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Historian (GS-170) Careers With the FWS – Part 2

In part one of this series we introduced the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) [1] to include its history and their prominent programs. This article features the historian occupation (GS-0170) and its unique role within the FWS.

This series includes positions the duties of which are to advise on, administer, supervise, or perform research or other work in the field of history when such work requires a professional knowledge of established methods and techniques of historical research in the collection, evaluation, analysis, or presentation of historical facts.

The federal government employs 765 historians of which 30 work overseas [2]. The Department of the Air Force is the largest employer with 197 civilians followed by the Department of the Interior [3] with 171 and the Department of the Army employs 158. All but two cabinet level agencies employ workers in this group including a few large independent agencies.

Historians in the Federal Government are engaged in one or more of the following major areas:

Regardless of the area of endeavor involved, historian positions at full performance levels typically include responsibility for project planning and research and presentation functions

Q&A with Mark Madison

Mark Madison is an historian, (GS-0170) for the FWS and works at the National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, WV.


Mark Madison, Historian with the FWS [4]

Mark Madison, FWS Historian

Why did you want to become a historian?

My father was a historian so I was genetically predisposed. History was my favorite reading material as a child and adult. I actually started as a biologist but got lured back to history through the history of science.

What are the top three most interesting aspects of your job?

  1. We get new historical objects almost every day we just got a 5200-pound printing press.
  2. I have just started social media with a Facebook [5], Twitter [6], and Instagram [7] feeds. It is new and keeps me humble as to my tech abilities.
  3. The FWS has the most interesting history in the federal government ranging from Rachel Carson to Red Wolves.

What is the most interesting historical find you ever came across?

A little mammal and we have a taxidermy black-footed that was rediscovered in 1981 after the species had been declared extinct in 1979. That little ferret helped save a species.

Would you recommend the historian occupation as a good career path?

Any subject you are passionate about is a good career path. I was passionate about history and conservation so being a historian for the FWS was a great choice.

Job Requirements

In part 3 we will meet Valerie Fellows a public affairs specialist, (GS-1035) for the FWS.


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