U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Golden, CO
Added: March 20, 2024

What General Information Do I Need to Know About This Position?

This is a term appointment not to exceed 13 months with possible extensions up to a total of 4 years without further competition. Appointment to this position will not convey permanent status in the Federal service.

Salary: GS-07: $54,505 (Step 01) to $70,859 (Step 10);GS-9: $66,670 (Step 01) to $86,670 (Step 10).


Learn more about this agency

This job is open to

  • Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL) Federal employees who meet the definition of a "surplus" or "displaced" employee.
  • The public U.S. Citizens, Nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.

Clarification from the agency

Open to the public.


As a Geologist within the Geologic Hazards Science Center, some of your specific duties will include:

  • Assists scientists in all field activities in the collection of geologic data related to earthquake hazards and active faults to include: preparing and planning for field investigations; using Geographical Information System (GIS) software to prepare site maps; collecting field data; mapping and interpreting stratigraphic units (e.g., in trenches and cores); making field observations of geomorphology; and collecting and preparing samples for geochronology.
  • Recognizes, describes, classifies, and interprets geologic units, the measurement of stratigraphic and structural data, and the interpretation of fault and landscape geomorphology.
  • Supports scientists in all aspects of office phase of scientific projects to include: gathering and summarizing technical data, statistics, and maps from multiple sources, such as geological and geophysical technical reports; using GIS software and programming languages (e.g., Python or Matlab) to compile and interpret geologic, geomorphic, and spatial data; performing mathematical calculations to reduce scientific data; and performing literature reviews.
  • Compiles, processes, and analyzes geological and remote-sensing data such as satellite imagery and develops mosaics of digital data and images using standard software.
  • Uses standard statistical, Geographical Information System (GIS), and programming (e.g., Python or Matlab) software to compile, reduce, and interpret field and laboratory data to include: preparing tables, graphs, cross sections, and data plots for data interpretation; creating computer illustrations using standard graphics software; preparing reports that summarize data; and participating in scientific communication and outreach.
  • Operates a government owned or leased vehicle as an incidental driver.

Physical Demands

During emergency response periods, training of personnel on new equipment, or field work, the scientist may be expected to hike distances of several kilometers over uneven terrain while carrying equipment. Field work may require working in remote field sites with limited to no services.

Field work may require the use of proper personal protective gear, working in dusty, hot, humid, and extreme cold environments, occasional off-road driving of 4-wheel drive vehicles, traveling to remote field sites in helicopters or small fixed wing planes, and/or boats. Lifting of equipment and objects weighing up to 50 pounds may be necessary.

Work Environment

Some work takes place in office or laboratory settings with adequate heat, light, and ventilation.

Office conditions do not require special safety precautions; field conditions may include extreme heat or cold, rain or snow, and hazardous conditions such as exposure to extreme temperature, noxious or toxic gasses, ice, or flooding.

Continued From Summary Section

This position is being advertised concurrently with USGS-DEN-24-12311144-ST-DLA that is open to current or former federal employees:

NOTE: First time hires to the Federal Government are typically hired at the Step 01 .

Requirements Conditions of Employment

Key Requirements

  • Applicants must be U.S. Citizens.
  • Suitable for Federal employment, as determined by background investigation.
  • Selectee may be subject to serving a one-year probationary period.
  • More requirements are listed under Qualifications and Other Information.
  • Selectee must provide a valid state driver's license & safe driving record.
  • Selectee subject to successful completion of a pre-employment medical exam.

Are There Any Special Requirements For This Position?

  • You will be required to operate a government-owned or-leased vehicle in the performance of your official duties. Applicants for this position must meet the following requirements: (1) possess a valid State license, and (2) possess a safe driving record. If selected, you will be required to provide proof of a valid State license & a copy of your driving record.
  • Because this position requires travel for official business, the selectee will be required to apply for a charge card within 30 calendar days of appointment. Individuals who have delinquent account balances from a previous Government charge card will be required to satisfy their existing obligation before a new card can be issued.
  • Taking and passing a pre-employment medical examination at Federal expense is required due to the physical demands of this job.
  • A background investigation will be required for this position. Continued employment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.
  • Throughout the recruitment and hiring process we will be communicating with you via email; therefore, it is imperative that the email address you provide when applying for this vacancy remains active. Should your email address change, please notify the point of contact identified in the vacancy announcement as soon as possible so that we can update our system.



EXPERIENCE : One year of work experience is twelve months working full-time (at least 35-40 hours per week). Part-time experience can be pro-rated (i.e., a year at 20 hours per week is credited as 6 months of experience). If your position consisted of mixed duties, experience credit is given for the percentage of time that you spent on qualifying duties (i.e., if you held a position for 2 years, full-time, consisting of 25% personnel work and 75% budget work, and then applied for a budget position you could calculate your experience as follows: 2 yrs = 24 months. 24 months x 75% [percentage of time spent on budget duties] = 18 months of qualifying experience.)

UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION : A year of undergraduate education is 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours or the equivalent of college study. This education must have been obtained in an accredited college or university for which high school graduation or the equivalent was a prerequisite.

GRADUATE EDUCATION : In the absence of specific graduate program information, a year of graduate education is 18 semester hours or 27 quarter hours of graduate level college course work, or the number of credit hours the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full time study. This education must have been obtained in an accredited college or university.

BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENT : Applicants must meet A or B below to satisfy the basic education requirement for Geologist, all grade levels.

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in geology. In addition to the geology course work included in the degree, it must also have included or been supplemented by 20 additional semester hours in any combination of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biological science, structural, chemical, civil, mining or petroleum engineering, computer science, planetary geology, comparative planetology, geophysics, meteorology, hydrology, oceanography, physical geography, marine geology and cartography.
  • OR
  • A combination of education and experience-course work as shown in "A" above (24 semester hours or the equivalent in geology plus 20 additional semester hours or the equivalent in any combination of courses as specified in "A" above), plus appropriate experience and/or additional education for a total of 4 years. The education or combined education and experience must be comparable in type, scope and thoroughness to that acquired through successful completion of a 4-year course of study as described in "A" above. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE)

For GS-07

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-07 level:

One year of successfully completed graduate level education (18 semester hours, 27 quarter hours or the equivalent) in geology or other directly related field of study if it provided the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to do the work of the position to be filled.

  • OR

Superior Academic Achievement based on undergraduate study. (CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SUPERIOR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT)

  • OR

One year of appropriate professional experience that is in or related to the duties of this position is qualifying if it is equivalent in level of difficulty and responsibility to at least the GS-5 level in the Federal service, and if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position to be filled. Examples of GS-5 level experience could include taking measurements and collecting information; learning to take proper samples; conducting routine calculating, plotting, and checking of numerical data; preparing graphs and data profiles; and accomplishing routine analyses. This work experience would have involved receiving clear, specific, and detailed instructions as to the methods, procedures, and guidelines to use.

  • OR

A combination of successfully completed graduate level education, as described above, and professional experience, as described above. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE)

For GS-9

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-09 level:

Two years of progressively higher-level graduate education (36 semester hours, 54 quarter hours or the equivalent) leading to a master's degree in geology or other directly related field of study or master's or equivalent graduate degree in geology or other directly related field of study if it provided the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to do the work of the position to be filled.

  • OR

O ne year of appropriate professional experience in geology that is equivalent to at least the GS-07 level in the Federal service. Examples of such specialized experience include synthesizing geochronology data within a database environment. Applicants will need to possess a degree of professional, scientific, and technical training and to exercise independent judgement in order to effectively and efficiently assess and compile geochronological data across diverse geologic provinces through synthesis of existing data and technical literature. Applicants must have experience working with researchers, state geologic surveys and database developers. Applicants should also have experience working independently to meet project timelines, including without preexisting work to draw from.

  • OR

A combination of successfully completed progressive graduate level education as described above that is beyond the first year of graduate study and professional experience, as described above. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE)

You must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements for the position by the closing date of the announcement.


  • 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.
  • Education completed in colleges or universities outside the United States may be used to meet the above requirements. You must provide acceptable documentation that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. For more information on how foreign education is evaluated, visit: .

Additional Information

Other Information:

  • Applicants who include vulgar, offensive, or inappropriate language or information in their application package will be ineligible for further consideration for this position.
  • Identification of promotion potential in this announcement does not constitute a commitment or an obligation on the part of management to promote the employee selected at some future date. Promotion will depend upon administrative approval and the continuing need for and performance of higher-level duties.
  • Under Executive Order 11935, only United States citizens and nationals (residents of American Samoa and Swains Island) may compete for civil service jobs. Agencies are permitted to hire non-citizens only in very limited circumstances where there are no qualified citizens available for the position.
  • USGS employees are subject to Title 43, USC Section 31(a) and may not: (a) have any personal, private, direct or indirect interest in lands or mineral wealth of lands under survey; (b) have any substantial personal, private, direct or indirect interests in any private mining or mineral enterprise doing business with the United States; or (c) execute surveys or examinations for private parties or corporations.
  • The application contains information subject to the Privacy Act (P.L. 93-579, 5 USC 552a). The information is used to determine qualifications for employment, and is authorized under Title 5, USC, Section 3302 and 3361.
  • DOI uses E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please visit .
  • The Department of the Interior (DOI) places a high value on diversity of experience and cultural perspectives and encourages applications from all interested eligible candidates. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) are fundamental principles that guide the Department and allow us to successfully achieve our mission.

Agency Benefits:

  • USGS has determined that the duties of this position are suitable for telework and the selectee may be allowed to telework in accordance with the DOI Telework policy and with supervisor approval. The official worksite for the selectee is the duty station identified in this vacancy announcement. The selectee will typically report to this duty location on a regular and recurring weekly basis.
  • For additional information on our internal telework policy, please reference the Department of the Interior Telework Handbook at: .
  • Working for the U.S. Geological Survey offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes paid vacation, sick leave , and holidays ; health, life, dental, vision, and long term care insurance, flexible spending accounts , and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System .

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. Opens in a new window Learn more about federal benefits .

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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.