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Position

Student Trainee (Hydrology)

Company
Company
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Place
DeKalb County, IL
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Added: March 20, 2024
Summary

General Information: In order to be eligible to receive consideration for this position, you must be able to:

  • report to the duty station location listed in this vacancy announcement, if selected; and
  • be available to work the schedule identified.

Salary is dependent upon the associated duty station which will be determined upon hire. You may look up salary listed on the OPM locality tables OPM Locality Pay Tables based on these Locality Pay Area Definitions .

Learn more about this agency

This job is open to

  • Students Current students enrolled in accredited educational institutions from high school to graduate level. Includes internships, pathways and other student programs.

Clarification from the agency

Open to all qualified students who are U.S. citizens and meet the eligibility requirements for the Pathways Internship Program as described below.

Duties

The USGSCentral Midwest Water Science Center is seeking associates, and undergraduate and graduate level students working towards a degree in Hydrology or Physical Science to gain practical experience ingathering and analyzing basic hydrologic data.

As a Student Trainee (Hydrology) you will serve in a trainee capacity, performing routine and recurring development assignments to acquire knowledge and understanding of functions, principles, practices, and methods used in the area of Hydrology.

Initial consideration will be given to candidates whose applications have been received before the first cut-off date. Pathways Eligibility and Qualifications must be met for those applications submitted by the first cut-off date. This announcement has an initial cut-off date of February 27, 2024. Applications received after the initial cut-off date will only be referred for consideration when the initial group is exhausted and/or there are additional vacancies to fill.

Cut-off Dates

  • February 27, 2024
  • March 27, 2024
  • April 27, 2024
  • May 27, 2024
  • June 27, 2024

Duties for GS-03 and GS-04 include, but are not limited to :

  • Preparing summary of findings, tables, and graphs for use in technical reports and presentations.
  • Developing hydrologic and precipitation data for current projects.
  • Gathering basic hydrologic data (quantity, quality, availability, movement and distribution of water).
  • Collecting and processing data to be used in computing stream discharge, determining ground water availability or calculating sediment in the field collecting hydrologic data such as streamflow measurements, groundwater levels, and water quality samples.
  • Compiling, querying, and maintaining groundwater and surface water records in scientific databases to evaluate water quality, water availability, and water use.
  • Utilizing ArcGIS scripting (such as python scripts) to automate data processing and repetitive GIS tasks.
  • Operating a government owned vehicle on a regular basis.

Additional Duties for GS-05 include, but are not limited to :

  • Collecting hydrologic data, preserving water samples for analysis, making discharge measurements, running levels to gages and wells. Checking discharge measurement computations, computing mean daily gage heights or preparing digital recorder tapes, computing and compiling daily discharge values.
  • Assisting higher graded Hydrologists with performing project work.
  • Installing, maintaining, servicing, and troubleshooting sensing, recording, and communications equipment and instrumentation. Calibrating meters and analytical equipment through appropriate technique and protocol.
  • Developing simple preliminary stage-discharge and/or velocity index curves and ratings.
  • Writing reports on non-complex hydrologic studies.
  • Operating a government owned vehicle on a regular basis.

Physical Demands:

Work Environment: Requirements Conditions of Employment

Key Requirements

  • Applicants must be U.S. Citizens.
  • Suitable for Federal employment, as determined by background investigation.
  • The entire period served under the Intern Program counts as a trial period.
  • Housing will not be provided.
  • 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.
  • Taking and passing a pre-employment medical examination at Federal expense is required due to the physical demands of this job.
  • 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.
  • If converted to a permanent or term appointment, the anticipated target position will be Hydrologist with an FPL of GS-12 or a Hydrologic Technician with an FPL of GS-09; however, the target position and FPL may change based on the need of the organization at that time. Interns must meet the qualification requirements for the position to which converted.
  • If selected, you will be required to provide official transcripts &/or letter from the school stating you are enrolled in a degree/certificateprogram on at least a half time basis in good standing and your expected graduation date.
  • 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.

Qualifications

Qualification Requirements

This internship is geared toward students majoring in one of the following areas of study: Hydrology/Physical Sciences.

For GS-03

Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-3 level:

Six months of general experience of any kind that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform the work of the position or that has provided the applicant with a general knowledge of hydrologic practices and procedures;

  • OR one full year of successfully completed education above the high school level that included at least one course in subjects such as engineering, industrial technology, construction drafting, surveying, physical science, biology, or mathematics.
  • OR a combination of post-high school education and general experience that together equates to 100% of the qualification requirement.

For GS-04

Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-4 level:

Six months of general experience and 6 months of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-3 level in the Federal service that is in or related to the duties of this position. NOTE: Excess specialized experience beyond the required 6 months may be substituted for general experience; i.e., one year of creditable specialized experience will meet the requirements for 6 months of general experience and 6 months of specialized experience. General experience is any type of work that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform the work of the position to be filled, OR experience that provided a familiarity with the subject matter or processes of the broad subject area of the occupation for which the applicant is applying.

Specialized experience may include work as a technician or aid in engineering, earth, physical, or natural science, forestry, soil conservation, or surveying; trades or crafts work in maintenance or construction of facilities or equipment related to hydrology; drafting; or construction estimating if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position.

Examples of GS-3 level work assignments include: 1) Performing minor repairs at gaging stations, to water level recorders and other equipment used in hydrologic investigations; 2) Assisting in making measurements of stream flow or making simple current meter measurements on small streams; 3) Recording routine measurements of water levels at specified observations wells; 4) Collecting water quality samples and assisting in making laboratory determinations of water quality parameters by predetermined methods; 5) Maintaining and assisting in readying current meters and sampling equipment for field work. For examples 1-5, a designated authority made assignments by giving complete, explicit oral and/or written instructions at the beginning of each assignment, covering work methods, available equipment, procedures, reference guidelines, etc. Recurring assignments were carried out within well-established procedures, with minimal instruction and were only infrequently spot checked or observed by a designated authority. Less routine assignments were occasionally checked in progress or upon completion.

  • OR applicants may substitute successful completion of two full years of study that included at least 12 semester hours, or the equivalent, in any combination of courses such as engineering, industrial technology, construction drafting, surveying, physical science, biology, or mathematics.
  • OR a combination of successfully completed post-high school education and specialized and/or general experience may be used to meet the qualification requirements for the GS-04 level. NOTE: When crediting education to meet any part of the experience requirement, such education must include the appropriate number of directly related credit hours required in any combination of courses such as engineering, industrial technology, construction drafting, surveying, physical science, biology, or mathematics. When crediting this education, you must prorate the number of hours of directly related courses required as a proportion of the total education to be used. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE)

For GS-05

Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-5 level:

One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-04 level in the Federal service that is in or related to the duties of this position. Specialized experience may include work as a technician or aid in engineering, earth, physical, or natural science, forestry, soil conservation, or surveying; trades or crafts work in maintenance or construction of facilities or equipment related to hydrology; drafting; or construction estimating if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position.

Examples of GS-4 level work assignments include: 1) Making adjustments and minor repairs to water level recorders, or other equipment used in water investigations; 2) Following well-defined methods and designated formulas; computing, extracting, compiling, and presenting geological or hydrologic data in prescribed tabular or graphic form; 3) Computing mean daily gage heights from water stage record charts, editing record tapes, and making corrections based on field notes. For examples 1-3, the work assignments involved familiar conditions, concepts, and methods that were made in terms of the objectives to be achieved without explicit instruction as to work methods. Assignments involving new, more difficult, or unfamiliar areas of work were given with more specific guidance. Explicit instructions were provided for solving technical problems involving unfamiliar conditions, methods, or concepts.

  • OR Applicants may substitute successful completion of a full four year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree (a) with major study in an appropriate field of science (i.e., geology, chemistry, physics, geophysics, biology, ecology, mathematics, soils, forestry, meteorology, hydrology, oceanography, physical science, atmospheric science) engineering, construction, or industrial technology, or (b) that included at least 24 semester hours, or the equivalent, in any combination of courses such as engineering, industrial technology, construction drafting, surveying, physical science, biology, or mathematics.
  • OR A combination of successfully completed post-high school education and specialized experience may be used to meet the qualification requirements for GS-5. Only progressive education in excess of the first 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours (i.e., beyond the first two years) of a course of study leading to a bachelor's degree is creditable toward meeting the specialized experience requirement, assuming the education includes the appropriate number of directly related semester hours, or the equivalent, in any combination of courses such as engineering, industrial technology, construction drafting, surveying, physical science, biology, or mathematics. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION & SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE)

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

Education

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for an appointment under the Pathways Internship Program:

  • You must be a student accepted for enrollment or enrolled in a degree or certificate program on a full- or half-time basis as defined by the school (certificate program means post-secondary education, in a qualifying educational institution, equivalent to at least one academic year of full-time study that is part of an accredited college-level, technical, trade, vocational, or business school curriculum); AND
  • Enrollment is with a qualifying educational institution such as a high school or state-approved homeschool; or accredited technical or vocational school; a 2- or 4-year college or university; a graduate or professional school (e.g., law school, medical school); or a post-secondary home school curriculum; AND
  • Students currently enrolled must be in good academic standing maintaining a 2.0 grade point average on a cumulative basis; AND
  • The duties of this position should be related to your academic or career goals.
  • You must continue to meet these eligibility requirements throughout the duration of your appointment under the Pathways Internship Program.

Students who successfully complete the internship program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent appointment or a term (1-4 years in duration) appointment without further competition. Eligibility requirements for conversion: must be a U.S. Citizen; complete at least 640 hours of work experience acquired through the Internship Program (*may waive up to a total of 320 hours under specific conditions); successfully complete your degree or certificate requirements from a qualifying institution; meet the qualification requirements for the position to which you will be converted; meet agency-specific requirements as outlined in the Participant's Agreement; and must have performed successfully in your position as documented through performance evaluations. *NOTE: To learn more about the conditions under which a portion of the work experience hours may be waived, visit https://www.usgs.gov/about/organization/science-support/human-capital/students-and-recent-graduates .

  • 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: https://www.usgs.gov/about/organization/science-support/human-capital/how-foreign-education-evaluated-federal-jobs .

Additional Information

  • 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, reference the Department of the Interior Telework Handbook at: https://www.doi.gov/telework/policies .
  • Throughout the recruitment & 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.
  • This position is being filled under the Pathways Internship Program which is designed to provide students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with paid work opportunities in agencies to explore Federal careers while still in school.
  • 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 & 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) & 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 US; 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 www.dhs.gov/E-Verify .
  • 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.
  • THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.

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.
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