USGS Biological Science Technician

Job: USGS Biological Science Technician
Date Opened: 05/02/2018                                             Announcement Number: WERC 74-18-01
Date Closed: 05/07/2018
This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities.
Job Announcement
U.S. Geological Survey
Equal Opportunity Employer
Temporary Position:    Biological Science Technician, GG-0404-05
Salary:                         $33,718 yearly, $16.16 hourly, actual salary based on hours worked
Type of Appt:              Temporary, Not-to-Exceed 180 working days
Work Schedule:           Full-Time, Maxi-flex then potentially changing to an intermittent work schedule at the end of the field season
Positions:                     up to 4 positions
Field Station:               USGS, Western Ecological Research Center, Henderson Field Station
Duty Station:               Henderson, NV
Our research focuses on the processes underlying ecosystem recovery following disturbance, and the effectiveness of ecological restoration of degraded upland desert habitats versus natural recovery. Research integrates observational field studies, monitoring at established sites, as well as designed field and greenhouse experiments to understand the processes driving ecosystem recovery from wildfire, invasion by non-native annual grasses, and other anthropogenic disturbances. We implement and evaluate traditional and novel re-vegetation practices to understand the roles of harvester ants and small mammals in influencing recovery and restoration success, and we evaluate locally-adapted plant materials used in arid land restoration through multiple common gardens across the Mojave Desert. Field work occurs on lands administered by state and federal agencies in southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, southern California, and northwestern Arizona. Candidates are expected to work on many different projects and in various work environments for periods of time during employment.
We are seeking interested candidates that have a desire to work as a member of a research team, willing to spend much of the time working and camping under arduous desert conditions in remote field locations. Incumbents will assist in conducting field studies and surveys to collect botanical data and/or specimens to support scientific studies. Incumbents will assist in establishing treatment sites, data collection on effectiveness of restoration treatments (native and invasive species identification and productivity, perennial canopy area, shrub seedling densities, seedling survival and growth, ant nest densities, rodent/jackrabbit frequency), data management (Microsoft Excel workbooks, ArcMap), maintenance of field, laboratory and computer equipment, and occasional library research. The incumbent will collect and organize field, greenhouse, and laboratory data, ensuring adequate quality control of data collected, and assist in identifying erroneous data. The incumbent will assist with occasional greenhouse studies, plant propagation and plantings of native species for the multiple common garden sites where plant survival, growth, phenology, and productive traits are assessed monthly. Incumbent will also help maintain plantings in the gardens (such as watering and weeding).
The work primarily involves long periods of time outside, and periodically in a greenhouse, under a variety of conditions including extreme heat and cold temperatures and hiking for distances up to 10 miles per day during field work. The use of global positioning systems (handheld GPS units), computers, personal data assistant (PDAs), digital cameras, and on- and off-road vehicles are an essential part of the job. Only people willing to spend extended periods of several workweeks per month camping under primitive conditions at remote locations on data collection trips throughout the year should apply for the position. Incumbents must also be willing to spend days at a time working at a computer during periods of data entry and analysis.
THIS IS A TEMPORARY EXCEPTED SERVICE POSITION for which all qualified applicants, with or without Federal status may apply and be considered. Appointment to this position will not convey permanent status in the Federal service. Appointment will only be for the duration of the position, approximately 180 days. Temporary employees are covered by the Social Security Retirement system; annual and sick leave will be accrued; employees are ineligible for life insurance coverage.
Physical Demands: Work is physically demanding and includes walking, bending, climbing and lifting of equipment up to 100 pounds when in the field, sometimes during adverse conditions.
Qualifications: To qualify for a GG-5 you need 9 months of field experience OR 3 years of sub-professional work experience OR 3 years of college with courses related to the work of the position to be filled (equivalent to 90 semester/135 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.
Taking and passing a pre-employment medical examination at Federal expense is required due to the physical demands of this job.
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.
Note: Applicants will receive a basic eligible or ineligible rating based upon the qualification requirements. First preference in referral will be given to eligible applicants entitled to 10-point veterans 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 employment, all new employees reporting for duty 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 of 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 USGS, unless legally qualified for an exception.
Employees of the USGS 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 USGS.
How to Apply: Carefully read all information and instructions. It is the responsibility of the applicant to insure the application is completed. 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 by 4 p.m. PST on the closing date of the announcement to be considered.
Submit the following forms of application: resume and unofficial college transcript or list of college courses, specifying title of course work, completion date, semester or quarter hours earned by course title, and grade earned.
If claiming 5-point veterans preference, a DD-214 showing character of discharge is required. If claiming 10-point veterans preference, a SF-15 with proof of claim is required.
The USGS is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 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.
APPLY TO: Gia Ferronato USGS/WERC, 3020 University Drive, Room 4004 Sacramento, CA 95819, FAX (916) Email is the preferred method.
*Please list the WERC announcement number 74-18-04 on your application*
*Please list on your resume the number of hours worked per week, in addition to the exact start and end dates (Month, Day, Year) for each position listed, including volunteer work*