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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Physical Scientist, ZP-1301-4 (DE/CR)
Department:  Department Of Commerce
Agency:  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Job Announcement Number:  NSDIS-OSPO-2014-0039

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$89,924.00 to $138,136.00 / Per Year
Friday, August 15, 2014 to Thursday, August 21, 2014
Competitive: Career/Career Conditional - Permanent: Full Time
1 vacancy in the following location:
College Park, MD View Map
All qualified United States Citizens or Nationals.
Public Trust - Background Investigation


About the Agency

This position is located in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), Office of Satellite and Product Operations (OSPO), Satellite and Products Division (SPSD), Satellite Products Branch (SPB) in College Park, MD. For more information, please click here:

This position will be filled under the Department of Commerce Alternative Personnel System (CAPS). This system replaced the Federal GS pay plan and structure. Under CAPS, positions are classified by career, pay plan and pay band. The ZP-4 is equivalent to the GS-13/14 grade level.

This position is also announced under vacancy number NSDIS-OSPO-2014-0037, which is open to status candidates. You must apply to both announcements if you want to be considered for both.

  • A one year probationary period may be required.
  • This position is not in the bargaining unit.
NOTE: This vacancy may be used to fill other Physical Scientist, ZP-1301-4 positions throughout NOAA. The position must be alike (e.g., within the same geographical location, same grade/band requires the same qualifications as indicated in this vacancy announcement).


  • Occasional Travel
  • Occasional travel may be required.


  • No


  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National to apply.
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (
  • Must be suitable for Federal employment.
  • Qualification requirements must be met by closing date of announcement.


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The individual selected for this position will:

  • Provide technical support and oversight for the development of new GOES-R satellite-based products including tailored products and the transition of those products from research into operations.
  • Provide quality assurance of operational GOES-R products, evaluating system performance and providing corrective or adaptive maintenance as required.
  • Employ computer programming skills to support interactive product processing applications that often utilize multiple satellite sensor data streams, perform regression testing of new or enhanced product applications on parallel test systems (in concert with contractor support personnel).
  • Develop and implement satellite product project plans that meet defined cost, schedule and capability criteria as a member of an Integrated Product Team.
  • Serve as the product area lead for all legacy GOES Soundings products.
  • Ensure that all GOES-R products meet the requirements of the national and international user community and participates in the routine evaluation of customer satisfaction by conducting user surveys.
  • Responsible for presenting effective technical presentations to a diverse audience including senior management officials and coordinating, editing and providing input to the writing comprehensive reports and papers on pertinent technical issues.


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

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

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.

Or 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.

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 ZP-4 or GS-13/14 level: One full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the ZP-3 or GS-12 of the Federal service. Specialized experience includes:

  • Specifies, designs, implements, monitors, and maintains satellite environmental information technological systems for both data and product generation, evaluation and dissemination.
  • Coordinates satellite product and services quality management program.
  • Provide oversight and develop procedures for implementation, testing, and reporting of new and enhance satellite analysis algorithms for environmental monitoring.
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.

Your resume must document specialized experience and support your responses to the vacancy questions. For more information about the qualifications requirements for this position: Qualification Requirements.


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.

  • Skill in the development of scientific algorithms.
  • Knowledge of the theories, principles, and methods of remote sensing theory and meteorological theory.
  • Ability to analyze functional and performance characteristics of a satellite analysis algorithm.
  • Ability to compose, test, and diagnose computer programs.
  • Knowledge of project management and quality management.
For more information about Category Rating, please go to: Category Rating

To preview questions please click here.


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ICTAP candiddates will be eligible if it is determined that they 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 Management's Career Transition Resources website. The link is listed below.

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, 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.
The following links provide information on how you may be eligible for various hiring authorities: *VRA * 30% or more disabled veteran *Persons with Disabilities * ICTAP

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 USAJOBS. 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 USAJOBS 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 phone at 866.656.6831. The help desk is available Monday-Friday, 7:00 am, to 7:00 p.m. ET.

For instructions on submitting your application in another format please contact the HR Personnel listed in this announcement.


A complete application consists of the following:
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 should also list your educational and work experience including the dates (mm/dd/yy) of each employment, the number of hours worked per week, your salary, and grade of any federal position/s held. Your resume may be used to validate your responses to the assessment tool(s)
If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-points veterans' preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 to show type of discharge or other valid proof of eligibility. 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 the Vet Guide.
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. Military Records.
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- Foreign Credentials. 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.


Marcy McAdams
Phone: 816-426-2038
Fax: 000-000-0000
Agency Information:
NOAA/WFMO/KC Staffing Division
601 E 12th Street Roon 1737
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: USAJOBS 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 Requirement Not Met;
3. Eligible (Application Referred to the Selecting Official) or Eligible (Application Not Referred to the Selecting Official)
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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