Job Overview


OAR is where science comes to life. Become part of a team that develops innovative ideas and technologies and collaborate with the many talented and dedicated people who work to solve the mysteries of the deepest oceans to the surface of the sun. Explore the facets and trends of the earth's environment that will influence the future. Become a part of the team that provides the nation with scientific information to thrive in an ever-changing world.

The Office of Oceanic & Atmospheric Research, Earth System Research Laboratory is looking for bright, innovative, and results-oriented individuals to join our fast-paced organization. Make a difference by joining our team!
Post Differential (Hardship) for AY: The Post Differential for this position is 25% of the locality salary and maybe federally taxed. The Post Differential is not reflected in the locality salary shown in this vacancy announcement.
Positions are located in the Office of Oceanic Atmospheric Research, located in the South Pole, Antarctica and may receive administratively uncontrollable overtime (AUO) pay as a percentage of the employee's annual rate for work which requires substantial amounts of irregular or overtime hours in excess of the normal 8 hour workday and cannot be controlled administratively.
Positions are advertised at the ZP-03 band level, the ZA-03 band level is equivalent to the GS-11/12 on the Federal General Schedule salary table. 


The Earth System Research Laboratory's Global Monitoring Division maintains a baseline atmospheric observatory located at the geographic South Pole, Antarctica. The South Pole Observatory (SPO) was established in 1957. The National Science Foundation (NSF) provides the infrastructure for the GMD scientific operations at the pole.
A two-person staff is required to run the NOAA component of the South Pole Observatory both for science duties and safety as the NOAA observatory is remote from the main South Pole station. Since 1975 the Station Chief position has been filled by the NOAA Corps and the Physical Scientist/Technician/Engineer position has been filled by GMD. Staff positions are rotated out once each year.
A new staff member is hired for the South Pole observatory position every eighteen months to two years on a rotating basis. The extra time beyond a year is for training and travel to and from the station which can take 3 weeks or more each way. The NSF does not permit any permanent
staff assignments to SPO.
The GMD operates the observatory at South Pole to measure long-term trends of trace gases, aerosols, and solar radiation and to investigate the influence of these gases and aerosols on the Earth's radiation balance that controls climate.
The work and activities of the GMD position include, but are not limited to:
- On a daily basis maintaining, repairing, calibrating and error checking a wide range of electronic instrumentation and understanding the measurement data,
- Interpreting the data collected in near real time to make decisions on altering measurement strategies,
- On a weekly to twice-weekly schedule filling and releasing large helium balloons carrying instruments to heights in excess of 100,000 feet,
- Preparing, calibrating and monitoring the data from ozonesondes carried on the high altitude balloons,
- Collecting weekly air samples outdoors in temperatures as cold as -80°C,
- Maintaining outdoor meteorological instruments on a tower including removing rime ice as needed by regularly ascending the tower in cold and windy conditions,
- Operating a LIDAR for measuring aerosol profiles,
- Maintaining an inventory of critical calibration gases in high pressure tanks and switching out these tanks as required,
- Conducting Dobson Ozone measurements from a room at ambient cold temperatures often for periods spanning up to 14 hours on end,
- Conducting weekly safety checks of station operations and being up-to-date on first aid and fire fighting techniques,
- Being capable and comfortable working outdoors in high winds and cold temperatures over a year with six months of darkness.