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Page updated 9/26/2016

 

This group includes all classes of horticulturist positions, the duties of which are to advise on, administer, supervise, or perform research or other professional and scientific work or subordinate technical work in any of the fields of science concerned with living organisms, their distribution, characteristics, life processes, and adaptations and relations to the environment; the soil, its properties and distribution, and the living organisms growing in or on the soil; and the management, conservation, or utilization thereof for particular purposes or uses.

This occupational group covers work of the biological sciences and natural resources management work that requires knowledge of the biological sciences. Work in this occupational group may be done in research and development organizations, regulatory and control agencies, public health and medical laboratories, and environmental and natural resources organizations.

There are 71,602 federal workers employed in this group of which 844 work overseas in foreign countries or in the U.S. Territories. All cabinet level agencies with the exception of HUD employ workers from this group along with many large and small federal agencies.

The largest employers of this group are the Department of Agriculture with 39,328 followed by the Department of the Interior with 13,368 and HHS with 6,277.  There are positions available in many agencies.  For example the Smithsonian Institution employs 191 while the FCC employs 1.

Biological Sciences

Biological science attempts to understand the processes of living matter in all forms, but especially its origin, growth, structure, and function. Biological scientists study living organisms and their relationship to their environment. The studies provide insight into life processes and transitions, problems of living matter as they relate to human issues, and preserving and repairing the natural environment. The work may involve research and development, regulatory activities, testing and analysis of laboratory samples, or a combination of all of these activities. Research and development involves extending the body of scientific knowledge. Biological scientists plan and conduct research experiments using cells, laboratory animals, or greenhouse plants.

Natural Resources Management

The natural resources that are most relevant to the 0400 job family are water, land, food, plants, animals, and soils. Natural resources work may involve administrative or managerial duties, such as controlling, preserving, and/or evaluating a natural resource or natural resources function, such as conservation, forest, rangeland, fisheries, and wildlife. The work may have specific geographic boundaries (for example, management of a national wildlife refuge). The natural resources management work requires knowledge and skill sufficient to interpret and apply biological science and research.

The following information is compiled from numerous federal documents including qualification standards, job announcements, career articles, occupation flysheets, FEDSCOPE, OPM, Agency websites, interviews with federal employees, The United States Government Manual, and from the Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook.

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Review the job vacancy announcements and Qualification Standards for the job you are interested in.

Job Series Definitions

These position descriptions are excerpted from the qualification standards for each job title in this group. In the General Schedule position classification system is established under chapter 51 of title 5, United States Code. The term “General Schedule” or “GS” denotes the major position classification system and pay structure for white collar work in the Federal government. Agencies that are no longer subject to chapter 51 have replaced the GS pay plan indicator with agency-unique pay plan indicators. For example, the Bureau of Prisons uses GL instead of the GS designation. For this reason, reference to General Schedule or GS is often omitted from the individual qualification standard sheets.

A brief introduction for major occupations within this group is provided below.

General Natural Resources & Biological Sciences, GS-0401

 

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional research, or scientific work in biology, agriculture, or natural resources management that is not classifiable to another more specific professional series in this group.

Basic Requirements:

  • Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position. OR
  • Combination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

For Department of the Interior Positions With Pilot Duties Applicants must:

  • Possess a current FAA Commercial Airman Certificate with ratings appropriate for the duties performed;
  • Possess an instrument rating;
  • Have completed a minimum of 500 hours of flight time as Pilot-in-Command and 25 hours of flight time as Pilot-in-Command at night; and
  • Possesses a current Class II Medical Certificate.

The federal government employs 20,441in this occupation of which 146 work overseas. The Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS) employs 3,672, the Department of Agriculture (4,522), the Department of Interior (3,674), Department of Army (3,100), and the EPA employs 1,039. The remaining are employed throughout most of the cabinet level departments and in some large federal agencies.

John Cataldo was interviewed for an article on our federal jobs blog titled Fire Fighter Jobs With the National Park Service. Cataldo is a GS-0401-13, Wildland Fire and Aviation Management Officer, at Yellowstone National Park. Cataldo cites, “I’ve wanted to be a firefighter since I was seven years old growing up in New York, but I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as wildland firefighters until I moved out West when I was 17. After high school, I chose to study wildlife management at Humboldt State University and learned that wildlife management was really all about habitat management. Managing wildland fire allows me to participate in habitat management on a larger scale in a single fire season than few ever have the opportunity to during their entire career. This career is the perfect nexus of those aspirations – Firefighting and wildlife management.

Cataldo indicates he, “Flies in helicopters, using fire to fight fire, using fire to maintain ecological processes and for habitat restoration, getting paid to exercise and stay in great shape, and hiking into and camping out in remote places that few people ever get to see. I encourage all prospective firefighters to make sure that they complete a college education in a Natural Resources related major such as biology, wildlife management, or forestry before looking for permanent employment in wildland firefighting. You will need a college degree related to Natural Resources management later on down the road to promote into managerial fire positions when your body starts to wear down from all the abuse that this career hands out. There are plenty of seasonal fire fighting jobs available. However, do not be discouraged if you cannot get a seasonal fire fighting job the first several times that you apply. Fire fighting is starting to become a very popular and competitive career choice.”

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0401

 

Microbiology, GS-0403

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work that involves studying the characteristics and life processes of microorganisms, their interrelationships with other living forms, and their reactions to the environment.

The federal government employs 2,242 in this occupation. The Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS) is the largest employer with1,448 followed by the Department of Agriculture with 450 workers. The remaining are employed by the other organizations including the EPA with 90 and the VA has 88 working in this series. There are also small numbers of workers at other  cabinet level, large, and small agencies.

Microbiologists are involved in research and development work and regulatory and control work, and public health and medical laboratory testing. Work may involve producing antibiotics, sera, vaccines, and other biological products and testing food and dairy products.

Research and development involves extending the microbiology body of knowledge. This work may entail microbiological, biochemical, biophysical, immunological, taxonomic, and other studies and tests of microbiological species or substances derived from microorganisms. Some research work is conducted in conjunction with medical laboratory or regulatory and control work.

Regulatory and control work involves testing such items as food products, antibiotics, sera, and antitoxins for conformance to legal standards for purity, potency, and safety. The work also involves establishing such standards for inspecting facilities that produce biological products for conformance with approved methods and procedures.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0403

 

Biological Science Technician Series, GS-0404

 

This series includes all positions that primarily require a practical knowledge of the methods and techniques of one or more of the biological or agricultural sciences when the work is not more appropriately included in another technician series of the Biological Sciences Group, GS-0400. Biological science technicians provide practical technical support to production, research, operations, or program administration efforts in laboratories, field, or other settings including greenhouses, barns, caves, or wildlife refuges.

The federal government employs 7,881 in this occupation of which 100 work overseas. The vast majority work for 4 organizations, the Department of Agriculture with 5,081, Department of Interior with 1,820, HHS has 171 on board while the VA employs 286. Smaller numbers are employed in a number of other agencies.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

  • Biological Science Aid is the authorized title for all positions at grade GS-3 and below.
  • Biological Science Laboratory Technician is the authorized title for all positions at GS-4 and above that involve the performance of work in an operating or research program within a laboratory environment and which require an intensive knowledge of laboratory practices and techniques.
  • Agricultural Science Research Technician is the authorized title for all positions at GS-4 and above that involve the performance of work in agricultural research activities, e.g., field areas, growth houses, greenhouses, barns, etc., and require primarily an intensive knowledge of agricultural practices and techniques.
  • Biological Science Technician is the authorized title for positions at GS-4 and above other than those classifiable as biological laboratory technicians or agricultural research technicians.
USAJOBS GS-0404

 

Pharmacology, GS-0405

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work involving the action of drugs and therapeutic agents on living systems and their constituent parts. Covered positions do not require full professional training and experience in medicine or veterinary medicine.

Pharmacologists conduct research to identify the short- and long-term effects of drugs and therapeutic chemicals. They also serve as consultants to other scientists, organizations, and interested parties on drug development, drug assessment, and the acute and chronic effects of drugs and chemicals present in products. The research pharmacologist seeks primarily knowledge of the toxic impact of a given substance, as well as:

  • therapeutic use and range of dosage by various means of administration and known exposures;
  • the reversible or irreversible nature of the impact of the substances on particular organs, such as the liver or kidneys; and
  • the interaction of drugs and therapeutic agents with specific receptors in cells.

Pharmacologists develop

Pharmacologists develop or contribute to developing potent chemical agents, such as cardiac stimulants, antibiotics, and antidiabetic, antihypertensive, and anticancer drugs. Pharmacology includes the following specialties:

  • Pharmacokinetics – focusing on drug absorption, distribution, bioaccumulation, biotransformation, and excretion;
  • Pharmacodynamics – focusing on drug biochemical and physiological effects, their mechanisms of action, and correlating drug actions with their chemical structures; and
  • Clinical Pharmacology – focusing on using drugs and therapeutic agents in humans and animals.

The federal government employs 647 in this occupation. The Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS) is the largest employer with 579 followed by the EPA with 23 and the VA with 19 workers. A very small number is employed with a few other agencies.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0405

 

Ecology, GS-0408

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work involving the study of the relationships of organisms with each other, with their physical and chemical environments, and with society.

The basic title for positions in this occupation is Ecologist.

The federal government employs 1,351 in this occupation. The Department of Interior is the largest employer with 619 followed by the Department of Agriculture (363), Department of Commerce with (72) and the EPA employs 145. A very small number is employed with a few other agencies.

Organisms live in a particular environment, such as a forest or a swamp. The physical parts of the environment that affect them define an ecosystem. Ecology is concerned with:

  • the patterns of interactions between organisms and physical environment factors in ecosystems;
  • how various forms of life metabolize and obtain energy to survive; and
  • energy flows that may begin with producers, such as photosynthetic plants, transfer to primary consumers, herbivores, and to decomposing organisms that become a physical-chemical part of the ecosystem.
Kristen Marie Hart was interviewed for an article on our federal jobs blog titled Ecologist Jobs (GS-0408) and Chemist Jobs With the USGS (Part 2). She is a GS-0408-14, Ecologist stationed at the Southeast Ecological Science Center in Gainesville, FL.  Hart is a research ecologist and leads a large reptile research program.  She designs, plans and leads in the sampling of turtles (both marine and brackish water), crocodilians, and Burmese pythons. Hart deals with rare, threatened, endangered, and invasive species of animals.  Hart indicates, "this work is important because we’re often dealing with trying to plan and execute studies to determine vital rates (survival, growth, abundance) for either imperiled populations (such as sea turtles and crocodiles) or invasive species (such as Burmese pythons). This data is critical for assessing population trends and trajectories." 

Ecologists may study the distribution and density of organisms that live in ecosystems. Studying changes in the distribution and density before and after specific human activities enables ecologists to model the ecosystem impacts of human activities. Factors in ecology studies include:

  • quantitative attributes of population, such as population density, birth rate, spatial distribution, age structure, and resource demands;
  • the structure and interactions of populations of species in a community:
  • environment factors, such as tide pools, salt marshes, grasslands, deciduous forests, rangelands, deserts, vernal pools, and fens, and the interactions between them;
  • pesticide testing and control;
  • energy sources; and
  • air and water quality and flows in urban areas.

Ecologists provide advice on matters, such as:

  • the effect of construction and land manipulation on wetlands, forests, rangelands, estuaries, riparian communities, and aquatic communities;
  • implementing legal standards and other requirements in the most ecologically sound manner;
  • compliance with natural resources management policies and practices; and
  • adjusting forest management procedures and range grazing practices to promote productivity and re-growth.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0408

 

 

Zoology, GS-0410

 This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work involving animal classification, structure, behavior, ecology, parasitological phenomena, evolution, and life history.

The basic title for positions in this occupation is Zoologist.

Zoology involves studying or applying knowledge of animal life. Studies may involve the biology, life cycles, and habits of animals and the interactions of animals, plants, and parasites. Zoologists may work in the field and or in a laboratory. In the field, they observe the environment in which a species or group of species lives and they may acquire specimens. In the laboratory, zoologists may study, preserve, and dissect specimens, or study various aspects of animal and plant parasites. Work frequently requires a thorough knowledge of the biology of the plant or animal host and intermediate hosts. For example, before zoologists can resolve a problem of parasitology, they first develop a method of reproducing intermediate hosts in quantity in the laboratory.

The federal government employs 83 in this occupation. The majority work for the Smithsonian Institute (23), Department of Commerce (18), Department of Interior (13), Department of Interior (18) and the EPA (14). 4 organizations, the Department of Agriculture with 5,081, Department of Interior with 1,820, HHS has 171 on board while the VA employs 286. Smaller numbers are employed in a number of other agencies. A very few work for other organizations.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0410

 

Physiology, GS-0413

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work involving studies of the functions, environmental response, biological activities, and processes of humans and animals, and their component parts.

The basic title for positions in this occupation is Physiologist.

The federal government employs 371 in this occupation. The majority work for the VA (1020. HHS (82), the Department of the Army (66), Department of Agriculture (53) and small members in several other organizations.

Physiologists study and/or apply knowledge of life functions of humans and animals, both in the whole organism and at the cellular or molecular level under normal and abnormal conditions. Physiologists often specialize in such functions as:

  • growth;
  • reproduction;
  • photosynthesis;
  • respiration;
  • movement; or
  • the physiology of a certain area or system of the organism.

They develop methods to measure and quantify functions at the organ, systemic, cellular, and molecular levels. To do so, they incorporate findings and techniques from biology, biophysics, chemistry, computer science, electronics, and physics.
Not all physiologists are engaged in research. Some physiologists may apply knowledge of life functions to such activities as:

  • managing human physical rehabilitation programs involving analyzing individual data, prescribing exercise, conducting exercise, and evaluating exercise programs to improve their quality;
  • analyzing injuries caused by consumer products to support voluntary and mandatory standards, performance criteria, design specifications, and quality controls;
  • performing health effects reviews;
  • evaluating new products and technological developments for compliance with pertinent regulations and laws, such as the Consumer Product Safety Act and the Federal Hazardous Substances Act; and
  • advising on agency policy guidelines and regulatory action.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0413

 

Entomology GS-0414

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work in the field of entomology (insects).

The federal government employs 548 entomologists.  The Department of Agriculture is the largest employer with 422, followed by HHS with 35, the EPA with 23, and the Department of the Army with 23.

The science of entomology is divided into two broad, but not mutually exclusive, categories:

  • Research Entomology – involving expanding the body of knowledge about insect taxonomy, morphology, cytology, embryology, physiology, and genetics; and
  • Applied Entomology – involving the life history and habits of insects; methods for propagating beneficial insects; studying insects that transmit diseases or cause discomfort; and preventing, detecting, and suppressing outbreaks of noxious insects.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0414

 

Toxicology GS-0415

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work in the field of toxicology. Toxicology involves studying the adverse effects of chemical, biological and physical agents on humans, animals, and/or the ecosystems, the mechanisms by which foreign substances adversely affect health, and the toxic effects of exposure doses (including forensic measurements).

The federal government employs 477 toxicoligists.  The EPA is the largest employer with 213 employed, followed by Health and Human Services with 187, the Department of the Army with 17, Air Force with 13 and is the largest employer with 213, followed by HHS with 35, the EPA with 23, and 14 work with the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency of DC.

Toxicologists describe the safe use of chemicals and biological agents in terms of hazards, safety, and toxicity. The interrelated elements of toxicology include:

  • a chemical, biological, or physical agent capable of producing a response;
  • an identifiable biological system with which an agent may interact to produce a response;
  • a response that can be considered deleterious to the biologic system; and
  • a means by which the agent and the biologic system are permitted to interact.

Toxicologists usually concentrate in one of the following areas:

  • Laboratory Toxicology – the study of toxicity testing to yield information for evaluating risks to humans, animals, and/or environment by exposure to chemicals;
  • Research Toxicology – the study of the mechanisms by which chemicals exert their toxic effects on living organisms; or
  • Regulatory Toxicology – the study of drug and chemical risks related to establishing standards for the amount of chemicals permitted in ambient air, industrial atmospheres, drinking water, food, or feed.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0415

 

Plant Protection Technician Series, GS-0421

This series includes all positions that primarily require a practical knowledge of the methods and techniques of plant protection and quarantine. Plant protection technicians provide technical support in research efforts; in the establishment and enforcement of plant quarantines governing the movement of insects, plant diseases, nematodes, and other plant pests of economic importance; or in the survey, detection, field identification, control or eradication of plant pests. The duties require the application of a practical knowledge of the types and characteristics of plant pests, quarantine procedures, pest control and eradication methods, and plant pest survey techniques.

The federal government employs 831 in this occupation. All work for the Department of Agriculture.

The primary focus of the plant protection technician's work is to support an organization's efforts to protect the Nation's agriculture from the introduction and spread of pests injurious to plants and to control or eradicate pests already established (for more information on the field of plant protection and quarantine, see the position classification standard for the Plant Protection and Quarantine Series, GS-0436.)

Plant protection technicians are most commonly found in first level units and are principally concerned with performing work supporting the implementation of projects and program goals. They may be specialists in specific specialty areas such as airport inspections or in other techniques and practices associated with production oriented work.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

  • Plant Protection Aid is the authorized title for all positions at GS-3 and below.
  • Plant Protection Technician is the authorized title for all positions at GS-4 and above.
  • Lead Plant Protection Technician is the authorized title for positions that meet the criteria of the General Schedule Leader Grade Evaluation Guide.
  • Supervisory Plant Protection Technician is the authorized title for positions that meet criteria of the appropriate supervisory guide.
USAJOBS GS-0421

 

Botany GS-0430

Botanists manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work that involves the study of plant life. Work involves studying plant taxonomy, morphology, ecology, and ethnobotany.

The federal government employs 377 botanists.  The Department of Agricuture employs 218, the Interior Department 127, and 15 work with the Department of the Army. A few work at other agenices.

Botany work ranges from studying the composition and arrangement of the structure of the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecule in the nucleus of a plant cell, to investigating and analyzing complex ecosystems and their effect on humans and the environment.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0430

 

Plant Pathology GS-0434

Plant pathologists manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work that involves the study, cause, nature, prevalence, severity, and control of plant diseases.

The federal government employs 269 plant pathologists of which all work for the Department of Agriculture.

Plant pathology work involves:

  • investigating the cause, nature, prevalence, and severity of parasitic, nonparasitic, and viral diseases attacking plants;
  • conducting experiments in, and establishing methods for, preventing and controlling plant diseases; or
  • studying relationships of plant diseases to practices involved in propagating, planting, cultivating, transporting, and storing plants and plant products.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0434

 

Plant Physiology GS-0435

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work that involves the study of plant growth, nutrition, respiration, and reproduction.

The federal government employs 151 plant plant physiologists of which all work for the Department of Agriculture.

Plant physiology work involves studying the internal plant functions and processes, such as assimilation, photosynthesis, translocation, or transpiration and the influence of environmental factors, such as humidity, water, light, mineral nutrients, and temperature on these functions and processes.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0435

 

Horticulture GS-0437

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work that involves the behavior, breeding, or culture of fruits, vegetables, flowers, or ornamental trees and shrubs, and allied problems of their production, storage, and handling.

The federal government employs 135 horticulturists. The Department of Agriculture is the largest employer with 72, followed by the Smithsonian Institute with 36 and the Inerior Department with 15.

Horticulturists are involved in producing, using, and marketing commercial crops as well as landscape design, outdoor recreation, and floriculture. Work involves applying principles of plant science and technology to produce and use intensively cultivated crops, such as vegetables, fruits, flowers, ornamentals, turf grass, herbs, and medicinal plants.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0437

 

Genetics, GS-0440

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work involving the principles and mechanisms for transmitting and expressing human, animal, and plant characteristics by inheritance.

The basic title for this occupation is Geneticist.

The federal government employs 430 in this occupation. The majority work for 4 organizations, the Department of Agriculture (295), HHS employs 65,  Department of Interior (33) and Department of Commerce (24).work for the Department of Agriculture.

Genetics is the scientific study of the function and behavior of genes. Geneticists study genes and their relationship to the transmission and expression of plant and animal characteristics by inheritance.

Geneticists seek to understand how cells use and control the information encoded in genes and transmit it from one generation to the next. They study how tiny variations in genes can disrupt an organism’s development or cause disease.

Genetic information is encoded in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Geneticists have developed techniques to separate, rearrange, and transfer DNA from one cell to another. Some of these techniques help geneticists study the properties of genes in nature. They may compare DNA from different animals, for example, to find out whether they are closely related to each other or only distant relatives, or alter a plant or animal to make it more useful. They have, for example, altered:

  • food crops, such as oranges, potatoes, wheat, and rice to withstand insect pests;
  • tomatoes and apples to resist discoloration or bruising;
  • cows to produce more milk; and
  • cows raised for beef to grow faster.

Many Government geneticists work to develop detailed maps of chromosomal locations of human and animal genes. They examine how gene activity can cause disease and develop new therapeutic agents and methods to prevent and treat specific disorders.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0440

 

Rangeland management, GS-0454

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional or scientific work that involves conserving, developing, and managing rangelands. Rangelands are public or private lands on which the native plants are predominantly grasses, grass-like plants, herbs, or shrubs.

The federal government employs 938 in this occupation. All work for 4 organizations, the Department of Agriculture (623), Department of Interior (313) and one with both the Department of Army and Air Force.

The basic title for this occupation is Rangeland Management Specialist.

Rangeland management involves analyzing and protecting natural resources, developing programs and standards for rangeland use and preservation, and advising officials and landowners on rangeland management practices. Rangelands include grasslands, savannas, shrub lands, riparian properties, pastures, hay lands, deserts, tundra, alpine communities, coastal marshes, and wet meadows.

Rangeland management has a large ecological component. Rangeland management specialists provide technical recommendations on managing public and private rangelands for ecological improvement consistent with objectives set forth in land use planning documents. They manage rangelands and their various resources to meet the present and future needs of the public. Resources include vegetation, soil, water, timber, minerals, wildlife habitats, historic and prehistoric resources, wilderness, scenery, open space, and a rural way of life. Use of rangelands include:

  • livestock grazing, wildlife habitat, recreation, water, timber production, and mineral development;
  • producing forage for domestic and wild grazing animals, including wild horses and burros;
  • protecting threatened and endangered plant and wildlife species; and
  • various recreational activities.

Rangeland management specialists prepare both short- and long-range land use plans in consultation with Federal and non-Federal agencies and the public. The plans provide an in-depth analysis of the environmental, economic, and social effects of each proposed alternative action. Plans are subject to detailed scrutiny by Federal agencies and various public interests, including diverse interest groups that often have diametrically opposed goals and objectives. Other rangeland management specialist responsibilities include:

  • developing conservation plans, designing technical surveys, and supervising construction;
  • developing contractual agreements between agencies and private landowners and/or contractors;
  • submitting reports to Congress;
  • protecting cultural resources; and
  • working with Federal, state, and local conservation agencies.

To carry out their responsibilities, rangeland management specialists apply knowledge of sciences, such as plant, animal, and soil sciences; watershed, habitat, and wildlife management; ecology; animal husbandry; economics; hydrology; agronomy; soil conservation and management; livestock management; recreation management; and forestry.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0454

 

Range Technician Series, GS-0455

This series includes all positions that primarily require a practical knowledge of the methods and techniques of range conservation and related resource management fields. Range technicians provide practical technical support in range research efforts; in the marketing of the range resource; and in the scientific management, protection, and development of grasslands and other range resources.

The federal government employs 1965 in this occupation. All work for 4 organizations, the Department of Agriculture (295), Department of Interior (1,660) and the Department of the Army employs 7 civilians in this series.

The primary focus of the range technician's work in the Federal sector is to support an organization's resource management efforts from intensive, multiple-use natural resource management to such specialties as that of monitoring range land conditions, managing herds of wild horses, processing ranch transfers, supervising range use by permittees, and investigating unauthorized use. The basic objectives of programs for the intensive management, protection, and development of range lands and range resources are (1) to apply sound utilization and conservation practices to the natural resources of publicly managed lands and (2) promote such practices among all range land owners and users through example, cooperation, research and interpretation and dissemination of information (for more information on the field of range conservation, see the position classification standard for the Rangeland Management Series, GS-0454.)

Range technicians are most commonly found in first level units and are principally concerned with performing work supporting the implementation of projects and program goals. They may be specialists in specific range conservation specialty areas such as rangeland monitoring or in other techniques and practices associated with production oriented work.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0455

 

Soil Conservation, GS-0457

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work involving conserving soil, water, and related environmental resources to achieve sound land use.

The basic title for this occupation is Soil Conservationist.

The federal government employs 4,210 in this occupation. Most work for two organizations, the Department of Agriculture (4,146), and the Department of Interior employs 21. Several work for other organizations.

Soil and water conservation depend on a harmonious relationship between soil, water, plant, and animal resources. Soil conservation work involves:

  • advising landowners about planned treatment of their property and how treatment can preserve, improve, and protect soil capabilities;
  • providing assistance to land users through a conservation or water oversight district:
  • planning terraces, ponds, and earthen dams;
  • selecting cropping methods to reduce erosion;
  • designing windbreaks for center pivot irrigation;
  • developing pasture and hay land conservation plans;
  • identifying flood plains and aquifers for local government units;
  • developing conservation measures to reduce pollutants reaching waterways;
  • persuading landowners to adopt conservation tillage cultivation methods that reduce soil loss, due to wind erosion and reduce energy costs; and
  • assisting landowners in managing habitats for a variety of wildlife including game, waterfowl, and fish, which also leads to conserving soil and enhancing water quality.

Many soil conservationists directly advise and assist conservation organizations, private land owners, and conservation district members as they deliberate, discuss, plan, and carry out soil and water conservation policies, programs, and local activities.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0457

 

Soil Conservation Technician GS-0458

This series includes all positions that require a practical knowledge of the methods and techniques of soil, water, and environmental conservation as they relate to agricultural operations and land use measures. Soil conservation technicians advise property holders on the effectiveness of applying soil and water conservation practices or assist in research efforts.

The federal government employs 1,393 in this occupation. All but 7 work for the Department of Agriculture. Several work for other organizations.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0458

Most soil conservation technicians are found in first level units and are principally concerned with working with agriculture concerns. However, some work with representatives of local governmental units or land developers to implement resource conservation and development measures such as installing nylon filter cloth and riprap on a shoreline to protect a part from continued soil erosion; erecting carp control traps and barriers to prevent carp from damaging the bottom of lakes and marshes; ensuring or increasing viability of a wetland adjacent to a shopping mall development site; or performing comparable work.

However, the primary focus of most soil conservation technician's work is to support the professional soil conservationist's efforts to market the concept of conserving soil to achieve optimum land use consistent with sound soil and water conservation objectives. The soil conservation technician gathers preliminary data for use in developing such products as physical resource plans, papers on the history of land use, and/or documentation of conservation practices currently being applied for a land unit or area. The technician then typically surveys, plots, lays out, and stakes selected sites and assists landowners in selecting, installing, and maintaining a variety of measures that conserve and improve the soil, plant, water, marsh, wildlife, and/or recreational resources of a land area. Examples of single conservation measures which may be installed on a land site include contour cultivation, grass waterways, terracing, tree planting, field windbreaks, irrigation ditches, grass and legume seeding, and farm drains. Examples of multiple conservation practices applied to treat a physical resource include center pivot irrigation and strip cropping; conservation tillage practices (till plant, chisel plant, rotary strip, slot, and chisel plow), fertilization, and pesticide application; or land leveling, surface irrigation and conservation cropping systems. In addition, a combination approach involving seedings, terraces, diversions, ponds, sod waterways, erosion control structures, and wildlife habitat may be necessary.

Many soil conservation technicians revise established conservation plans for one or more assigned land unit(s) in accordance with the objective for the unit(s) as outlined in the organization's annual plan of operations. This work involves scheduling visits with landowners to determine whether additional conservation measures should be applied to complete the original plan, or whether modifications to current and projected measures are necessary. Consideration must also be given to such concerns as the landowner's financial capability to meet the expenses of implementing these measures and changed conditions due to such criteria as availability of new plant materials or new soil and water conservation techniques; advances in equipment usage; or changes in market conditions, soil fertility, pesticides, and herbicides. Significant changes to the plans for a land unit, such as those involving fundamental change in land use or agriculture operations, would normally require an evaluation by a soil conservationist.

After a plan of action has been developed or approved by the soil conservationist and construction has begun, the soil conservation technician typically inspects different phases of the construction project as regards to the established criteria for conserving soil and water resources. Such efforts may include inspecting ponds, grade stabilization structures, earthen dams, tile outlet terraces, and animal waste control facilities to ensure the work is done correctly and that it complies with the reimbursable agreements. Upon completion of construction, the soil conservation technician prepares inspection reports concerning contractor compliance with the approved plans and specifications.

Many soil conservation technicians provide educational services consisting of formal lectures to elementary and secondary students, participation in fairs and exhibits, preparation of news articles, organization of soil and water conservation tours for landowners, and demonstrations or explanations of a specific conservation measure to groups of contractors or landowners. Some soil conservation technicians, in varying degrees, assist the soil conservationist in administration of a first level unit through activity such as accumulating data or performing other activity related to developing annual work plans for a county or other designated area; maintaining basic functions in an office when the soil conservationist is out; and performing other comparable duties.

Irrigation System Operation GS-0459

This series includes positions that involve the management or operation of irrigation systems, where the work requires primarily knowledge of the methods and procedures used in distributing, controlling, and measuring irrigation water.

The federal government employs 94 in this occupation. All work for the Department of the Interior. 

Irrigation system operators are concerned with all phases of the control and movement of water from the source of supply through main canals (or conduits), through regulating and holding basins, into laterals and ultimately to the point where the water user takes charge of the water supplied. The work includes determining water users' requirements; preparing water release and delivery schedules; recording and reporting data relating to the operation and maintenance of irrigation systems; controlling flow and release of water at delivery points by means of the various regulating features in the irrigation systems; measuring and recording quantities of water delivered; enforcing terms of agreements, contracts or conditions in contracts related to the delivery and payment for water; making crop censuses and water use surveys, and recording hydrologic and weather data for program planning.

The duties of some positions may also include managing and directing the work of mechanics, repairmen, equipment operators, and laborers engaged in the maintenance and repair of irrigation systems. Some irrigation system operators also perform limited operational and emergency maintenance and repairs while engaged in irrigation operation functions. During the off-irrigation season on some systems, operators perform a variety of maintenance and repair duties on the system, including electrical and hydraulic equipment such as pumps, gates, valves, and meters.

In irrigation work there also is a security aspect. Operations include responsibility for safeguarding adjacent lands, properties, and persons against damage or danger from overflow, seepage, or canal breaks, and the protection of the facility from right-of-way encroachments by unauthorized persons or by livestock; misuse of roadways along canals; and vandalism or tampering with measuring devices, water control devices, or other equipment

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0459

 

Forestry, GS-0460

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work involving developing, producing, conserving, and utilizing the natural resources of forests and associated lands.

The basic title for this occupation is Forester.

The federal government employs 1,876 in this occupation. Most work for two organizations, the Department of Agriculture (1,454), and the Department of Interior employs 294. The remaining workers are with other organizations such as the Department of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Forestry involves managing forestlands and grazing areas, timber production, soil conservation, preservation of wildlife habitats, watershed protection, and development of recreational opportunities. Foresters oversee, develop, and protect Federally-owned or managed forests and associated lands, including national forests, Indian reservations, military installations, and public domain lands. Work involves:

  • inventorying, planning, evaluating, and managing forest resources, including timber, soil, land, water, wildlife and fish habitats, minerals, forage, and outdoor recreation;
  • protecting resources against fire, insects, disease, floods, and erosion;
  • evaluating, managing, and protecting forest lands and properties;
  • interpreting and communicating legislation about forest land management;
  • applying principles of sustained yield management to forest resources, wetlands, water and soil quality, and wildlife conservation, to protect forested lands during timber harvesting operations; and
  • developing new, improved, or more economic scientific methods, practices, or techniques necessary to perform such work.

Foresters also are concerned with:

  • cooperating with and providing technical assistance to states, individual landowners, Indian tribal governing bodies, and organized groups;
  • conducting basic and applied research on managing timber, forest watersheds, and other related resources;
  • appraising forest lands, properties, and resources for acquisition, taxation, sale, exchange, or other purposes, including determining depreciation and depletion rates of forest resources;
  • evaluating policy issues and environmental regulations that affect many forestry-related activities; and
  • recommending policies and programs to keep the nation’s forest lands, both public and private, fully productive for the purposes intended under enabling legislation.

Foresters prepare both short-and long-range land management and multi-resources plans to carry out their responsibilities. These plans provide alternative strategies and analyses of environmental, economic, and social effects of each alternative. Foresters prepare these plans in consultation with other Federal and non-Federal agencies and with the public.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0460

 

Forestry Technician Series, GS-0462

 

This series includes all positions that primarily require a practical knowledge of the methods and techniques of forestry and other biologically based resource management fields. Forestry technicians provide practical technical support in forestry research efforts; in the marketing of forest resources; or in the scientific management, protection, and development of forest resources.

The federal government employs 16,776 in this occupation. Most work for two organizations, the Department of Agriculture (15,274), and the Department of Interior employs 1,398. A few work for other agencies such as the Department of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Andy Hall was interviewed for an article on our federal jobs blog titled Fire Fighter Jobs With the National Park Service. Hall is a GS-0462-07, Prescribed Fire/Fuels Technician at Grand Teton National Park. Hall indicates, “I really like physical labor and the fact that the job combines physical and mental challenges while getting paid to hike. I have an interest in land management. It is rewarding to be able to do what is right for the landscape. The job has taken me all over the country and world including Australia. Working on a team to solve complex problems is also very rewarding.”

Hall also states, “The wildland fire service offers many different options. One can have a career in logistics, information, finance, planning, safety… not just the person putting water on the fire or digging hand line (fire suppression). Recently I have switched from a pure suppression job to a prescribed fire and fuels job. I like this job because it combines my degree in forestry with my fire experience. It is a good challenge to try to put fire back on the landscape while trying to reduce the threat of fire on places where its effects would be catastrophic. It is a good mix of being inside at a desk planning and being outside running a chainsaw and working on fires.”

The primary focus of the forestry technician's work in the Federal sector is to support an organization's resource management efforts from intensive, multiple-use natural resource management to such specialties as that of marketing timber or applying tax laws to forest properties. The basic objectives of programs for the intensive management, protection, and development of forest lands and forest resources are (1) to apply sound utilization and conservation practices to the natural resources of publicly managed lands and (2) promote such practices among all forest landowners through example, cooperation, research, and interpretation and dissemination of information (for more information on the field of forestry, see the position classification standard for the Forestry Series, GS-0460).

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

  • Forestry Aid is the authorized title for positions at Grades GS-3 and below.
  • Forestry Technician is the authorized title for positions at grades GS-4 and above.
USAJOBS GS-0462

 

Soil Science GS-0470

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead or perform professional, research, or scientific work that involves investigating soils, managing soil, adapting soils for alternative uses, and soil genesis, preservation, geography, classification, and morphology.

The federal government employs 906 in this occupation. All work for two organizations, the Department of Agriculture (874), and the Department of Interior employs 23.

Soil scientists apply the principles of sciences, such as physics, chemistry, biology, geology, climatology, mathematics, and physiography, and the concepts, principles, and techniques of soil science to do their work. They study the chemical, physical, biological, and mineralogical properties and processes of soils and their relationships to climatic, physiographic, and biologic influences as they relate to plant or crop growth. Also, they study responses of various soil types to fertilizers, tillage practices, and crop rotation to ensure environmental quality and effective land use.

Soil scientists research, map, classify, and advise on soil productivity, quality, and suitability for use in public and private management, planning, and land use activities. They may also prepare, update, and deliver digital soil survey products; perform on-site detailed soil engineering tabulations; maintain soil information and interpretations; and perform detailed soil sampling for laboratory analysis and characterization.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0470

 

Agronomy GS-0471

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work that involves applying the fundamental principles of plant, soil, and related sciences to managing and improving crops and soils, producing field crops, and studying factors that influence crop growth.

The federal government employs 210 agronomist. All work for two organizations, the Department of Agriculture (184), and the Department of the Army (12).

Agronomy involves applying plant and soil sciences to crop productivity and soil and water management. It has an important role in conservation and efficient use of natural resources, maintaining environmental quality, and sustained productivity of food, feed, fiber, and fuel. Work involves:

  •  determining the optimal amount, source, placement, form, and timing of the application of nutrients; and
  •  managing pests, weeds, insects, diseases, animals, and other organisms that directly or indirectly cause crop damage.

Agronomists apply knowledge of biology, genetics, chemistry, and related sciences, engineering, and mathematical disciplines to do their work. They may specialize in research and/or field work.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0471

 

Fish and Wildlife Administration, GS-0480

This series covers positions that supervise, lead, or perform professional or scientific work that involves administering, directing, or exercising technical control over programs, regulatory activities, projects, and/or operations of fishery resources, fish and wildlife resources, and/or their habitats.

The basic title for positions in this occupation is Fish and Wildlife Administrator.

The federal government employs 347 in this occupation. Most work for two organizations, the Department of Interior employs 247 and the Department of Commerce employs 78. A few work for other agencies.

Work involves conserving, enhancing, and protecting fish, wildlife, and plants, and their habitants. Responsibilities include advocacy and leadership in administering and managing fish and wildlife resources as required by legislation. Work involves activities, such as:

  • directing and/or formulating policies, plans, standards, and procedures for comprehensive fish and wildlife conservation and restoration programs;
  • coordinating grants-in-aid for fish and wildlife programs;
  • establishing, maintaining, and nurturing relationships with non-agency partners, such as state agencies, conservation organizations, other Federal agencies, and fishing, hunting, boating industries;
  • negotiating with state fish and wildlife officials on activities allowable under Federal natural resources programs;
  • providing expertise to assure compliance with laws, regulations, policies, and Executive orders applicable to natural resources programs and activities;
  • interpreting and implementing legislation and legal decisions impacting natural resources practices and programs;
  • advising agency officials on complex scientific, political, and economic natural resources issues; and
  • auditing Federal grant programs to determine continuing fund eligibility.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0480

 

Fish biology, GS-0482

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work that involves preserving, conserving, propagating, and managing fish and other aquatic species populations and their habitats for ecological purposes and to benefit the public.

The basic title for positions in this occupation is Fish Biologist.

The federal government employs 2,359 in this occupation. Most work for 4 organizations, the Department of Interior employs 958 and the Department of Commerce employs 931, Department of Agriculture has 319, and the Department of Energy employs 44.  A few work for other agencies.

Fish biology involves work ranging from directly managing fish resources to studying and analyzing fish life history, behavior, habitat requirements, classification, and economic implications. Managing fish resources involves:

  • assessing and mitigating environmental and human impacts on the survival and growth of aquatic species and their habitats;
  • operating physical plants, including sophisticated systems and equipment;
  • analyzing and planning physical facilities and methods to regulate resources for secure sustained optimum yields and species long-term survival and contribution to ecosystem functions; and
  • coordinating management programs with other natural resources activities, such as forest management, range management, and land use planning.

The fish biologist considers the conservation, culture, nutrition, fish health, and habitat restoration of fish and other aquatic species (crabs, shrimp, or oysters) in the context of their role in the ecosystems. Research work may involve studying various ecological systems in relation to the health, growth, and well-being of fish resources. Research work includes:

  • conducting surveys, designing and implementing restoration plans, and developing recovery plans and other fish management plans;
  • preparing reports of results and findings;
  • identifying and protecting aquatic habitats and associated and interconnected uplands that contribute to stream and lake habitat quality;
  • developing and implementing techniques and methodologies for culturing fish (for example, hatchery operations), and dealing with fish health issues;
  • studying habitat requirements and the effects of environmental contaminants, parasites, and diseases on aquatic species; and/or
  • understanding and resolving issues related to introducing contaminants into the environment.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0482

 

Wildlife Refuge Management, GS-0485

This series covers positions that manage, administer, supervise, lead, or scientifically operate Federally-owned or managed lands and waters designated as national wildlife refuges. Work involves establishing, conserving, protecting, restoring, and enhancing wildlife species and their required habitat, and/or conserving and managing fishery and wildlife resources.

The federal government employs 595 in this occupation and all work for the Department of Interior.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

  • Wildlife Refuge Manager – for work that involves managing, administering, and operating a national wildlife refuge.
  • Wildlife Refuge Specialist – for line or staff work that supports planning, administering, evaluating, managing, and/or operating programs, activities, and projects associated with conserving and managing fish and/or wildlife resources in national wildlife refuges.
USAJOBS GS-0485

Work involves developing, enhancing, protecting, and maintaining land and habitat for a variety of species within the confines of a national wildlife refuge system. The variety, depth, and difficulty of programs differ among refuges in terms of species involved, required protection, public use, commercial interests, water supply, and interests of other Federal agencies, and state and local governments. National wildlife refuges vary in size, topography, geographic location, climate and other characteristics. Physical characteristics include arctic tundra, desert, bog and marshlands, estuarine, coastline, wetlands, and uplands. Refuges may have sharply defined borders or be amorphous in shape. They may be pristine, or contain inhabited communities and historical landmarks. The work involves:

  • planning land, water, and habitat management;
  • administering, supervising, and managing fish and wildlife public relations activities;
  • managing public, commercial, industrial, and agrarian land use;
  • preserving, restoring, and enhancing populations of endangered or threatened species of animals and plants;
  • perpetuating migratory and residential bird resources;
  • preserving a natural diversity and abundance of fauna and flora;
  • providing the public with an understanding and appreciation of fish and wildlife ecology;
  • providing the public with recreational opportunities, such as nature trails, hunting, fishing, and observation;
    • studying the characteristics and behavior of species;
  • evaluating the adequacy of habitats to support wildlife needs;
  • evaluating administration practices for one species relative to its impact on other species and their habitats;
  • identifying and applying disease control and containment methods;
  • ensuring that public uses are authorized, compatible with the purposes for which a refuge was established, and prevent adverse impact on wildlife species and national historic sites;
  • contracting for business operations and issuing permits for economic uses of resources, such as farming, mineral exploration and extraction, and power production;
  • reconciling biological program compatibility with other needs and activities in surrounding communities; and
  • assessing the impact of agricultural and commercial activities or military operations on nearby managed property.

Administrative aspects of the work may require an understanding of the basic principles, concepts, and techniques of budgeting, contracting and procurement, personnel, records management, and property management.

Wildlife Biology, GS-0486

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work that involves conserving, propagating, managing, protecting, and administering wildlife species.

The basic title for positions in this occupation is Wildlife Biologist.

The federal government employs 2,311 in this occupation. Most work for three organizations, the Department of Agriculture (1,057), the Department of Interior employs 1,069 and 108 work for the Department of Commerce. The remaining few workers are with other organizations such as the Department of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Joe Yarkovich was interviewed for an article on our federal jobs blog titled Wildlife Biologist and Fish Biologist Jobs With the National Park System (Part 3). Yarkovich is a GS-0486-11 wildlife biologist at the Great Smoky National Park. Yarkovich indicates, “I always loved the outdoors and knew I wanted to do something that involved working outside. When I was 17 I took a backpacking trip to the Smoky Mountains and met one of the wildlife management folks in the backcountry, and after talking with him, I knew immediately that was what I wanted to do. It involved working outdoors in some of the most beautiful places in the country and let me work directly with wildlife species that I had always taken an interest. I just could not think of anything better than capturing bears for a living, and I still can’t, I love my job.”

Yarkovich emphasizes, “The most exciting part for me is actually working directly with large mammals, because you never know what they’re going to do next and they always find ways to surprise you with their ingenuity, curiosity, and adaptability. This field also involves large amounts of time and energy dealing with the public, and in many ways the reactions you get from people experiencing their first bear or elk in the wild is just as rewarding. He suggests spending a lot of time developing their communication and public relations skills. Being good at the people aspect can prove more challenging, and is a large part of the career”.

Wildlife biology involves dealing with the ecology, behavior, and conservation of wild animals and coordinating wildlife management programs with other natural resources activities, such as land use planning and forest and range management. Management work includes:

  • developing and managing wildlife programs on Federally-owned or managed lands, such as national parks, national forests, wildlife refuges, Indian reservations, military installations, wetlands, big game and desert ranges, and other lands in the public domain;
  • developing and implementing cooperative programs with and providing technical assistance to states, private landowners, Alaskan Native and Indian tribal governing bodies, and special interest groups concerned with protection and proper management of wildlife and wildlife habitats;
  • assessing and conducting wildlife management transactions, such as acquiring, selling, leasing, or exchanging lands, easements, and other resources;
  • preparing, evaluating, and conducting biological analyses of land and water resources projects and Federal permit applications to ensure compliance with appropriate law and to mitigate adverse impacts on resources; and
  • reviewing state and Federal proposals for funding wildlife resources projects to determine if planned objectives warrant Federal funding and meet wildlife resources needs in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

Research work involves proposing, designing, and conducting studies to determine:

  • population status, trends, and problems of wildlife species;
  • disease control specifications;
  • endangered or threatened species protection and consultation requirements;
  • planned habitat management actions and evaluation procedures;
  • population enhancement programs; and
  • environmental contaminant specifications.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0485

 

Animal Science GS-0487

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work in the field of animal science. Work involves investigating, analyzing, and studying animal nutritional, biophysical, biochemical, and physiological relationships.

The federal government employs 2,317 in this occupation. The Department of Agriculture (1,079), the Department of Interior employs 1,064, 24 work for the Department of Commerce, and 18 work for the navy Department.

Animal scientists apply knowledge of animal science, and biological, social, and physical sciences, mathematics, and statistics in their work.

Most animal scientists are involved in investigative and research activities, but some positions involve other types of work, such as:

  • managing herds or flocks in a productive operation;
  • breeding, developing, selecting, feeding, overseeing, and reproducing livestock, poultry, and similar animals;
  • caring for dairy animals, with specific concern for milk production and the various factors that influence milk production; and
  •  breeding, developing, feeding, overseeing, and producing poultry and poultry products.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

USAJOBS GS-0487