Aquatic Ecologist with the NPS

Rapid City, SD

Organization: Northern Great Plains Inventory and Monitoring Network (NGPN) under the National Parks Service.

Location: Rapid City, SD

Type of opportunity: Full Time, Permanent



Midwest Region Central SHRO
Phone: (402)661-1562



This position serves as the aquatic ecologist for the Northern Great Plains Inventory and Monitoring Network (NGPN). The position requires knowledge of and experience working in the ecosystems present in the Northern Great Plains Network park units. These ecosystem types include karst topography, small streams, large rivers and riparian corridors. Duties include summarizing data collected by the USGS Water Science Centers and other partners to examine water quality. This includes leading monitoring efforts regarding geomorphology and ground water, as well as vertebrate and aquatic systems. The ecologist may coordinate other terrestrial morning programs such as invertebrate, bird, anuran, bat and/or prairie dog vital signs. The incumbent is supervised by the NGPN Network Coordinator. The job requires working closely with Network staff, the 13 Parks in the Network, and outside scientists and partners.

Physical Demands:
The position may require strenuous physical activity including periods of standing, walking, climbing, and lifting and carrying heavy objects. Some activities will occur in physically dangerous areas or settings. Documentary research and report writing work is sedentary, which entails the ability to concentrate and write for long periods of time.

Work Environment:
Work is performed both indoors and outdoors in all types of weather. Field work may include exposure to extreme weather conditions and terrain, pesticides, poisonous plants, biting insects, swift water, and wild animals

Area Information:
Rapid City is South Dakota’s second largest city with approximately 68,000 residents and is the gateway to the Black Hills area of South Dakota. Rapid City offers early childhood programs, public schools, private schools, and a technical college. Rapid City offers entertainment opportunities at the Civic auditorium, superior health care facilities, beautiful neighborhoods, and endless outdoor recreational opportunities such a skiing, rock climbing, camping, and kayaking. Rapid City is a 90 minute drive of four national park units (Wind Cave National Park, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Jewel Cave National Monument, and Badlands National Park), and South Dakota’s crown jewel state park- Custer State Park. Summer is warm, dry, and sunny. July and August are the warmest months of the year, when daytime temperatures climb into the 70s and 80s–and sometime 90s. Breezy winds and low humidity levels help make the hot days comfortable. January and February are the coldest months of winter. Daytime temperatures average in the 30s, but Chinook winds can warm temperatures into the 50s and 60s. Average monthly snowfall ranges from five inches in Rapid City to 15 inches in the Black Hills.

Desired qualifications:

All qualifications must be met by the closing date of this announcement, Wednesday, December 09, 2015. Qualifying experience may be obtained in the private or public sectors.

To be eligible for this position, you must meet the Basic Requirement (transcripts must be submitted) and the Minimum Qualification.

Qualifications for this position are:

Basic Requirement:
Successful completion of a 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor’s or higher degree in biology, or a related field of science underlying ecological research that included at least 30 semester hours in basic and applied biological sciences. These hours must have included at least 9 semester hours in ecology, and 12 semester hours in physical and mathematical sciences.


Minimum Qualification:
One full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-09 grade level in the Federal service. Specialized experience is experience that includes 1) participating in the planning and execution of ecological or biological studies with a limited number of variables or 2) performing established, standardized tests and analyses on a broad range of biological monitoring data.
Three years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in biology, or a related field of science underlying ecological research that provides the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform this work.


A combination of graduate education and specialized experience that together meet the Minimum Qualification requirement for this position.

To qualify based on education, you must submit a legible copy of transcripts from an accredited institution with your name, school name, credit hours, major(s), and grade-point average or class ranking. Applicants can verify accreditation here: .

Salary/pay: $58,562.00 to $76,131.00 / Per Year

Link to more information: Job Announcement

How to apply:

Applicants must submit their application packages electronically or by fax. Applications/resumes and supporting documentation sent by mail (including email) WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Applicants are advised that a variety of public facilities such as schools, public libraries, state employment offices and regional job centers provide access to computers at no charge. Help may also be available to targeted groups through a variety of public assistance agencies.

To apply for this position, you must complete the occupational questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below.

The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Wednesday, December 09, 2015 to receive consideration.

* To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.

* Click the Submit My Answers button to submit your application package.

* It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to Wednesday, December 09, 2015.

* To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account,, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.

* To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete. Faxing Applications or Supporting Documents: You are encouraged to apply online. Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application.

NOTE: If you applied online and your application is complete, do not fax the paper application (1203FX) as this will overwrite your prior online responses and may result in you being found ineligible.

If you completed the occupational questionnaire online and are unable to upload supporting document(s):

1. To fax your documents, you must use the following cover page and provide the required information. The Vacancy ID is 1560934.
2. Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144. If you cannot complete the Application Wednesday, December 09, 2015 to receive consideration. Keep a copy of your fax confirmation in the event verification is needed.

To complete the occupational questionnaire and submit via fax:

1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire.
2. Print the 1203FX form, follow the instructions and provide your responses to the occupational questionnaire items
3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to 1-478-757-3144. Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.
Note: If you receive an email stating that there was a technical problem uploading your documents, you should fax the applicable documentation to OPM at 478-757-3144. Be sure to use the fax cover sheet that was linked in the vacancy announcement, include the appropriate Office Code (IN) and VIN (1560934) so that the fax is processed properly and promptly. For further questions regarding applying online or by fax, please contact
DO NOT SEND PHOTOGRAPHS. Any resume or documents with photographs will not be forwarded to the hiring official.

Application deadline: December 9, 2015