Supervisory Geophysicist (Earthquake Early Warning Coordinator)

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Travis Field, CA
Added: March 20, 2024

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

Salary Information

Moffett Field, CA - $152,105 (Step 01) to $191,900 (Step 10);

Pasadena, CA - $142,094 (Step 01) to $184,725 (Step 10);

Seattle, WA - $136,832 (Step 01) to $177,885 (Step 10);

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

This position can be filled in any one of the locations listed above.

This is not a remote position.

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.


As the USGS National Earthquake Early Warning Coordinator within the Earthquake Science Center, some of your specific duties will include:

  • Serving as the Project Leader for the Earthquake Early Warning Project (EEW) and ShakeAlert.
  • Coordinating and planning technical, organizational, and educational components of the USGS ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning Program.
  • Being responsible for the execution of a complex and high-profile research and operations project that relies on real-time seismic monitoring and low-latency open-source software development.
  • Developing strategic research and implementation plans, developing external solicitations, and managing budgets and human resources.
  • Leading an organization that spans a wide range of scientific and technical expertise that includes scientific researchers, field technicians, engineers, and other scientists.
  • Coordinating work to improve and operate sensor and telemetry networks, data management and delivery infrastructure to ensure operational requirements for earthquake early warning are met in the context of the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS).
  • Developing and maintaining strategic partnerships with Federal, State and local government agencies, universities, professional associations, community groups, and private entities.
  • Acting as the primary spokesperson and representative for the ShakeAlert EEW Project in the United States, representing ShakeAlert to state and national elected officials and their staff (including the U.S. Congress), the press, the public and other stakeholders.
  • Supervising staff and performing the full scope of supervisory duties that include but are not limited to hiring, training, developing performance standards, dealing with performance issues, assigning work, establishing priorities, etc.
  • Operating a government owned or leased vehicle as an incidental driver.

Physical Demands: The work is generally sedentary in nature. However, occasional field visits may require moderately strenuous physical demands in sometimes, adverse conditions including stooping, reaching, lifting, and carrying heavy objects, walking in treacherous terrain and working in narrow spaces.

Work Environment: Work is performed primarily in office, lab, or computer room. There may be occasional need to travel to meetings, conferences, and field locations.

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.
  • This position requires completion of a one year supervisory/managerial probationary period, if one has not previously been completed.
  • Selectee must provide a valid state driver's license & safe driving record.
  • Selectee subject to successful completion of a pre-employment medical exam.
  • More requirements are listed under Qualifications and Other Information.

Are There Any Special Requirements For This Position?

  • 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.
  • 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.


BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENT : Applicants must meet A or B below to satisfy the basic education requirement for Geophysicist, 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 that included at least 30 semester hours in mathematics (including calculus) and the physical sciences (geophysics, physics, engineering, geology, astronomy, meteorology, electronics, etc.).
  • OR
  • A combination of education and experience -- at least 30 semester hours in mathematics (including calculus) and the physical sciences (geophysics, physics, engineering, geology, astronomy, meteorology, electronics, etc.), 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-14

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must have one year of appropriate professional experience in geophysics that is equivalent to at least the GS-13 level in the Federal service.

Examples of such experience for this specific position needs to include work in earthquake geophysics and/or work in real-time monitoring and data processing, and management experience for science and/or monitoring projects that involve several staff and stakeholders (see list of duties in this announcement to define suitability).

A suitable candidate could have served as a senior expert involved in geophysical investigations for which technical problem definitions, methods and/or data were highly incomplete, controversial, or uncertain and whose evaluations and recommendations were accepted by others as those of a technical expert.

At this level, Geophysicists typically represent an authoritative source of consultation for other scientists and program specialists, are called upon to resolve issues that significantly affect the organization's programs, make long range and controversial proposals and defend their findings and recommendations in public or high-level forums.

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.
  • 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.