seasonal biological science aid, SW Biological Science Center, Moab

Subject: Job: seasonal biological science aid, SW Biological Science Center, Moab
Announcement number SBSC-2018-014
The Southwest Biological Science Center’s Canyonlands Research Station in Moab, UT, is recruiting for a seasonal biological science aid (GG-0404-03). This is a seasonal, 6 to 9 month, full-time position. 
Number of positions: 3
Work schedule: Full-Time
Salary: $12.74/hr
This announcement closes at 5 p.m. (MT) on Tuesday, Aug. 7.
Description of Duties
Incumbent will perform laboratory and field work. This position is in the Canyonlands Research Station, Moab, Utah. Work is performed over a wide geographic area requiring overnight trips (15-20 nights during the busiest seasons usually in April/May and Sep/Oct) and possibility of work in remote areas. Incumbent participates in a research program focusing on the ecology and physiology of plants and biological soil crusts, soil ecology, biogeochemistry, physical soil science, plant-soil interactions, and invasive plants. Course work in botany, plant physiology, chemistry, and soil science is optimal. Incumbent will perform routine laboratory and field work. Duties include long days of collecting field data under extreme conditions, processing vegetation and soil samples for chemical analysis or archiving, use of complicated scientific instrumentation, and use of excel and/or access for data entry and summary.
May operate government motor vehicle as an incidental driver.
Knowledge Required by the Position
  • Knowledge of processes, methods & procedures of biological science; knowledge of routine field data collection procedures; skill in operation, maintenance, and servicing of biological recording and measuring instruments; knowledge of procedures utilized in a biological lab.
  • Experience with field sampling preferably with knowledge of biological soil crusts, vegetation, and soils of the Colorado Plateau
  • Experience preparing samples and performing laboratory analysis of crust, plant, and soil samples to determine specific chemical, physical, and/or biological characteristics.
  • Experience working as part of a team and following instruction of a project lead.
  • Experience entering data on a Windows-based computer using spreadsheets.
Physical Demands
Work is physically demanding and may involve moderate or sometimes extreme exposure to discomforts of rain, cold/hot weather, etc. A pre-employment physical is required.
To qualify at the GG-03 level you must have at least 3 months of field party experience OR 1 year of subprofessional experience OR 6 months of college study.
Definitions of Experience
Field Survey Party —Experience with a field survey party includes activity associated with making and recording geologic, hydrologic, biologic, or topographic field observations; collecting geologic, biological, or water samples for laboratory analysis; applying accepted data collection techniques and methods in the performance of field work in support of scientific investigations; and using a variety of surveying instruments and electronic or mechanical instrumentation in the making and recording of field measurements and observations designed to collect data for physical/ biological science investigations. Only time actually spent in the field can be credited when qualifying individuals under the field party experience option.
Sub-professional Experience —Sub-professional experience is defined as technical work performed in support of field or laboratory investigations relating to the biological sciences, physical sciences, or closely related disciplines which provided basic knowledge or skills in gathering, recording, and assembling scientific or engineering data; using scientific instruments to measure angles, degrees, weights, strengths, intensities, etc.; setting up and operating test apparatus, and manipulating quantitative data. Experience may include assisting professional employees with such duties as calibrating and operating measuring instruments mixing solutions, making chemical analyses, setting up and operating test apparatus, and compiling and processing scientific data. Experience as a laboratory mechanic or in a trade or craft may be credited as experience when the work was performed in close association with physical or biological scientists or other technical personnel and provided a good working knowledge of appropriate scientific principles, methods, and techniques.
Professional Experience —Professional work experience in the physical and biological sciences may be credited in lieu of or in conjunction with sub-professional experience as defined above.
About this Position
  • 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, in this case, up to 180 days or 1,039 hours whichever comes first.
  • Positions may offer rehire eligibility for subsequent appointments, provided the employee has not exceeded 180 days of or 1,039 hours work in a 12-month period and has achieved acceptable level of performance.
  • Temporary employees are covered by the Social Security Retirement system; annual and sick leave will be accrued.
If you are qualifying based in whole or part on education, you must provide all unofficial transcripts (undergraduate, graduate, etc) or list of course work, including semester hours and grades earned, by the closing date of this announcement or you will be disqualified from further consideration. This proof may be faxed, emailed or hand delivered to the point of contact listed in the “How to Apply” section.
Please ensure that all documentation is legible. If you are currently employed by the Federal government in the same occupational series, you are not required to submit transcripts at this time.
Education completed in colleges or universities outside the US may be used to meet the above requirements. You must provide acceptable documentation that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the US. For more information on how foreign education is evaluated, see:
Basis of Evaluation
Applicants will not be rated or ranked. All applicants that meet the basic eligibility and qualification requirements of the position will be referred to the selecting official in preference eligible order. Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of this announcement.
A background investigation will be required for this position. Continued employment is subject to the applicant’s successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.
The selectee will be required to submit proof of valid driver’s license and driving record covering at least three years before receiving a final offer.
Temporary appointees expected to work at least 130 hours per month for at least 90 days will be eligible to enroll in a Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) plan. Individuals eligible under this rule receive full government contribution to their premiums regardless of work schedule and will also be eligible to participate in the Flexible Spending Accounts and Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program. Temporary appointees are not covered by the Federal Employee Retirement System and are ineligible for Federal life, dental, or vision insurance. Visit for more information.
How to Apply
Carefully read all instructions. Applicants are responsible to ensure the application is complete. The personnel office will not solicit additional information from applicants or official records, but will consider individuals based on applications as submitted. Applications must be received by closing date of the announcement. If you are e-mailing applications, supporting materials such as transcripts not available electronically, can be faxed separately or mailed under separate cover but must arrive by 5 p.m. of the first work day following announcement closing date, and must include announcement number of the job for which you are applying.
Apply by sending your application materials via email to or mailing them to Canyonlands Research Station, ATTN: Erika Geiger, 2290 Resource Blvd, Moab, UT 84532.
This agency provides reasonable accommodations for applicants with disabilities.
Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is defined as information which can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, such as name, social security number, biometric records, etc. alone, or when combined with other personal or identifying information which is linked or linkable to a specific individual, such as date and place of birth, mother’s maiden name, etc. Please ensure that you have removed all Personally Identifiable Information from all documents prior to submitting your application material.
Required Documents
If you are claiming veterans’ preference you must submit a copy of your DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, by closing date of this announcement. If you are currently on active military duty, you must provide documentation (e.g., campaign document, award citation, etc.), that verifies entitlement to veterans preference and that your character of military service is honorable. If you are claiming 10-point veterans’ preference, in addition to the DD-214, you must submit documentation that supports your claim (e.g., official statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs or a branch of the Armed Forces certifying existence of a service-connected disability; or receipt of Purple Heart). If you fail to submit the required documentation, you will not be granted veterans preference. See additional information on veterans’ preference in the Vet Guide:
The following must be included in your application:
Job Information:
Announcement number, title, grade(s) of the job for which you are applying.
Personal Information:
  • Full name, mailing address (with zip code), email, day and evening phone numbers (with area code)
  • Country of Citizenship
  • Veterans preference (with supporting documentation, DD-214)
  • Highest Federal civilian grade held (also give job series and dates)
  • High school (name, address, zip code if known)
  • Colleges and universities (address including zip code if known)
  • Majors
  • Type and year of any degrees received (if no degree, show total credits earned and indicate whether semester or quarter hours)
  • Send copy of your college transcripts or list of college courses completed. Specify title of course, semester or quarter hours earned for each course, date completed, grade earned.
Work Experience:
Give the following information on your paid and non-paid work experience related to the job for which you are applying (do not send job descriptions)
  • Job Title (include series and grade if Federal)
  • Duties and Accomplishments
Employers name and address:
  • Supervisors name and phone number
  • Starting and ending dates with Month and Year (Example: Feb 2001 thru Jan 2002)
  • Hours worked per week (e.g., 40 hr/wk, 20 hr/wk, etc.)
  • Salary
  • Indicate if we may contact your current supervisor
Other Qualifications:
  • Job-related training courses (title, length, date taken)
  • Job-related skills (IE., other languages, computer software/hardware, tools, machinery, typing speed, first aid, etc)
  • Job related certificates and licenses (current only)
  • Job-related honors, awards, and special accomplishments (IE, publications, memberships in professional or honor societies, leadership activities, public speaking, and performance awards). Give details but do not send documents unless requested.
Other Information
Relocation expenses will not be paid.
Applicants who include vulgar, offensive, or inappropriate language or information in their application package will be ineligible for further consideration for this position.
Under Executive Order 11935, only United States citizens and nationals (residents of American Samoa and Swains Island) may compete for civil service jobs. Agencies are permitted to hire non-citizens only in very limited circumstances where there are no qualified citizens available for the position.
USGS employees are subject to Title 43, USC Section 31 (a) have any personal, private, direct or indirect interest in lands or mineral wealth or lands under survey; (b) have any substantial personal, private, direct or indirect interests in any private mining or mineral enterprise doing business with the United States; or (c) execute surveys or examinations for private parties or corporations.
The application contains information subject to the Privacy Act (P.L. 93-579, 5 USC 552a). The information is used to determine qualifications for employment, and is authorized under Title 5, USC, Section 3302 and 3361.