Ocean Career: Research Fish Biologist at NOAA

This position is located within the Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC), Resource Ecology and Fisheries Management (REFM) with one vacancy located in Seattle, WA.

As a Research Fish Biologist, you will perform the following duties:

  • Conduct fisheries and ecological research of fish populations at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center's Resource Ecology and Fisheries Management (REFM) Division.
  • Serve as a Lead researcher of the data collection and study of the fish life history of Northeast Pacific Bering Sea fish and crab age, reproduction, maturity, and the effects of climate change.
  • Develop new and innovative approaches for the determination of fish age from otoliths and other hard structures, including the application of techniques in spectroscopy.
  • Assist in implementing new or modifying existing methods of fisheries data collection and participate in conferences to share findings.


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 for the 0482 series:

BASIC REQUIREMENTS: This position requires applicants to meet a Basic Education Requirement in addition to at least one year of specialized experience in order to be found minimally qualified. You MUST meet the following basic education requirements:

Applicants must show that they have a degree with major study in biology, zoology, or biological oceanography that included at least 30 semester hours in biological and aquatic science and 15 semester hours in the physical and mathematical sciences. This course work must have included:

At least 15 semester hours of preparatory training in zoology beyond introductory biology or zoology in such courses as invertebrate zoology, comparative anatomy, histology, physiology, embryology, advanced vertebrate zoology, genetics, entomology, and parasitology; and

At least 6 semester hours of training applicable to fishery biology in such subjects as fishery biology, ichthyology, limnology, oceanography, algology, planktonology, marine or fresh water ecology, invertebrate ecology, principles of fishery population dynamics, or related course work in the field of fishery biology; and

At least 15 semester hours of training in any combination of two or more of the following: chemistry, physics, mathematics, or statistics.

To qualify at the ZP-3 or GS 11 level:

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: In addition to meeting the Basic Requirements above, applicants must also possess one full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the ZP-2 or GS-09 in the Federal service. Specialized experience MUST include all of the following:

  • Participating in fisheries and ecological research of fish populations;
  • Estimating fish growth and maturity from otolith micro-chemical and spectral data; and
  • Collecting data and recording the effects of climate change on fish populations.


SUBSTITUTION OF EDUCATION: Master's or equivalent graduate degree.


COMBINATION OF EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: A combination of related graduate level education and specialized experience as described above.

NOTE: Only graduate education in excess of one year is qualifying for combination of education and experience.


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.

Application Deadline: January 27th 
Salary: $73,098 - $113,902 per year
Work Schedule: Full-time

Learn more about this position and how to apply.

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