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  • Biological Science Technician / Crew Lead

    Guest Alex Hartman
    • Employer: U.S. Geological Survey
      Location: Fremont, Suisun City, Dixon, California
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 01/08/2024
      Open Until Filled: No

    Duration of Appointment: This is a temporary excepted service position not‐to‐exceed 180 days. Employment may not exceed 180 working days in a service year. All qualified applicants, with or without Federal status may apply and be considered. Appointment to this position, however, will not convey permanent status in the Federal service.

    Work Schedule: Full‐Time / Maxi Flex (40 hours per week), then potentially changing to an intermittent work schedule at the end of the field season.

    Travel Required: Overnight travel of up to 3 nights per month may be required. Depending on the duty location selected, you still may be required to travel to other duty locations listed in this announcement to perform field work.

    Relocation: Relocation expenses will not be paid.

    What General Information Do I Need To Know About This Position?

    This vacancy is will close at 4 PM Pacific Time on 1/8/2024. Any application received before 4PM Pacific Time of the day the announcement closes, will be accepted and considered. You are strongly encouraged to submit all required supporting documents at the time of application. Supporting documents will not be accepted once the vacancy announcement closes.

    The field season is expected to start from approximately April 1, 2024 through September 1, 2024. Please indicate all the duty locations that you are applying to on your application for this position:

    • Fremont, CA
    • Dixon, CA
    • Suisun City, CA

    Key Requirements

    • Applicants must be U.S. Citizens.
    • Suitable for Federal employment, as determined by background investigation.
    • A valid state driver's license and safe driving record are required.
    • Selectee subject to successful completion of a pre‐employment medical exam.
    • Housing will not be provided.
    • More requirements are listed under Qualifications and Other Information.

    Major Duties

    As a Biological Science Technician/Field Assistant with the U.S. Geological Survey, some of your specific duties will include:

    Seeking technicians to lead waterbird research studies in San Francisco Bay and California’s Central Valley. Positions include assisting in nest searching for waterbirds (primarily terns and shorebirds) in San Francisco Bay or upland nesting dabbling ducks (mainly mallard and gadwall) in the Central Valley. Technicians will be selected for one of these two primary duties but will have the opportunity to participate in both. The ideal applicant will have an interest, and experience in waterbirds, waterfowl, and/or wetland habitats and be able to work independently and as a team member to execute field research. In addition, must be willing to work long hours, including early morning, evening and some weekends as needed.

    Performs one or more of the following duties:

    • Waterbird and duck nest searching, nest monitoring, and evaluating nest success
    • Waterbird surveys to evaluate wetland habitat use
    • Habitat surveys and collecting other ecological data
    • Identifying shorebirds, terns, ducks, and other waterbirds
    • Operates a government vehicle (4WD), kayaks, and ATVs
    • Enter data into spreadsheets, compile and organize field data, as well as prepare tabular data

    Physical Demands: Work is physically demanding and includes walking, bending, climbing, and lifting ofequipment up to 45 pounds or more when in the field, sometimes during adverse conditions.

    Work Environment: The work is performed in a laboratory or field environment. Field work involves moderate or sometimes extreme exposure to the discomforts of rain, cold/hot weather, and rapidly running or icy streams and rivers. Special safety precautions are required in many cases, and the employee may typically wear life jackets, special safety boots, waders, and special handling gear. If selected, you will be required to complete a pre‐employment physical, at Federal expense.

    *Please note: the field work is conducted out in the wetlands and grassy areas.

    Special Requirements For This Position:

    • If selected you may be asked to provide information regarding your COVID‐19 vaccination status for the purposes of implementing workplace safety protocols, such as those related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.
    • A background investigation will be required for this position. Continued employment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.
    • Applicants for this position must meet the following requirements: (1) possession of a valid State driver's license, and (2) possess a safe driving record. If selected, you will be required to provide proof of a valid State License and a copy of your driving record.

    Basis of Rating:

    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.


    To qualify for a GG‐6 you need 1 year and 9 months of field experience OR 4 years of sub‐professional work experience OR 4 years of college with courses related to the work of the position to be filled (equivalent to 120 semester/180 quarter hours) 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.

    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. Please note that if qualifying based on education; unofficial transcripts MUST be submitted as part of the application in order to receive consideration. You must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements for the position by the closing date of the announcement.

    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 the 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., an official statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs or from a branch of the Armed Forces certifying the existence of a service‐connected disability; or receipt of a Purple Heart). If you fail to submit any of the required documentation, you will not be granted veterans preference. Additional information on veterans' preference can be found in the VetGuide.

    If this position requires specific educational course work to qualify, or if you are qualifying based in whole or part on education, you are required to provide all unofficial transcripts (undergraduate and graduate) course work, which includes semester hours earned and grade received, by the closing date of this announcement or you will be disqualified from further consideration.

    Resume: You must show how your skills and experiences meet the qualification and requirements listed in the recruitment bulletin to be considered for the position.

    Required documents may be emailed to werchr@usgs.gov.


    If this position requires specific educational course work to qualify, or you are qualifying based in whole or part on education, you are required to provide all unofficial transcripts (undergraduate, graduate, etc.) or list of course work, which includes semester hours earned and grade received, by the closing date of this announcement or you will be disqualified from further consideration. This proof may be faxed or emailed to the point of contact listed in this bulletin. Please ensure that all documentation is legible.

    Education completed in colleges or universities outside the United States 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 United States. For more information on how foreign education is evaluated, visit:


    How to Apply

    An email with your correctly formatted resume, and full unofficial transcripts must be emailed to werchr@usgs.gov before 4 pm PST on the closing date of this announcement (1/8/2024). If you fail to submit a complete application, you will not be considered for this position. Requests for extensions will not be granted.


    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 the 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.

    Other Information

    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) and may not: (a) have any personal, private, direct or indirect interest in lands or mineral wealth of 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.

    DOI uses E‐Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E‐Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please visit www.dhs.gov/E‐Verify. 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.

    The Department of the Interior (DOI) places a high value on diversity of experience and cultural perspectives and encourages applications from all interested eligible candidates. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) are fundamental principles that guide the Department and allow us to successfully achieve our mission.

    Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case‐by‐case basis.

    If you misrepresent your experience or education or provide false or fraudulent information in or with your application, it may be grounds for not hiring you or for firing you after you begin work. Making false or fraudulent statements also may be punishable by fine or imprisonment.

    If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service Law.


    • Please list the WERC announcement number 17‐24‐02 on your application
    • Please indicate all the duty locations that you are applying to on your application for this position: (Dixon, Fremont, Suisun City)
    • 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
      • If you fail to note hours per week, or if you fail to note the day of the month per position, this could significantly reduce your listed experience, and could disqualify you.

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