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Research Ecologist

Department of Commerce

Seattle ,  Washington

The individual selected for this position will:

  • Conduct and lead research on anticipated effects of future climate change on at-risk species, including Pacific Salmons and other species.
  • Facilitate the inclusion of research results into management and policy.
  • Lead the NWFSC Climate Team and coordinate the use of climate information at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) for increased quality, efficiency, consistency, and impact of current and future research.
  • Act as liaison between NWFSC and both NOAA Headquarters and West Coast Region regarding NOAA Climate Science Strategy and other climate-related goals of the NWFSC.
  • Publish reports and peer-reviewed publications and communicate research results to the scientists and managers.

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. 

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:


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-04:

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: One full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the ZP-03 or GS-12 in the Federal service. Specialized experience MUST include all of the following:

  • Using quantitative approaches to study impacts of climate on fisheries resources.
  • Publishing ecological research in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Developing proposals and executing work plans.
  • Presenting scientific research results and or advice to managers, stakeholders, members of the public and/or other individuals and groups.

College Transcript: If you are qualifying based on education, submit a copy of your college transcript that lists college courses detailing each course by the number and department (i.e., bio 101, math 210, etc.), course title, number of credit hours and grade earned. You must submit evidence that any education completed in a foreign institution is equivalent to U.S. education standards with your resume. You may submit an unofficial copy of the transcript at the initial phase of the application process. If course content cannot be easily identified from the title of the course as listed on your transcript, you must submit an official course description from the college/university that reflects the content at the time the course was taken.

Note: Your college transcript is used to verify successful completion of degree, or college course work. An official college transcript will be required before you can report to duty.

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