USGS Biological Science Technician: Aspen fire regimes and climate change, Boise ID

The United States Geologic Survey (USGS) seeks 2 temporarily excepted Biological Science Technicians for which all qualified applicants, with or without Federal status may apply and be considered. Appointment to these positions, however, will not convey permanent status in the Federal service. Appointment will only be for the duration of the position, normally 3-6 months.  The Social Security Retirement System covers temporary employees and annual and sick leave will be accrued except in intermittent status.  Employees are ineligible for health and life insurance coverage.

DUTIES (specific): The work will contribute to a large collaborative project investigating the potential effects of altered moisture and fire regimes on aspen under climate change. As part of this effort, the biological science technician will conduct field sampling and collection in aspen stands recovering from recent fire. Duties will include measuring tree heights and diameters, collecting tree cores and cross-sections, assessing trees for disease, herbivory, and other damage, identifying and measuring aspen-related shrub species, and collecting soil samples. Field work will take place across a broad study area that includes eastern Oregon, central Idaho, and western Wyoming/Montana.

The technicians will work in a 2-3 person team in conjunction with a field crew coordinator. Field work will involve sampling aspen stands throughout the study area. Field work will involve exposure to extreme temperature and weather conditions.  The crew will work independently with extensive stays (up to 10 days) in remote locations.  Field trips will include extended periods of backcountry camping.  The ideal candidate will have some experience working in forest ecosystems.  Good organizational skills, proficiency with technical equipment (including GPS, personal computer, and digital camera), map reading, and field collection protocols are required. Incumbent should have had or be willing to take First Aid and CPR prior to employment.

Additional Information:  The work involves long hours spent standing, bending, walking, and a great amount of physical exertion.  Tree collection may involve the use of a saw. The incumbent may be required to lift containers and backpacks weighing up to 35 pounds in the performance of the assignment.  Work could possibly be done in 10 -12 hours per day; hours can include all times of day and night, and will vary during the employment term with weather and field conditions.  Core hours will typically be 6:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Travel expenses will be paid by the project at either standard federal per diem or a camp rate per diem. Candidates will be chosen based on their combination of experience and education.

Qualifications: To qualify for a GG-4 you need 6 months of field experience OR 2 years of sub-professional work experience OR 1 years of college with courses related to the work of the position to be filled (equivalent to 30 semester/45 quarter hrs) plus 3 months of lab or field work experience. Sub-professional experience consists of working as a technician or aid in the field or in a laboratory or similar environment.  Equivalent combinations of successfully completed education and experience are qualifying.  *In addition, incumbents must have at least 3 months experience in sampling plant communities, and ideal candidate will have experience working in forest ecosystems. Candidates without 3 months experience sampling and identifying plant species will not be considered.*

Basis of Evaluation All applicants will be evaluated on the basis of education and experience (including unpaid or volunteer experience). Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of this announcement. First preference in referral will be given to eligible applicants entitled to 10 point veteran’s preference who have a compensable service-connected disability of 10 percent or more.  All other qualified applicants entitled to veteran’s preference will be given preference over qualified applicants not entitled to veteran’s preference.

ALL APPLICANTS MUST BE UNITED STATES CITIZENS: Under regulations contained in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, employment in this position is limited to those persons who are authorized to work in the United States.  Verification of employment eligibility will be required at the time of appointment.

As a condition of appointment, all new employees reporting for duty with
the Department of the Interior will be paid through direct deposit to a
financial institution of their choice.

Applicants selected for Federal employment will be required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment, OF-306, prior to being appointed to determine their suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation.  Failure to answer all questions truthfully and completely or providing false statements on the application may be grounds for not hiring the applicant, or for firing the applicant after he/she begins work.  Also he/she may be punished by fine or imprisonment (U.S. Code, Title 18, section 1001).

Prior to or at the time of appointment, male applicants born after December 31, 1959, will have to certify that they have registered with the Selective Service System in order to be appointed to a position with the United States Geological Survey, unless legally qualified for an exception.

Employees of the U.S. Geological Survey are subject to the provisions of Title 43, U.S. Code, Section 31 (a) and may not according to this legislation and related regulation: (a) have any personal or private interest, direct or indirect, in lands or mineral wealth of such lands or a region under survey and whose title is in the U.S.; (b) execute surveys or examination for private parties or corporations; or (c)have personal or private interest, direct or indirect, in any private mining or mineral enterprise doing business in the U.S. except where specifically authorized by the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Vacancy Number: SRFS-14-005
Position: Biological Science Technician (Botany), GG-404-4
Open Date: 1/15/2014
Closing Date:  02/07/2014
Salary: $13.55 per hour
Type of Appointment: Temporary 180 day appointment
Starting Date: 05/26/14
Number of Positions: up to 2
Length of Position:  *2-3 months, contingent on budget.
Tour of Duty:  Full Time, with possible periods of part-time and intermittent work.
Area of Consideration: All U.S. citizens
Location: Boise, ID

To Apply: Carefully read all information and instructions. It is the responsibility of the applicant to insure the application is complete.  The personnel office will not be responsible for soliciting additional information from applicants or from official personnel records, but will consider individuals based on their applications as submitted. *Applications must be received in the FRESC, Corvallis Research Group Office by the closing date on the announcement in order to be considered*. To obtain an OF 612, contact the U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Discipline, Corvallis Research Group (541) 758-8781, or any Federal Personnel Office.

Submit one of the following forms of application: (a) resume OR (b) OF-612, Optional Application for Federal Employment, OR (c) other written format. *Electronic submissions are acceptable*.* And you must also submit a copy of you college transcripts (unofficial acceptable)* *to document all education used for position qualification.*

To claim 5 point Veteran’s Preference, a DD-214 showing character of discharge is required.  If claiming 10 point Veteran’s Preference, an SF-15 with proof of claim is required.

Submit Applications To:
Michelle L. Schatz, AOA – Human Resources/Facilities
USGS – Forest & Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
777 NW 9th Street, Suite 400, Corvallis, Oregon  97330-6169
Phone: (541) 750-1040   Fax: (541) 750-1066

For inquiries, contact:
Dr. Douglas Shinneman, Research Fire Ecologist
USGS – Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Snake River Field Station, 970 Lusk St.
Boise, ID 83706
Phone: (208) 426-5206

It is against the law to submit applications for employment using government franked envelopes or mail services (18 U.S.C. 1719). All such applications will not be considered.

Deadline: Applications must be received by the closing date (02/07/2014) to be considered. INCOMPLETE APPLICATION FORMS MAY RESULT IN YOUR MISSING CONSIDERATION FOR THIS VACANCY

The U.S. Geological Survey is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This agency provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Selection for this position will be based solely on merit, fitness, and qualifications without regard to race, sex, color, religion, age, marital status, national origin, non-disqualifying handicap conditions, sexual orientation, or any other non-merit factors

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