Meteorological Technician (Avalanche)

Department Of Agriculture Bozeman, MT
* Duties

Help Duties Summary

PLEASE NOTE: This vacancy is limited to the first 50 applications received and will close at 11:59pm ET on the closing date or at 11:59pm ET on the day we receive the 50th application, whichever comes first.

This position is temporary, has a Not-to-Exceed date and will be filled for up to 6 months or as a not to exceed (NTE) 1 year, however an extension of the appointment may be possible without further competition. The appointment may also end early due to lack of work or funds.

This position is located within the Custer Gallatin National Forest. The primary purpose of this position is to serve as a Meteorological Technician on a Forest Service unit. The incumbent issues daily avalanche advisories and avalanch warnings during the winter months to assis backcountry recreationists in making informed ad safe travel decisions. In addition, the incumbent will present educational programs to backcountry recreationists (skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers, snowshoers, etc.), local emergency service personnel, Forest Service personnel, youth groups, schools, and others, as requested.

For additional information about the duties of this position, please contact: Doug Chabot at or (406) 587-6984.

The number and location of positions to be filled will be dependent upon individual unit needs.

The USDA Forest Service has legislative authority to recruit and fill Permanent (Career/Career-Conditional), Temporary, and Term Appointments under the USDA Demonstration Project. Under this authority, any U.S. citizen may apply.

Learn more about this agency


Conducts avalanche hazard forecasting in specific geographic areas. Gathers and records data in the field through snowpack, weather and avalanche observations. Inputs information into and maintains an electronic database with avalanche and mountain weather information. . Practices mountain and avalanche safety measures while collecting data in high-elevation and avalanche prone terrain.

Utilizes a variety of weather modeling applications in conjunction with field data and public observations to analyze snow stability and forecast avalanche hazard.

Routinely communicates with other avalanche professionals in State, Federal and private sector organizations to gather data and share information. Communicates and coordinates with emergency service and volunteer organizations when appropriate.

Writes, edits and publishes a daily backcountry avalanche advisory for public dissemination. Works with the National Weather Service and local media outlets to issue avalanche watches, warnings, or special weather statements. Participates in interviews with local media (TV, radio, newspapers, etc.) on avalanche conditions or accidents.

Develops curriculum and provides training to Forest Service personnel and the general public on a variety of snowpack, weather and avalanche topics. Fills requests to speak as a Forest Service avalanche authority in local schools and other community events to further the goal of public safety in the backcountry.

Performs other duties as assigned in support of other programs on the unit, which may include snow removal, trail maintenance and recreation resource work relating to winter trailhead facilities.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


Who May Apply This job is open to…

US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.

Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

* Job family (Series)

1341 Meteorological Technician

* Requirements

Help Requirements Conditions of Employment

* Navigate mountainous terrain using backcountry skis and snowmobiles

* You must be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National

* Males born after 12/31/59 must be Selective Service registered or exempt

* Satisfactory background investigation and/or fingerprint check


Must have the ability to safely and efficiently navigate mountainous terrain in a harsh winter environment using backcountry skis and snowmobiles.


You must possess the Basic Requirements identified below to be considered eligible for this position. Transcripts must be provided for qualifications based on education. Your application or resume must clearly show that you possess the appropriate experience requirements.

GS-07: (1) One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-06 grade level.

Specialized experience is defined as: Navigated safely in harsh winter terrain by ski and snowmobile in a backcountry setting (outside of ski area boundaries); Observed and recorded snowpack, weather and avalanche trends in a field setting; Interpreted and extrapolated remote weather station data and National Weather Service products including meteorological models; Communicated to large groups weather conditions to make informed and safe travel decisions, i.e.: skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers, snowshoers, emergency personnel, youth programs, media (TV, radio, newspapers, etc.); Collected, analyzed, and interpreted weather conditions using a wide variety of computer programs and applications; Conducted recreation resource work in support of a recreation program.


Applicant must have the ability to safely and efficiently navigate mountainous terrain in a harsh winter environment using backcountry skis and snowmobiles.

GS-07: There is no substitution of education for this position.

To receive consideration for this position, you must meet all qualification requirements on the closing date of this announcement.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.