Supervisory Biologist

Washington, D.C
Apr 13, 2021
Apr 17, 2021
Full Time


This position is located in Smithsonian Institute, National Zoological Park. The employee provides supervision to a staff of animal caretakers, who is responsible for maintaining excellence in all aspects of the care and welfare of the animals in these areas, including gorillas, orangutans and an assortment of other exotic animals.

Learn more about this agency


As the Supervisory Biologist, the incumbent will perform the following duties and other assigned duties::
  • Plans and carries out the full range of supervisory authorities related to the assignment and scheduling of work, such as leave approval/disapproval, coordination with other programs, technical work direction, establishment of priorities and deadlines, creation of performance standards, evaluation of subordinate's performance, counseling regarding performance and behavior, recommending selections for vacancies, resolving complaints, proposing disciplinary actions and effecting minor disciplinary actions such as warnings, determining or approving training needs, approving expenditures of funds, recommending awards and bonuses and other delegated authorities.
  • Oversees the husbandry of the mammal collection, many of which may be threatened and/or endangered. This includes developing and directing the implementation of techniques and procedures for housing, social groupings, introductions, separations, transfers, acquisitions dispositions, pairings, enrichment and training.
  • Annually reviews the collection plan in response to changing program directions and new opportunities. Assesses costs and benefits of changes in collection composition through a consideration of priorities, reproductive performance and required resources and facilities.
  • Instructs employees in care and husbandry practices and fosters keeper participation in appropriate substrate, habitat simulations, and other factors addressing the locomotory, behavioral, psychological, training, enrichment and physical requirements of collection animals.
  • Serves as a spokesperson to the public for information about animals in the collection.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Pass Pre-employment Background Investigation
  • May need to complete a Probationary Period
  • Maintain a Bank Account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service.
  • May be required to serve an 18-month probationary period for supervisors.

Qualification requirements must be met within 30 days of the job announcement closing date.

For information on qualification requirements, see Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions viewable on the web at


Individual Occupational Requirements:

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

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


Experience: You qualify for this position if you have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 level in the Federal Service or comparable pay band system. For this position Specialized experience is defined as developing plans for primates and/or large exotic carnivores management, which reflects the needs of the exhibition, education, research and conservation; managing facilitates recruitment, training, scheduling and evaluating of employees/volunteers; and providing guidance and procedures for enclosure cleaning/sanitation and appropriate preparation for daily animal exhibition, proper diet preparation and food presentation, capture, restraint, shipping, enrichment, training, moving, introduction and separation of animals.

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.

Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.


Additional information

Flexible Spending Accounts -
Health Insurance -
Leave -
Life Insurance -
Long Term Care Insurance -
Retirement Program -

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Your application will be evaluated first for the basic qualifications described above. The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:
  • Ability to supervise a diverse Animal Care Staff.
  • Ability to oversee a complex animal care and management program for exotic carnivores.
  • Ability to plan and direct exhibit maintenance, improvements and design.
  • Ability to collect husbandry and management data and to facilitate and promote research.
  • Ability to communicate to the media and general public.

  • Applicants who meet or exceed minimum qualifications will be assigned to one of three category groups based on job-related criteria:
    • Best Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements and excels in most of the job related competencies above.
    • Better Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements and satisfies most of the job related competencies above.
    • Good Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements, but does not satisfy most of the job related competencies above to a substantive degree.

    This category rating process does not add veterans' preference points or apply the "rule of three", but protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category. A selecting official may make selections from the highest quality category (Best Category) provided no preference eligible in that category is passed over to select a non-preference eligible in that category unless the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 3317(b) or 3318(b) are satisfied. Preference eligibles who meet minimum qualification requirements and who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent must be listed in the highest quality category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-9 grade level or higher. Applicants who have not submitted a resume in the USAjobs system and/or have not answered all of the vacancy questions will not be considered for this position.

    Important Note:

    Your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses to the occupational questionnaire or other assessment tool for consistency. If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your resume, you will be assigned a rating commensurate to your described experience. Your resume should provide sufficient information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.

    To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Drug test required

    Position sensitivity and risk
    Moderate Risk (MR)

    Trust determination process

    Required Documents

    Your application package should include the following documents:
    • Resume - Your resume can be uploaded and attached to your application or created using the USA Jobs on-line resume builder. If you want to receive full credit for relevant experience your resume MUST contain the job title (including the occupational series and grade if it is Federal), duties, starting and ending dates (month and year), hours worked per week, and salary.

      USAJOBS has guidance on how to ensure that you submit a complete resume: If you have not written a Federal resume before, you may watch this Resume Writing Tutorial video on the USAJOBS YouTube channel , or read through a helpful Resume Writing FAQ article on the USAJOBS Help Site to learn what details you should, and should not, include in your resume. If any of the above information is not included in your resume we may not be able to fully credit you for your experience.
    • Proof of Veteran's Preference - DD214 (Member 4 Copy), if you are a veteran. Additionally, applicants claiming 10-point preference must complete Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, as well as additional documentation required by the SF-15, such as a VA letter.
    • Unofficial school transcripts, if the position has an education requirement or if you are using education to qualify. If selected for the position, you must provide an official transcript before appointment.
    • Proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study, if applicable.

    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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