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    Salary: $90,512 (Step 01) to $117,669 (Step 10); NOTE: First time hires to the Federal Government are typically hired at the Step 01.

    There is one vacancy; however, this announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies if they become available.

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    Mendenhall Research Fellowship - Research Opportunity # 18-29. Geophysical characterization of critical mineral and geothermal resources in the western U.S.

    Growing national need for critical minerals and geothermal resources requires novel geophysical methods to characterize potential resources.  This Research Opportunity seeks candidates who will contribute to developing new geophysical models of mineral and geothermal resources in the western U.S. using potential-field and/or electromagnetic methods.  The opportunity encourages geophysical modeling in three-dimensions, novel methods to analyze geophysical data, use of high-performance computing, and analysis of multiple geophysical data sets.  The opportunity encourages research that identifies and defines favorable areas for mineral and geothermal resources on different scales from local to regional.  This includes understanding the deeper system that controls the resource location such as potential heat sources, depositional pathways, and existing crustal structures.   

    Current areas of interest include geophysical studies focused in California, and western Nevada.  The southeast Mojave Desert lies at the edge of the North American craton and hosts a world-class rare earth element (REE) deposit at Mountain Pass, California and is the largest and only proven economic deposit in the U.S.  The Owens river drainage system in eastern California contains one of the largest tungsten resources in the U.S., and lithium brines at Searles Lake.  The Salton Sea is located along the San Andreas fault hosts one of the largest lithium brine deposits in the U.S. and includes a complex geothermal system.  Potential areas to characterize geothermal potential include Gabbs Valley and Granite Springs Valley in western Nevada, Mono Basin and Long Valley in eastern California, Surprise Valley in northeastern California, and the Clear Lake Volcanic Field in western California.

    Proposed Duty Station: Moffett Field, CA

    Areas of Ph.D.: Geophysics or related fields (candidates holding a Ph.D. in other disciplines but with knowledge and skills relevant to the Research Opportunity may be considered).

    Qualifications: Applicants must meet one of the following qualifications: Research Geophysicist

    (This type of research is performed by those who have backgrounds for the occupations stated above. However, other titles (such as Research Physical Scientist) may be applicable depending on the applicant's background, education, and research proposal. The final classification of the position will be made by the Human Resources Specialist.)


    Physical/Environmental Demands: 

    Work involves exposure to moderate risks and discomforts, such as those due to: 

    • fieldwork that includes some physical exertion such as walking over wet, rough, uneven or rocky surfaces; and bending, crouching, stooping, stretching, reaching, or similar activities;
    • adverse weather conditions, such as high winds and low or high temperatures; 
    • crowded or constricted maritime docks or ship cargo areas; 
    • travel in safety approved small air and water craft and off-road vehicles; 
    • falling trees; 
    • hostile wildlife; 
    • poisonous insects, plants, or snakes; 

    Work requires special safety precautions and/or protective clothing and equipment.

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - Overnight travel of 1 to 3 nights per month may be required.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/547364200. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.