Senior Scientist for Environmental Satellites, ST-1301-00

Silver Spring, Maryland
Sep 17, 2019
Sep 24, 2019
Full Time


This announcement has been amended to extend the closing date and to correct the duty station location and telework eligibility.

The National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS) deploys data that saves lives, make communities more resilient, inform that will help every community become more environmentally and economically resilient. NESDIS provides cutting edge data and technology, driving business decisions focused on the science behind NESDIS' Satellite Programs.

Learn more about this agency


The Senior Scientist for Environmental Satellites (STES) is recognized nationally and internationally as an authority and leader in all facets of satellite remote sensing programs data and information services. The STES will work with NESDIS leadership, partners in academia, national and international agencies, commercial and nonprofit sectors, which uses science to transform the "bits and bytes" from around the world into timely, actionable and reliable environmental information. The STES provides expert technical consultation to NOAA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Defense (DOD), International Partners and other government agencies, universities, and industry. The STES will integrate information across scientific disciplines, transition new information and technology into improved products and services as well as modernizing observation systems of satellites and ships.

The STES serves as a spokesperson for NESDIS among top level scientists of NOAA and other agencies in meetings leading to the identification of significant projects and the establishment of objectives. As an internationally recognized expert in data management, standards and related sciences, the incumbent has a thorough understanding of environmental satellites. The STES's knowledge requires a broad vision of the scientific issues surrounding NESDIS' contributions that will be of highest value to the NOAA mission and Strategic Plan goals. The position plays a major role in formulating and leading NESDIS' expanding responsibilities in national and international scientific assessment activities that support major elements of NOAA's healthy ecosystem programs and contribute in understanding climate, weather, oceanographic, geophysical, and other environmental processes both nationally and internationally.

Specific duties of the Senior Scientist include:

1. Serves as independent expert and representative of the science and user communities responsible for ensuring the scientific integrity at all levels of satellite programs. Supports the development of highly actionable and reliable environmental information across the entire Earth observing system.

2. Works with the NOAA, NESDIS and satellite communities to define the users' needs, operational requirements, and environmental satellite requirements for the NESDIS mission. Serves as the chair of the working group and provides leadership in assuring that environmental satellite science data and products maintained by NESDIS are effective.

3. Maintains technical liaison with NASA, NSF and other scientific agencies, ensuring approved NESDIS environmental satellite data and product initiatives have the required scientific capabilities.

4. Evaluates and recommends approaches to improve NESDIS satellite programs. Identifies interdependencies and conducts detailed trend analysis. Evaluates and recommends improvements in environmental satellite science and research to improve observation data processing development of long-term climate records, and other products.

5. Communicates findings and recommendations to the NESDIS Leadership, to other NOAA scientists, and users of environmental satellite data and products. Responsible for the study and projection of present and future scientific needs, establishing goals, the formulation of alternative policies and ways of meeting scientific based environmental satellite needs, and reevaluating progress to assure that objectives are realized in putting the plans into effect.

6. Directs systematic, critical, intensive investigation toward the development of new or fuller scientific knowledge of environmental satellite data and information services science use by the scientific communities within industry, academia, government and non-governmental organizations.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - This position requires occasional travel to meetings, facility visits, etc.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Incumbent may be subject to geographic mobility.
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a Top Secret/SCI security clearance.
  • Newly appointed ST members must serve a 1 year probationary period.
  • 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.

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.


To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, you must possess all of the Professional/Technical Qualifications (PTQs) and the scientific qualifications of the position. 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.

Professional/Technical Core Qualifications (PTQs):

PTQ 1 - Comprehensive knowledge of environmental science, including satellite remote sensing, and at least 3 years of demonstrated experience in using applied science to provide timely, actionable, and reliable data, products, and services across the entire Earth observing system.

PTQ 2 - Demonstrated knowledge and experience in supporting decision-making applications, models and/or research for environmental scanning programs with extensive experience in planning and executing specialized programs that show outstanding research attainments.

Note: Responses to PTQs must not exceed 2 pages per PTQ, for a total of 4 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".

In addition to the PTQs, applicants must meet the scientific qualifications of the position:

1. Possess significant experience in designing, directing, and evaluating theoretical, experimental, and operational research studies of a complex and interdisciplinary nature. Studies must contribute to NOAA's scientific mission and withstand critical review from the scientific community and senior management.

2. Exercises the highest levels of creativity and critical judgment in order to initiate, review and/or advocate for the systematic investigation of theory, experimentation, and applications of environmental intelligence with remote sensing and in-situ data, including their fusing and blending to meet NOAA mission needs.

3. Maintains a distinguished professional reputation in the fields of environmental science, data science, and integrated product development applied to environmental issues as evidenced by citations, patents, or publications (including refereed publications in relevant archival journals). Holds a high professional status as indicated by memberships and activity in professional and scientific/engineering community. Election as a Fellow of a professional and scientific society or other comparable national/international recognition is desirable.

4. Possess a demonstrated ability to effectively communicate highly complex scientific concepts and topics, some controversial in nature, with executive level leadership, representatives of user communities and lay audiences in order to advocate, promote and achieve mission objectives.



A. Degree: physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics.


B. Combination of education and experience -- education equivalent to one of the majors shown in A above that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Additional information

Background Investigation: This position is designated as Top Secret - SCI 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.

False Statements: If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired, you may be fired after you begin work, or you may be subject to fine, imprisonment, or other disciplinary action.

The materials you send with your application will not be returned.

Please DO NOT put your SSN on pages within your application package. Privacy Act - Privacy Act Notice (PL 93-579): The information requested here is used to determine qualifications for employment and is authorized under Title 5 U.S.C. 3302 and 3361.

Signature - Before you are hired, you will be required to sign and certify the accuracy of the information in your application.

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 .

Veterans' preference rules do not apply to Senior Scientist (ST) positions.

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 Shelita Aldrich, the servicing Human Resources Specialist, either by e-mail at or by telephone at 301-628-1883. 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.

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factor.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

How you will be evaluated:

Applicants who meet or exceed minimum qualifications will be assigned to one of three category groups based on job-related criteria:

•Best Qualified
•Well Qualified
To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Sensitive Compartmented Information

Drug test required

Required Documents

Failure to provide such documentation when requested will result in lost consideration.

1. Resume

2. Transcripts (Official or Unofficial) from the institution's registrar; dean or other appropriate official; or equivalent documentation which confirms completion of requirement for the required degree.

If you have completed any part of your education outside of the U.S., you must submit the evaluation of your foreign education that has been prepared by an accredited organization. Please refer to for more information.

3. For current Federal employees: You are encouraged to submit your most recent SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action) that documents your current tenure, position title, series and grade level.

4. PTQ narrative responses should be attached under "Professional Technical Qualifications (PTQs)".

Applicants who fail to submit requested documents WILL NOT receive consideration for this position. Application will result in an "Incomplete" rating.

If you are unable to upload documents, you may fax your documents using the instructions below. Please fax with the appropriate cover sheet. Please refer to the fax cover sheet for the fax number. Each document must be dialed and faxed in separately as each sheet includes an identification number, which ensures your document is processed correctly.

FAXING INSTRUCTIONS: Please fax legible documents using the appropriate cover sheet. Documents may be faxed at any time during the open period of this announcement by going to

1. Log into MYUSAJOBS

2. Click on "Applications"

3. Locate the vacancy you applied to

4. Under "Applicant Status" column, click on "More Information"

5. Select "View/Generate Fax Cover Sheet" and click "Continue"

Do not submit any additional information that is not required: Extraneous materials such as award certificates will not be considered.

If you do not have access to the internet, please contact the Human Resources Specialist listed on this vacancy announcement.

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.

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