Senior Scientist (ST)

Silver Spring, Maryland
May 20, 2022
May 23, 2022
Full Time

Applicants are advised that the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) will request information regarding the COVID-19 vaccination status of applicants for the purposes of implementing workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.

The research efforts of the NCCOS Senior Scientist support critical functions of NOAA's mission-the application of sound science to support wise and sustainable use of marine and coastal resources. These research efforts require the integration of socio-economic research with that of natural science to enable the development of relevant and effective scientific knowledge that will support NOAA's management mission. It also requires a blend of short and longer term research that not only supports present day needs, but also future management decisions. Such scientific analyses are extremely complex, for it not only requires the integration of non-traditional sciences, but also the capability to predict needs and research advances in the future.

1. The incumbent will develop mechanisms to provide information on:
  • developing scientific break-through with potential application to marine sciences;
  • future problems facing society with marine environmental consequences;
  • unusual management approaches for solving environmental issues, and
  • future environmental consequences due to today's management practices.

  • 2. The incumbent will provide the AA and NCCOS Director with frequent analyses and recommendations for program direction and NOAA upper management actions and at the direction of the AA, the Senior Scientist will provide leadership of national and international groups to develop recommendations for resolving specific problems.

    3. The incumbent identifies national coastal environmental research needs and recommends scientific priorities for NCCOS.

    4. The incumbent works with other NOAA and Federal agencies to establish a comprehensive research program on defined needs as well as management strategies to implement research findings.

    5. The ST Position develops mechanisms to ensure that issues facing coastal managers are translated accurately into research requirements and that research is continually evaluated for its applicability to specific programmatic needs.

    6. Develops and refines mechanisms to evaluate the effectiveness of NCCOS science in meeting with NOS and NOAA's management needs and oversees the conduct of such evaluations of NCCOS science. Develops periodic assessments of society's changing needs and the potential consequences to the marine environment and its resources.

    7. Defines new approaches for NCCOS science, both in terms of content and techniques, and works with NCCOS scientists to develop these new initiatives


    Conditions of Employment

    • Incumbent may be subject to geographic mobility.
    • Ability to obtain and maintain a Secret security clearance.
    • Position is subject to pre-employment background investigation.
    • Public Financial Disclosure (OGE-278 filing within 30 days is required).
    • Position is subject to random drug testing.
    • Newly appointed members must serve a 1 year probation period.

    All applicants will be evaluated by a panel to determine the degree to which they possess the Mandatory Professional/Technical Qualifications (PTQs). To be rated and considered for this position, applicants are requested to fully describe their experience in each of the following PTQs. When addressing the PTQs, please use the first person as you assess and describe your qualifications. PTQ Documentation should be attached under "Writing Example One" once you have completed the online questionnaire.

    Professional/Technical Core Qualifications (PTQ):

    PTQ 1 - Leadership experience (at least 3 years) in addressing national and/or international marine problems, integrating science with marine policy. Technical capability in a broad range of scientific disciplines applied to marine environmental problems.

    PTQ 2 - Specialized background in oceanography, physical, chemical, biological, ecological, and/or related environmental sciences with demonstrated experience including 1 year in development of research program/studies.

    PTQ 3 - Experience in planning, organizing and managing research programs, with particular emphasis on science and coastal management/operations. The scope of experience should demonstrate the scientific insight to recognize opportunities for advancing the science through development and application of innovative uses of technologies integrating these disciplines with marine ecology.

    Note: Responses to PTQs must not exceed 2 pages per PTQ, for a total of 6 pages.

    Do not enter "Refer to Resume" to explain your answer. Applications directing the reader to search within the application or to "See Resume" are considered incomplete and WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.

    Failure to submit a narrative statement or address any of the PTQs is also considered incomplete and WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. As a result, you will be rated as "INCOMPLETE".


    To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, you must possess all of the Professional/Technical Qualifications (PTQs). These qualifications would typically be acquired through education, experience, and training which reflect progressive development and achievement in leading teams and/or projects for a comprehensive business program in a complex organization. An individual's total experience and education must demonstrate the ability to perform the duties of the position.

    Your responses will be evaluated by a human resources specialist/and or a subject matter expert against the information you provide in your online resume and/or by reference checks. Falsifying your background, education, and/or experience is cause for non-employment.


  • Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.

  • OR

    2. Combination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

    Desired Qualifications:

    The incumbent must possess considerable experience in designing, directing, and evaluating experimental and operational research of a complex and interactive nature. Studies must withstand the critical review of the scientific community and of management, and contribute to NOAA's scientific mission. He/she must show a thorough knowledge to predict future research needs, impact the development of relevant programs and evaluate effectiveness of results to NOAA's coastal management requirements.
  • The incumbent must demonstrate ingenuity, prolific productivity of original ideas, and breadth of knowledge going far beyond the historical field of marine science.

  • The incumbent must demonstrate a grasp of socio-economic issues and the balance of societal needs against conservation or protection strategies, and develop research strategies to allow managers to balance both interests. He/she must be able to go from the molecular to the global, covering the air, land and water, and communicate at all levels, from the scientist to the sociologist, both researcher, manager, and the public.

  • He/she must exercise the highest level of creativity and critical judgment to ensure the unbiased nature of the scientific results.

  • The incumbent is responsible for the systematic investigation of a broad range of complex issues and must have the ability to publish highly significant scientific or management findings in refereed literature.

  • Additional information

    Background Investigation: This position is designated as Secret and requires that a background investigation be conducted and favorably adjudicated in order to establish security eligibility.

    Financial Disclosure: This position is covered under the Ethics in Government Act, which requires comprehensive financial disclosures from employees. The appointee will be required to file a Public Financial Disclosure Report (OGE-278), within 30 days after his/her appointment, and then annually thereafter.

    Mobility: You may be required to travel.

    Direct Deposit: All Federal employees are required by P.L. 104-134 to have federal payments made by Direct Deposit.

    Drug Testing: Applicants tentatively selected for employment in any position are subject to designated and/or random pre-employment and employment urinalysis. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment and/or removed from employment with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce.

    Selective Service: Male applicants born after 12/31/1959, who are required to register with the Selective Service under section 3 of the Military Selective Service Act, must be registered (or must have registered at the time they were required to do so) in order to be eligible for appointment. For more information, visit the SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM web site at .

    The Department of Commerce provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify Maria J. Gonzalez, the servicing Human Resources Specialist, either by e-mail at or by telephone at 301-628-1879. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis. TTY users may contact us via the Federal Relay Service, 1-800-877-8339.