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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Biological Science Technician
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Agricultural Research Service
Job Announcement Number:  DEU-14-994175-YP

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 $40,706.00 / Per Year
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 to Friday, December 06, 2013
Full Time - Term NTE 4 years
1 vacancy in the following location:
Nunn, CO View Map
United States Citizens
Not Applicable


Find Solutions to Agricultural Problems that Affect Americans Every Day, From Field to Table

Who May Apply: All US Citizens and those eligible for consideration under a noncompetitive hiring authority (i.e., 30% or more Disabled Veteran, VRA, Schedule A, Interchange Agreement, etc.)

This position is located in the Rangeland Resource Research Unit of the Agricultural Research Service of USDA, at the Central Plains Experimental Range in Nunn, CO. This position's research project is focused on extending on-going experimental efforts regarding vegetation and soil responses to prescribed fire (frequency and season) at the Kiowa National Grassland and the Central Plains Experimental Range, (located adjacent to the Pawnee National Grassland). The incumbent will be responsible for maintaining the integrity of the experimental design with the prescribed fire project at the USDA-ARS Central Plains Experimental Range- Pawnee National Grassland site in this project. The employee will coordinate all sampling (vegetation, soils, soil water, etc.) and data entry. Employee will assist in conducting prescribed burns and coordinate planning efforts for all aspects of the study with the lead PI (supervisor). The employee will coordinate data efforts with scientific staff responsible for the Kiowa National Grassland site of this project as well. The employee will also assist in additional projects conducted at the Central Plains Experimental Range involving the collection of vegetation, soil and livestock data.


This is a Full-time Term Appointment not to exceed 4 years.



This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.


  • Occasional Travel
  • Travel Required 1-5 days per month


  • No


  • Must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position
  • Suitable for Federal employment, determined by a background investigation
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service
  • Valid driver's license required


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The incumbent:

  • Participates in one or more phases of the research process by performing a variety of complex technical duties, in a field environment, common to the assigned area of work, and contributes ideas towards the planning and sequencing of the technical aspects of the research.
  • Adapts, modifies or develops new techniques and/or procedures to satisfy the needs of the research project.
  • Performs the full range of techniques and studies using a variety of specialized equipment.
  • Maintains, calibrates and modifies complex/specialized equipment and automated systems used for test and evaluation procedures.
  • Independently initiates action to resolve or correct technical difficulties and results, or recommends resolution to supervisor.
  • Searches for literature pertinent to area of research for new procedures or techniques to use in the field.
  • Collects, prepares, evaluates and verifies samples and supporting records.
  • Maintains records and locates and compiles data and other information from various sources.
  • Keeps detailed records of experimental data.
  • Tabulates, statistically analyzes and summarizes data using personal computers and software packages.
  • Maintains inventory of chemicals, stock solutions, etc., prepares solutions for use in the field, and safely disposes of chemical waste materials.
  • Will be responsible for preparing the proper mix of fuels for prescribed fires.


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To Qualify at the GS-05 Level:

Specialized Experience: One year (12 months) of full-time specialized work experience equivalent to the GS-04 grade level in the Federal services. Examples of specialized experience are:

  • Under minimal supervision, assisting in one or more phases of a research process by performing a variety of standardized or routine duties in a grassland or rangeland field environment;
  • Using a variety of field equipment to record instrument readings, collect samples, and take measurements;
  • Maintaining, calibrating and modifying field equipment and automated systems used for test and evaluation procedures;
  • Handling and managing chemical samples;
  • Keeping detailed records and maintaining an inventory of chemical materials.



Education: Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study leading to a Bachelor's degree (120 semester hours) in biology, agronomy, animal husbandry, botany, ecology, agriculture or successful completion of four years (120 semester hours) of study beyond high school at an accredited college or university that included at least 24 semester hours in any combination of the following courses: biology, agronomy, animal husbandry, botany, ecology, or agriculture. (You must submit transcripts).


Combination of Experience and Education: An equivalent combination of education and experience may be qualifying. Education must have included at least 24 semester hours in any combination of the following courses: biology, agronomy, animal husbandry, botany, ecology, or agriculture. For example, 6 months of the specialized experience described above (50% of the experience requirement), and one year of college study from an accredited institution (50% of the qualifying education) as specified above equals 100% of the total requirement. Note: Only undergraduate education in excess of the first two years (60 semester hours) may be combined with experience at the GS-5 grade level. (You must submit transcripts).


All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this vacancy announcement. Applicants must be available to report for duty at the time a selection is made. Selections are typically made within 30 days of the closing date of the announcement.

This position is open to all US Citizens and Nationals, and Noncompetitive and Special Hiring Authority eligibles. You may apply under open-competitive and noncompetitive procedures, however; you must meet the requirements for one of the following categories to apply as a noncompetitive eligible.

  1. A current permanent competitive service employee; former Federal employee who achieved career status in the competitive service; or former Federal employee who served on a career conditional appointment without achieving career status in the competitive service who was separated less than three years ago. This includes applicants who have previously held, or currently hold this position and grade with the same promotion potential as announced for this announcement. You must submit the SF-50 that shows competitive service eligibility to be considered.
  2. A Veteran applying for a Veterans' Recruitment Appointment (VRA), must submit a copy of your DD-214 showing an honorable discharge to be considered. Eligibility for VRA appointments includes Disabled veterans; Veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces during a war declared by Congress, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized; Veterans who, while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces, participated in a military operation for which the Armed Forces Service Medal was awarded; and Veterans separated from active duty within the past 3 years. Disabled veterans must provide the SF-15 and supporting documentation from the VA along with DD-214. NOTE: VRA only applies to positions at the GS-11 level and below.
  3. A 30% or more Disabled Veteran. You must submit your DD214, a completed SF-15, and letter from the VA dated 1991 or later as proof to be considered.
  4. A military spouse. Military spouses are eligible if their active duty military spouse: 1) receives a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move; 2) has a 100% disability rating; or 3) died while on active duty. Please submit supporting documentation as proof to be considered.
  5. A Severely Physically Handicapped Schedule 'A' Appointment. Please submit documentation from a State or Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Service as proof to be considered.
  6. A Former Peace Corps or VISTA Volunteers Appointment. Please submit documentation as proof to be considered.
  7. Interchange Agreements and Miscellaneous Authorities. Please submit documentation as proof to be considered.


Your application will be evaluated and rated under Category Rating Procedures. Qualified candidates will be placed for selection consideration into three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veterans' preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Your resume will be reviewed and compared against your responses to the online questionnaire. We strongly encourage you to answer every question that accompanies this vacancy, as your responses will better highlight your specific qualifications.

Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies:

  • Knowledge of the principles of biological and agricultural research.
  • Ability to adapt, develop or improve research techniques and procedures.
  • Ability to obtain, tabulate, statistically analyze and summarize research data.
  • Ability to use common and specialized field equipment.

Please note that your resume must thoroughly support your responses to the assessment questionnaire. High self-assessment in the applicant questions that is not supported by information in your resume may eliminate you from best-qualified status and subsequent referral to the selecting official.

Displaced/Surplus Employees: Individuals eligible under the USDA Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position to receive consideration for special priority selection. CTAP and ICTAP eligibles within the local commuting area will be considered well qualified if the applicant meets the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors, and is rated in the Well Qualified Category as described in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. Employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent performance rating and a copy of their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level and duty location. Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible. CLICK HERE for additional information on CTAP and ICTAP.


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The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees. The following link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees:


Financial Disclosure Requirement:The Research, Education and Economics (REE) agencies inspire public confidence in our missions by maintaining high ethical principles. Employees are subject to Federal government-wide regulations and statutes as described on the REE Ethics Webpage. You may be required to submit a financial disclosure report if hired for this position.

False Statements: If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; may be fired after beginning work; or may be fined or jailed.

Reasonable Accommodation: Reasonable accommodation is provided to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, or have questions regarding reasonable accommodation and/or accessibility for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact the Disability Program Manager on 202-720-6161 or through the DC Relay Service on (202) 855-1234 (TDD). The decision to grant reasonable accommodation is made on a case-by-case basis.


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Your application package must be complete by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Friday, December 06, 2013. You must apply online or by fax (see below for details). Applications sent by mail (including e-mail) or hand-delivered will not be accepted. Certain individuals are entitled to file a late application and must contact the Agency Contact listed below for details and application instructions.

Choose either Option A or Option B to apply for this position:


Option A: Online Application

Click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account. Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire and upload (or reuse) supporting documents. You must click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.

Note: 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.

To fax supporting documents that you are unable to upload:

  1. Click here to print a fax cover page.
  2. Complete all blocks on the cover page using Vacancy ID 994175. Documents will not be processed if information is missing.
  3. Fax the completed cover page and your documents to 1-478-757-3144.


Option B: Fax

If you cannot apply online, follow these steps to fax your complete application package.

  1. Click the following link to print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire;
  2. Click here to print the 1203FX form, which you will use to provide your responses to the occupational questionnaire; and
  3. Fax the completed 1203FX (all 6 pages), your resume, and supporting documents (including those specified in the Required Documents section below) to 1-478-757-3144. The 1203FX will serve as the cover page for your fax transmission and must be placed on top of all other documents.


The following documents are required:

  • Assessment questionnaire (completed online or submitted by fax using the 1203FX)
  • Resume

In addition, you may need to submit supplemental documentation (as outlined below). Failure to submit supplemental information by the closing date of this announcement will result in the loss of the particular consideration you are requesting.

Veterans' Preference: To claim 5-point veterans' preference, submit a Member 4 copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility. To claim 10-point veterans' preference, submit an SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference, plus the documentation required by that form.

Active Duty Service Members must submit a statement of discharge/certification of release or an official written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions no later than 120 days from the date the certification is signed. Enlisted Record Briefs and military identification do NOT qualify as official documentation.



Transcripts: If you indicate that you possess any form of post-secondary education, you must submit transcripts detailing your coursework and/or degree(s). At the time your education was obtained, the entire institution, applicable school within the institution, or the applicable curriculum must have been appropriately accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education. You may lose consideration for this position if you fail to provide this information.

Foreign Education: Education outside the U.S. must be specially documented, please CLICK HERE for more information.


Midwest Services Branch
Phone: (816)426-5706
Agency Information:
Recruitment Effort for OPM and FSA
Call or e-mail us with your questions
Thank You, MO


Once your complete application package (including all required documents) is received, we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications and determine your ranking.  The best qualified candidates will be referred for further consideration and possible interview.  You will be notified of the outcome.

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