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Research Ecologist or Forester

Deadline:
Employer:
United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
Job Field:
Forestry
Other
Job Type:
Full Time
Location:

Alabama

Location Detail:
Auburn
Job Description:

Summary

This Research Ecologist or Forester works in the USDA Forest Service's Southern Research Station's Research Work Unit "Restoring and Managing Longleaf Pine Ecosystems", located in Auburn, Alabama.
Research in this work unit addresses questions concerning relationships among natural disturbances, stand and landscape dynamics, and silviculture.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Don Bragg by phone at 870-367-3465 or 870-308-0134, or by email at dbragg@fs.fed.us

Responsibilities

  • Plan and conduct research on the ecology and silviculture of longleaf pine forest ecosystems in the southern U.S., focusing on the consequences of silvicultural treatments to achieve desired habitat conditions in managed longleaf pine ecosystems.
  • Determine key aspects of the experimental design and will act as an expert in the field of the ecology and silviculture of longleaf pine for the Forest Service's Southern Research Station.
  • Maintain a number of existing long-term studies as well as adapting these studies for new purposes as appropriate.
  • Design, monitor, and modify overstory and understory treatments with traditional and nontraditional silvicultural cutting methods in accordance with concepts of adaptive management.
  • Maintain liaison with researchers, other agencies, non-governmental organizations, forest industry and private forest landowners to disseminate research findings and obtain guidance concerning research that promotes forestry

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

 

Qualifications:

Conditions of Employment

  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • US Citizenship is required.
  • Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit www.dhs.gov/E-Verify/.
  • This position requires completion of a three-year probationary period in accordance with the USDA Demonstration Project Authority.

Qualifications

This is an interdisciplinary position and may be filled in any of the job series/position titles listed below. In addition to the specialized experience requirements, you must submit transcripts that show you meet the educational requirements for at least one of the series described in this announcement. ATTACH UNIVERSITY COURSE DESCRIPTIONS AS NECESSARY. Applicants may only be appointed to job series/position titles for which they meet all experience and educational requirements.

Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements as defined below by the closing date of the announcement. For more information on the qualifications for this position, go to: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/#url=GS-PROF
To receive consideration for this position, you must meet all qualification requirements as of the closing date of the announcement.

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.

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS:
ECOLOGY SERIES (0408): Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree that included a major field of study in biology, or a related field of science underlying ecological research that included at least 30 semester hours in basic and applied biological sciences. These hours must have included at least 9 semester hours in ecology, and 12 semester hours in physical and mathematical sciences.
FORESTRY SERIES (0460): Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree that included a major field of study in forestry; OR in a related subject-matter field that included a total of at least 30 semester hours in any combination of biological, physical, or mathematical sciences or engineering, of which at least 24 semester hours of course work were in forestry; OR a combination of education and experience with courses equivalent to a major in forestry, or at least 30 semester hours in any combination of biological, physical, or mathematical sciences or engineering, of which at least 24 semester hours were in forestry. The requirements for diversification of the 24 semester hours in forestry are the same as shown below, plus appropriate experience or additional education. The curriculum must have been sufficiently diversified to include courses in each of the following areas:
Management of Renewable Resources: study of the science and art of managing renewable resources to attain desired results. Examples of creditable courses in this area include silviculture, forest management operations, timber management, wildland fire science or fire management, utilization of forest resources, forest regulation, recreational land management, watershed management, and wildlife or range habitat management.
Forest Biology: study of the classification, distribution, characteristics, and identification of forest vegetation, and the interrelationships of living organisms to the forest environment. Examples of creditable courses in this area include dendrology, forest ecology, silvics, forest genetics, wood structure and properties, forest soils, forest entomology, and forest pathology.
Forest Resource Measurements and Inventory: sampling, inventory, measurement, and analysis techniques as applied to a variety of forest resources. Examples of creditable courses include forest biometrics, forest mensuration, forest valuation, statistical analysis of forest resource data, renewable natural resources inventories and analysis, and photogrammetry or remote sensing.

IN ADDITION TO MEETING THE BASIC QUALIFICATIONS, you must possess the specialized experience and/or graduate education listed below. Your application, transcripts and/or resume must clearly show that you possess the specialized experience or education requirements. Specialized experience is defined as experience that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled and has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position.

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.
SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE:
GS-12: At least one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 grade level. Specialized experience at this level is defined as: Conducting the full cycle of scientific research (including identifying research topics, defining study objectives, organizing and conducting the research, interpreting the results, and presenting the findings in the form of reports, demonstrations, manuscripts, and other appropriate technology transfer activities) in one or more of the following areas: pine silviculture, quantitative forest ecology, wildfire and/or prescribed fire management, forest restoration, forest model development and simulation, dendrochronology, historical forest reconstruction, or southern pine growth and yield; Analyzing forest structure, function, and dynamics using field-based sampling, simulation modeling, remote sensing, spatial statistics, reconstruction from tree-ring analysis, or historical (archival) research; Using advanced analysis tools such as geographic information systems, spatial statistics, computer models, or precision laser measuring devices; and Disseminating research findings at conferences or scientific meetings and publishing results in peer-reviewed journals.

GS-13: At least one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 grade level. Graduate level education alone is not qualifying for the GS-13 grade level. Specialized experience at this level is defined as: Leading and conducting a body of scientific research (including identifying research topics, defining study objectives, organizing and conducting the research, interpreting the results, and presenting the findings in the form of reports, demonstrations, manuscripts, and other appropriate technology transfer activities) in one or more of the following areas: pine silviculture, quantitative forest ecology, wildfire and/or prescribed fire management, forest restoration, forest model development and simulation, dendrochronology, historical forest reconstruction, or southern pine growth and yield; Developing novel assessments of forest stand structure, function, and dynamics using advanced field and laboratory measurement techniques, or the developing new tools and technologies, including simulation models or analysis techniques; Funding scientific research through competitively awarded external research grants; and Publishing research in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presenting research findings at major professional conferences/scientific meetings.

Education

FOR GS-12 LEVEL ONLY: Conferred Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree directly related to the work of the position. The education must have been obtained in an accredited college or university by the U.S. Department of Education and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work.. Acceptable fields of study include forest ecosystem science, forest ecology, fire ecology, quantitative silviculture, landscape ecology, disturbance ecology or related coursework such as restoration ecology/science, prescribed fire management, forest conservation, community ecology, remote sensing, statistics or other quantitative analysis, forest-based ecological modeling, or dendrochronology.

Miscellaneous:

Additional information

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK: Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.

This position is eligible for telework.

CAREER TRANSITION ASSISTANT PLAN (CTAP) or REEMPLOYMENT PRIORITY LIST (RPL): To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.
Information on special hiring authorities such as the Veteran's Recruitment Act (VRA), 30 percent disabled veterans, certain military spouses, and individuals with disabilities may be found on the USAJOBS website.

This position requires completion of a three-year probationary period in accordance with the USDA Demonstration Project Authority. During this time period, employee's conduct and performance will be monitored in order to determine if employee will be retained.

This agency offers alternative and flexible work schedules.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

This is a research scientist position and is classified under the scientist career plan. Research scientists have open-ended promotion potential. Research accomplishments and their impact on the duties and responsibilities of positions are evaluated periodically. The grade level is limited only by the individual's demonstrated ability to perform research of recognized importance to science and technology. Final grade level will be determined by a peer review panel. The purpose of the initial review panel is to determine the grade level upon entry into a position.

Candidates being considered for this research position should provide a list of publications for which you have been an author, co-author, or contributor. If providing curriculum vitae, please incorporate all resume requirements identified in the REQUIRED DOCUMENTS section of this announcement, or submit a supplemental resume which includes all information required in addition to the curriculum vitae. You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

You will be evaluated in accordance with the category rating procedure as defined in the USDA Demonstration Project Plan. Applicants who meet the basic minimum qualification requirements established for the position will be placed in the Eligible category. You will be further evaluated against criteria for placement in the Quality category. This evaluation is based on the level of your experience, education, and/or training as determined by your responses to the Assessment Questionnaire. Individuals with veterans' preference are listed ahead of applicants who do not have veterans' preference within each category.

Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your rating may be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.

The USDA Forest Service has legislative authority to recruit and fill Permanent (Career/Career-Conditional), Temporary, and Term Appointments under the USDA Demonstration Project. Under this authority, any U.S. citizen may apply.

For a preview of the assessment questionnaire, click here: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10227088

 

Salary:
$73,375 to $87,252 per year
Benefits:

A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.

 

Review our benefits

How to Apply:

For tips on how to apply and how you will be evaluated, please see the Agency Contact Information listed below.

Please read the entire announcement and all instructions before you begin. You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

Applying online is highly encouraged. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00a.m. - 4:00p.m., Monday - Friday). If applying online poses a hardship, contact the Agency Contact listed below well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages must be complete and submitted no later than noon ET on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.

This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact the Agency Contact to request this.

To begin, in USAJOBS click "Apply" and follow the instructions to attach your resume and supporting documents, complete the assessment questionnaire, and submit your application.