Posted on Sunday, 17th May 2015 by

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In the first part of this series we featured the USGS history, programs, and the economist (GS-0110) career path. In part 2 the ecologist (GS-0408) and chemist (GS-1320) career paths are featured.

Ecologist (GS-0408) Career Path

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 federal government employs 1,351 in this occupation. Review the ecologist job series definition for additional occupational information and to discover the largest employers of this group with links to ecologist job vacancies.

 

Ecologist USGS Career Brochure Photo

Ecologist USGS Career Brochure Photo

Kristen Marie Hart 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.”

Hart has to educate the public about the importance of her work and the findings. Hart comments, “I really enjoy the field work, but the discovery of what the data means is very exhilarating!”

Hart relates that you have to “do well in math and science, and learn how to write and know how to do accounting. We have to keep track of our funds, budgeting of projects, and deliverables. There are many scientific papers so writing that is both concise and clear is very important. Finally, take courses in statistics that is used to show the importance or significance of our findings.”

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 including:

  • 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.

Duties

The duties of an ecologist can include:

  • Gather, organize, and interpret ecological, biological, physical, public use or other information pertinent to research studies and/or investigations.
  • Plan the approach and data collection. Lead field crews of 1-3 people to carry out complex ecological studies.
  • Utilize established ecological simulation models to evaluate scenarios of potential future climatic and vegetation conditions.
  • Use GIS to assemble layers, run spatial models, and analyze patterns.
  • Write reports or scientific papers including, conducting literature reviews, reporting results, and preparing graphs and tables.
  • Perform data analysis including data summarization and complex statistical analyses of large datasets.

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this job. A GS-09 needs to have at least 1 year of experience at the next lowest level. For example, a GS-09 can earn from $48,403.00 to $62,920.00 per year or more depending on the locality salary rate for the area where they work.

Kevin Lafferty is a GS-0408 Ecologist at the Western Ecological Research Center.

Lafferty reveals the best part of the job is “making a discovery that changes the way people think about the natural world.” He suggests that “you need to have very strong quantitative skills. If you are analytical, understand graphs, and have a skeptical attitude, you can develop the scientific skills to excel in Ecology. You also need strong skill areas such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, GIS, computer programming, and good writing skills.”

Chemist (GS-1320) Career Path

This series includes all positions involving work that requires full professional education and training in the field of chemistry. This work includes the investigation, analysis, and interpretation of the composition, molecular structure, and properties of substances, the transformations which they undergo, and the amounts of matter and energy included in these transformations.

There are 5,493 chemists employed in the federal government with 61 working overseas. Review the chemist job series definition for additional occupational information and to discover the largest employers of this group with links to nationwide and overseas chemist job listings.

 

Chemist USGS Career Brochure Photo

Chemist USGS Career Brochure Photo

Dr. Keith A. Loftin is a GS-1320-13, Research Chemist, located at the USGS KS Water Science Center, Lawrence, KS.

Loftin works on interdisciplinary research teams, and conducts research independently to provide solutions and expanded understanding on understudied environmental issues of public and ecological health concern.

Loftin is a research chemist, this gives him the opportunity to identify and work on solutions to environmental problems with human and ecological health relevance. He relates, “chemistry is used to understand, make, or enhance the quality of agriculture, clothing, building materials, clean drinking water, manufacturing of a full range of luxury items, as well as medications.”

Loftin explains, “chemistry allows a person to breakdown complex systems and processes at a fundamental level that can be used to solve problems.”

Experience and Education

For all grades in this series, you will need at least 1 year of experience at the next lowest grade. The salary range for a GS-12 is$75,333 (Step 01) to $97,938 (Step 10). You have to be U.S. citizen to apply for this career path. Review the qualification standards to determine the requirements for each grade level. Also review the job announcement for the specific education and experience required for each grade level.

Geographers (GS-0150) and Cartographers (GS-1370) will be featured in Part 3.

Credits

  • Diane Noserale, USGS Public Affairs Officer, Reston, VA
  • Photos are from the USGS website and career brochures
  • USGS Web Site: http://www.usgs.gov

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Overseas Jobs

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Posted on Wednesday, 6th May 2015 by

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The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) tracks earthquakes, geological phenomenon, provides civilian mapping, and many other important functions. Part one of this three part series explores their history, programs, and the economist (GS-0110) job series. Three economists were interviewed for this article.

About the USGS

 

Seismological Device

Seismological Device

The USGS agency is a science organization that provides,” impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the core science systems that help us provide timely, relevant, and useable information.”

The mission of the USGS is to serve “the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.”

The USGS has over 10,000 scientists, technicians, and other support staff that work in over 400 locations nationwide.

The USGS is the largest water, earth, biological science, and civilian mapping agency. They collect, monitor, analyze, and provide scientific understanding about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems. This agency provides diverse scientific expertise and can carry out large-scale, multi-disciplinary investigations, and provides impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners and other customers.

History

The USGS was formed on March 3, 1879 and President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a bill appropriating money for sundry civil expenses for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1879.

The sundry civil expenses bill included the establishing of the USGS, and charging it with a unique combination of responsibilities: “classification of the public lands, and examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain.”

The USGS is 110 years old and this agency stills fulfills its original mission in the classification of public lands, the examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and the produces of the national domain. The USGS conducts research on the cutting edge of science that effects on the economy, and helps to develop and apply innovative means in solving problems in resource management.

USGS Programs

The USGS has many varied programs that focus on science, climate ecosystem among others. Here is a sampling of 2 of their more prominent programs.

Core Science System

The Core Science System is a new mission for the USGS. The role of this program is the understanding of the Earth’s complex ecosystems. Ecosystems exist all over the world. By using an ecosystem-based approach, the USGS can use all science themes that will provide specific data and other information that can be utilized by the USGS and its partners. “The vision for Core Science Systems builds on core strengths of the USGS in characterizing and understanding complex Earth and biological systems through research, modeling, mapping, and the production of high quality data on the Nation’s natural resource infrastructure.”

Through research, activities will provide a foundation for ecosystem-based approaches from geologic mapping, topographic mapping, and biodiversity mapping. The framework is designed to improve the efficiency of scientific work. This will enable a way to preserve and recall data for future applications, organizing existing scientific knowledge and data to facilitate new use of older information. This will help with the integration of new data, applications, and other science products to make interdisciplinary research easier and more efficient within the USGS.

Ecosystem Science

The Ecosystem Science program is about how to make well-informed decisions about how to use our national resources wisely and to help sustain our Nation’s economic and environmental well-being.

This program utilizes basic and applied science criterion. From the local, regional and national levels there are issues that affect our Nation. Resource managers and other policymakers face a variety of issues that include renewable and nonrenewable energy development, agriculture, forestry, water supply, and resource allocations in both the urban and rural environments.

Ecosystem science is the study of systems of organisms interacting with their environment and the consequences of natural and human-induced change on these systems. The USGS helps to develop policies that enable decision makers, to better adapt to the changes that occur in these ecosystems.

The USGS provides the necessary information to help decision makers on the matters involving our environment. The USGS uses science to provide managers with options and decision-support tools in resources sustainability.

Here are is great USGS links to their other programs and science topics: Our Programs and Science Topics

Economist (GS-0110) Career Path

This series includes positions that require application of a professional knowledge of economics in the performance of duties that include: research into economic phenomena, analysis of economic data, and the preparation of interpretive reports; advice and consultation on economic matters to governmental officials and private organizations or citizens; and the performance of other professional work in economics including supervision and the direction of economists engaged in the various economics programs of the Federal Government

The federal government employs 4,411 economists including a number that work overseas. All cabinet level agencies and many large independent agencies employ economists.

Grecia R. Matos, is a GS-0110-13 economist and works in Reston, Virginia, in the National Minerals Information Center.

Matos always wanted to make a difference and her economics background helped her succeed in the job.  She suggests that you need a “systems approach not just mathematical, but adding a human/social dimension to a holistic vision a country and the world.” Matos states, “her job as economist provides insights into many challenging and relevant issues, such as to know the dollar value of resources we produce and the physical quantity needed to keep up with our standard of living.”

Matos has many responsibilities as an economist. One of these is to provide information to the public, and policy makers regarding the current use and flow of minerals and materials in the United States and the world. Additionally, she helps to identify areas where there are adverse impacts of using materials, and identifies efficiencies in reuse, recycling and in waste management.

Matos indicates, “working in a science agency such as USGS, economists provide science to decision makers for environmental policy, study the effects of global climate change, the green economy, provide science to help protect public health, the environment, and to restore ecosystems.”

Duties

This specialization includes (1) positions which analyze and interpret relationships incorporating economic factors which cut across all sectors of the economy, (2) positions which specialize in methodology, (3) positions which are not appropriately classifiable to any other specialization in this series, and (4) all positions at the GS-5 and GS-7 levels. Positions in this specialization may be characterized by a variety of assignment patterns.

At all grade levels there are economists who analyze, interpret, synthesize, and project the movements and relationships among the many forces playing upon the economy. Typically, such economists use secondary sources and depend on their colleagues in the various branches of economics to collect and distill primary data. Frequently (though not necessarily), their work results in publication, sometimes in the “learned paper” tradition, but more typically in regular periodic publications of the Government.

Education and Experience

For all grade levels you need at least 1 year of experience at the next lowest grade. Additionally, a bachelor’s degree is required that includes at least 21 semester hours in economics and 3 semesters hours in statistics, accounting, or calculus.

The GS-05 to GS-09 grade levels, you not only need a bachelor’s degree and the experience may include:

  1. Developing detailed plans for economic studies in accordance with established specifications and other requirements.
  2. The collecting and compiling of economic data from primary or secondary sources following detailed and exact procedures and regulations.
  3. The preparation of preliminary interpretive reports, or portions of such reports following precise instructions.

The GS-11 to GS-14 grade levels, in addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must have 1 year of appropriate professional experience in economics that is equivalent to at least the next lowest grade level  The additional experience may include:

  1. The performance of collecting data from primary sources necessary for a project, such as employment statistics or marketing data. The procedures are exact and well defined and adjusted as necessary.
  2. The planning and preparing an interpretive report on the productivity capacity of a particular industry, and use the data for a comprehensive industry analysis.
  3. Assignments include the full scope of the research process, from the initiation of investigations and planning of methods, through the interpretation of finding and the preparation of final reports.
  4. Other experience can include initiating, planning, formulating, and executing major special studies or continuing projects.

The salary range for a GS-12 is $76,378 (Step 01) to $99,296 (Step 10). A

GS-13 salary range is $90,823 (Step 01) to $118,069 (Step 10). You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position.

Carl Shapiro, is a GS-0110 Economist. Shapiro works in the USGS Science and Decisions Center, Reston, VA.

Shapiro was looking for a field that provided structure to complex societal issues. He cites, “economic concepts provide an objective and structured way of considering the issues to form many types of decisions.”

Shapiro does studies in ecosystem services, which are beneficial to nature. He states, “economists work with biological and physical scientists to understand how ecosystem services are produced and with natural resource managers to understand how ecosystem services in making informed decisions.”

Shapiro recommends a career in economics because, “it has a clear and analytical methodology and addresses issues ranging from natural resources, to labor productivity, to policies relating to the money supply.  Economists are needed in a wide range of diverse fields.”

Shapiro suggests, “you should narrow your field to a specialty. Economics provides an analytical framework for considering the consequences of scarcity, alternative decisions, and tradeoffs, but it is not always a stand-alone discipline. Its value can be enhanced by connecting its approach with a broad set of societal challenges.”

Stephen R. Gillespie, is a GS-0110-14 economist. He works in the Director’s Office in Reston, VA.

Gillespie states the most exciting part of my job is getting to work with scientists in all sorts of different fields. He suggests that you take math courses in high school. As an economist you will spend a lot of time working with numbers.”

Credits

Economist Career Path

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Overseas Jobs

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Posted on Friday, 24th April 2015 by

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The administrative officer position is utilized in most executive department agencies and with military units such as the National Guard. The federal government employs 9,285 administrative officers in all cabinet level agencies and most large independent agencies. There re 340 working overseas. The largest employer is the Veterans Administration with 1,809 followed by Health and Human Services with 1,301. The Departments of the Army, Navy and Air Force employ a combined 2,272. This article covers the relevant duties, qualifications, and education requirements for this position.

Administrative Officer (GS-0341) (Military Unit)

Eric Brenner, is a GS-0341-11, administrative officer who is stationed at HQ/41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) in Clackamas, OR.

Brenner was originally hired as a training specialist stationed at state headquarters in Salem OR. He transferred to Clackamas as a way to broaden his current assignment. Brenner is involved in day-to-day operations of a brigade and he has direct influence over plans and policies for the betterment of the brigade.

 

Major Eric Brenner and Wife

Major Eric Brenner and Wife

Brenner remarks that, “the job is ideal for someone that enjoys operational planning and execution at the brigade level, understands National Guard personnel budgets, and can manage multiple projects at the same time. They must understand fiscal law, budgeting practices, the Army’s force generation model, and Army training priorities and make recommendations to the commander and senior staff members.” 

Brenner serves as an administrative officer in a military unit, and he cites “that it is considerably different than other governmental positions. My duties as an administrative officer mostly resemble those of a staff major in the operations section of an IBCT headquarters. It is a rewarding career that carries the potential for upward mobility and compliments my National Guard career.”

An administrative officer is associated with a military unit is considered a civilian employee and is placed in an Excepted Service position. It requires membership in a state’s National Guard or Reserve component and is a requirement for employment. The employee will be required to wear a military uniform and this is a condition of employment.

They are the officer in charge and serve as the principal staff officer and primary advisor to the Commander for providing leadership, oversight, information, analysis, guidance, and recommendations on readiness and day-to-day matters of the command.

Major Duties

The administrative officer is a full-time representative of the commander and there are numerous responsibilities involved. They ensure goals are in accordance with higher headquarters directions. Oversee the development and execution of both long and short-range plans and programs. Provide instructions and guidance to staff sections in conducting daily activities. They are responsible for making day-to-day decisions for the commander relevant to personnel and equipment assignments, instructions to staff members. Directs, coordinates, trains and oversees the work of employees.

The administrative officer has oversight in the development of unit goals, provides readiness reports. Evaluates organizational readiness reports and will provide recommendations for improvement or modifications to the organizational priorities based upon the ever-changing needs of the organization. Finally, they make sure that the National Guard armories and facilities under the control of the command are properly utilized and cared for. Arranges for repair, upkeep, and custodial services for the facilities.

General Experience

The employee is responsible for providing a variety of management services that is essential to the direction and operation of the organization. The most important qualifications are an extensive knowledge and understanding of management principles, practices, methods and techniques, and skill integrating management services with the general management of the organization.

Specialized experience

At the GS-12 level, either you must have a Bachelors Degree or must have 3 years of general and specialized experience. This can include education or training in analyzing problems, identifying significant factors, gathering relevant data and providing solutions. You will need to have experience in preparing reports, plans, policies, and various correspondence. You should be able to evaluate objectives and develop appropriate plans. Understand the utilization of the organization, its mission, and the organizational staff procedures. Experience in the use of quantitative and qualitative techniques for analyzing and measuring effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity of administrative and technical programs. Finally, have experience in both analytical and investigative techniques. You must be able to lead, direct, and assign work to personnel.

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply. The salary range for a GS-0341-12/12 is $73,265.00- $95,243.00 per year.

LTC Kotz, is a GS-1102/12 administrative officer, assigned to HHD, Joint Force Headquarters, and Oregon Military Department.

 

LTC Dominic Kotz

LTC Dominic Kotz

Kotz indicates, “the most exciting thing about being an administrative officer is the flexibility within the series to conduct different types of jobs. He would recommend this to any officer early in their career. Finally, I would tell a young officer to make sure that they have a plan “B” and continue to diversify their work experience”.

Administrative Officer (GS-0341) (Non-Military)

The administrative officer in the competitive service isn’t associated with a military unit and they do not have to report to a commander, nor wear a uniform.

Duties

The employee assists a supervisor, other office personnel, or managers in providing various management activities. The activities generally include Federal operations management, human capital management, contract administration, property and space management and other functional areas. Other additional functions and responsibilities include assisting in research and investigating new ways to improve programs, employee recruitment, performance management, employee recognition, contract initiation, office moves, evacuation planning/emergency preparedness, and team building.

Maintains complete files on employees, contracts and recruitment programs. Serves as a liaison on various matters such as recruitment, placement, payroll, performance appraisals, awards, initiating personnel actions and collaborates with personnel specialists in personal related matters. Can advise management on such topics as contract administration, acquisition, recruiting operations, social media strategy, web content and branding, effective performance management and workplace diversity. They can also serve on various task forces.

Qualifications

At a GS-09 level, you must have at least 1 year of specialized experience at the GS-07 level or a Masters Degree or equivalent degree. At the GS-11 level you must have 1 year of specialized experience at the GS-09 level. The specialized experience can include performing a variety of management and administrative services in the operation of an office. This includes professional and support staff recruitment, operations and management reports, property management issues, organizational practices, procurement, and human resource allocation. You must have 3 full years of progressively higher-level graduate degree.

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position. A GS-0341-09/11 salary range is $52,668.00 to $82,840.00 per year. 

Credits

  • Christopher L. Ingersoll, Public Affairs Specialist, Oregon Military Dept.
  • The Oregon Military Dept. public relations department supplied the photographs used in this article.

Administrative Officer Job Description & Vacancy list

Administrative Officer

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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

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Posted on Tuesday, 14th April 2015 by

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In parts 1 and 2 of this series we explored Petroleum Engineer and Archeologist positions with the BLM. In part 3 and final installment, we feature planning and environmental coordinator (GS-0301) and hydrologist (GS-1315) occupations.

Planning and Environmental Coordinator (GS-0301)

 

BLM Planning Coordination Meeting

BLM Planning Coordination Meeting

 

Kristy Swartz is a GS-0301-12/13 planning and environmental coordinator who is stationed at the BLM Fire & Aviation Directorate, which is at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, ID.

Swartz was previously a firefighter before moving into the fuels management program. She believes, “that the restoration work that we do before a fire starts is so important – both for the natural resources as well as for our human environment that we share.” Swartz enjoys being involvedin environmental planning and working collaboratively with stakeholders to reach consensus on how to move forward to achieve restoration objectives. She reveals that, “we can accomplish the work on the ground that will help protect and improve our natural and human environment.”

Swartz is excited about her career and relates, “we reach consensus on challenging topics and are able to initiate projects that move us towards our goals. I also love the challenges and diversity of issues that we work with and learning a little bit about the perspectives of each resource specialist and our stakeholders.”

Some of the baseline requirements on performing the job include    understanding policies, environmental laws and how the government works. She contends that you must be able to, “facilitate effective meetings (or find someone who can), listen and support the staff assigned to your project(s) so they can be effective in their work.”  You must understand your role and responsibilities.

In this position, you will need to interpret, provide guidance, develop, and implement planning on various programs such as Resource Management Plans (RMPs) and Environmental Impact Statements (EISs).  Additionally, ensure that the plans documentation meets all relevant prescribed quality standards and complies with all Federal Land Policy and other environmental and quality policies or programs.

Other required skills are writing of various issue papers, briefings and other public presentations.  Knowledge, principles, concepts, and techniques of land use planning.  Coordinating inventory and data collection, monitor budgets and act as technical liaison between Field Offices and other entities to include State and local governments and other external customers.

Both A GS-11 and GS-12 will need 1 year of specialized experience at the next lowest grade level.  Each can have specialized experience that includes planning and environmental specialist related work in Natural Resource Programs. Other specialized experience is in land use and multiple use and resource management planning, being a lead or a member of an interdisciplinary team tasked with review and analysis of various documents to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Assist in developing public land related planning and strategies.

The GS-12 grade level in addition to the above mentioned specialized experience should also have budget and programming, planning, professional writing, policy development and monitoring and perform program audits.  At this grade level there is no substitution for education.

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for a planning and environmental coordinator position, and a GS-11/12 will earn $58,562.00 to $91,255.00 per year.

Michael Hildner, is a GS-301-12 planning and environmental coordinator located in the BLM Washington D.C. Office.

Hildner wanted to help manage public lands on behalf of the American people. He strives to ensure, “the best balance of uses and resource protections for America’s public lands. The BLM undertakes extensive land use planning through a collaborative approach with local, state, and tribal governments, the public, user groups and industry. The result is a set of land use plans – called Resource Management Plans (RMP) – that provide the framework to guide decisions for every action and approved use on over 245 million acres of surface land and 700 million acres of subsurface minerals.”

Hildner explains, “The BLM prepares RMPs for areas of public lands, called planning areas, which tend to have similar resource characteristics. RMPs are used to allocate resources and determine appropriate multiple uses for the public lands, develop a strategy to manage and protect resources; and establish systems to monitor and evaluate status of resources and effectiveness of management practices over time.”

Hildner comments that, “education requirements vary, however a background in science, and experience in leadership positions with effective communication skills will serve you well. Experience in leading teams of resource specialists in preparing land use plans for BLM resource areas is essential. Teams represent the full range of BLM programs such as range, forestry, minerals, lands, wildlife, hydrology, archeology, and recreation”.

Hydrologist (GS-1315)

 

BLM Hydrology Particle Sampling

BLM Hydrology Particle Sampling

 

Bryce Bohn, is a GS-1315-13 hydrologist, who is located at the BLM Idaho State Office in Boise, ID.

Bohn was interested in becoming a hydrologist when he participated in the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program in high school. He states, “I became interested in being a hydrologist when a Forest Service hydrologist came to talk about his job.From that moment on, all of my education and career planning was directed towards being a hydrologist.  Since entering federal service, I have been the forest hydrologist on four National Forests before becoming the state hydrologist for BLM-Idaho.”

Bohn is excited about his career because, “I use my training and education to make a difference in the quality of the environment. I love being responsible for the protection, restoration and monitoring of aquatic resources on public lands in the west. It is a job that allows me to make a difference in the quality of people’s lives as well as the quality of the environment that persists long into the future”.

Bohn suggests that individual interested in becoming  a hydrologist to, “talk to as many people as you can. Read books and professional literature to see what the current research topics are. Never forget that the success of any science hinges upon the effective communication of your findings and making it relevant to the public. Develop your people skills with the same focus and urgency as you develop your scientific skills.  Hydrology is a field of engineering that you can specialize in any number of sub-disciplines such as groundwater, dams and irrigation, snow hydrology or wildland hydrology.”

The major duties of a hydrologist at the GS-09 level include planning, coordinating projects that involve analysis and evaluation of flow and transport of sediment and pollutants in stream channels and ground water. Give technical advice relevant to water rights applications and claims, review flood forecasts and apply flood forecasting procedures that will determine short-term flood risks and serve on various interdisciplinary teams. One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-07 level in hydrologic related work is required.

In addition to all the major duties at the GS-09 level a GS-11 hydrologist must also be able to perform a variety of hydrologic models to generate information on high flows, channel behavior, and sedimentation, calibrating hydrologic models to account for changes in land use patterns and modifying modeling procedures to model validity.  Serve as a subject matterexpert on water resources; perform negotiations for agreements for the use of federally owned water resources.  Make recommendations on the availability of water for BLM administration responsibilities. One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-09 level in hydrologic related work.

The education requirements include a degree in physical, natural science, or engineering.  You must have at least 30 semester hours in a combination of courses in hydrology, the physical sciences, geophysics, chemistry, engineering science, soils, mathematics, aquatic biology, atmospheric science, meteorology, geology, oceanography, or the management or conversation of water resources.  Additional course work can include 6 semester hours in calculus and physics.

The hydrologist has a specialized skill set and you must be a U.S. citizen to apply. A GS-09/11 earns $48,403.00 to $76,131.00 per year.

Ed Rumbold, is aGS-1315-12 hydrologist who works at the BLM Colorado State Office in Lakewood, CO.

 

BLM Hydrological Event at Big Wood River, ID

BLM Hydrological Event at Big Wood River, ID

 

Rumbold always has had an interest in water. He relates, “growing up I spent a lot of time fishing, skipping stones, swimming, skating, camping and participating in Boy Scouts in upstate New York. Closures of beaches along Lake Ontario due to Mercury always concerned me.”

Rumbold indicates, “the collection, analysis and reporting of surface and groundwater data is just one exciting part of being a hydrologist. It is particularly exciting to see new software, models and equipment make water resources analysis more efficient, and accurate I also greatly enjoy working with other stakeholders in accomplishing these types of efforts”.

Rumbold encourages those interested in entering this field to, “take advantage of opportunities to study aspects of streams, water and climate, or at least give it test run to determine whether or not it’s a good fit”.

The BLM offers many unique and varied programs.  Also, go ahead and explore the vast careers opportunities that the BLM has to offer.

Credits

  • Samantha Storms, Public Relations Officer, National Office of New Media, BLM Washington D.C.
  • The Bureau of Land Management’s public relations department supplied the photographs used in this article.
  • The BLM web site at http://www.blm.gov

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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Interviews, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

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Posted on Wednesday, 8th April 2015 by

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In part 1 of this series we discussed the history and some of the important programs relevant to the BLM. In part 2 of this series, we will explore the Petroleum Engineer (GS-0881) career path.

Pinedale, WY Well, photograph provided by the Bureau of Land Management.

Pinedale, WY Well, photograph provided by the Bureau of Land Management.

Adrienne Brumley is a GS-0881-13, who works in the BLM New Mexico State Office in Santa Fe, NM. Brumley states, “I was always interested in science generally and for a career. Petroleum engineering requires knowledge of geology and includes designing wellbores that will be used to produce oil and gas”.

Brumley is excited because, “she is able to design wellbores and I get to see the results of that design immediately. I enjoy the dynamic nature of working in different areas geologically and in adapting wellbore design for individual circumstances. While some things can be predicted in oil and gas, there are aspects such as anomalies in geology, subsurface pressures, the nature of horizontal drilling, and the evolving technology of hydraulic fracturing that provide challenges (excitement!!) that keep my job interesting and rewarding”.

Brumley on the education aspects: “the field of study requires basic skills and knowledge in areas such as fluid dynamics, rock mechanics, geology, structural design, and principles of reservoir management. Some other areas of specialization include as reservoir management, drilling, production, pipeline and plant management, research, stimulation technology and law”.

Petroleum Engineers

This career path involves a unique set of skills. The petroleum engineer provides professional and technical support and makes recommendations relevant to oil and gas operations on both Federal and Indian lands. They are responsible for investigating accidents from drilling, blowouts, and fires to determine the cause and provide recommendations for issuance of safety alerts when required. Additionally, they will review applications for permits to drill, ensure that the designs will protect the environment and personnel from hazardous materials. The petroleum engineer makes sure that rigs and the equipment is safe and can stand extreme pressures, and that abandoned wells are properly plugged, to protect against subsurface formation sand and other issues.

The education requirement is at least a Bachelor’s degree in professional engineering. The courses required include differential and integral calculus, courses in at least 5 of the following 7 areas of engineering science or physics, statics, dynamics, strength of materials (stress-strain relationships), fluid mechanics, hydraulics, thermodynamics, electrical fields and circuits, nature and properties of materials or other comparable area of fundamental engineering science, physics, soil mechanics, or electronics.

Two employees were interviewed for this article. Their unique insight gives valuable information on what is it like to be a Petroleum Engineer.

 

Madden Deep Well Unit, Landen, WY. Photograph provided by the Bureau of Land Management.

Madden Deep Well Unit, Landen, WY. Photograph provided by the Bureau of Land Management.

William Tambekou, is a GS-0881-11, who works in the BLM Farmington Field Office in Farmington, NM. Tambekou points out, “As a teenager, I was really intrigued by the science behind the extraction of oil and natural gas. In addition, the influence that oil and natural gas had socially and politically was impressive to me and created an element of curiosity which led me to choose it as a career”.

Tambekou suggests, “The most exciting part of being a petroleum engineer is that the oil industry is regularly evolving; there is a constant emergence of new technologies, which gives one the opportunity to learn every day. It is very diverse, you have the opportunity to work is such areas as drilling, production, reservoir, etc”.

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply. The salary range for a GS-07/12 is $43,328.00 to $99,920.00 / Per Year. You must also have 1 year of professional engineering experience at the next lowest grade in Federal service

In the final installment of this series, we will examine the planning and environmental coordinator (GS-0301) and hydrologist (GS-1315) career paths.

Job Listings

Credits

  • Samantha Storms, Public Relations Officer, National Office of New Media, BLM Washington D.C.
  • The Bureau of Land Management’s public relations department supplied the photographs used in this article.
  • The BLM web site at http://www.blm.gov

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

 

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

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Posted on Monday, 30th March 2015 by

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Explore careers and discover job opportunities with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Have you ever wondered what agency handles the Wild Horse and Burro Program, grazing, and leases on government land?  In part 1 of this 3 part series you will learn about this agency’s mission, its history, several of their unique programs, and the career path of the archeologist (GS-0193).

History

The BLM is part of the Department of the Interior and was established in 1946, by President Harry S. Truman.  The agency was created by the combination of 2 agencies, the General Land Office and the Grazing Service.  The BLM administers over 247.3 million acres of public lands, which is one-eighth of the landmass in the United States.  Additionally, the BLM manages the federal government’s 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate that is located beneath federal, state and privately owned land located in 12 westerns states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming).

 

Historic Homestead Restoration, Near Lewistown, MT

Historic Homestead Restoration, Near Lewistown, MT

 

The mission of the BLM is “to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations”.

The agency handles approximately 18,000 land permits and leases for livestock grazing on 155 million acres of BLM public lands.  Additionally, there are 221 wilderness acres, 20 national monuments and over 636 other protected areas as part of the, National Landscape Conservation System which totals almost 30 million acres. The agency has more than 63,000 oil and gas wells on BLM public lands; with total energy leases that as of 2013 generated approximately $5.4 billion dollars and this divided among the Treasury, states, and Native American groups.

BLM Programs

The BLM handles many programs and I will discuss two, the Wild Horses and Burros, and Grazing programs. More information is available for the BLM’s many other programs and initiatives.

Wild Horse and Burro Program

The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 directs the BLM to both manage and protect wild horses and burros on public lands.  Horses and burros have no natural predators and they have a reproduction rate of more than 20 %.  There is the Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program helps to reduce the over population of these animals.  The program is administration in a 31 state jurisdiction and there are 25 adoption events to help find homes for approximately 1000 animals each year.

BLM also collaborates with the Mustang Heritage Foundation that offers trained horses to the public, at several different Mustang Makeover locations.  The Mustang Makeovers pair wild horses with trainers who have the horses up to 100 days and than there is an oral bid to find an adopter. For more information about this program see the following links:

Grazing Program

BLM administrators approximately 245 million acres of public lands, manages livestock grazing on 155 million acres as prescribed by federal law.  The relevant stipulations of the law for use and season of use are set for the permits and leases that are issued by the BLM to ranchers.  BLM has cognizance over 18,000 permits and leases issued to ranchers for grazing of the livestock (mostly cattle and sheep).  These permits and leases cover a 10-year period and are renewable only if the BLM determines that the terms and conditions are being followed.  Visit the BLM’s Grazing Program web site for additional information.

BLM Career Paths

The BLM offers many exciting job opportunities. The archeologist is featured in this article with other occupations covered in Part 2 and 3 of this series.

Archeologist (GS-0193)

Jenny Blanchard is a GS-0193-11 archaeologist working with BLM’s Anchorage Field Office in Anchorage, AL, “In college, I loved anthropology and archaeology classes.  As an undergraduate, you take field school, so I took 2 archaeological field school classes in Alaska.  I spent my study abroad in a semester doing Mayan archaeology in Belize.  There is so much to learn about past cultures, that I knew archaeology would never be boring”.

Blanchard points out that the most exciting part of her job is going to remote parts of Alaska, “I spend a lot of time in a helicopter in the summer, because there are literally no roads in the 17 million acres of BLM that she is responsible for.” Blanchard reveals that she has met great people, worked on interesting archaeological sites, and has seen a lot of natural resources along the way. “I’ve seen some of the rarest birds in North America, worked next to a fur seal rookery in the Pribilof Islands, and had muskox roaming over my project sites on two projects in Alaska.”

As a federal archaeologist Blanchard has the responsibility for managing the cultural resources on public lands including the cultural heritage, history, and prehistory that belongs to all Americans. Blanchard recommends that those who are interested in entering this field should get a good background in science. She suggests that archaeologists use chemistry, biology (zoology, botany, etc.), ecology, and geology regularly, so the more you know about those, the more you can dive into the field.

The archeologist is a very interesting career path. You must be a U.S. citizen to apply and the salary range for GS-09 level is from $48,403.00 to $62,920.00.

Archeologist Duties

 

Pueblo Ruin in Utah

Pueblo Ruin in Utah

 

Some of the duties include documenting and management of artifacts, collections and other relevant records.  Design and implement inventory strategies, resource planning, write and prepare cultural resources input for various environmental documents that include environmental assessments and planning documents.

For a GS-09 grade level, you must have met 1 year of specialized experience at the GS-07 level. There are education requirement that are quite specialized for this career path.  You will need a Master’s degree and some of the education requirements include 3 semester hours in history of archeology, archeology in a major geographical area such as North America or Africa, regional archeology, archeological cultures, theory and methods of archeology and archeological field school.  You will also need 6 semester hours of in related course work in geography, geology, history, historiography, environmental studies, scientific writing, and surveying.

This type of work has certain physical demands.  You will perform fieldwork, and will walk or ride vehicles or horses over rough terrain.  The duties require recurring bending, reaching, or lifting.  There will moderately heavy lifting of equipment and samples.  There maybe exposure to extremes in weather, temperatures and exposure to hostile wildlife, as well as, chemical and physical hazards.

Some of the duties include:

Knowledge of concepts, theories, and methods of history, archaeology, and cultural resource management.

  • Knowledge of the requirements of federal and state laws relevant to cultural resources.
  • Have the ability to independently design, implement, and document large-scale archaeological research projects.
  • Perform the operation of geographic information systems for data management and analysis.

There is the potential for promotion up to the GS-15 grade and those who wish to progress in the field would benefit from developing a comprehensive Career Development Plan (IDP).

Three archeologists are featured in this article to provide insight from those currently working and making a difference in this field. Their perspective and suggestions will assist anyone who wishes to learn more about archeology career opportunities.

Zane Fulbright is a GS-0193-11 archeologist who works at the Lewistown Field Office/Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Lewistown, MT.

Fulbright states, “The career field chose me. I went in to the local Forest Service ranger station looking for a firefighter position. They told me they had no openings except as an archaeology aid. I was working on my degree in history with a minor in anthropology so I was able to be hired. That was 25 years ago!”

Fulbright finds the recovery of artifacts in the field the most rewarding. Additionally, “federal archaeology has a good balance of archaeology and history. Learn how to research and write. Go hiking! Be comfortable outside by yourself.” He suggests taking advantage of professional conferences; present papers and interact with others in the field. Get to know different regions in the US and the unique nature of archaeology associated with the different cultures and environments.

 

College Class Field Trip, near Lewistown, MT

College Class Field Trip, near Lewistown, MT

 

Bryon Loolse, is a GS-301-15, division chief at the BLM Office in Washington, D.C. Loose in the early part of his career worked in the field, often outdoors. Loolse states, “The most satisfying and invigorating is the multi-disciplinary nature of archaeology. We need to know many things and are constantly learning new things”.

Loolse recalls an article he wrote about large scars found on ponderosa pine trees and argued the Ute created the scars years before to collect the tree sap and inner bark (cambium). A journal editor asked him to explain more about the fire ecology and natural history of the trees because the readers of the journal wouldn’t know those things. “I found that easy because I had already discussed the scars extensively with my forest ecologist, our foresters, and biologists. They explained ponderosa pine forests were evolved to be fire tolerant with thick bark.” Studies further showed that our forest had previously burned with low intensity fires every 20 to 30 years. You could differentiate between the natural scars called “cat faces” resulting from natural fires and those caused by wildlife like porcupine and elk. Loolse states that, “these were very different from the human caused scars I was investigating”.

Loolse suggests that archeology can be a challenging and difficult field to get a foothold as a permanent employee. “You need to be persistent and determined to make it a career.  You will need a master’s degree, and it is very important for documenting and preserving our past”.

In part 2 of this series we will discuss the career path associated with the Petroleum Engineer (GS-0881).

Credits

  • Samantha Storms, Public Relations Officer, National Office of New Media, BLM Washington D.C.
  • The Bureau of Land Management’s public relations department supplied the photographs used in this article.
  • The BLM web site at http://www.blm.gov.

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

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Posted on Friday, 20th March 2015 by

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The United States Postal Service has many promotional opportunities for employees to advance in their postal careers.  Many employees will take advantage of the different training programs to become supervisors and managers and if your dream is to manage a large distribution center or post office, the training you need is available.

Working For the Postal Service

Working For the Postal Service

There are other opportunities as well, such as being “detailed” into a position, which is what I did.  I began my postal career in a large processing plant in Kansas City KS working as a PTF Distribution Clerk.  I was able to transfer to an associate office closer to home and was fortunate to have a Postmaster that encouraged me to learn more and allowed me to accept a detail in Personnel for 6 months.  Shortly after starting my detail a vacancy became available in Personnel for a Human Resources Specialist; I applied and was accepted for the position.  I loved working in Personnel and learned so much.  This position was supposed to be a temporary position; not-to exceed 2 years.  I was fortunate to be able to keep it for 5 years.

Most employees at the postal service begin their careers working as an hourly employee and most are able to move up the ladder.  The opportunities are there!  I had many co-workers that began when I did and are now supervisors and managers.  If you get a job with the postal service, ask your supervisor, Postmaster or Manager about detail opportunities or apply for one of the programs listed below.  Live your dream!

The postal service’s career development initiatives prepare employees to achieve their goals and turn their career dreams into realities.

National Center for Employee Development

The National Center for Employee Development (NCED) is the U.S. Postal Service’s national center for employee training. NCED oversees and conducts hands-on training for postal employees who manage and maintain major high-technology postal systems, vehicles, and mail processing equipment. Training offered at NCED supports postal automation efforts and national job skills training. NCED is a nationally recognized leader in the use of distance learning technology. NCED expands its reach from the resident classrooms by using national networks for live satellite broadcasts, audio teletraining, and computer driven audiographics courses, plus computer, video, and internet technology to deliver critical job skill training to postal employees.

Associate Supervisor Program

The Associate Supervisor Program (ASP) is designed to attract,  select, and train the best possible candidates for first-line supervisory positions. ASP will develop technical, operational, administrative, and leadership skills through its comprehensive classroom training and on-the-job assignments. Applicants who meet the requirements will learn the critical knowledge and skills necessary to become highly effective leaders of the U.S. Postal Service. ASP is a 16-week training program, combining classroom training and on-the-job assignments, to provide a practical hands-on experience. Coaching is an important aspect of the program. ASP trainees are assigned a coach who provides leadership and guidance throughout the program. If you like working with people, want to make a difference, and be associated with a winning team, then the supervisor position is the right job for you.

Managerial Leadership Program

The Managerial Leadership Program is a two week program based on the Managerial Competency Model. The curriculum spans a three month period: Week One is centered on the interpersonal and developmental aspects of leadership and includes an introduction to Lean Six Sigma, coaching, giving and receiving feedback, and effective messaging. Week Two contains interactive activities related to managing difficult business conversations, team development, and power & influence. MLP targets both Headquarters and Field employees, EAS Level 19 and above. MLP participants are high-potential managers who have demonstrated the ability to move into higher level EAS leadership roles; are not in Corporate Succession Planning (CSP); and have not attended the Advanced Leadership Program (ALP).

Advanced Leadership Program

The Advanced Leadership Program is a three week program based on the Executive Competency Model. The curriculum spans a 6-9 month period: Week 1: Business Foundations covers the essential information necessary to be an effective leader. Some of the topics include finance, strategy and transition, and project management; Week 2: Personal Development includes rich assessments and a one on one coaching session; and Week 3: Business Leadership and the Business Case presentation. Participants address an issue facing the Postal Service and present their findings and recommendations to an executive panel. The ALP participant must be a non-executive who has been identified as a potential successor in Corporate Succession Planning (CSP) and has not previously attended the program. These individuals must be nominated by a sponsoring Executive and approved by their Vice President.ir career.

A Career development Plan or Individual Development Plan (IDP) is an essential first step for those who desire promotions and career advancement. It doesn’t have to be a formal plan however you must at the minimum set short and long term goals to achieve your objective (a targeted position, upgrade, or transfer to another specialty). Discuss your career development options with your supervisor and consider lateral assignments, details, and the various training programs available to postal service employees at your location.

Also consider ways to improve your chances for postal service job promotions or new assignments by attending night school or taking classes at local universities online or through weekend programs. Use whatever is available and realistic to achieve your goals.

Take Charge of Your Federal Career: A Practical Action-Oriented Career Management Workbook for Federal Employee by Dennis V. Damp can be used as a primer to develop your personal Individual Development Plan (IDP). It was written for federal employees however it is also helpful to anyone wishing to advance in their career. You will discover how to identify positions in your organization based on your interests, education and training, set realistic short and long term career goals, and work with your supervisor to make it happen.

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Post Office Jobs

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Posted on Monday, 16th March 2015 by

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The logistics management specialist’s job focus is being able to perform analysis and coordination of an organization’s supply chain. Additionally, you will manage the entire life cycle of a product, to include the acquisition, distribution, allocation, and delivery. They should have the ability to understand the different functions of planning, implementation, and integration. The most important ability is to be able to integrate the separate functions in planning or implementation in a logistics management program.

The logistics management specialist does not need to be an expert in these activities. They must understand the functional fields in logistical planning (requirements, capabilities, lead times, and costs) with enough depth, to enable proper analysis of the information that is obtained. Furthermore, the specialist must also have a broad knowledge of supply systems, procedures, and programs.

The logistics management specialist can perform the necessary work in variety of organizational structures, at various levels within the agency or department. In the military the work is in support of many different kinds of missions, defense related programs and weapon systems. There can be a wide range of logistics programs and their individual requirements will be unique to that agency or department.

The salary range for a GS-0346 (05-15) is from $31,628.00 to $149,333.00 / Per Year. You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position and they are typically full time permanent positions. The education requirements are a bachelor’s degree, along with a minimum of at least 1 year of experience at the next lowest grade level or a combination of experience and education.

Charles Siebott is a retired GS-0346-11, logistic management specialist (logistics program coordinator) who worked for the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Siebott states he choose this career path because “previous military testing indicated an aptitude for an administrative, career path vice engineering or mechanical.” The most exciting parts of being in logistics according to Siebott is the wide areas of involvement; i.e. acquisition, contracting, construction, real estate leasing, services (maintenance of elevators, grounds maintenance, etc.) transportation, government shipments (Government Bills of Lading), Inventory Control of property and equipment and more.” Siebott indicates, “A logistic management specialist is absolutely a great career, and my previous twenty year military logistical experience prepared me for a very successful twenty five year government career”. Siebott states, “Discover your aptitude and pursue it! Being a logistics management specialist exposes you to all facets of the business world.”

Ivy Scott is a current GS-0346-13 at Communications Electronics Command (CECOM). Scott cites, “I did not choose this career field it chose me. When I made the decision to return to the Government in July 2003 after a 10-year absence, the only option available with my experience and education was the Army Material Command (AMC) Fellows 5 year program. I applied, interviewed, and got accepted into the program. The program consisted of various career programs ranging from supply to comptroller with the generic grade series GS-0301 after I completed the program; I was assigned officially to the GS-0346 series. During the five year training period, fellows advance from GS-07 to GS-13, while obtaining their Master Degrees and rotational developmental assignments.”

Scott elaborates further, “When a solider signs up for active duty he/she has chosen to put their lives on the line for their country. Their lives are now in your hands when you ensure that the systems they are using to protect themselves are fully mission capable. My most exciting and challenging part of this job is working with the various teams and outside organizations (our counter partners) in procuring the necessary parts to keep these systems fully functional without encountering any downtime. As a logistics management specialist, you are part of an ongoing team that has the opportunity to see a program from inception to grave.”

Scott states, “Knowing that you were responsible for the safety of the war fighters and any other personnel in harms way allows you to appreciate what you are doing for your country stateside.”

The typical duties of logistics management specialists are:

  • Direct, develop or perform logistics management operations that involve planning, coordinating, or evaluating logistical actions that support a specified mission, weapons system or designated program.
  • Perform periodic independent systems evaluations and develop recommendations for system improvements after performing thorough studies and analysis.
  • Schedule and monitor funding milestone to include adequacy and timeliness.
  • Monitor both organizational and contractor compliance relevant to milestone and system performance criteria.
  • Collaborate and plan with various appropriate personnel to coordinate and/or integrate operations and interests of other organizations.
  • Responsible for planning, managing and the coordination of the total cradle-to-grave life cycle logistics for an assigned system or subsystems, integrating separate functions of supply, maintenance, procurement and quality assurance of logistics activities needed to sustain system fielding.
  • Gather facts and develop appropriate solutions to problems that require command attention due to their critical nature and are of high visibility.
  • Use conflict resolution leadership to obtain agreement on required actions, schedules concerning program or policy matters.

The employment prospects for logistics related jobs are expected to grow 22 percent from 2012 to 2022. The expected jobs, based on 2012 figures are 125,900 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth is due to the important role logistics has in the transportation of goods in our global economy.

The federal government employs 70,917 logistic management specialists including 968 overseas and they work in all cabinet level and large agencies in fairly large numbers. The Department of the Navy hires the most with 9,516 followed by the Department of the Air Force with 7,720. The VA employs 5,546 and the DOD 4,648.

Logistic management specialists are employed throughout the federal government. They provide an important role in making sure that our logistical needs are met in peacetime and when our country is at war.

For more information about GS-0346 job series:

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Overseas Jobs

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Posted on Sunday, 8th March 2015 by

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In this final installment about the National Park Service (NPS), we will discuss the different types of fire fighter job opportunities. These can range from dispatchers, fire managers, safety specialists, and fire fighters in the Fire and Aviation Management Program. In the NPS fire program, there are 400 permanent and 600 seasonal employees. The fire prevention occupations that appear in this article are unique to the NPS.

Fire fighter jobs are not just limited to the NPS. Many other fire fighters are hired under the GS-0081 job series.  There are 9,005 total fire fighters employed nationwide in the GS-0081 series. The Department of Navy is the largest employer with 3,131, the Department of the Army (2,808), and the Air Force employs 2437. There are 224 fire fighters working overseas. The VA also employs 293, DOD 157, Homeland Security 95, HHS 31 and a few work for other agencies.

Wildland Fire Fighter (GS-0401/0455/0462)

Firefighter (GS-0455/0462)

 

Fire Fighting Equipment

Fire Fighting Equipment

 

There are various types of wildland fire fighter categories.

1. GS-02 trainee an entry level position. They receive training and perform simple tasks as part of the crew.

2. GS-03 level trainee and they perform tasks such developing a working knowledge of fire suppression, fuel management techniques, assist in backfire and burnout, and others.

3. GS-04 is considered a skilled wildland fire fighter. Their assignments are more specialized such as tree falling, backfire, and burnout operations. They must also be able to utilize a variety of specialized tools, equipment, and techniques while managing wildfires.

4. GS-05 is a senior wildland fire fighter that performs all aspects of wildland and prescribed fire operations. This will include preparation, ignition, monitoring, holding, and mop-up. Gathering of information on weather data, topography, fuel types, and fire behavior when responding to wildland fire incidents.

Different qualifications apply for GS grade level 2-5.

1. GS-02 requires 3 months of general work experience and graduated from high school or its equivalent.

2. GS-03 needs 6 months of general work experience, and at least 1 year of education above high school and should include at least 6 semester hours of a combination of the following courses, range management, agriculture, forestry, wildlife management, biology, and other natural or physical sciences.

3. GS-04 must have 6 months work experience, and specialized work experience at the GS-03 level. The employee must have 2 years of education beyond high school and at least 12 semester hours in a combination of courses that include forestry, agriculture, crop or plant science, range management, soil science or wildland fire science. They must also have 90 days of wildland fire experience.

4. GS-05 must have 12 months of specialized experience that is equivalent to the GS-04. They should have a bachelor’s degree that should include 24 semester hours in any combination of some the following courses, forestry, agriculture, range management, wildlife management, watershed management and civil or forest engineering. The GS-05 must also posses a National Wildlife Coordinating Group (NWCG) incident management qualification and training.Fire Fighter Type (FFT1) and successful completion of S-290 “Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior”.

There are also physical requirements and testing. All must be able to pass an initial pre-employment examination. Pass a work capacity fitness test (must carry a 45 lb pack for 3 miles within 45 minutes).

The salary range for GS-02-05 is $20,419.00-$27,982.00 / per year. You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for any fire fighter position. The mandatory retirement age for fire fighters is 57.

Andy 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.”

Fire Management Officer (GS-0401)

The employee is responsible for directing all the phases of the fire management program to include planning, program direction, coordination, and evaluation.
Analyze the current fire management plans, makes appropriate changes according to guidelines. They make sure that the fire management program is compliant with all environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Coordinates program activities with all federal, state, tribal, and local government entities and agencies. Manages unit aviation programs, operations, and ensures that all phases of fire and aviation management planning are complete. Directs and supervises budgets as required. Monitors fire season severity predictions, fire behavior, fire activity level, and ensures appropriate actions for safe and efficient operations.

A bachelor’s degree in any of the biological sciences, agriculture, natural resources, chemistry, or other related studies. Additionally, you will need 1 year of specialized wildland fire management experience equivalent to the GS-11 grade level. For a GS-12, the salary range is $76,667.00 to $99,672.00 / Per Year. You must be a U.S. citizen to apply.

John 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.”
The national parks are wonderful places to visit, and enjoy with family and friends. It is even a greater place to work, so check out the fantastic jobs the NPS has to offer.

Careers featured in this article: (Includes job listings)

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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

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Posted on Saturday, 28th February 2015 by

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In part one we talked about the history of the National Park Service (NPS), some of the operating divisions in each park, and the difference between urban parks and western national parks. We featured information management jobs, which included information technology (GS-2210), biologist (GS-401), physical Scientist (GS-1301), cartographer (GS-1370), and technical information specialist (GS-1412). In part two of this series, we featured the park ranger (GS-025) and forestry technician (GS-462). In this third part we turn our attention to wildlife management (GS-0482/0486). Part 4 will feature fire fighters (GS-0401/0455/0462).

 

Stream Testing

Stream Testing

 

Wildlife Management (GS-0482/0486)

Wildlife management jobs focus on conducting research or scientific work that is involved in conserving, protecting, and administration of wildlife species. The work involves oversight and assistance in such areas as biology or fisheries. They are responsible for the management of any surrounding ecology, behavior, and conservation of the wildlife habitat. This includes wildlife management programs along with other natural resources activities, and programs for land, forest, and range management.

Wildlife Biologist (GS-0486)

One of the more interesting jobs in the field of wildlife management is wildlife biologist. Some of the main responsibilities include working with other supervisors and field managers in coordinating issues with local interest groups, Tribal Councils, and other federal agencies on biological, habitat conservation, laws and regulations.

Serves as an information liaison between State Offices (this includes State Office Lead Biologist and other employees on issues specific to Special Status Species, Threatened and Endangered Species and other wildlife matters).

Can serve on district level/field level teams that are responsible for writing and reviewing multi-field biological input to environmental and biological assessments, and develop protective and resource management plans.

They also help design and implement habitat improvement and restoration projects. Coordinate on other programs, and other federal agencies, state representatives and other non-governmental agencies.

The education requirements is the completion of a bachelor’s degree in biological science that includes, 9 semester hours in such areas as mammaology, ornithology, animal ecology, wildlife management, or research courses in the field of wildlife biology. They must also have at least 12 semester hours in zoology and 9 semester hours in botany or other related plant sciences.

For the GS-09 to GS-11 level, you must have at least 1 year of experience at the next lowest grade. The pay range for a GS-09 to GS-11 is from $48,403.00 to $76,131.00 / Per Year. You must be a U.S. citizen to apply.

For additional opportunities with other agencies review the Wildlife Biologist Series Definition that is available on our site. Other agencies hire in this series.

Fish Biologist (GS-0482)

Fish biologist is another great job in wildlife management.

The responsibilities of a fish biologist include the planning and execution of fishery biological studies. Perform established, standardized tests and analysis using a broad range of biological samples. Conduct fishery biological studies using established fact finding procedures.

Other responsibilities include planning and conducting studies on invasive species. Plan and conducts field/laboratory experiments independently. Plans, develops, and modifies studies, performs analysis, and writes comprehensive reports, publications, and can serve as a technical resource on fishery biological issues.

You will need a bachelor’s degree with a major in biological science that includes at least 6 semester hours in aquatic subjects in fishery biology, aquatic botany, oceanography, or fish culture. An additional 12 semester hours in animal sciences such as general zoology, cellular biology, genetics, or research in these fields is required.

For a GS-11 to GS-12 level, you need at least 1 year of experience at the next lowest grade level. The pay range is from $58,562.00 to $91,255.00 / per year. In order to apply for this position you must be a U.S. citizen.

Joe 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”.

Sarah Dewey is a GS-0486-12, supervisory fish and wildlife biologist with the responsibility of overseeing, the wildlife program in Grand Teton National Park, and involved in wolf monitoring and research and bear management. Dewey states,” I chose the wildlife profession because it allowed me to combine my two passions – science and wildlife. As important, it also offered an opportunity for me to be a voice for the silent constituents of the ecosystem”. For me there are really two things that have been really exciting about being a part of wildlife management – the science or discovery aspect and then taking what you learn about a species and applying it to their management and conservation.”

Dewey further emphasizes, “The wildlife field is very competitive, but if you are passionate, persistent, and focus on developing your experience base doors will open for you. Potential employers are looking for education, experience, good observational and communication skills, and a strong work ethic. Volunteer positions provide great practical experience, demonstrate that you are committed, and allow you to get a foot in the door and show what you can do. Take time to find out what qualifications are required for the type of position you are interested in and then get the education you need. These days many wildlife professionals have advanced degrees. Develop skills that make you an asset – these could be skills in geographic information systems, photography, statistics, database management, or others.”

Matt Kulp is a GS-0486-12, in fisheries management and is a Supervisory Fishery Biologist at the Great Smoky National Park. Kulp states, “I was inspired as a child by my love of aquatic systems and then solidified my desire to do this for a career after a working on stream water quality and fish surveys as part of a High School AP Biology class and able to work with a state fish biologist.”

Kulp recommends, “Try to volunteer and/or work at several parks, state/federal agencies and/or related jobs before you make your decision to do this for a career. Also, be sure to match your education with your job choice. Secondary degrees may be necessary, but experience may be all you need for some jobs as well. Talk with folks in your field of choice and find out what they recommend for the job you’d like.”

For additional opportunities with other agencies review the Fish Biologist Series Definition that is available on our site. Other agencies hire in this series.

The NPS has opportunities that are as wide open as the vastness of its parks. So, if you like the great outdoors, than you should try the NPS.

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

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