Biologist (Endangered Species)

Department of Commerce

Silver Spring , Maryland

This position is located in the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS), Office of Protected Resources (OPR), ESA Interagency Cooperative Division with one vacancy in Silver Spring, MD.

This position will be filled under the DOC Alternative Personnel System (CAPS). This system replaced the Federal GS pay plan and structure. Under CAPS, positions are classified by career, pay plan, and pay band. The ZP-4 is equivalent to the GS-13/14.

This position is also announced under vacancy number NMFS-PR-2018-0010, which is open to all US Citizens or Nationals. You must apply to both announcements if you want to be considered for both.

* A one year probationary period may be required.

* Payment of relocation expenses is not authorized.

* This position is not in the bargaining unit.


* This Job Opportunity Announcement may be used to fill other Biologist (Endangered Species), ZP-0401-4 positions throughout NOAA. The position must be alike (e.g.: within the same geographic locations, same grade/band requires the same qualifications as indicated in this vacancy announcement).

As a Biologist (Endangered Species), you will be performing the following duties:

  • Work with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to conduct research and identify innovative practices that develop guidance to improve informal and formal Endangered Species Act (ESA) section 7 consultations.
  • Develop programmatic approaches to FHWA projects to create efficiency and increase the conservation benefit of ESA-listed species/designated critical habitat and Magnuson-Stevens Act-Essential Fish Habitat (MSA-EFH) consultations.
  • Ensure regular communication and coordination between FHWA and NMFS in support of ESA section 7 consultations, Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) authorizations, and MSA-EFH implementation.
  • Coordinate and represent NOAA/NMFS’s views with FHWA and other state and Federal partners involved in transportation permitting work.

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.

To qualify for the 0401 series:

BASIC REQUIREMENTS: This position requires applicants to meet a Basic Education Requirement in addition to at least one year of specialized experience in order to be found minimally qualified. You MUST meet one of the following basic education requirements:

A. Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.


B. Combination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

- AND -

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-4 level or GS-13:

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: In addition to meeting the Basic Requirements above, applicants must possess one full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the ZP-3 or GS-12 in the Federal service. Specialized experience MUST include all of the following:

  • Working with Federal agencies, private interests, states, or tribal agencies to evaluate proposed surface transportation projects for their impacts on threatened or endangered species and protected living marine resources;
  • Developing biological assessments or environmental impact statements for surface transportation projects, and reporting on the conservation benefits of threatened or endangered species and protected living marine resources protection; and
  • Representing a protected resources organization, communicating with transportation industry partners to integrate environmentally sound solutions for surface transportation projects.


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