Ocean Career: Biologist at NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service

This position is located within the Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Office of Protected Resources, with one vacancy in Silver Spring, MD.

As a Biologist (MMPA Offshore Wind Team Lead), you will perform the following duties:

  • Provide guidance and oversight in planning, monitoring, and policy development for the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) Incidental Take Program (ITP), oversee Offshore Wind Team including QA/QC and staff training, and develop and implement measures, processes, and analyses to increase effectiveness of the Offshore Wind Team and ITP more broadly.
  • Collect, synthesize, and critically evaluate biological and other scientific data and literature to assess impacts of human activities on marine mammals and develop/evaluate mitigation and monitoring to support agency findings and ensure compliance with applicable statutes.
  • Process MMPA incidental take authorization (ITA) requests pursuant to Section 101(a)(5) of the MMPA, which includes conducting analysis and drafting documents for the administrative record to ensure science, policy, and statutory standards are met, and ensuring ITA compliance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
  • Communicate scientific analyses, program policies, requirements, and issues to the public and other Federal Agencies, as well as to other NOAA programs and leadership.


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
  • Qualifications requirements must be met by closing date of announcement.

Due to COVID-19, the agency is currently in an expanded telework posture. NOAA received notice of reintegration to occur on April 25, 2022. As employees are permitted to return to the office, you will need to follow management’s guidelines on the expectation of reporting to the duty station listed on this announcement. You may be eligible to request to telework depending upon the terms of the agency’s telework policy.

This position will be filled under the DOC Alternative Personnel System (CAPS). This system replaced the Federal GS pay plan and structure. Under CAPS, positions are classified by career, pay plan, and pay band. The ZP-4 is equivalent to the GS-13/14.

The full performance level of the position is ZP-4 or GS-14.


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 here.

To qualify at the 0401 series:

A. Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.


B. Combination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

To qualify at the ZP-4 or GS-13:

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: One full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the ZP-3 or GS-12 in the Federal service. Specialized experience MUST include all of the following:

Contributing to processes and analyses to achieve compliance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act or the Endangered Species Act; and

Developing policies and/or procedures to address compliance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, or the National Environmental Policy Act; and

Analyzing scientific data or policies, and preparing technical documentation related to the conservation and protection of marine mammals.

Analyzing the impacts of Offshore Wind construction on protected species.

Application deadline: July 27, 2022
Salary: $106,823 - $164,102 per year

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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