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Wildlife Veterinarian (GS-0701)

The GS-0701 series covers professional positions that supervise, lead, or perform work in the veterinary medical sciences. The work involves promoting the health and welfare of both animals and the public through diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and understanding of animal diseases; conservation of animal resources; and advancement of veterinary medical knowledge. Learn more about holding a federal veterinarian jobs below.

The federal government employs 2,226 Veterinary Medical Officers. The Department of Agriculture [1] is the largest employer of this group with 1,774 employees. The Department of Health and Human Services [2] employs 34 while the DOI, VA, Army, EPA and the Smithsonian Institute employ small number of this occupational series. There are 23 veterinarians working for the Department of the Interior [3].

Samantha Gibbs is a  is a veterinarian with the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) at the Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, Maryland.

 

Samantha Gibbs, Veterinarian (FWS) [4]

Samantha Gibbs, Veterinarian (FWS)

The wildlife veterinarian has many different services that they must perform. These services may include, but are not limited to:

Q and A with Samantha Gibbs

Why did you become a Wildlife Veterinarian?

Growing up, I had a strong interest in wildlife ecology and conservation. After high school I went to work for a wildlife veterinarian and began to understand the strong role veterinarians play in forwarding wildlife conservation goals.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

Probably the most challenging part of the job is turning research science into management actions that will improve wildlife health at a population scale. More often than not, there isn’t much we can do once a disease has begun to spread in wildlife.

What is the most unique experience you have had as a Wildlife Veterinarian?

I was once capturing wild ducks for avian influenza testing in northern Australia and had to ensure that when I released the birds after being swabbed they didn’t head towards the river because there was a line of crocodiles waiting at the water’s edge for a tasty treat!

What are the rarest and most common species of animals that you have come in contact with?

I have worked with hundreds of bird species, some quite rare and many very common. I currently serve as back-up veterinarian for the whooping cranes that are being bred and raised at Patuxent. I have also had the opportunity to work with bison, rhinos, Florida panthers, lions, manatees, feral pigs, and frogs!

What are some of the duties you have to perform as a Wildlife Veterinarian?

My work varies from field activities to research to policy. I provide field support such as surgical implantation of satellite transmitters in ducks, taking fat biopsies from bison, and performing post-mortems on animals that are a part of die-off events. I am involved in the development and implementation of research projects that investigate wildlife diseases. And I provide technical assistance for policy decisions that involve wildlife health issues.

Would you recommend Wildlife Veterinarian as a good career path?

The career of wildlife veterinarian has been an amazing journey for me. It involves many years of studying, sometimes extreme field conditions, sometimes long hours at a computer, and lots of travelling, but for me it is certainly been well worth it for the crazy events, kind people, and fascinating wildlife I have experienced along the way.

Basic Requirements

Additional Requirements

GS-12: To qualify for a GS-12 is listed below:

Examples of specialized experience for the GS-12 grade level include:

GS-13: To qualify for the GS-13 are listed below:

Applicants must demonstrate at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 grade level in the Federal service. Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled.

Examples of specialized experience for the GS-13 grade level include:

Medical Requirements: Individuals must be physically and mentally able to safely and efficiently perform the full range of duties of the position without creating hazards to themselves or others.

Veterinary Medical Officers who inspect or supervise inspection activities in privately owned slaughter houses and processing plants must meet specific medical standards

Job Requirements

In our next article we will continue with the FWS and our Question and Answerwill be with Keith Toomey, Special Agent in Charge (GS-1811).

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