Ocean Career: NOAA Life Scientist/Physical Scientist

NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is seeking a Life Scientist/Physical Scientist in the Office of Water, Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds.

At the entry level of this position, you will:

  • Conduct analyses of issues in chemistry, biology, ecology, physical science, and other disciplines related to aquatic environments and the development and/or review of standards or permits.
  • Serve as a liaison and point of contact for Regions, stakeholders, or states on regulatory or national program issues that raise issues of first impression, deviate from national guidance or policy, or necessitate direct analytical or implementation support on a wide range of science and policy issues related to oceans, coasts, or freshwater environments, including wetlands.
  • Participate in workgroups of scientific, economic, legal and policy personnel assigned to produce products such as regulations, permits, promulgations, letters, guidance documents, or national implementation documents.
  • Develop oral and written reports and briefings for EPA managers, senior executives, and policy makers concerning elements of the ocean, coastal, or wetland programs for distribution within and outside of EPA.
  • Serve as extramural project officer or work assignment manager for scientific support work performed under contract or under assistance agreements including cooperative agreements and grants.

You will spend less than 25% of your work time on contracts, grants/cooperative agreements, and/or interagency agreements.


In addition to the educational requirements, we are looking for at least one year of specialized experience related to this position as described below:

  • To qualify for the GS-11 level, you need to have at least one year of full-time experience equivalent to the GS-09 level defined as assessing impact of federal, state and/or local policies, regulations and/or procedures on public and ecological health, developing and/or implementing policies related to Clean Water Act or Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act.
    • OR Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree; or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree in the academic discipline as described below
    • OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Your application package will be used to evaluate your competencies in the following areas:

  1. Knowledge of the Clean Water Act or Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act.
  2. Skill in oral communication.
  3. Skill in written communication.
  4. Ability to assess the impact of federal, state, tribal, or local activities on public safety, human and ecological health, and the environment involving matters to public welfare and protection of natural resources.
  5. Knowledge of evolving water-related programs and scientific and technical issues related to water quality.


You need a degree or combination of education and experience as described below to qualify for this position.

A bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in:

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

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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