Open menu

Ecologist, NOAA

This position is located within the Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) with (1) vacancy located in Ann Arbor, MI.

This position is also announced under vacancy number OAR-GLERL-23-12159054-ST, which is open to Status Candidates. You must apply to both announcements if you want to be considered for both.

Open & closing dates: 10/13/2023 to 10/30/2023

Salary: $51,453 – $118,651 per year

Pay scale & grade: ZP 2 – 3

1 vacancy in the following location: Ann Arbor, MI
Remote job: No

Telework eligible: Yes—as determined by the agency policy.

Travel Required: Occasional travel – You may be expected to travel for this position.

Relocation expenses reimbursed: No

Appointment type: Permanent

Work schedule: Full-time

Service: Competitive

Promotion potential: 3 – If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you may be non-competitively promoted if you perform successfully and if recommended by management.


As an Ecologist, you will perform the following duties:

  • Perform work in the development, parametrization, calibration and use of ecological models to understand and predict potential changes in Great Lakes food webs in response to anthropogenic stressors (e.g., climate, invasive species, nutrients, fisheries harvest). Synthesize existing data available from experiences or field observations of physical, chemical and biological variables needed for fisheries and ecosystem model parametrization and calibration. Process, analyze and visualize output from model simulations.
  • Participate in research studies and developmental projects across scientific disciplines (ecology, lake physics, water chemistry, socio-economics) designed to capitalize on or incorporate the benefits of new science/models/technology, and apply new models and analysis techniques and experience to address effects of climate change on the Great Lakes ecosystems. Conduct reviews and tests of information to ensure accuracy of information.
  • Identify key trophic linkages by species, including for species that currently do not exist in the Great Lakes, and assist in developing critical linkages between climate change, lake hydrodynamics and nutrient loading for development of ecological models. Conduct statistical and graphical analysis of ecological model results and data to support research studies. Maintain and archive ecological models and model results.
  • Develop written, graphical, or oral products, ensuring they are concise, appropriate and easily understood by the audience, and that they follow prescribed formats and quality standards. Serve as a technical authority and communicate guidelines and information to higher level staff and customers. Collaborate with colleagues to improve and optimize data collection and analysis, and coordinate with others both internal and external to the organization to ensure consistency of all products and services.
  • Note: The duties are at the full ZP-3 performance level, and the ZP-2 are developmental leading to such performance.
  • Job Type: Staff
  • Application deadline: 10/30/2023
  • Organization: NOAA and Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
  • Qualifications: Conditions of Employment This position will be filled under the DOC Alternative Personnel Systems (CAPS). This system replace the Federal GS pay plan and structure. Under CAPS, positions are classified by career, pay plan, and pay band. The ZP-2 is equivalent to the GS-7/10. The ZP-3 is equivalent to the GS11/12. NOTE: * A one year probationary period may be required. * Payment of relocation expenses is not authorized. * Payment of relocation incentive is not authorized. * Payment of recruitment incentive is not authorized. * Payment of Student Loan Repayment is not authorized. * This position is in the bargaining unit. This position is covered by AFGE 3908 (2175). Key Requirements: Must be a U.S. Citizen. Suitable for Federal employment, as determined by background investigation. Selectee may be subject to serving a one-year probationary period. More requirements are listed under Qualification and Other Information. Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable ( 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. Throughout the recruitment and hiring process we will be communicating with you via email; therefore, it is imperative that the email address you provide when applying for this vacancy remains active. Should your email address change, please notify the point of contact identified in the vacancy announcement as soon as possible so that we can update our system. If you are a Federal employee applying for a promotion (under merit promotion procedures) you must meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of the announcement. If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you may be non-competitively promoted if you perform successfully and if recommended by management. Qualifications 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: BASIC REQUIREMENTS: This position requires applicants to meet the Basic Requirement in addition to at least one year of specialized experience or a substitution of education for experience (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 requirements. To qualify for the 0408 series: Degree: 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. 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-2 or GS-07 level: SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: In addition to Basic Requirements above, applicants must also possess one full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the ZP-1 or GS-05 in the Federal service. Specialized experience MUST include all of the following: Using software packages for the statistical analysis and visualization of data collected; and Participating in the compilation and organization of model results in scientific reports. OR SUBSTITUTION OF EDUCATION: One year of graduate-level education. OR SUPERIOR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT: As demonstrated by a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with one of the following. NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure your application clearly states how you meet the provision below: A grade point average (GPA) of 2.9 or higher based on a 4.0 scale for all completed undergraduate courses, or those completed in the last 2 full years of undergraduate study; A GPA of 3.5 or higher based on a 4.0 scale for required courses completed in a major field of study, or those courses completed in a major field of study during the last two years of undergraduate study; Class standing of upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision of the college; Membership in a national Scholastic Honor Society certified by the Association of College honor Societies, excluding freshman honor societies. OR COMBINATION OF EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: A combination of graduate level education and specialized experience with emphasis in ecological modeling . To qualify at the ZP-3 or GS-11 level: SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: In addition to 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 or supporting the synthesis of field or experimental data for understanding the ecology of Great Lakes or coastal marine ecosystems; Assisting in the development, parameterization, calibration and simulation of ecological models; and Participating in writing reports, presenting or sharing coastal science information and research to other scientists, senior personnel or to the public. OR SUBSTITUTION OF EDUCATION: 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree. OR COMBINATION OF EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: A combination of education and experience as described above. Note: Only graduate education in excess of two years is qualifying for combination.
  • How to apply: Apply on website:
  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
  • Web address:

Contact Information

Kia Jenkins

Share This Listing

Upcoming Events