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    These positions are temporary,  have a Not-to-Exceed date and will be filled for up to 6 months. The appointments may also end early due to lack of work or funds.

    These positions are located within the Mt. Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest. The primary purpose of these positions is to serve as an Avalanche Specialist on a Forest Service unit and to manage an Avalanche Center. The incumbent analyzes and interprets various meteorological and physical data upon which local and regional avalanche advisories are prepared for backcountry travelers and others in the forecast area.

    For additional information about the duties of this position, please contact Michael Schlafmann at (425) 783-6063, mschlafmann@fs.fed.us

    The USDA Forest Service has legislative authority to recruit and fill Permanent (Career/Career-Conditional), Temporary, and Term Appointments under the USDA Demonstration Project. Under this authority, any U.S. citizen may apply.

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    Provides leadership and guidance and maintains the Avalanche Center as outlined in the Forest Service National Avalanche Center (FSNAC) Business Plan. Carries out work planning and organization such as planning work on a weekly basis, reviewing work schedules, planning for supplies and equipment, preparing accomplishment reports, etc. Prepares overall program budgets for the continuance and maintenance of the program. 

    Directs and conducts field work and oversees the development of avalanche advisories and avalanche warnings. Conducts snow stability tests and records snowpack observations in the field. Using own judgment, and without supervision, interprets and evaluates raw data dealing with snow stability and, in conjunction with other observations from field personnel, issues daily avalanche hazard advisories and warnings to the public. Using professional judgment and experience, determines when avalanche conditions have abated sufficiently to recommend termination of existing avalanche warnings. Establishes procedures, work priorities, and general operating requirements necessary to redeem responsibilities for insuring accurate avalanche advisories.  

    Evaluates National Weather Service products and observations to create a daily mountain weather forecast, which is included in the avalanche advisories.  

    Oversees and directs the maintenance and operation of avalanche weather stations within the forecast area. Inspects and performs routine user level maintenance and services on various weather station equipment and instruments. 

    Gathers and maintains data about snow conditions, weather, and condition trends using current technology. Performs such tasks as observing, recording, and transmitting atmospheric and weather information including air pressure, temperature, humidity, wind, precipitation, cloud and ultraviolet conditions, snow stability, and analyzes and interprets weather data.

    Maintains professional knowledge of snow physics including snow metamorphism, the distribution patterns of common weak layers, the mechanics of slab failure and classification of snow crystals.  

    In the event of avalanche accidents or fatalities, aids in the preparation of detailed reports of the incident which include snow stability and avalanche information, facts and observations concerning the conditions leading up to the incident, the incident occurrence, and the rescue or recovery operations. Identifies the need for and coordinates critical incident stress briefings for avalanche specialists and search and rescue personnel in connection with avalanche accidents and fatalities. 

    Possesses excellent skills in alpine and cross country skiing in steep backcountry avalanche terrain in order to conduct field observations. Practices mountain and avalanche safety measures while collecting data in high-elevation and avalanche prone terrain. 

    Directs, conducts and oversees avalanche education and outreach efforts, including print, radio, television, internet and social media venues. Writes avalanche related articles for the public in local newspapers, magazines and/or trade journals. Functions as a local point of contact for all media communications regarding avalanches. Develops a working relationship with nonprofit organizations who offer avalanche education and coordinates avalanche education with partners.  

    Is responsible for the work necessary to design and implement studies for solving avalanche related problems.  

    Provides ongoing guidance, coordination and training of volunteer observers, cooperators, and/or students.  

    Pursues and develops long term partnerships with private businesses and public agencies to acquire funding for the Avalanche Center and increase the cooperation with the various groups. Fosters ongoing relationships with partners in the community to maintain support for the Center. 

    Manages the Avalanche Center’s website, which requires working knowledge of computers, internet applications, word processing, and spreadsheets.  

    Teaches avalanche awareness classes to the general public, using multi-media approaches and public speaking. Stays abreast of avalanche education practices and changes in avalanche technology and snow science.  

    Provides training, leadership and guidance to other avalanche professionals, and coordinates with other avalanche centers in the region. Directs, conducts and oversees the avalanche training and certification of Forest Service personnel and partners.

    Travel Required

    25% or less - Position(s) may involve work away the official duty location to remote worksites within commuting distance (49 miles) and may also require overnight travel and/or camping per work/fire assignment.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.

    Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/483578000. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.