under adverse weather conditions and with exposure to wildlife.  
  • You must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.    
  • You must have a valid state driver's license to be qualified for this position.
  • You will need to successfully complete a background security investigation before you can be appointed into this position.
  • Due to the physical nature of this position you will be required to pass a physical prior to placement in the position


Your application will be evaluated based on your responses to the on-line questions, specialized experience documented in your resume, and college transcripts. If materials are not received, your application will be evaluated solely on the information available and you may not receive full consideration or may not be considered eligible.  All the information you provide may be verified by a review of your application, by checking references and through other means, such as the interview process.  Any exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempts to conceal information may be grounds for lowering your rating, not hiring you, or for removal after employment begins.

In describing your experience, please be clear and specific, we will not make assumptions regarding your experience. If your resume/application does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s).

The on-line occupational questionnaire that you will complete will address the following knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for this position.  Your resume should support your responses to the questionnaire.

1. Knowledge of hydrologic principals utilized in measuring snow pack and precipitation conditions.

2. Skill and ability to collect and analyze hydrologic data from many sources.

3.Skill and ability to interpret climatic data to assess data quality and to utilize computers for managing data to assure accuracy and efficiency.

4. Skill and ability to work on weather stations in rugged backcountry terrainin harsh weather conditions.

5. Skill and ability to interpret hydrologic data and create meanful products for water users.

6. Skill and ability to work as part of a team to effectively communicate technical information.

7. Physicall ability to perform rigorous physical labor and lift up to 50 lbs when working in the field.

8. Ability to travel 80% of the time from June through September during field season.

9. Vehicle Operation - ability to operate various vehicles including 4X4's, ATV's and Snowmobiles.

To preview questions View Assessment Questions

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.

Best Qualified:  Applicants possess all of the job related competencies identified as important for successful job performance.

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

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

Please Note: You may be contacted after the closing date of the announcement to provide additional information in the selection process to differentiate between quality levels. You may be asked to submit additional job related information, which may include, but is not limited to; responses to the knowledges, skills and abilities; completion of a work sample, and/or be contacted for an interview.  

Veterans’ preference is applied after applicants are assessed.  Veterans’ preference eligibles who meet the qualification requirements are placed 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.

Please follow all instructions carefully.


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Working for NRCS offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. Additionally NRCS offers FlexiWork, Telework, Transportation Subsidies and a family friendly work environment. The following Web address is provided for your reference to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees.

To find out more click here


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.

For more information about veterans/special hiring eligibility, please visit

Important information for surplus or displaced Federal employees: The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) or Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) provides eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If you have been notified in writing that you are a displaced employee eligible for ICTAP/CTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your ICTAP/CTAP eligibility, 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement, and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be found well-qualified your application must rate at or above 85. Well-qualified applicants possess a majority (i.e. more than half) of the job related competencies needed for successful job performance.  You must annotate in your application that you are applying as an ICTAP/CTAP eligible. Please provide proof of eligibility with your application to receive selection priority. Such proof may include a copy of your written notification of ICTAP/CTAP eligibility or a copy of your separation personnel action form. Information about ICTAP/CTAP eligibility is available at

If you are a current career or career-conditional Federal employee or former Federal employee who has reinstatement eligibility, you must submit a copy of your latest SF-50 "Notification of Personnel Action" and/or a copy of the SF-50 that reflects career or career-conditional tenure and your most recent performance appraisal (dated within the last 15 months), or your will not be considered under the merit promotion process. If you are unable to provide a recent performance appraisal, you must note this on your application materials with an explanation why you are unable to provide a recent performance appraisal.

You can apply for a non-competitive appointment if you meet the basic eligibility requirements and you are eligible for special appointments such as those authorized for the severely disabled; disabled veterans; returned volunteers from the Peace Corps or VISTA, etc. Please indicate the type of special appointment you are seeking, if any, on your application and follow all other instructions for applying shown in this announcement. Employment information for severely disabled applicants may be found at

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. See

Background Investigation: A background investigation will be required for all new appointments. Your continued employment will be subject to your successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.  

E-Verify: Employer participates in E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

Probationary Period: If appointed on first competitive appointment or appointment in new line of work selectee is subjected to 12-month probationary period and can be removed for performance, budget, suitability, background review or other reasons.

Reference Checks may be conducted prior to any interviews being conducted. By applying for this announcement you are giving consent for these reference checks. Checks may include current supervisor, prior supervisor or others in line of sight within previously held positions.

Promotion Potential: When promotion potential is shown, and if selected at the lower grade, the agency is not obligated or committed to promoting you to the higher grade.  Promotions depend on your ability to perform the duties, requires a minimum of 12-months time-in-grade and provided you are found otherwise eligible, you'll need to be recommended through the supervisory chain.  Promotions are not automatic.

Reasonable Accommodation: NRCS provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities.  If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact the servicing personnel office, Deanna Miller, at 801-524-4575.  If you are hearing impaired, or need alternate communication assistance for other reasons please go to  for assistance in contacting the person listed above.  The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.


USDA Non-Discrimination: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202)720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer."


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This announcement is for multi-graded positions so you must specify the lowest grade you will accept.

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) 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.



·        Resume (maximum 10 pages) (We encourage you to use the USAJOBS resume builder to speed the application process.  Although we do not require a specific format, certain information is required to determine if you are qualified, i.e. hours worked per week for each job, listed agency, salary, supervisor’s contact information and whether we may contact them and finally, indicate month/day/year employment began and ended).

·        College Transcripts to support Education requirements.  You may submit unofficial transcripts in the application process, if selected you will be required to submit Official Transcripts.

·        Responses to assessment questionnaire

·        Veterans Preference Documentation (DD-214 or equivalent, SF-15 and VA Letter, as appropriate).  DD-214 must show character of service/type of discharge.

·   NOTE:  Please make sure you review your uploaded documents to ensure they are readable. 

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 and provide the required information. The Vacancy ID is 944651.

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.

Faxes or documents mailed to the local Human Resources Office will not be considered.  Additionally, the use of government franked envelopes to mail applications is prohibited by Federal law and regulations.  Applications submitted in government franked envelopes will not be accepted.


Deborah Howerton
Phone: (208)378-5733
Agency Information:
9173 W Barnes Drive
Suite C
Boise, ID


After all application packages have been received, we will review your resume and transcripts to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements.  We will evaluate each applicant who meets the basic qualifications on the information provided in the Supplemental Questionnaire and may interview the best-qualified applicants.  After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability and/or security background investigation.  A final job offer for this position is typically made within 45 days after the deadline for applications.

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