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: $66,214 (Step 01) to $86,074 (Step 10);

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

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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 a Geographer within the Wetlands and Aquatic Research Center, some of your specific duties will include:

  • Plans, coordinates, and develops digital GIS schemas, layers and databases, in the areas of hydrographic, topographic and boundary land surveying, and resource management utilizing state-of-the-art methods, practices, techniques, and equipment.
  • Investigates and implements, where feasible, linking of various software output into GIS products to support USGS science and customers.
  • Evaluates the availability and technical adequacy of existing digital data and data generated by other government agencies (available through data.gov), the private sector and individuals for utilization on local projects.
  • Conducts and/or leads geographic analyses of land use and human-induced land patterns over time for an assigned geographic area, relates the uses to biologic, environmental, and/or natural resource conditions.
  • Creates products the Principle Investigator or Project Chief uses in advising regional planning officials on possible mitigation strategies.
  • Collects and analyzes ground and satellite-based geospatial and time series data to participate in research projects such as climate and land use change throughout a large state or a region of several states.
  • Analyzes combinations of remotely sensed, geographic, and/or biologic data using GIS and image processing software and creates graphic representations demonstrating interactions of phenomena in the form of digital maps and other tools.
  • Coordinates efforts to enhance GIS-oriented and other web-based software available to scientific collaborators using USGS’s mapping, remote sensing, and geospatial data.
  • Meets with cooperators and management officials to resolve issues, propose and implement changes.
  • Designs geospatial aspects of and/or participates in region-wide projects performing digital processing of geographic data in a variety of formats, scales, resolutions, and map projections.
  • Converts raw data into a variety of databases representing geographic data for use in land and resource management and climate change decisions.
  • Operates a government owned or leased vehicle as an incidental driver.

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.

Are There Any Special Requirements For This Position?

  • If selected you may be asked to provide information regarding your COVID-19 vaccination status for the purposes of implementing workplace safety protocols, such as those related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.
  • 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.
  • This vacancy is limited to the first 25 applications received and will close at midnight Eastern Time on the day this application limit is reached regardless of the closing date specified in this vacancy announcement. Any application received prior to midnight Eastern Time of the day the application limit is reached will be accepted and considered. You are strongly encouraged to submit all required supporting documents at the time of application should the vacancy close earlier than stated in this announcement due to the applicant limit being reached. Supporting documents will not be accepted once the vacancy announcement closes.
  • 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 Geographer, all grade levels.

  • Degree in geography; or related physical or social science such as geology, meteorology, economics, statistics, sociology, anthropology, political science, history, cartography, computer science, urban studies, or planning that included at least 24 semester hours in geography or related fields.
  • A combination of education and experience– courses equivalent to a major in geography, or a related field that included at least 24 semesters hours in geography or related fields, as shown in “A” above, plus appropriate experience and/or additional education. 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-11:


In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-11 level

  • Ph.D. or equivalent graduate degree in geography or other directly related field of study or 3 years of progressively higher-level graduate education (54 semester hours, 81 quarter hours or the equivalent) leading to a Ph.D. in geography 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 one year of appropriate professional experience in geography that is equivalent to at least the GS-09 level in the Federal service.

Examples of such experience may include: 1) locating, examining, evaluating and selecting, from a variety of source materials, information for use in depicting the location and standardizing the nomenclature of physical and humane features on a map, chart or in a gazetteer; 2) determining the distribution of like phenomena (e.g., deciduous vegetation or precipitation) over Eastern U.S., or comparing the distribution of two or three different kinds of phenomena, e.g., deciduous vegetation and precipitation; 3) providing assistance to a higher-graded researcher on small, self-contained studies. Examples 1 & 2 included independent responsibility for small projects or significant segments of larger projects. Discrepancies may have arisen in source materials. Judgment was used to resolve the less difficult problems; a higher-level authority resolved the most difficult problems. Work was carried out in accordance with established procedures and criteria. For example 3, extensive and precise instructions were provided and the project leader was readily available for consultation and guidance.

  • OR a combination of successfully completed progressive graduate level education, as described above, that is beyond the second 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: https://www.usgs.gov/about/organization/science-support/human-capital/how-foreign-education-evaluated-federal-jobs .

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 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.

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: https://www.doi.gov/telework/policies .
  • 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.