Ocean Career: Marine Biologist at NOAA

This position is located in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Marine Protected Area Center (NMPAC) with one vacancy in Silver Spring, MD.


As a Marine Biologist you will perform the following duties:

  • Develop assessments and reports to promote climate resilience within the National Marine Sanctuary System and other marine protected area (MPA) programs, including strengthening scientific understanding and adaptive management of climate impacts through research, education and management activities.
  • Conduct natural resource and management studies and formulate solutions to complex problems related to natural resource management and protection. Carry out the planned implementation of sanctuaries’ climate program.
  • Serve as a project manager and coordinate a team to carry out established science, assessment, adaptation, and operational plans by supporting the development of timelines, developing agendas for team meetings, ensuring team members are aware of assignments and deadlines, and helping efficiently communicate essential information to all team members in a timely manner.
  • Represent the organization on MPA and ocean science teams, working groups and interagency meetings. Connect the MPA Center and its work to the natural and social science communities, including climate science. Work within the ocean science community on peer-reviewed publications, participation in conferences, working groups and other initiatives.


Conditions of Employment

  • Proof of ICTAP/CTAP eligibility required.
  • Must be a US Citizen or National.
  • Must be suitable for Federal employment.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable.
  • Time-in-grade/band must be met by closing date of announcement.
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.

As required by Executive Order 14043, Federal employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of the employee’s duty location or work arrangement (e.g., telework, remote work, etc.), subject to such exceptions as required by law. If selected, you will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination by November 22, 2021 or before appointment or onboarding with the agency, if after November 22. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request of the agency a legally required exception from this requirement.

Due to COVID-19, the agency is currently in an expanded telework posture. If selected, you may be expected to temporarily telework, even if your home is located outside the local commuting area. Once employees are permitted to return to the office, you will be expected to report to the duty station listed on this announcement within 45 days. At that time, you may be eligible to request to continue to telework one or more days a pay period depending upon the terms of the agency’s telework policy.

This position requires a Low-Risk Security Clearance.

This position will be filled under the DOC Alternative Personnel System (CAPS). This system replaced the Federal GS pay plan and structure. Under CAPS, positions are classified by career, pay plan, and pay band.


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.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS: This position requires applicants to meet a Basic Education Requirement in addition to at least one year of Specialized Experience OR substitution of education for experience OR combination in order to be found minimally qualified. You MUST meet the following basic requirements:

To qualify for the 0401 series:


A. Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.


B. Combination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major, 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 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:

  • Participating in natural resource management studies focused on climate impacts or climate resilience;
  • Contributing to management of research projects, including participating in organizing workflows; and
  • Assisting with the development of written scientific products used for distribution of information between an organizations.


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-level education in excess of two years is qualifying for combination of education and experience.


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.

Note: Your college transcript is used to verify successful completion of degree, or college course work. An official college transcript will be required before you can report to duty.

SALARY: $72,750 - $113,362 per year

Learn more about this position and how to apply.

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