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Natural Resources Conservation Service Hydrologist in United States


This position is on the National Water Quality & Quantity Team (WQQT) associated with the Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) West National Technology Support Center (WNTSC) in Portland, OR, in the Science and Technology Deputy area. The position is located in Portland, OR or Beltsville MD. . This position reports to the WQQT Leader. This replaces announcement NRCS-20-10894250-MP-MA


Develops technical input and provides scientific leadership for the formulation of direction and recommendations on hydrology and stream maintenance issues

Provide national guidance for management, conservation and restoration of streams, rivers and riparian zones which use complex integration of geologic processes coupled with hydrologic principles.

Require interagency interaction, coordination and shared responsibility at the highest levels and provide national leadership in the program administration and technical delivery.

Provides technical leadership for hydrologic and water quality and quantity technology to NRCS staff, disseminates supporting data, and ensures that states have sufficient technical capability

Participates with ARS scientists to lead, design, coordinate and conduct experiments required for the development of improved hydrology.

Develops new tools, methods, technology and techniques to evaluate water quality degradation from agricultural practices within a hydrologic context.

Reviews and makes comments on the technical soundness and adequacy of NRCS policies, procedures, standards, technical papers, and other documents with respect to hydrology.

Represents NRCS on committees and task forces by serving as a technical authority and participates in meetings and conferences to develop and/or modify national water policies, standards, and procedures .


Conditions of Employment


Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including time-in-grade restrictions, specialized experience and/or education, as defined below. Time in grade: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience at the next lower grade to be considered for the next higher grade (e.g. one year at the GS-12 grade level for consideration for the GS-13 grade level). Basic Education Requirement:

Degree: physical or natural science, or engineering that included at least 30 semester hours in any combination of courses in hydrology, the physical sciences, geophysics, chemistry, engineering science, soils, mathematics, aquatic biology, atmospheric science, meteorology, geology, oceanography, or the management or conservation of water resources. The course work must have included at least 6 semester hours in calculus (including both differential and integral calculus), and at least 6 semester hours in physics. Calculus and physics, as described above, are requirements for all grade levels;OR

Combination of Education and Experience: Combination of education and experience -- course work as shown in above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. In addition to meeting one of the Basic Requirements listed above, applicants must meet the following Minimum Qualifications Requirement in order to be considered:

Specialized Experience: To qualify for the GS-13 level, you must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-12 level or higher in Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through Federal service. For this position, specialized experience is defined as: performing work that includes applying research on water and water resources; collecting, measuring, analyzing, and interpreting information on water resources.

Examples of specialized experience include: Developing long-range hydrologic or watershed plans, programs, and /or precedents Collecting, analyzing, and interpreting watershed data to support conservation planning. Supporting water quality monitoring programs, including preparation of plans, collection and analysis of samples, and interpretation of data. Planning and conducting hydrologic or surface and ground water quality surveys. Planning, coordinating, and implementing tests to collect hydrologic and water quality data. Performing scientific and technical evaluation, correlation, synthesis, and presentation of hydrologic data. Note: There is no education substitution for the GS-13 level. Time in grade: For the GS-14 Level: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience at the next lower grade to be considered for the next higher grade (e.g. one year at the GS-13 grade level for consideration for the GS-14 grade level.).

Specialized Experience: For the GS-14 Level: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to the GS-13 level in the Federal service. Specialized experience is defined as experience which demonstrates expertise in field or laboratory work that would require application of hydrologic theory and related sciences such as geology, geo-chemistry, geophysics, or civil engineering to making observations, taking samples, operating instruments, assembling data from source materials, analyzing and interpreting data, and reporting findings orally and in writing.

Examples of specialized experience include: Performing scientific and technical research, evaluation, correlation, synthesis, and presentation of hydrologic or surface and ground water quality data. Developing and coordinating the research and development of new technology and implements it into data systems to meet escalating customer needs. Developing and providing national guidance for management, conservation and restoration of streams, rivers and riparian zones which use complex integration of geologic processes coupled with hydrologic principles. Note: There is no education substitution for the GS-14 level. For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here: Professional and Scientific Positions.

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 and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.


You must submit a copy of your college transcripts or a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grades received to verify all education requirements (i.e. substitution of education and/or basic education requirement). If a relevant course is not clearly qualifying (e.g. special topic, seminar, research, thesis, obscure or misleading course title, etc.), please submit an official course syllabi and/or detailed course description from the university/college for that particular course to ensure you are properly evaluated. Please note that qualifications determinations are based solely on the information submitted for each particular vacancy announcement. You must document all requirements on every vacancy; we cannot use previous determinations as a basis for rating. All required information must be received by the closing date of this announcement, and non-submission of all required documents/documentation will result in non-consideration. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted. This information must be received by the closing date of this announcement. Non-submission of these documents will result in non-consideration. Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Applicants must, therefore, only report attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation via this link. All education claimed by applicants will be verified accordingly. Important: If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. Click on this link for more information.

Additional Information

Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): Visit the OPM website for information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP 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/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100. Veterans who are preference eligible or who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after three years or more of continuous active service are eligible for consideration under the Veteran's Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA). Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Employees: Permanent County employees without prior Federal tenure who are selected for a Civil Service position under Public Law 105-277 will be given a career-conditional appointment and must serve a 1-year probationary period. Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA) provides current or former temporary or term employees of federal land management agencies opportunity to compete for permanent competitive service positions. Individuals must have more than 24 months of service without a break between appointments of two or more years. Service must be in the competitive service and have been at a successful level of performance or better. Refer to PUBLIC LAW 114-47-AUG. 7, 2015 for more information. This position may be eligible for telework. Physical Demands: Occasionally, the incumbent will be required to travel in remote mountainous areas, carry heavy loads, and work extended hours in inclement weather. While conducting snow surveys or while performing SNOTEL site maintenance or installation, the employee may be required to travel up to 15 miles per day in mountain elevations up to 8,000 feet on skis or snowshoes with one other companion. Snow sampling work, SNOTEL site maintenance and installation is rigorous and may be performed under adverse conditions of cold temperatures, wind, and fatigue. Work Environment: The normal work environment is in an office setting. Occasionally, work is conducted outside in a mountainous, high elevation, alpine setting. Travel in this environment may be by pickup, over snow machine, all terrain vehicle, or aircraft, as well as by skis or snowshoes. Extra safety precautions are necessary when riding in low flying aircraft in mountainous terrain and, working in the immediate vicinity of helicopter sling load operations. PLEASE NOTE: In the interest of filling these positions as efficiently as possible, we are requiring the following: If called for an interview, applicants must be available to interview within 3 business days of being contacted. If a tentative job offer is extended, selectee will have 2 business days in which to accept or decline. Relocation and/or Recruitment Incentive may be authorized. Promotion Potential: If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.