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Fish Biologist, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service

Salary: $72,553 – $183,202 per year

Pay scale & grade: ZP 3 – 4

This position is located in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) with vacancies in the following locations:

  • 3 vacancies for the Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC), located in Miami, FL; Panama City, FL; Pascagoula, MS; Beaufort, NC; or Galveston, TX.
  • 1 vacancy for the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC), located in Seattle, WA or Portland, OR.
  • 2 vacancies for the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), located in Milford, CT; Woods Hole, MA or Narragansett, RI.

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

  • Propose program objectives and priorities, content, funding, and allocation of resources, and new programs or projects. Develop briefings or reports for senior leadership to consider additional or revised programs or projects. Interpret and develop new precedents and guidelines requiring the use of advanced scientific techniques and the modification and extension of theories, and practices of the sciences and related disciplines. Integrate emerging technologies into program systems and concepts, and determine their impact on program/project tactics, techniques, and procedures.
  • Provide technical expertise to lead and perform complex analyses of scientific data and technical materials for the purpose of determining impacts on biological resources and aquatic habitats. Evaluate the effects of land and water development activities on various fish species, marine mammals, and aquatic habitats through a variety of scientific functions. Use judgment and ingenuity to exercise broad latitude to identify misinformation and validate scientific data. Convey the uncertainty of resource management alternatives, examine the consequences of climate change and other environmental factors, and evaluate sampling designs.
  • Contribute to or serve on a variety of international, national, regional, or local science or management bodies, including regional Fishery Management Councils, to provide expertise and to share program research plans and results. Provide expert consultative services to stakeholders in a variety of scientific fields of science. Serve as a primary technical expert for a variety of communities, government representatives, non-governmental organizations, and academia on fisheries or water resource management.
  • Write or review documents on scientific analyses and results for consumption by different stakeholders.
  • Provide oversight over one or more phases of research work in facilitation of primary duties, including: determining research methodologies, planning and conducting experiments; collecting, analyzing and interpreting data; drawing conclusions, making recommendations for future work; and publishing findings.
  • Mentor and review the work of lower-level scientists.

NOTE: These duties are described at the full performance level of the ZP-4; the ZP-3 is developmental leading to such performance.

For more information about these positions, please visit the NOAA Fisheries is Hiring webpage –

  • Job Type: Staff
  • Application deadline: 02/20/2024
  • Organization: NOAA
  • Qualifications: Requirements 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-3 is equivalent to the GS-11/12. The ZP-4 is equivalent to the GS-13/14. * A one-year probationary period may be required. * Payment of relocation expenses is not authorized. * Payment of relocation incentives OR recruitment incentives may be authorized. Note: Relocation incentives are for current federal employees only. * SEFSC positions located in Miami, FL; Panama City, FL; Pascagoula, MS; Beaufort, NC; Galveston, TX are covered under bargaining unit 2194 and 5627. * NWFSC positions located in Newport, OR; Seattle, WA are covered under bargaining unit 2274. * All others are not in the bargaining unit. Key Requirements: Applicants must be U.S. Citizens. More requirements are listed under Qualifications and Other Information. Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable ( Selectee must provide a valid state driver's license & safe driving record. This vacancy is limited to the first 250 applications received and will close at midnight Eastern Time on the day this application limit is reached regardless of the closing date specified in this vacancy announcement. Any application received prior to midnight Eastern Time of the day the application limit is reached will be accepted and considered. You are strongly encouraged to submit all required supporting documents at the time of application should the vacancy close earlier than stated in this announcement due to the applicant limit being reached. Supporting documents will not be accepted once the vacancy announcement closes. 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. 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 has a positive 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 the following requirements: EDUCATION: 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.) OR 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 above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. AND 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 evaluating fishery or protected species activities for compliance with various regulations or policies aimed at the conservation of biological resources and natural habitats; and Communicating audience-appropriate scientific information to stakeholders. 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-level education in excess of two years is qualifying for combination.
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