Geographer, ZP-0150-2 (Recent Graduate)

Washington D.C.
Jul 12, 2017
Jul 19, 2017
Full Time

About the Agency

This position is located in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Geodetic Survey (NGS).

NOAA is seeking bright, innovate, results-oriented individuals to join the Recent Graduates Program which is an entry level program that targets individuals who have recently graduated from an accredited educational institution. Successful applicants will be placed in a dynamic, career development program. Throughout the program, you will participate in formal interactive training, job assignments and provided a mentor to develop competencies applicable to the target position.

More information on the Pathways Program for recent graduates can be found at:

PROGRAM COMPLETION AND CONVERSION: Upon completion of the minimum 1-year career development program, Program participants may, at agency discretion, be non-competitively converted without a break in service, to a term, career or career conditional appointment. There is no guarantee for conversion.

To be eligible for conversion, Recent Graduates must:

  • Successfully complete the one year developmental program.
  • Demonstrate successful job performance.
  • Meet the Office of Personnel Management’s qualifications for the position to which the Recent Graduate will be converted.
  • Complete 40 hours of formal interactive training within developmental period.
  • Sign a Pathways Programs Participant Agreement upon appointment.
  • Meet established goals outlined in the Recent Graduate’s Individual Development Plan (IDP).
  • Recommended by supervisor/manager for conversion to permanent OR term position.
* Applicants will be on a trial period for the duration of the appointment.

* Relocation/Moving expenses will not be authorized.

* Student Loan Repayment will not be authorized.

* This position is not in the bargaining unit.

This vacancy may be used to fill other Geographer, ZP-0150-2 FPL 4 positions throughout NOAA. The position must be alike (e.g.: the same qualifications and eligibility requirements as indicated in this vacancy announcement).

  • Not Required

  • No

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National to apply.
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
  • Must be suitable for Federal employment.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (
  • Must sign a Pathways Programs Participant Agreement.
  • A one year trial period will be required.
  • FOR RECENT GRADUATE ELIGIBILITY: The transcript(s) or official letter from the registrar's office must include the date your degree or certificate was conferred. Applications will not be considered without this documentation. NOTE: Copies of degrees, certificates, and diplomas are not considered acceptable documents to determine Recent Graduate eligibility.

    Qualification requirements in the vacancy announcements are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains federal qualification standards. This handbook is available on the Office of Personnel Management's website located at:

    BASIC REQUIREMENTS: This position requires applicants to meet a Basic Education Requirement in addition to at least one year of specialized experience or a substitution of education for experience in order to be found minimally qualified. You MUST meet one of the following basic education requirements:

    A. Degree: 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. Such education must have provided knowledge of and proficiency in the use of Geographic Information Systems.


    B. Combination of education and experience: courses equivalent to a major in geography, or a related field that included at least 24 semester hours in geography or related fields, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. Education must have provided knowledge of and proficiency in the use of Geographic Information Systems.

    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.

    To qualify at the ZP-2 level:

    Specialized Experience: In addition to meeting the Basic Requirements above, applicant must also possess one full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the ZP-1 or GS-05 in the Federal service. Specialized experience MUST include all of the following:

    • Documenting, testing, implementing and supporting new or existing GIS tools for geodetic analysis work flow sufficient to transition processes to modern computing languages.

    A. One year of graduate-level education in geography or a closely related field and that provided knowledge and proficiency in Geographic Information Systems.


    B. Superior Academic Achievement as demonstrated by a bachelor's degree in geography or a closely related field and that provided knowledge and proficiency in Geographic Information Systems from an accredited college or university with one of the following. NOTE It is your responsibility to ensure your application clearly states how you meet one of the provisions below:
    1. a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher based on a 4.0 scale for all completed undergraduate courses, or those completed in the last 2 full years of undergraduate study;
    2. a GPA of 3.5 or higher based on a 4.0 scale for required courses completed in a major field of study, or those courses completed in a major field of study during the last two years of undergraduate study;
    3. class standing of upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision of the college;
    4. membership in a national Scholastic Honor Society certified by the Association of College honor Societies, excluding freshman honor societies.

    COMBINATION: A combination of related graduate level education and specialized experience.

    College Transcript: Applicants must submit a copy of their college transcript that lists college courses, course title, and number of credit hours. If you have a future graduation date, you must provide a letter from the school registrars's office that includes the name of the student/applicant, the name of the school, and verification of your anticipated graduation date. The transcripts or letter must indicate that the degree has been conferred. You may submit an unofficial copy of the transcript at the initial phase of the application process, but an official certified copy must be received before you can report to duty.

    Qualifying Education Institution: Any of the following educational institutions or curricula that have been accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education:



    As a Geographer (Recent Graduate), you will perform the following duties:

    • Assist in the design and creation of ArcGIS toolboxes, programs, and scripts to express NGS integrated database (NGS IDB) attributes and analysis procedures in a Geographic Information System (GIS) environment.
    • Initiate, formulate and plan programming, statistical, and GIS needs of ECO research and development (e.g. sensitivity analysis of linear elevation change rates, error analysis of elevation measurements, assessment of mark stability, etc.) Identify and develop NGS web pages that would benefit from GIS interfaces.
    • Formulate analytic and comparative studies to define geographic areas throughout the nation which can be used as accurate, representative samples in enumerating and comparing statistical data reflecting a variety of current geographic conditions that likely to cut across political and administrative lines; the problems for identification areas which are truly representative of the nation as a whole with respect to the matters under study.
    • Plan, coordinate, and implement geospatial/modeling/programming support to national level programs. Investigate and implement, where feasible, linking of various modeling software into GIS products to support of major programs.
    This position will be filled under the DOC Alternative Personnel System (CAPS). This system replaced the Federal GS pay plan and structure. Under CAPS, positions are classified by career, pay plan, and pay band. The ZP-2 is equivalent to the GS-07/10. This position will have promotion potential to the ZP-4. The ZP-4 is equivalent to the GS-13/14.

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