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Biological Science Technician, Rare Plants

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  • Biological Science Technician, Rare Plants

    If you enjoy working/camping outdoors and in the greenhouse setting year-round, are pursuing work in a botany, plant species conservation, or plant ecology research profession, and desire to be part of a research group providing science for conservation and land management in a rapidly changing ecoregion, please apply!​
    The US Geological Survey is seeking seasonal Biological Science Technicians (GG06) to assist with ongoing research into five rare plant species in the Mojave Desert of Clark Co, NV.​​​

    Project Background:
    The focus of these studies are five rare plant species found in the Mojave Desert of Clark County, Nevada, three perennial and two annual. Many desert plants maintain a reserve of seeds in the surface soil that promote reestablishment of populations when conditions are optimal for germination and seedling growth. This soil seed bank is particularly important for persistence of annual and short-lived perennial species, yet the fates of seeds once they drop from the parent plants and enter the soil is poorly understood. At the same time, concern is increasing that multiple threats are causing dramatic losses of individuals and fragmenting remaining habitats for these already rare species. Our and others’ current work on these species is unraveling multiple aspects of seed ecology – seed viability, dormancy, longevity, and soil seed bank – and breeding system, and technicians will be involved in the continuation of these efforts.

    In addition, we are conducting research to produce genetically diverse conservation collections of plant materials, particularly seeds for annual species. For the perennial species, we will test and refine propagation methods based on our prior research to produce plants from seed or cuttings to be re-introduced into habitat, augmenting existing populations. We will plant and follow these propagules over time. USGS is seeking to hire additional Biological Science Technicians whose core duties will support our rare plant research in particular, with additional duties that support Mojave Desert ecological restoration research in general.

    - Investigate the reproductive ecology of, and develop successful propagation techniques for, five of Clark County, Nevada’s rare plant species to create nursery stock for research and conservation.
    - Collect stem/root cuttings, seeds, and soil seedbank of these species within the Mojave Desert of Clark County, Nevada and propagate research plants in a greenhouse setting.
    - Conduct laboratory germination and viability tests on seeds collected in the field and greenhouse.
    - Assist with a diversity of related research projects including desert habitat restoration and native plant material development.
    - Operates a government motor vehicle as an incidental driver.

    Physical Demands: Work is physically demanding and includes walking, bending, climbing, and lifting of equipment up to 44 pounds when in the field, sometimes during adverse conditions.
    Work Environment: The work is performed in a laboratory, greenhouse and field environment. Field work involves moderate or sometimes extreme exposure to the discomforts of rain and cold/hot weather. If selected, you will be required to complete a pre‐employment physical, at Federal expense.

    Position Details:
    This position is located in Boulder City, Nevada.

    Grade level GG06 ($20.53 hourly)

    This is a temporary excepted service position not‐to‐exceed 180 days. Employment may not exceed 180 working days in a service year. All qualified applicants, with or without Federal status may apply and be considered. Appointment to this position, however, will not convey permanent status in the Federal service.

    Work Schedule: The position will begin June 19, 2023. Schedule is Full‐Time / Maxi Flex (40 hours per week), then potentially changing to an intermittent work schedule at the end of the field season.

    Travel Required: Position does require occasional overnight travel camping at field sites.

    Application Instructions:
    An email with your correctly formatted resume, and full unofficial transcripts must be sent to [email protected] after 8 am PST on Jan 23, and before 4 pm PST on Feb 3. If you fail to submit a complete application, you will not be considered for this position.
    Requests for extensions will not be granted.

    List the announcement number 74‐23‐03 on your application.
    Please list on your resume the number of hours worked per week, in addition to the exact start and end dates (Month, Day, Year) for each position listed, including volunteer work. If you fail to note hours per week, or if you fail to note the day of the month per position, this could significantly reduce your listed experience, and could disqualify you.

    If you are claiming veterans' preference you must submit a copy of your DD‐214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, by the closing date of this announcement. If you are currently on active military duty, you must provide documentation (e.g., campaign document, award citation, etc.), that verifies entitlement to veterans preference and that your character of military service is honorable. If you are claiming 10‐point veterans' preference, in addition to the DD‐214, you must submit documentation that supports your claim (e.g., an official statement from the Department of Veterans Affairs or from a branch of the Armed Forces certifying the existence of a service‐connected disability; or receipt of a Purple Heart). If you fail to submit any of the required documentation, you will not be granted veterans preference. Additional information on veterans' preference can be found in the VetGuide.

    If this position requires specific educational course work to qualify, or if you are qualifying based in whole or part on education, you are required to provide all unofficial transcripts (undergraduate and graduate) course work, which includes semester hours earned and grade received, by the closing date of this announcement or you will be disqualified from further consideration.

    Resume: You must show how your skills and experiences meet the qualification and requirements listed in the recruitment bulletin to be considered for the position. CV format will not be accepted.

    To qualify for a GG‐6 you need 1 year and 9 months of field experience OR 4 years of sub‐professional work experience OR 4 years of college with courses related to the work of the position to be filled (equivalent to 120 semester/180 quarter hours) plus 3 months of lab or field work experience. Subprofessional
    experience consists of working as a technician or aid in the field or in a laboratory or similar environment.

    Definitions of Experience:
    Field Survey Party – Experience with a field survey party includes activity associated with making and recording geologic, hydrologic, biologic, or topographic field observations; collecting geologic, biological, or water samples for laboratory analysis; applying accepted data collection techniques and methods in the performance of field work in support of scientific investigations; and using a variety of surveying instruments and electronic or mechanical instrumentation in the making and recording of field measurements and observations designed to collect data for physical/ biological science investigations. Only time actually spent in the field can be credited when qualifying individuals under the field party experience option.
    Sub‐professional Experience – Sub‐professional experience is defined as technical work performed in support of field or laboratory investigations relating to the biological sciences, physical sciences, or closely related disciplines which provided basic knowledge or skills in gathering, recording, and assembling scientific or engineering data; using scientific instruments to measure angles, degrees, weights, strengths, intensities, etc.; setting up and operating test apparatus, and manipulating quantitative data. Experience may include assisting professional employees with such duties as calibrating and operating measuring instruments mixing solutions, making chemical analyses, setting up and operating test apparatus, and compiling and processing scientific data.
    Professional Experience – Professional work experience in the physical and biological sciences may be credited in lieu of or in conjunction with sub‐professional experience as defined above.

    Please note that if qualifying based on education; unofficial transcripts MUST be submitted as part of the application in order to receive consideration.

    Key Requirements:
    - Applicants must be U.S. Citizens.
    - Selectee subject to successful completion of a pre‐employment medical exam.
    - A background investigation will be required for this position. Continued employment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.
    - Applicants for this position must meet the following requirements: (1) possession of a valid State driver's license, and (2) possess a safe driving record. If selected, you will be required to provide proof of a valid State License and a copy of your driving record.