Looking for a Fish Biologist

Burnet, TX, United States of America

From USD$ 51,440 To 66,868 / Per Year

Job Description


This position is part of the R2-Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery. As a Fish Biologist you will be responsible for performing freshwater mussel and fish propagation operations.

This is a Term appointment, not-to-exceed 13 months, which can be extended for a total appointment of 4 years.



Performs freshwater mussel and fish propagation operations. Plans, directs and makes decisions on mussel and fish propagation/culture operations in support of research, restoration, and recovery efforts.
Operates appropriate equipment and machinery in furtherance of mussel and fish propagation/culture operations.

Employs methods such as seining, marking; snorkel surveys, scuba diving surveys for freshwater mussels; and water flow measurements. This includes off site mussel broodstock collection and mussel surveys. Analyzes results and makes recommendations related to propagation and culture operations.

Responsible for executing routine methods for the culture of various mussel and fish species and takes an active part in modifying culture systems. Performs recurring tests and analysis and makes minor modifications to established procedures and protocols as needed.

Assists with planning and accomplishing production, marking and distribution of fish and freshwater mussels.

Manipulates fish feeding to insure fish of adequate health, and proper size for mussel infestation and tests new diets.

Recognizes fish disease and stress symptoms, makes microscopic examinations of fish to determine presence of disease, and administers chemical therapeutants as needed.

Assists in hatchery operations for development of methods for the culture of endangered/threatened species of concern as well as taking an active part in modifying culture systems as needed.

Responsible for recording data, maintaining accurate records and careful handling of fish/aquatic species.

Trains lower graded employees or volunteer workers in furtherance of mussel project production goals.

Implements production trials for cool water/warm water aquatic species to meet current and future management, restoration, and/or recovery needs and assists in the design of production trials.

Assists with dietary and other cultural tests appropriate to ensure efficient freshwater mussel survival.

Responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the freshwater mussel propagation facility.

Gathers data by a variety of field data collection methods involving boating, wading, swimming, snorkeling, and or scuba diving in swift, cold water or traversing uneven terrain. Interprets and reports data for purposes of assessing the current state of fishery resources. Analyzes environmental conditions and prepares assessment reports on the environmental conditions and status of fish and mussel populations.

Utilizes computer software and electronic databases such as the Fisheries Information System (FIS).

Prepares scientifically defensible reports, issue papers, briefing documents and portions of management plans which summarize the results of field studies and propagation programs for verbal briefings to senior-level management or for publication in peer-reviewed scientific literature or presentation at professional meetings.

Executes mussel propagation agreements/grants from sources both internal and external to the Fish and Wildlife Service related to research, settlements, restoration, or recovery plans.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


  • Job family (Series)

    0482 Fish Biology

  • Requirements


    Conditions of Employment

    • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National

    • Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered for Selective Service

    • Resume and supporting documents (See How To Apply)

    • Suitability for employment, as determined by background investigation

    • Drug testing position

    • Medical Requirements

    • Official U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service uniform required

    • May be required to successfully complete a probationary period

    • May be required to work?non-standard hours, during Federal Holidays, and on weekends.

    • Required to maintain diving authorization in accordance with Fish and Wildlife Service policy which includes medical examination, diving certification, diving skills and physical fitness evaluation.


    Only experience and education obtained by

    Basic Education Requirement for the 0482 Job Series (must meet A or B to qualify)
    A. Possess a Bachelor's Degree with a major in a biological science that includes the following course work: 1) at least 6 semester hours in aquatic subjects such as limnology, ichthyology, fishery biology, aquatic botany, aquatic fauna, oceanography, fish culture, or related courses in the field of fishery biology; AND 2) at least 12 semester hours in the animal sciences subjects such as general zoology, vertebrate zoology, comparative anatomy, physiology, entomology, parasitology, ecology, cellular biology, genetics, or research in these fields. NOTE: If you select this response, you will be required to provide a copy of your official college transcripts to show how you meet this requirement.
    B. Possess a combination of education and experience that is equivalent to a major in a biological science (i.e., at least 30 semester hours) of which a minimum of 6 semester hours were in aquatic subjects and 12 semester hours were in the animal sciences as described in "A" above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. NOTE: If you select this response, please provide a copy of your official college transcripts to show how you meet the educational requirement.

    Additional Qualification for the GS-0482-09 level (must meet A, B, or C, to qualify)
    A. Possess one year of professional experience equivalent to the GS-7 level in the Federal service. Qualifying specialized experience includes: operating and maintaining aquatic species propagation and sampling equipment; fish and mussel identification and assessment; fish and mussel culture.
    B. Completion of two full years of progressively higher-level graduate education in an accredited college or university leading to a Master's degree or Master's or equivalent graduate degree in a field directly related to fishery biology such as limnology, ichthyology, fishery biology, aquatic botany, aquatic fauna, oceanography, fish culture, fish and wildlife management, marine science, or other fields directly related to fishery biology
    C. Possess an equivalent combination of professional experience and graduate level education in excess of the first year which together equals 100% of the requirements.

    Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.


    PROOF OF EDUCATION: All applicants who are using education or a combination of education and experience to qualify must submit copies of official or unofficial transcripts which include grades, credit hours earned, major(s), grade point average or class ranking, institution name, and student name. If any required coursework is not easily recognizable on transcripts, or if you believe a portion of a particular course can be credited toward meeting an educational requirement, you must also provide a memorandum on letterhead from the institution's registrar, dean, or other appropriate official stating the percentage of the course that should be considered to meet the requirement and the equivalent number of units. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable; however, if you are selected for the position, you will be required to produce the original official transcripts.

    PASS/FAIL COURSES: If more than 10 percent of your undergraduate course work (credit hours) were taken on a pass/fail basis, your claim of superior academic achievement must be based upon class standing or membership in an honor society.

    GRADUATE EDUCATION: One academic year of graduate education is considered to be the number of credits hours your graduate school has determined to represent one academic year of full-time study. Such study may have been performed on a full-time or part-time basis. If you cannot obtain your graduate school's definition of one year of graduate study, 18 semester hours (or 27 quarter hours) should be considered as satisfying the requirement for one year of full-time graduate study.

    FOREIGN EDUCATION: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education.

    FWS has determined that the duties of this position are not suitable for telework More than one position may be filled from this announcement.

    A PCS move is not authorized.

    TESTING DESIGNATED POSITION: All applicants tentatively selected for this position will be required to submit to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment.
    MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS: You must pass a pre-employment medical examination. Also, you may be subject to post-employment medical examinations to determine if you are maintaining the fitness standards for this position.
    DRIVER'S LICENSE: You must possess and maintain a valid State driver's license at all times during your tenure.

    Physical Demands/Work Environment:
    This position at times involves frequent and extended field trips and the use of cumbersome and heavy field equipment. The employee is required to carry heavy equipment and supplies frequently without assistance over rugged terrain. Must be physically able to carry up to 50 pounds into remote areas over uneven terrain. Transportation is by truck, boats, and by foot in often steep terrain. The position must often withstand inclement weather, physical exertion, long hours in the field and wading/snorkeling/swimming or operating boats in swift, cold and murky water. Some work is sedentary.
    The work is performed in an office and outdoors. The work outdoors is often in water or in a boat. The office is adequately lighted, heated and ventilated. Certain tasks and environments may require mandatory use personal protective equipment (PPE). When tasks require the use of PPE, appropriate equipment and training will be provided. Temperature and weather extremes may be encountered in the performance of the outdoor work; the incumbent may have their whole body immersed in cold, swift, murky water for periods of time while conducting snorkel or scuba surveys of fish and mussel habitat; and while conducting field studies during the summer, air temperatures may exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
    The incumbent is expected to conduct studies in a safe and orderly manner consistent with Service policies and directives so as not to endanger self, fellow workers, the public, or property with which entrusted. The incumbent may work in remote locations. Work requires special safety precautions and/or protective clothing and equipment.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

    Once the announcement has closed, a review of your resume and supporting documentation will be used to determine whether you meet the basic qualification requirements listed on this announcement. If you meet the basic qualifications your resume and supporting documentation will be compared against your responses to the assessment questionnaire to determine your level of experience. If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and/or experience which resulted in you being listed in the highest quality category, you may lose consideration, or be assigned to a lower quality category for this position. Please follow all instructions carefully when applying, errors or omissions may affect your eligibility.

    Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics):

    • Knowledge of the principles, concepts, and practices of Fishery Biology, related biological and natural resource sciences and fish and mussel culture techniques and methods sufficient to apply them to propagation programs.

    • Ability to operate and maintain aquatic species propagation and sampling equipment including rearing units, nets and cages and to perform sampling; marking; snorkel and scuba surveys; and water measurements.

    • Knowledge of mussel culture techniques, and a broad knowledge of related mussel ecology, and life history.

    • Ability to conduct detailed investigations, and report findings verbally and in writing. Ability to coordinate activities with other agencies and organizations; deal effectively with the general public; and exercise tact and diplomacy in official association with Federal, State, local agencies, and with private and national organizations.

    • Ability to author technical proposals, and reports that effectively convey the purpose of the work, investigation methods, analysis, results, and explicitly address assumptions and uncertainties.

    • Knowledge of techniques, equipment, and various procedures applied in fish/aquatic species culture.

    • Knowledge of fish and mussel identification and assessment techniques.

    All qualified candidates will be assigned to a quality category. The category assignment is a measure of the degree in which your background matches the competencies required for this position. The category ratings for this position are:


    The Category Rating Process does not add veterans' preference points or apply the "rule of three" but protects the rights of Veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each quality category. Veterans' preference eligibles who meet the basic qualification requirements and who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent will be listed in the highest quality category (except in the case of scientific or professional positions at the GS-09 level or higher).

    If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-point veterans' preference, you must attach a copy of your DD-214 showing you were honorably discharged. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, you must attach an SF-15," Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference" in addition to the proof required by that form.


    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Not Required

    Drug test required


    Position sensitivity and risk

    Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

    Trust determination process


  • Required Documents

    Required Documents

    To apply for this position, you must submit a complete Application Package which includes:

    • Resume or Application. At a minimum, your resume MUST containjob title (include job series and grade, if federal), duties, starting and ending dates (month and year), hours worked per week, and salary. 

    • Other supporting documents:

    • Cover Letter, optional

    • Official or unofficial College Transcript(s), if the position has education requirements, or if you are using your education to qualify. Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. A copy of your official transcripts will be required if you are selected. If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. 

    • Veterans' Preference documentation, if applicable (e.g., DD-214 Member Copy 4 showing type of discharge/character of service, SF-15 Form and related documentation, VA letter, etc.)

    • If applicable, documentation/proof that you are eligible Career Transition Assistance Program/Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program documentation, if applicable (e.g., Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, or Notice of Proposed Removal; SF-50 that documents the RIF separation action; and most recent performance appraisal.)


    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

  • Benefits


    A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.


    Review our benefits

    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

Please follow the Apply Online Link for the full job Description and to Apply


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Salary and Benefits

From USD$ 51,440 To 66,868 / Per Year

Accommodation Included :No

Job: Freelance or Contract

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