Ocean Career: Fish Biologist at NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service

This position is located in the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), West Coast Region (WCR) with multiple vacancies in Santa Rosa, CA; Santa Cruz, CA; Arcata, CA; Seattle, WA; Lacey, WA; Portland, OR; Ellensburg, WA; Boise, ID; Roseburg, OR; or Moscow, ID. This is a Direct Hire Public Notice.


As a Fish Biologist, you will perform the following duties:

  • Review, gather, analyze, interpret, and synthesize scientific data and technical information for the purpose of determining environmental impacts on biological resources and aquatic habitats.
  • Conduct technical natural resource evaluations regarding effects of water management, forestry, and other federally approved or funded activities on the conservation and/or protection of fish, other aquatic species, and their habitats.
  • Write regulatory documents required by various Federal environmental laws (including the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act and other applicable laws), provide input and comment to natural resource management plans for stream, river, riparian, estuarine, coastal and marine environments.
  • Interact collaboratively with a variety of communities, local government representatives, non-governmental organizations, and the scientific community on fisheries, protected species, or water resource management.
  • Interpret and assess the protection or restoration of natural resources to project the potential effects of actions on viability and attainment of program objectives.


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National to apply.
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
  • Must be suitable for Federal employment.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable
  • Qualifications requirements must be met by closing date of announcement.

The ZP-3 is equivalent to the GS-11/12.

The full performance level of this position is ZP-3.


Qualification requirements in the vacancy announcements are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains federal qualification standards. This handbook is available on the Office of Personnel Management's website located at: https://www.opm.gov/policy.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS: This position requires applicants to meet the Basic Education Requirement in addition to at least one year of specialized experience OR substitution of education for experience OR combination (if applicable) in order to be found minimally qualified. Transcripts must be submitted with your application package. You MUST meet one of the following basic education requirements.

To qualify for the 0482 series:


A. Degree: major in biological science that included:

At least 6 semester hours in aquatic subjects such as limnology, ichthyology, fishery biology, aquatic botany, aquatic fauna, oceanography, fish culture, or related courses in the field of fishery biology; and At least 12 semester hours in the animal sciences in such subjects as general zoology, vertebrate zoology, comparative anatomy, physiology, entomology, parasitology, ecology, cellular biology, genetics, or research in these fields. (Excess course work in aquatic subjects may be used to meet this requirement when appropriate.)


B. Combination of education and experience: courses equivalent to a major in biological science (i.e., at least 30 semester hours), of which a minimum of 6 semester hours were in aquatic subjects and 12 semester hours were in the animal sciences, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.


SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: Applicants must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to the next lower grade level in the Federal Service. Specialized experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular competencies/knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. This experience need not have been in the federal government.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

To qualify at the ZP-3 or GS-11 level:

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: In addition to meeting the Basic Requirements above, applicants must also possess one full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the ZP-2 or GS-09 in the Federal service. Specialized experience MUST include all of the following:

Assisting in the gathering and analysis of scientific data and technical information to determine environmental impacts on biological resources and aquatic habitats; Participating in an evaluation on the effects of land management actions or water project operations on fish and other aquatic species; and Contributing to drafting regulatory documents in prescribed formats pursuant to the Endangered Species Act or other similar statutes.


SUBSTITUTION OF EDUCATION: 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree.


COMBINATION OF EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: A combination of education and experience as described above.

Note: Only graduate education in excess of two full years is qualifying for combination.


College Transcript: If you are qualifying based on education, submit a copy of your college transcript that lists college courses detailing each course by the number and department (i.e., bio 101, math 210, etc.), course title, number of credit hours and grade earned. You must submit evidence that any education completed in a foreign institution is equivalent to U.S. education standards with your resume. You may submit an unofficial copy of the transcript at the initial phase of the application process. If course content cannot be easily identified from the title of the course as listed on your transcript, you must submit an official course description from the college/university that reflects the content at the time the course was taken.

Application Deadline: May 16, 2022
Salary: $66,214 - $126,742 per year

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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