Ecologist (Marine)

NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2024


The Bureau of Safety & Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) works to promote safety, protect the environment, and conserve resources offshore through vigorous regulatory oversight and enforcement. For information about our bureau go to:

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  • Accepting applications
  • Open & closing dates

    06/12/2024 to 06/26/2024

  • Salary

    $103,409 - $134,435 per year

    First time hires to the federal government typically start at the beginning salary in the range for their respective grade level.

  • Pay scale & grade

    GS 13

  • Help


    1 vacancy in the following location:

  • Remote job


  • Telework eligible

    Yes—as determined by the agency policy.

  • Travel Required

    Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel 1-5 nights per month for this position.

  • Relocation expenses reimbursed


  • Appointment type


  • Work schedule


  • Service


  • Promotion potential


  • Job family (Series)

    0408 Ecology

  • Supervisory status


  • Security clearance

    Not Required

  • Drug test


  • Position sensitivity and risk

    Moderate Risk (MR)

  • Trust determination process



  • Announcement number


  • Control number





This position is located within the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Office of the Regional Director, Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Region, Office of Environmental Compliance, located in Jefferson, LA.

At the full performance level (GS-13) the major duties of this position include, but are not limited to the following:
1. Serves as the principal advisor on marine ecology and its associated OCS components (i.e., corals, fish and fisheries, deepwater benthic communities, topographic features and banks, live bottoms, and other marine-life/marine-habitats).
2. Serves as the lead marine ecologist, leading BSEE's efforts on consultations and coordination with BOEM, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for the Gulf of Mexico OCS Region.
3. Serves as the lead on Marine Trash and Debris (MTD) oversight and the interagency, and oftentimes, international coordination required under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) - Annex V, the Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control Act (MPPRCA), and regulations imposed by various agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
4. Oversees office compliance monitoring and verification of operational reports and industry's Post Activity Submittals (PAS) as it relates to their field of expertise, which includes requisite documentation submitted after OCS operations are complete (in part or in whole) to verify/record compliance with environmental standards.
5. Oversees, schedules, and participates in field efforts regarding ecology-related compliance monitoring, including 1) work with data collection efforts, 2) mitigation, stipulation, and Notice to Lessees and Operators (NTL) enforcement, and 3) coordination with industry contacts, BOEM studies leads, and other Federal, State, and private groups.
6. Briefs and defends BSEE technical programs, policies, and conclusions to other Federal, State, and Local Governments, industry leads, and private groups/persons as the technical authority on marine ecology.
7. Establishes criteria for impact-assessment methodologies and identifies improvement of verification methodologies and enforcement needs for marine/benthic species via adaptive management and coordination with their counterparts in BOEM, develops associated monitoring/compliance programs, and prepares sections and/or reviews of BSEE and BOEM NEPA documents, regulations, and/or NTLs related to marine ecology and the incumbent's area of expertise.
8. Assist with studies/research as a Contract Inspector (CI) or Project Inspector (PI) for BSEE or the BOEM Environmental Studies Program (ESP). As CI/PI, the incumbent may participate as a Technical Proposal Evaluation Committee (TPEC) member and may be required to participate in/oversee the collection, standardization, and analyses of data related to OCS resources and/or industry activities to identify specific scientific issues and problems. As CI/PI, the incumbent will also assist in the administration of the study's technical aspects, oversight of contractor performance, assist in progress meetings, participate in field efforts, and review and inspection of all deliverable items.

BSEE has determined that the duties of this position are suitable for telework and the selectee may be allowed to telework with supervisor approval.

This position is included in a bargaining unit. The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), Local 3457, is the exclusive representative of all employees in this bargaining unit.

Work Environment:
The work is performed and conducted in both an office setting and through occasional field visits. Inspections and audits are conducted in an offshore environment, in close proximity to equipment and chemicals associated with oil and gas production. The employee may work at great heights on large pieces of equipment and may be exposed to extreme weather conditions. The work environment contains elements of exposure to potentially dangerous situation. The employee wears hardhats, safety glasses, and take other various safety precautions. The necessary travel to and from offshore locations is accomplished by Government motor vehicle, chartered helicopter, and company furnished boat.

Financial Disclosure: You will be required to file an Employment and Financial Interest-OGE-450.

Salary Information
GS-13: $103,409 - $134,435 per annum.
First time hires to the Federal government normally start at the lower salary range of the grade level.

This vacancy may be used to fill additional positions as vacancies become available.

This vacancy is also announced as BSEE-EENN-24-CM-227(DEU) for those applicants who wish to apply and be considered under Competitive Examining procedures.



Conditions of Employment

  1. You must be a U.S. Citizen.
  2. You will be subject to a background/suitability investigation/determination.
  3. You will be required to have federal payments made by Direct Deposit.
  4. You must submit ALL required documents and a completed questionnaire.
  5. Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service system, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. See


Minimum Qualification Requirements:
To qualify for this position you must meet the (1) Basic Educational Requirements AND (2) Specialized Experience for the series to which you are applying.

Ecology Series, 0408:
Individual Occupational Requirements
(1) Basic Educational Requirements:

To be eligible for this position, you must meet paragraph A below for the series to which you are applying.

A. Degree: Biology, or a related field of science underlying ecological research that included at least 30 semester hours in basic and applied biological sciences. These hours must have included at least 9 semester hours in ecology, and 12 semester hours in physical and mathematical sciences.

Please Note: This position requires specific educational coursework to qualify. You MUST provide transcripts in order to verify that the educational requirements have been met. This information must be received by the closing date of the announcement. Failure to provide this information may result in you receiving an "INELIGIBLE" rating.


In addition to meeting the Basic Educational Qualification requirements, applicants must meet the Specialized Experience for the grade to which you are applying.

(2) Specialized Experience

To qualify for the GS-13, you must possess at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 grade level in the Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through Federal service and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. Specialized experience is defined as demonstrated experience:

1) Independently performing environmental monitoring of systems, processes, and equipment to meet the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) standards, the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA) standards, Executive Order 13089 - Coral Reef Protection standards, OCS Lands Act (OCSLA) regulations, Marine Debris reduction requirements, and/or similar mitigation measures applied to an authorized activity;
2) Independently performing compliance verification reviews or monitoring of marine habitats subject to MSA, NMSA, and Executive Order 13089 requirements, OCSLA regulations, Marine Debris reduction requirements, and/or similar mitigation measures applied to an authorized activity; and
3) Independently conducting or overseeing site inspections and/or investigations to assess compliance with MSA, NMSA, and Executive Order 13089 requirements, OCSLA regulations, Marine Debris reduction requirements, and/or similar mitigation measures applied to an authorized activity and preparing requisite reports.

Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualification Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions and is available at OPM's website:

All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

Merit Promotion candidates must also meet Time-in-Grade requirements by the closing date of the announcement.


Education: If this position requires specific educational course work to qualify, or you are qualifying based in whole or part on education, you are required to provide transcripts as proof of meeting the requirements.

Foreign Education: Education completed in colleges or universities outside the United States may be used to meet the specific educational requirements as stated above. 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

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.

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.

Notice of Financial Disclosure Report Requirement: The position to which you will be appointed is subject to a financial disclosure reporting requirement and you will be required to complete a new entrant Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 450) within 30 days of your appointment.

Important Note: All Department of the Interior (DOI) employees are subject to the conflict of interest restrictions imposed upon all employees of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government and may be required to file a Financial Disclosure Report. In addition, DOI employees, GS-15 and above, who work in the Office of the Secretary; along with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) employees (at ALL grade levels), are further restricted concerning their interests in Federal lands and resources administered or controlled by the Department of the Interior. This includes holding stock in energy corporations which lease Federal lands (e.g.: oil, gas, coal, alternative energy resources, etc.). If you have any such investments you should contact the DOI, BOEM or BSEE Ethics Office before accepting employment. DOI employees are held to the highest level of integrity. Employees must be objective and impartial in the performance of their work. All potential issues (e.g.: work-related interactions with friends, family members, or previous employers) must be disclosed at the time of application or during the interview process.

NOTICE: This employer participates in E-Verify and will utilize your Form I-9 information to confirm you are authorized to work in the U.S.
A preliminary background check must be completed before a new employee can begin work with the U.S. Department of the Interior. The preliminary background check consists of a search of Office of Personnel Management and Department of Defense background investigation files and an FBI National Criminal History Fingerprint Check; it may take up to 3 weeks to complete. If selected for this position, you will be extended a tentative offer of employment pending a satisfactory background check. Current Federal employees or individuals with an existing completed background investigation may not be required to undergo another background check; these will be handled on a case-by-case basis in coordination with the Bureau security office.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Once the application process is complete, we will review your application to ensure you meet the job requirements. To determine if you are qualified for this job, a review of your resume, supporting documentation and responses to the online questionnaire will be made. Your responses to the online assessment will be used to measure the degree to which your background matches the requirements for this position. However, your resume must support your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire, or your score may be lowered. The best qualified candidates will be identified for referral to the hiring manager and may be invited for an interview.

Your answers to the on-line assessment will be used to evaluate your competencies in the following areas:

  • Ecology - Knowledge of the concepts, principles, and theories of the interrelationships among organisms and their environment, including competition and predation, evolution and natural selection, population dynamics, and the impact of natural phenomena or human actions on natural systems, processes, and biota.
  • Technical Competency -Uses knowledge that is acquired through formal training or extensive on the job experience to perform one's job; works with, understands, and evaluates technical information related to the job; advises others on technical issues.
Please submit 1) a copy of your most recent performance appraisal/evaluation and 2) a list of any awards (e.g. superior performance awards, special act or achievement awards, quality step increase, etc.) you received in the last 5 years. Any performance appraisal/evaluation and award documentation you provide will be forwarded to the selecting official. The selecting official will review this documentation and give it due weight consideration during the overall selection process.

If you do not have your most recent performance appraisal/evaluation, please submit a statement as to why it is not available. Please indicate if any prior performance appraisals/evaluations were at an acceptable level.

To preview the assessment questionnaire click:

Required Documents

Your resume must contain information sufficient to make a valid determination that you fully meet the specialized experience requirements as stated in this vacancy announcement and OPM qualification standards for each grade level(s) for which you are applying. It is strongly recommended that you use the USAJobs Resume Builder as it was designed to ensure that your resume includes the standard information needed. The Resume Builder is available at

Your application package must include: (1) Resume showing relevant experience as written in your own words; (2) Completed online Assessment Questionnaire; (3) SF-50's showing (1) your highest FPL, and (2) most current SF-50 noting position, grade level, tenure, and duty station. Please note that all SF-50's submitted must show that you are a status candidate or eligible under this announcement. Please refer to the eligibility in the online questionnaire for more information; (3) College transcript (if applicable) for verification of qualifying education. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable; (4) Certificates, license, etc. (if applicable); (5) Form DD-214 OR VA letter and Standard Form 15, if eligible under VEOA or VRA; (6) Proof of eligibility if applying under a special appointing authority; (7) Current or former Government employees are strongly encouraged to submit a recent performance appraisal.

NOTE: Applicants claiming eligibility under VEOA or VRA, must submit a copy of your DD-214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," (Member 4 copy is preferred), showing the dates of active duty, type of discharge, and character of service (must be honorable); OR acceptable proof of verification of your preference (i.e., official document, dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs, or from a branch of the Armed Forces, certifying that the veterans total combined serviced-connected disability rating is 10% or more).

NOTE: Applicants claiming eligibility based on 30% or more service connected disability, you are required to submit documentation that is indicated on the SF-15 as acceptable proof of verification of your preference (i.e., official document, dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs, or from a branch of the Armed Forces, certifying that the veterans total combined serviced-connected disability rating is 30% or more.
You will find additional information on the following topics: (1) e-Verify; (2) Selective Service; (3) CTAP/ICTAP; (4) Education - accreditation; (5) Foreign education; (6) Veterans preference; (7) Special appointing authority documentation; and more can be found on our web site: OR

If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, you must submit proof by the closing date of the announcement that you meet the requirements of 5 CFR 330.605(a) for CTAP and 5 CFR 330.704 for ICTAP or you will not receive priority consideration. The proof includes a copy of the agency notice, your most recent Performance Rating, and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty station. To be considered well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, you must earn a minimum score of 85 or above (prior to the assignment of veteran's preference) on the rating criteria for this position.

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.


How to Apply

Your complete application, including required documents, must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

To apply on-line, you must complete and submit an application by accessing the USAJOBS website at To begin, click the Apply Online button near the bottom of this screen and follow the prompts to register into your USAJOBS account, answer the questions, and submit all required documents.

To return to your saved application, log in to your USAJOBS account at and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select Apply Online to continue.

Applicants who apply under this job opportunity announcement agree to have their application, associated documents and applicable personal information shared with other Bureaus/Offices within the Department of the Interior (DOI) who have vacancies within the same occupational series, grade, full performance level and in the same geographic location(s), including within the same metro/commuting area. Applying to this announcement does not replace the need to apply to other job opportunity announcements for which you wish to receive consideration.

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Agency contact information

HR Assistant 9
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
45600 Woodland Road
Sterling, VA 20166
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Next steps

You can track the progress of your application package via your USAJobs account. You will receive an acknowledgment from USAJobs that your submission was successful, once we have received your on-line assessment questionnaire, resume and any supporting documentation. You will be notified of the status of your application via your USAJobs account after we conduct a qualification review of your complete application package. You will be contacted if further evaluation or interviews are required. Any exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempt to conceal information may disqualify you for employment consideration. We may verify all information you provide in your resume and questionnaire responses, through reference and/or background checks, and/or verification of your education. If you are selected, you will be contacted personally by the Human Resources Office posting this announcement.

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