(temporary full-time) Biological Sciences Technician, USGS Western Fisheries Research Center (Seattle, WA)



Job Title:                                              Biological Sciences Technician           

Job Announcement Number:              WFRC-2019-06

Salary Range:                                      $19.34 USD

Series & Grade:                                    GG-0404-06

Open Period:                                       Tuesday June 4, 2019

Position Information:

Temporary position not to exceed 180 work days in a year. This position begins approximately May 20, 2019 (or later, contingent on pre-employment requirements) and ends approximately February 28, 2020.  Starting and ending dates will be dependent on field conditions and accessibility to the field location(s).  Employees are expected to work full-time with periods of intermittent time as needed.

Duty Location: Seattle, WA

Number of Positions Available: 1

Who May Be Considered: United States Citizens
What General Information Do I Need To Know 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, however, will not convey permanent status in the Federal service.  This position has an intermittent work schedule.  The incumbent’s services will be required primarily during the research field season, starting approximately in April and ending approximately in September of this fiscal year.  At the end of the work period, the incumbent will be placed in a non-work, non-pay status.

Key Requirements:

  • Suitable for Federal employment, as determined by background investigation.
  • Selectee must provide a valid driver’s license and safe driving record.
  • Selectee subject to the satisfactory completion of a medical exam.
  • Selectee will be required to travel on a daily basis. Overnight camping or staying in bunk houses for up to one week may be required.

Conditions of employment as required by the USGS Watercraft Safety Program:

  • Must be able to take and pass the Motorboat Operator Certification Course (MOCC) within six (6) months of employment.

Major Duties:
As a Biological Technician within the U.S. Geological Survey, Western Fisheries Research, the incumbent(s) will perform technical work in a field and lab environment in support of professional or technical employees engaged in data collection activities, analysis of biological data collection activities or analysis of biological samples.  Incumbents will assist in data collection for studies examining the diet, distribution and abundance of fishes in the Northwest region and collect, record and organize data using a variety of standardized methods and techniques.  Some specific duties will include:  collecting water samples for eDNA analysis; monitoring of stream temperatures; collecting of fish, zooplankton and stream invertebrates; collecting data on fish diet, size, age, and growth; lab analyses for fish and invertebrates; and collecting data on distribution and abundance of fish and invertebrates.  The incumbent will work as part of a field crew but may be expected to travel to field sites and work independently at times.

-Operate a government owned vehicle as an incidental driver.

Physical Demands:  Field work will require strenuous physical exertion to wade streams, pull nets (gill nets, seines, trawls) and remove fish, considerable stamina, strength and agility, and exposure to extreme conditions on a daily basis with occasional long and irregular hours. Field work will require carrying equipment (up to 50 lbs.), bending and lifting, walking over rough terrain, and wading. Proper safety, training and protective measures will be provided and must be followed.

Working Environment:  This job entails both work in a laboratory setting to process samples and data, and field work for sample and data collection. Outdoor tasks can include work on boats in rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and marine waters of the Salish Sea; may encounter extreme weather conditions and physical hardships.  The majority of field work will occur in remote, isolated field locations where medical attention is 25 – 50 miles away.  Incumbent will encounter risk and discomfort associated with challenging outdoor field work and must be comfortable working long, variable hours in inclement weather such as cold rainy/snowy conditions or hot warm summer temperatures.


To be basically qualified for this position, applicants must possess experience or education beyond high school as described below:

GG-06 Biological Sciences Technician:

  • 1 year, 9 months field party experience (includes outdoor field work making and recording field measurements and observations designed to collect data for biological science investigations).
  • OR 4 year sub-professional experience (includes work performed in support of field investigations related to the biological sciences which provided knowledge and skill in gathering, recording and assembling scientific data).
  • OR 4 years of college study (equivalent 120 semester hours/180 quarter hours) related to field of employment. In addition, must also have 3 months of lab or field work experience.

Field Party Experience:

Experience in a field biology party includes activities associated with making and recording geological, hydrologic, or topographic field observations, collecting geologic, biological or water samples for laboratory analysis, applying accepted data collection techniques and methods in the performances 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 biological or physical science investigations. Only time actually spent in the field can be credited with qualifying individuals under field part experience.

Subprofessional Experience:

Subprofessional experience is defined as technical work preformed in support of field or laboratory investigations relating to the biological or 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 such duties as calibrating and operating measuring instruments, mixing solutions, making chemical analyses, setting up operating teste apparatus, and compiling and processing scientific data. Experience as a laboratory mechanic or in a trade or craft may be credited as experience with the work was performed in close association with physical or biological scientists or other technical personnel and provide a good working knowledge of appropriate scientific principles, methods, and techniques.

You must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements for the position by the closing date of the announcement.

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/or grade received, 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 contact listed. If you are currently employed by the Federal government in the same occupational series as the advertised position, you are not required to submit transcripts at this time.

Are There Any Special Requirements For This Position?
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.

Pre-Employment Physical is required prior to first day of service, paid by agency if selected for position.ill be required to operate a government-owned or -leased vehicle in the performance of your official duties.  Applicants for this position must meet the following requirements: (1) possess a valid State 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.

How You Will Be Evaluated:
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.  If selected for this position, applicant must provide a copy of their driving record.  If it is determined the applicant does not possess a safe driving record, it may disqualify them from consideration of this position.


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 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.

Working for the U. S. Geological Survey offers a benefits package including paid vacation, sick leave and holidays.  In addition, 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.

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.


How To Apply:
Applications must be received via fax, mail/e-mail or hand delivery BEFORE close of business (5:00pm Pacific Time) on the closing date of this announcement. If you fail to submit a complete resume, you will not be considered for this position. Requests for extensions will not be granted.  Please contact Kim Larsen with any questions.


U.S. Geological Survey
Western Fisheries Research Center
6505 NE 65th St NE
Seattle, WA 98115

Or Fax to 206-526-6654

Or Email kalarsen@usgs.gov

Required Documents:
1) If you are claiming 10-point veterans’ preference, the Western Fisheries Research Center must receive your DD-214, SF-15 and supporting documents (e.g., official statement from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs) by the closing date of this announcement. If you fail to do so, you will only be granted 5-point tentative preference if appropriate.

2) DD-214 showing character of discharge is required if you are claiming 5 point veteran preference.
3) Transcripts (if required to qualify)

4) Resume: the following must be included:


IMPORTANT: On your resume, you must provide the following information: Vacancy number and title.


-Full name, mailing address (with zip code) and day and evening phone numbers (with area code)

-Country of Citizenship

-Veteran’s preference

-Highest Federal civilian grade held (also give job series and dates held)


-High school (name, address, including zip code if known)

-Colleges and universities (address including zip code if known)


-type and year of any degrees received (if no degree, show total credits earned and indicate whether semester or quarter hours)

-Send a 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.


-Give the following information on your paid and nonpaid work experience related to the job for which you are applying (do not send job descriptions)

-Job Title (include series and grade if Federal job)

-Duties and accomplishments

-Employer’s name and address

-Supervisor’s name and phone number

-Starting and ending dates (month, day and year)

-Hours per week

-Percentage of time spent doing field survey work

-Percentage of time spent doing laboratory work


-Indicate if we may contact your current supervisor


-Job-related training courses title, length, date taken)

-Job-related skills (e.g. other languages, computer software/hardware, tools, machinery, typing speed)

-Job-related certificates and licenses (current only)

-Job-related honors, awards, and special accomplishments (e.g. publications, memberships in professional or honor societies, leadership activities public speaking, and performance awards).  Give details but do not send documents unless requested.

EEO Policy Statement:   http://www.usajobs.gov/eeo
Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement:   http://www.usajobs.gov/raps
Veterans Information:   http://www.usajobs.gov/vi
Legal and Regulatory Guidance:   http://www.usajobs.gov/lrg