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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Biological Science Technician (Plants), GS-0404-05
Department:  Department Of The Interior
Agency:  National Park Service
Hiring Organization:  Northern Great Plains Inventory & Monitoring Network, Rapid City, SD
Job Announcement Number:  MWRC-14-OC-0017

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$31,628.00 to $41,122.00 / Per Year
Thursday, January 02, 2014 to Thursday, January 16, 2014
Full Time - Seasonal NTE 1039
1 vacancy in the following location:
Rapid City, SD View Map
United States Citizens


Experience your America.  Join the National Park Service and become a part of our mission to unite our past, our cultures and our special places, to establish important connections to the present and build a rich and lasting legacy for future generations. For more information about the National Park Service, click

As the Biological Technician (plants) you will help implement a long-term ecological monitoring program for vegetation in 13 park units in the Northern Great Plains.
AREA INFORMATION: Rapid City is South Dakota's second largest city with approximately 70,000 residents and is the gateway to the Black Hills area of South Dakota.  Rapid City offers entertainment opportunities at the civic auditorium, superior health care facilities, beautiful neighborhoods, and endless outdoor recreational opportunities such as skiing, rock climbing, camping, hiking, and kayaking.  Rapid City is within a 90 minute drive of four national park units:  Wind Cave National Park, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Jewel Cave National Monument and Badlands National Park; and South Dakota's crown jewel state park - Custer State Park. Summer is warm, dry and sunny.  July and August are the warmest months of the year, when daytime temperatures climb into the 70s and 80s--and sometimes 90s.  Breezy winds and low humidity levels help make the hot days comfortable. 
TYPE OF APPOINTMENT: These are seasonal temporary positions, with full-time work not to exceed (NTE) 1039 hours in a service year. Under this type of appointment selectee(s) may be eligible for rehire in future seasons.
Consideration of selection for this position will be in the following order: 1) CTAP/ICTAP eligibles 2) rehires 3) Veterans' Preference 4) all other applicants. Anticipate Entrance on Duty date:  May 2014. 


  • 25% or Greater
  • Approximately nine nights per month


  • No


  • U.S. Citizenship Required
  • Favorable adjudicated background investigation
  • Valid state driver's license
  • Full time Monday - Friday. Seasonal


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The Biological Technicians-plants will help implement a long-term ecological monitoring program for vegetation in 13 park units in the Northern Great Plains. The incumbents visit field sites to collect monitoring data on grasses, forbs, trees and shrubs, identifying them to the species level and fuel loads. The position will involve a combination of office work, field time, and travel to the parks. These positions work 10-hour days and require constant travel to parks within Nebraska, Wyoming, South and North Dakota. Crew members will be required to hike off trail with heavy packs, sometimes in extremely hot weather or through thick vegetation. The position will spend approximately 10-20% of time performing computer and office work, the majority of which will be done after the field season. The anticipated field season is May through September, with some office work at the beginning and end of the season.


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All qualifications must be met by the closing date of this announcement, Thursday, January 16, 2014. Qualifying experience may be obtained in the private or public sectors. Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualification Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions. Available for review on OPM's website  at:   Applicants must have one year of full-time specialized experience equivalent to the GS-04 grade level, or four years of college study leading to a bachelor's degree with major study as identified below, or an equivalent combination of the two as well as the selective factors as described in the Occupational Assessment Questionnaire by the closing date of the announcement in order to be considered .
Specialized Experience: is work performing one or more aspects of field based natural resource management such as: implements established natural resource management projects; following instructions and standardized procedures, collects and organizes field data. Ensures adequate quality control of data collected.  Performs routine and recurring testing of collected samples, recording all data collected and provides preliminary assessment and classification of the information. Evaluates observed conditions and problems, and makes preliminary determinations on the cause of problems noted. Assists in the preparation of reports, plans and guidelines. Draft project reports may include literature research, descriptions of methods, preparation of graphs and charts, and summary of findings.
Examples of qualifying specialized experience may include:
     Nursery work that required the growing and maintenance of plants in a controlled environment.
     Work comparable to that with a large dairy farm where production records, animal environment and sanitary conditions were kept in accordance with modern dairy practice.  Farming experience that was not performed in a controlled environment, or experience as a laborer who was not responsible for planning and scheduling their own work, but only performed assigned tasks, would not qualify as specialized experience.
Education: Successful completion of a full four-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree with major study or at least 24 semester hours in any combination of scientific or technical courses such as: biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics. At least six semester hours of these courses must have been directly related to the position to be filled. You must include transcripts and show this on your transcripts.
Combination of Education and Experience: You also qualify at this grade level if you have less than the full amount of education or experience listed above but have an equivalent combination of the education and experience specified when combined totals 100%.
QUALIFICATIONS: You must possess the qualifying specialized experience and/or education as well as selective factors as described in the occupational/assessment questionnaire. Your application contains information subject to the Privacy Act (P.L. 93-579, 5 USC 552a). The information is used to determine qualifications for employment and is authorized under Title 5, USC, Section 3302 and 3361.

EDUCATION:  To qualify based on education, you must submit a legible copy of transcripts from an accredited institution with your name, school name, credit hours, major(s), and grade-point average or class ranking. Applicants can verify accreditation HERE . Transcripts do not need to be official but if you are selected for this position and you used your education to qualify then you will need to provide official transcripts before you enter on duty. You can receive credit for education received outside the United States if you provide evidence that it is comparable to an accredited education institution in the United States when you apply.

1. Resume must include:  full legal name, education, related work experience including month, year and hours worked per week.
2. Probationary Period:  Upon appointment to this position, you may be required to serve a one-year probationary period or a two-year period, depending on the authority under which you are appointed.
3. Department of the Interior employees must identify a financial institution for direct deposit of net pay.
4. If you are a current or former Federal employee you must meet time-in-grade restrictions by the closing date of this announcement.


The rater will not make assumptions, guess or use personal knowledge about your experience or education in the rating process. The written information that you provide in your application to verify your responses to the Occupational Assessment Questionnaire will be used. Provide detailed evidence and descriptions of your experience, training, education, awards, hobbies, self-development achievements, pertinent unpaid or volunteer work, and any other aspect of your background as it relates to the position. It is important that you indicate the diversity, level of difficulty and complexity of your experience. Category rating procedures will be used to rate and rank candidates. Candidates will be ranked into three categories:
(1) Best Qualified-applicants possessing experience that substantially exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors, and who are highly proficient in all requirements of the job and can perform effectively in the position.
(2) Well Qualified-applicants possessing experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors, and who are proficient in most of the requirements of the job.
(3) Qualified-applicants possessing experience that meets the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors, and who are proficient in some, but not all of the requirements of the job.

You will be evaluated based upon the responses you provide on the job specific questionnaire that is required as part of the application process for this position. You will be rated based on your responses and assigned a score ranging from 70 to 100 points. The scores will be used to determine the best qualified candidates who will be referred for selection. Best qualified applications rated with a score of 95 or above will be referred to the selecting official. Additional names from the well qualified list may be added to the referral list if we do not receive enough best qualified candidates. If, after reviewing your resume or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and/or experience your score can and will be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities.  Your resume must support your responses to the occupational questions. Your qualifications will be evaluated on and the Occupational Assessment Questionnaire was developed from the following Tasks:

  • Identify herbaceous vegetation of the Black Hills and Northern Great Plains to the species level
  • Identify overstory and shrub species of the Black Hills and Northern Great Plains to the species level  
  • Establish vegetation plots and measure forest attributes
  • Work in a field situation under adverse or demanding conditions
  • Work effectively while spending a great deal of time in close quarters with others on the field crew implementing natural resources projects



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1. Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal comptitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation and be found well-qualified, have a final rating of 85 or more points for this vacancy.  Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at: .
2. This announcement may be used to fill additional similar vacancies if necessary.
3. Indicate the type of Veterans' Preference you are claiming on your resume, and include the SF-15 form, Application for 10 Point Veterans' Preference, with your VA letter and proof. Your Veterans' Preference entitlement will be verified by the employing agency. For more information on Veterans' Preference please visit: .  To be eligible for a VEOA appointment, a veteran must be honorably separated and either a preference eligible or have substantially completed 3 or more years of active service. NOTE: If you are a current federal employee applying under VEOA you are subject to meeting the time-in-grade restrictions.
4. Travel, transportation and relocation expenses will not be paid. No guaranteed home sale.
5. Government housing is not available.
6. Temporary appointments are not eligible for promotion.


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NOTE: applicants must submit their application packages electronically or by fax.  Applications/resumes and supporting documentation sent by mail (including email) WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. 

Applicants are advised that a variety of public facilities such as schools, public libraries, state employment offices and regional job centers provide access to computers at no charge.  Help may also be available to targeted groups through a variety of public assistance agencies.

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 Thursday, January 16, 2014 Date 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 Thursday, January 16, 2014. 

* 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.

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 1007530.

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 Thursday, January 16, 2014 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 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 transmissionNote:  If you receive an email stating that there was a technical problem uploading your documents, you should fax the applicable documentation to OPM at 478-757-3144.  Be sure to use the fax cover sheet that was linked in the vacancy announcement, include the appropriate Office Code (IN) and VIN (1007530) so that the fax is processed properly and promptly. For further questions regarding applying online or by fax, please contact OPM  

DO NOT SEND PHOTOGRAPHS.  Any resume or documents with photographs will not be forwarded to the hiring official.


  • Resume
  • Your responses to the complete occupational assessment questionnaire
  • SF-50 showing current grade and tenure, if applicable 
  • DD-214 and Veterans' Preference VA letter/documentation, if applicable
  • CTAP/ICTAP documentation, if applicable
  • Transcripts required if using education to meet qualification


Kay Laughlin
Phone: (314)655-1602
Agency Information:
Midwest Region Central SHRO
Mailed Applications Can Not Be Accepted
Saint Louis, MO


Once the online questionnaire is received you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful. After a review of your complete application is made you will be notified of your rating and or referral to the hiring official. If further evaluation or interviews are required you will be contacted.

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