Geophysicist/Physical Scientist/Oceanographer (Watchstander), GS-1313/1301/1360-11/12 (MAP)

Department Of Commerce Palmer, AK
* Duties

Help Duties Summary

This interdisciplinary position is located in the National Weather Service (NWS), National Tsunami Warning Center (NTWC) with one vacancy in Palmer, AK.

The full performance level of this position is GS-12. If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you may be non-competitively promoted if you perform successfully and if recommended by management.

This position is also announced under vacancy number NWS-AR-2018-0027, which is open to all US Citizens or Nationals. You must apply to both announcements if you want to be considered for both.

Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) for Alaska is 3.74% and is not federally taxed. The COLA is not reflected in the locality salary shown in this vacancy announcement. COLAs are exempt from Federal income taxes; post differentials are not.

* A one year probationary period may be required.

* Payment of relocation expenses is authorized.

* This position is in the bargaining unit

* Rotating shift work is required as the TWC operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


This Job Opportunity Announcement may be used to fill other Geophysicist/Physical Scientist/Oceanographer (Watchstander), GS-1313/1301/1360-11/12 positions throughout NOAA. The position must be alike (e.g.: within the same geographic locations, same grade/band and requires the same qualifications and specialized experience as indicated in this vacancy announcement).

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As a Watchstander, you will perform the following duties:

* Monitor local, national, and international operations and seismic network research programs.

* Improve tsunami forecasting capabilities through testing and utilizing new and existing forecast methods and transition research to operational forecast.

* Use observations, calculations, and interpretation of real-time geophysical, oceanographic, and geographic data to locate an earthquake and disseminate products during tsunami warning.

* Improve seismic analysis for tsunami source identification by designing applied seismology research with a focus on original geophysical theories and conceptual models.

These duties are described at the FPL GS-12, the GS-11 is developmental leading to such performance.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Occasional travel may be required.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


Who May Apply This job is open to… * Status Candidates - Current Federal employees with competitive status or Former Federal employees with reinstatement eligibility;

* CTAP/ICTAP eligibles;

* Veterans under VRA, VEOA or 30% Disabled and certain Military Spouses; - VRA not applicable at the GS-12 level

* Individuals with Disabilities (Schedule A);

* Peace Corps, Vista (AmeriCorps) eligibles;

* Those eligible under an OPM interchange agreement or other special appointing authority.

Questions? This job is open to 6 groups.

* Job family (Series)

1360 Oceanography

1313 Geophysics

1301 General Physical Science

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* Requirements

Help Requirements Conditions of Employment

* Must be a U.S. Citizen or National to apply.

* Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.

* Must be suitable for Federal employment.

* Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (

* Time-in-grade/band must be met by closing date of announcement.

College Transcript: If you are qualifying based on education, submit a copy of your college transcript that lists college courses detailing each course by the number and department (i.e., bio 101, math 210, etc.), course title, number of credit hours and grade earned. You must submit evidence that any education completed in a foreign institution is equivalent to U.S. education standards with your resume. You may submit an unofficial copy of the transcript at the initial phase of the application process. If course content cannot be easily identified from the title of the course as listed on your transcript, you must submit an official course description from the college/university that reflects the content at the time the course was taken.

Note: Your college transcript is used to verify successful completion of degree, or college course work. An official college transcript will be required before you can report to duty.

Applicants must meet ALL application requirements, to include a complete online resume, by 11:59 p.m. EASTERN TIME (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.


Qualification requirements in the vacancy announcements are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains federal qualification standards. This handbook is available on the Office of Personnel Management's website located at:

BASIC REQUIREMENTS: This position may be filled in any one of the three series below (1313 or 1360 or 1301). Each series requires applicants to meet a Basic Education Requirement in addition to at least one year of specialized experience OR substitution of education for experience OR combination (if applicable) in order to be found minimally qualified. You MUST meet one of the following basic education requirements:

To qualify for the 1313 series:

A. Degree: that included at least 30 semester hours in mathematics (including calculus) and the physical sciences (geophysics, physics, engineering, geology, astronomy, meteorology, electronics, etc.).


B. Combination of education and experience: courses as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

* OR -

To qualify for the 1360 series:

A. Degree: major study of at least 24 semester hours in oceanography or a related discipline such as physics, meteorology, geophysics, mathematics, chemistry, engineering, geology, or biology, plus 20 additional semester hours in any combination of oceanography, physics, geophysics, chemistry, mathematics, meteorology, computer science, and engineering sciences.


B. Combination of education and experience: course work as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Note: Applicants who qualify on the basis of major study in biology or geology must have had at least 6 semester hours in the major directly concerned with marine science or 6 semester hours in oceanography; applicants who qualify on the basis of other physical sciences or engineering must have had differential and integral calculus and at least 6 semester hours in physics.

* OR -

To qualify for the 1301 series:

A. Degree: physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics.


B. Combination of education and experience: education equivalent to one of the majors shown in A above that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

* AND -

Applicants must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to the next lower grade level in the Federal Service. Specialized experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular competencies/knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. This experience need not have been in the federal government.

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.

To qualify at the GS‐11 level:

In addition to meeting one of the Basic Requirements above, applicants must possess one full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the GS‐09 in the Federal service. Specialized experience MUST include all of the following:

* Assisting in the development of hydrologic modeling and analysis procedures for use in forecasting operations during 2X24X 7 shifts;

* Performing hydrologic/hydrometerologic forecasting services for moderately complex situations (e.g. high water, flood situations, tsunami warning); and

* Synthesizing data from a variety of sources into hydrologic modeling and/or decision support systems.


Education substitution: Ph.D, equivalent doctoral degree in a related field, or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree in a related field.


Combination of education and experience. Note: Only graduate education in excess of two years is creditable.

To qualify at the GS-12:

In addition to meeting one of the Basic Requirements above, applicants must possess one full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 in the Federal service. Specialized experience MUST include all of the following:

* Providing application and program support to forecasters and managing satellite software installations and configurations during 2X24X 7 shifts;

* Participating on a team that is responsible for maintaining satellite mission critical system and operations and deployment of meteorological display and analysis package;

* Participating in earthquake seismology, oceanographic analysis, and hydro-dynamic modeling research to increase the effectiveness of tsunami forecasting;

* Determining scientific significance of real-time seismic data set to write reports; and

* Creating tsunami warning messages through a tsunami warning communication system.