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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Interdisciplinary Watchstander, GS-1301/1313/1360-11/12/13 (DE/CR)
Department:  Department Of Commerce
Agency:  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Job Announcement Number:  NWS-AR-2014-0048

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$63,330.00 to $117,343.00 / Per Year
Friday, August 8, 2014 to Friday, August 22, 2014
Competitive: Career-Career Conditional - Permanent Full-Time
2 vacancies in the following location:
Palmer, AK View Map
*All qualified United States Citizens or Nationals.
Public Trust - Background Investigation


About the Agency

The position is located at the National Tsunami Warning Center (NTWC) in Palmer, Alaska. Tsunami Warning Centers (TWCs) are responsible for providing tsunami warning, watches, advisories, and information statements to U.S. and international coasts. The two U.S. centers, the NTWC and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centers (PTWC), together provide warning services for a large portion of the worlds coastlines.

In addition to the salaries listed above, there is a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) of 5.57%, which is not subject to Federal tax.

*A one year probationary period may be required.

*This position is in the bargaining unit.

*Rotating shift work, including weekends is required.

NOTE: This vacancy may be used to fill other Interdisciplinary Watchstander GS-1301/1313/1360-11/12/13 positions throughout NOAA. The position must be alike (e.g.: within the same geographic locations, same grade/band requires the same qualifications as indicated in this vacancy announcement).

NOTE: This position is also announced under vacancy number NWS-AR-2014-0052 (MAP), which is open to status candidates. You must apply to both announcements if you want to be considered for both.


  • Occasional Travel
  • 10% or less


  • No


  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or national to apply.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (
  • You must be suitable for Federal employment.
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check
  • Must meet qualifications by closing date of this announcement.


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The individual selected for this position will:

  • Make all observations, calculations, and interpretations using all available geophysical, oceanographic, and geographic data, obtained by diverse methods of communications.
  • Locate an earthquake, determine its characteristics, and evaluate its potential for tsunami generation.
  • Evaluate sea level data for degree of tsunami threat.
  • Apply numerical forecast models for impact analysis.
  • Issue the appropriate information.
  • Conduct applied development in which original methods are tested against available data to evaluate the applicability to the tsunami warning system.
  • Assist in maintaining software critical to the functioning of the Center.
  • Ensure the Center is staffed 24 hours a day.


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Qualification requirements in the vacancy announcements are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains federal qualification standards. This handbook is available on the Office of Personnel Management's website located at:

This position has a positive education requirement, transcripts must be submitted. CANDIDATES MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS:

For the GS-1301 General Physical Science Series:

Degree: Physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics


Combination of education and experience -- education equivalent to one of the majors shown above that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

For the GS-1313 Geophysics Series:

Degree: That included at least 30 semester hours in mathematics (including calculus) and the physical sciences (geophysics, physics, engineering, geology, astronomy, meteorology, electronics, etc.).


Combination of education and experience -- courses as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

For the GS-1360 Oceanography Series:

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.


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

IN ADDITION TO THE BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS, applicants must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to the next lower grade level in the Federal Service. Specialized experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular competencies/knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. This experience need not have been in the federal government.

To qualify at the GS-11 level:

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: One full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-9 of the Federal service and is defined as:

  • Analyzing oceanographic and/or seismic data as part of a team in an operational or research environment and;
  • Using software to evaluate earthquakes and/or forecast tsunamis.

Education: 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree OR a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in physical science, meteorology, geophysics, mathematics, chemistry, engineering, geology, biology, oceanography, computer science, engineering sciences, or in a directly related field.


A combination of graduate level education beyond the first 2 years of progressive graduate study and appropriate experience that together meet the qualification requirements for this position.

To qualify at the GS-12 level:

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: One full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 of the Federal service and is defined as:

  • Independently analyzing oceanographic and/or seismic data in an operational or research environment and;
  • Using and/or developing software to evaluate earthquakes and/or forecast tsunamis.
To qualify at the GS-13 level:

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: One full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-12 of the Federal service and is defined as:

  • Independently analyzing complex oceanographic and/or seismic data in an operational or research environment;
  • Using and/or developing complex software to evaluate earthquakes and/or forecast tsunamis; and
  • Assimilating oceanographic data into tsunami models for analysis.
College Transcript: Submit a copy of your college transcript that lists college courses detailing each course by the number and department (i.e., bio 101, math 210, etc.), course title, number of credit hours and grade earned. You must submit evidence that any education completed in a foreign institution is equivalent to U.S. education standards with your resume. You may submit an unofficial copy of the transcript at the initial phase of the application process. If course content cannot be easily identified from the title of the course as listed on your transcript, you must submit an official course description from the college/university that reflects the content at the time the course was taken.

Note: Your college transcript is used to verify successful completion of degree, or college course work. An official college transcript will be required before you can report to duty.


We will review your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position. If you meet the minimum qualifications stated in the vacancy announcement, we will compare your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to your responses on the scored occupational questionnaire (True/False, Yes/No, Multiple Choice questions) and place you in one of the three pre-defined categories. The categories are gold, silver and bronze. However, your resume or optional cover letter must support your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire, or your score may be lowered. Candidates place in the gold category will be identified for referral to the hiring manager and may be invited for an interview.

How you will be evaluated for preference eligibility: Within each category, those entitled to veterans preference will be listed at the top of the pre-defined category for which they are placed. Preference eligible with a service-connected disability of 10% or more will be listed at the top of the highest quality category (gold) depending on the position and grade level of the job.

The scored occupational questionnaire will evaluate you on the following competencies; please do not provide a separate written response:

  • Knowledge of geophysics and seismology.
  • Ability to assimilate results from multiple data streams quickly.
  • Skill in geophysical and/or oceanographic data analysis applications.
  • Ability to speak and write clearly and effectively.
Please do not respond to these KSAs separately. Your responses to the vacancy questions serve as your responses to the KSAs listed above. For more information on category rating, please go to: Category Rating.

To preview questions please click here.


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ICTAP candidates will be eligible if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining at least a rating of 85 out of 100. Information about ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Managements Career Transition Resources website at:

ICTAP applicants MUST submit the following documents:

1. A copy of your RIF separation notice; notice of proposed removal for failure to relocate; notice of disability annuity termination; certification from your former agency that it cannot place you after your recovery from a compensable injury; or certification from the National Guard Bureau or Military Department that you are eligible for disability retirement;

2. A copy of your SF-50 Notification of Personnel Action documenting your RIF separation, noting your positions, grade level, and duty location, and/or Agency certification of inability to place you through RPL, etc;

3. A copy of your latest performance appraisal including your rating; and

4. Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential.

NOAA participates in e-Verify. E-Verify is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that enables participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees.


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Your complete application, including required documents, must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

To apply on-line, you must complete and submit an application by accessing the USAJOBS website at To begin, click the Apply Online button near the bottom of this screen and follow the prompts to register into your USAJOBS account, answer the questions, and submit all required documents.

To return to your saved application, log in to your USAJOBS account at and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select Apply Online to continue.

If you have problems completing your on-line application, including problems submitting your supporting documents, please contact the Help Desk by e-mail at or by phone at 866.656.6831. The help desk is available Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET

For instructions on submitting your application in another format, please contact the Human Resources Specialist listed in this vacancy announcement.


  • Resume showing relevant experience; cover letter optional. Your resume must indicate your citizenship and if you are registered for Selective Service if you are a male born after 12/31/59. Your resume must include information about your paid and nonpaid work experience related to this position including: job title, duration of employment (mm/dd/yy mm/dd/yy), hours per week, duties and accomplishments, salary, and your education. For work in the Federal service, please include the grade level for the position/s. Your resume may be used to validate your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire.
  • If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-points veterans' preference, you must submit a copy of your Member 4 DD-214 stating disposition of discharge or character of service or other valid proof of eligibility (i.e., statement of service that shows service dates AND character of service). If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, you must also submit an SF-15, "Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference" plus the proof required by that form. For more information on veterans' preference see
  • Active Duty Service Members-- You 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 announcement closes. Enlisted Record Briefs and military identification do NOT qualify as official documentation. If the appropriate information is not submitted to confirm the discharge status, dates of service, etc., you will not be considered for this job opportunity under Veteran Preference procedures. To gain access to your DD-214 online please visit
  • Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) documentation if applicable (see other information).
  • Education. If this position requires proof of higher education, you must submit an unofficial transcript or a list of courses that includes the following information: name of accredited institution, grades earned, completion dates, and quarter and semester hours earned. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website. You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation by the closing date of the announcement will result in lost consideration.


Dustin Harrison Rutledge
Phone: 816-426-2038
Fax: 000-000-0000
Agency Information:
NOAA/WFMO Kansas City Staffing Division
601 East 12th Street
Room 1713
Kansas City, MO
Fax: 000-000-0000


You will be notified of your application status through USAJOBS at four points during the hiring process, as applicable. You can check the status of your application by accessing the USAJOBS website at and clicking on Track Your Online Application. The four points of notification are:

1. Application Received or Application Incomplete

2. Minimum Qualification Requirement Met or Minimum Qualification Not Met;

3. Eligible (Application Referred to the Selecting Official) or Eligible (Application Not Referred to the Selecting Official); and

4. Selected or Not Selected.

By submitting your application, you are certifying the accuracy of the information contained in your application. If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; you may be terminated after you begin work; or, you may be fined or jailed. After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation.

You will be required to submit official documentation prior to appointment. The agency will then verify the information provided on your application (i.e., degree, veterans preference, disability, etc.).

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