Wildlife Biologist (Starkville, MS)
This position is located in the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Wildlife Services (WS) program, which is multi-faceted and is directed at providing Federal leadership in addressing wildlife damage problems to protect agriculture, human health and safety, public and private property, and natural resources.
- The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence and limited complexity.
- The duties may include, but are not limited to:
- Conduct integrated wildlife damage management activities where there is a demonstrated need.
- Perform a variety of technical procedures including capture, restraint, chemical immobilization, transport, euthanasia, and/or necropsy of wildlife.
- May be required to take extensive training and recurrent training on wildlife damage or disease recognition, control methods, and techniques.
- Modify or adapt established damage or disease control techniques as necessary to meet local conditions.
- Monitor and ensure compliance with program directives, and local, State, and Federal laws and regulations in wildlife damage management activities.
- Assist with developing and maintaining categorical exclusions, environmental assessments, monitoring reports, and other documents required by NEPA.
- Gather, compile, evaluate, and present data on damage or hazards caused by various wildlife species to cooperators, stakeholders, and colleagues.
- Provide technical assistance to a variety of cooperators, along with conducting site visits or assessments to identify wildlife damage issues or threats.
- Communicate safe and effective damage management techniques through outreach and other channels to the general public.
Conditions of Employment
- You must be a US Citizen or US National.
- Individuals who were born male after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt.
- Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
- Successful completion of one-year probationary period, unless previously served.
- Direct Deposit: Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution.
- Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify at https://www.e-verify.gov/
- Testing Designated Position: Selectee must submit to a urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment and random testing thereafter. Final appointment and continued employment is conditional on negative results for illegal drug use.
- Valid state driver's license is required at the time of application.
- Legal and physical ability to possess and discharge firearms appropriately and safely is required.
- Incumbents must be able to comply with both Federal and State statutory requirements to possess and use firearms in the performance of their duties and must maintain state-mandated firearm use certification requirements.
- To fulfill field or laboratory requirements in this position, proof of specific vaccinations and boosters, may be required as a condition of employment to prevent contracting preventable diseases.
- Extended travel or temporary duty may be required of the position. This may involve irregular working hours, including overtime.
Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement, including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.
Degree: biological science that included:
- At least 9 semester hours in such wildlife subjects as mammalogy, ornithology, animal ecology, wildlife management, or research courses in the field of wildlife biology; and
- At least 12 semester hours in zoology in such subjects as general zoology, invertebrate zoology, vertebrate zoology, comparative anatomy, physiology, genetics, ecology, cellular biology, parasitology, entomology, or research courses in such subjects (Excess courses in wildlife biology may be used to meet the zoology requirements where appropriate.); and
- At least 9 semester hours in botany or the related plant sciences.
Combination of education and experience: equivalent to a major in biological science (i.e., at least 30 semester hours), with at least 9 semester hours in wildlife subjects, 12 semester hours in zoology, and 9 semester hours in botany or related plant science, as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
In addition to the basic requirement applicants must also possess:
FOR THE GS-09 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-07 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:
- Aquaculture field experience utilizing wildlife damage management principles and technology which includes safely utilizing live traps on avian wildlife for the purpose of attaching satellite transmitters.
- Experience conducting resource management duties for wildlife management field projects. Specifically, requesting and allocating project materials and performing project management duties to meet field project goals.
- Recording data, writing reports and manuscripts, and conducting literature searches related wildlife specific research projects.
- Performing necropsies, collecting and handling of biological samples and specimens of targeted wildlife.
2 years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to a master's degree or master's or equivalent graduate degree in one of the following degree fields: Wildlife Biology, Wildlife Ecology, or Wildlife Management.
Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for this grade level.
TRANSCRIPTS are required:
- This position requires specific coursework or a degree in a specific field to be basically qualified.
- You are qualifying for the position based on education.
- You are qualifying for this position based on a combination of experience and education.
- This education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university.
COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-09 GRADE LEVEL: Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed education and specialized experience to meet total qualification requirements. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify for that grade level.
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.
Please see above for education qualification requirement 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.
- First time hires to the federal government normally start at the lowest rate of the salary range for the grade selected.
- Travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid. Any travel, transportation, and relocation expense associated with reporting for duty will be the responsibility of the selected employee.
- Worksite Information: This position may be eligible to telework up to four days per week, based upon the duties of the position. This position may also be eligible for flexible work arrangements as determined by agency policy and any applicable collective bargaining agreements. Additional information regarding ad hoc, occasional, or reoccurring telework may be obtained at a later time from the hiring manager or program during the hiring process.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures and USDA policy using category rating. Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Category placement will be determined based on applicants' quality of experience and the extent they possess the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) or competencies:
- Spatial Orientation
- Wildlife Biology
Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position. Those determined to be in the best qualified category will be referred to the selecting official for consideration.
Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score may be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities, or you may be found ineligible. 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.
To preview the application questionnaire, please visit: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/12133140
The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, your system failure or downtime, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
- Resume that includes: 1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) other qualifications; and 5) supervisors name and phone number for each work period listed and whether or not they may be contacted for reference checks.
- Education is required and you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application if it includes your name and the necessary course information; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program. For further information, visit the following: Foreign Education Evaluation. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
- If claiming veterans' preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions within 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. The certification must be on the letterhead of the appropriate military branch and include the dates of military service. Veterans' preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran's preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
- If claiming 10-point veterans' preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans' preference visit FEDSHIREVETS
- Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), last performance appraisal that is at least fully successful or its equivalent, and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.
- Worker's Compensation Separation: Agency certification of inability to place employee AND Notification of Separation OR Separation SF-50.
- Disability Annuity Termination: Notification from OPM of disability annuity termination AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held. Military Reserve or National Guard Technician Special Disability Retirement Annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456: Certification of special disability retirement annuity from a military department or National Guard Bureau AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held.