Botanist - #440294

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Date: 09/15/2021 14:00 PM

City: Fremont, California

Salary: $65,180 - $84,732 / year

Contract type: Full Time

Work schedule: Full Day



This position is a Botanist, GS- 0430-9 working in Fremont, California for the R8-San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

This position is also open to the public under announcement R8-21-11227566-TC-DE. You must apply to each announcement separately if you wish to be considered under both recruitment methods.


This position is within the USFWS Refuge Program (Region 8) and will serve as a Botanist for the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge (DESFBNWR). The incumbent will coordinate and implement vegetation, habitat management, and wildlife biology programs primarily on the Warm Springs Unit of the DESFBNWR. Warm Springs is a 719-acre vernal pool grassland habitat with several rare and endangered species. The Botanist will also provide expertise and assistance on restoration projects and vegetation monitoring on other refuges within the San Francisco Bay NWR Complex.

As a Botanist your duties will include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conduct plant identification using dichotomous keys and familiarity with California plant families to determine species of trees, shrubs, grasses and forbs in a variety of California habitat types.
  • Conduct biological field investigations of vegetation in vernal pool grassland habitat (e.g., vegetation inventory using Relev method, transect surveys, estimating plant cover of individual species, habitat monitoring activities, etc.).
  • Conduct surveys for a variety of wildlife species, with an emphasis on amphibians and aquatic invertebrates (via dip netting, seine netting, etc.).
  • Apply knowledge of plant taxonomy, phenology, population dynamics, and ecology to gather and analyze biological and ecological data.
  • Use computer software, such as Microsoft Word and Excel, for writing reports, formatting and summarizing data, creating spreadsheets, and preparing graphic products to illustrate data collected (e.g., charts, graphs, or annual summary reports).
  • Evaluate and/or prepare reports on ecological investigations, resource management activities, and adjacent proposed development projects to determine the effects on refuge fish, wildlife, and plant resources and habitats.
  • Conduct annual invasive weed monitoring, using the results to inform decisions on which areas or plant species to target for priority invasive plant control efforts.
  • Monitor response of native plants and of target invasive weeds to management treatments to make recommendations for future management activities.
  • Use mobile field applications with Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to navigate to survey locations and to collect field data.
  • Evaluate biological information and habitat requirements of a wide array of species representing several taxa.
  • Evaluate data, determine priorities, and make recommendations to manager for implementation of grazing practices and other management activities to improve vegetation or wildlife habitat for listed and candidate plants and animals.
  • Develop and implement plans for native vegetation restoration including aspects such as location, ground preparation, species palette and monitoring.
  • Develop and implement invasive plant control programs to enhance native habitats that are appropriate to individual situations (e.g., mowing, weed whacking, herbicide treatment, grazing, hand-pulling, etc.).
  • Evaluate progress toward achieving work plan goals and objectives for refuge resources including listed species , and make management recommendations.
  • Coordinate the elements involved in habitat restoration or enhancement projects (e.g., project planning, site selection, seed collection, nursery work, ground preparation, seeding planting, monitoring, etc.)
  • Develop and maintain cooperative partnerships with various groups, cooperative land managers such as ranchers, other agencies or non-profit groups, volunteers or members of the general public.
  • Oversee the work of crews, intern, or volunteers in the field conducting monitoring, habitat restoration, or maintenance tasks. Follow and communicate USFWS safety guidelines for health and safety concerns.
  • Give presentations or tours of a biologically sensitive area to agency personnel, public groups, media, or university personnel.
  • Provide scientific or biological information verbally or in writing to other government agencies, staff members, landowners, private interest groups, or the public.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


  • Job family (Series)

    0430 Botany

  • Requirements


    Conditions of Employment

    • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
    • Individuals assigned male at birth after 12-31-59 must be registered for the Selective Service. To verify registration visit
    • Resume and supporting documents (See How To Apply).
    • Merit promotion applicants must meet time-in-grade requirement as defined in 5 CFR 300, Subpart F.
    • Suitability for employment, as determined by background investigation.
    • Driver?s License: Selectees must possess and maintain a valid State driver's license at all times during their tenure.
    • Uniform: Official U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service uniform is required.
    • Probationary Period: Selectees may be required to successfully complete a probationary period.
    • Must obtain and maintain a California State Department of Pesticide Regulation Qualified Applicator's Certificate for pesticide application within 9 months of employment.


    Only experience and education obtained by 09/29/2021 will be considered.

    In order to qualify for this position you must possess both the Basic Requirement and Minimum Qualification.

    Basic Requirement:
    • Bachelor's or higher degree in botany or basic plant science that included at least 24 semester hours in botany (e.g., courses in basic botany, plant anatomy or morphology, cytology, histology, genetics, taxonomy or systematics, algology, mycology, ethno-botany, and those dealing with specific problems of a botanical nature or with specific groups of plants). OR

    • Courses equivalent to a major in botany or basic plant science that included at least 24 semester hours in botany, as shown above, PLUS appropriate experience or additional education equivalent to a course of study with a major in the appropriate field as described in A above. The quality of the combination of education and experience is sufficient to demonstrate that I possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities comparable to those normally acquired through the successful completion of a full 4-year course of study.

    Minimum Qualification GS-09
    • One year of specialized experience comparable in scope and responsibility equivalent to grade GS-07 in the Federal service. Experience includes 1) Apply scientific methods to monitor the diversity and relative abundance of native vegetation, including rare species; 2) Plan and conduct habitat management, such as grazing, weed control, or revegetation, and monitor vegetative response to habitat management efforts; 3) Plan, prioritize and conduct chemical or mechanical invasive plant control and weed management programs; 4) Manage and analyze vegetation data, and summarize in reports to show trends and response of vegetation to habitat management activities and annual weather conditions. OR

    • Successfully completed two or more full years of graduate education in an accredited college or university leading to a Master's or equivalent degree in a field directly related to botany, or related plant sciences appropriate to this position. OR

    • A combination of education and experience as described in 1 and 2 above which together equals 100% of the requirement

    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.

    Time In Grade Requirement: Applicants must meet both eligibility and qualification requirements for the position of interest by the closing date of the JOA. Specifically,

    i. Area of Consideration.

    ii. Time-in-grade (TIG) requirements as specified in 5 CFR 300, Subpart F.

    iii. Time after competitive appointment as specified in 5 CFR 330.502.

    iv. Qualification requirements outlined in OPM's Qualifications Standards for General Schedule Positions or for Federal Wage System (FWS), wage grade positions, applicants are evaluated using the OPM Job Qualification System for Trades and Labor Occupations and the job element examining method

    Your SF-50 will be used to confirm you meet all requirements


    PROOF OF EDUCATION: All applicants who are using education or a combination of education and experience to qualify must submit copies of official or unofficial transcripts which include grades, credit hours earned, major(s), grade point average or class ranking, institution name, and student name. If any required coursework is not easily recognizable on transcripts, or if you believe a portion of a particular course can be credited toward meeting an educational requirement, you must also provide a memorandum on letterhead from the institution's registrar, dean, or other appropriate official stating the percentage of the course that should be considered to meet the requirement and the equivalent number of units. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable; however, if you are selected for the position, you will be required to produce the original official transcripts.

    PASS/FAIL COURSES: If more than 10 percent of your undergraduate course work (credit hours) were taken on a pass/fail basis, your claim of superior academic achievement must be based upon class standing or membership in an honor society.

    GRADUATE EDUCATION: One academic year of graduate education is considered to be the number of credits hours your graduate school has determined to represent one academic year of full-time study. Such study may have been performed on a full-time or part-time basis. If you cannot obtain your graduate school's definition of one year of graduate study, 18 semester hours (or 27 quarter hours) should be considered as satisfying the requirement for one year of full-time graduate study.

    FOREIGN EDUCATION: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education. For further information, visit:

    Additional information


    No PCS entitlements authorized


    This position is suitable for telework and may be allowed to telework with supervisory approval.

    Additional Vacancies: One or more positions may be filled from applications received under this announcement in the advertised office or other U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service offices in the local commuting area.

    Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP):Department of Interior (DOI) Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) procedures apply in filling this vacancy. CTAP/ICTAP provides placement assistance to permanent Federal employees who are surplus, displaced, or involuntarily separated. Applicants claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit a copy of their most recent performance appraisal, proof of eligibility, and most current SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with their application. To be considered under CTAP/ICTAP, applicants must be well-qualified (i.e., meet the minimum qualification requirements, including any selective placement factors; education, and experience requirements), score at least 85 on the assessment questionnaire, and be able to perform the duties of the position upon entry

    For information on CTAP and ICTAP visit:"

    The Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA),P.L. 114-47, allows certain individuals who currently or formerly were under time-limited competitive appointments at certain land management agencies to compete under merit promotion procedures.

    Note: You must submit ALL SF-50s and performance information for each period of temporary/term employment that qualifies for LMWFA. Performance documentation can be obtained by contacting the supervisors for the positions you served in during your 24 months. If they did not complete performance appraisals ask them to provide a statement of performance for each period of service. The statement must specify the dates for each employment period and your level of performance (dates should match the dates on the SF-50s).

    Current appointees:

    • Must have been hired under competitive examining procedures to a time limited appointment with a land management agency;
    • Must have served under 1 or more time limited appointments by a land management agency for a period totaling more than 24 months without a break in service of 2 or more years; AND
    • Must have performed at an acceptable level.

    Former appointees:

    • Must have been hired under competitive examining procedures to a time limited appointment with a land management agency;
    • Must have served under 1 or more time limited appointments by a land management agency for a period totaling more than 24 months without a break in service of 2 or more years;
    • Must apply for position within 2 years after separation;
    • Must have been separated for reasons other than misconduct or performance; AND
    • Must have performed at an acceptable level.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

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

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

    Once the announcement has closed, a review of your resume and supporting documentation will be used to determine whether you meet the qualification requirements listed on this announcement. If you meet the qualifications your resume and supporting documentation will be compared against your responses to the assessment questionnaire to determine your level of experience. Note: If, after reviewing your resume and supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications which resulted in you being listed in the highest quality category, you may lose consideration, or be assigned to a lower quality category for this position. Please follow all instructions carefully when applying, errors or omissions may affect your eligibility.

    Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics):

    • Skill in conducting biological field investigations with emphasis on botanical resources
    • Knowledge of data collection processes.
    • Professional knowledge of the theories, principles, concepts and methods of biology to perform a variety of natural resource assignments which do not require significant deviation from established scientific methods and techniques.
    • Organization and interpersonal skills sufficient to work effectively with individuals, other resource agencies, in office and field settings.

    Candidates who apply under Competitive Merit Promotion procedures will undergo a quality review to determine if they are highly qualified based on the content of their resume and their responses to the questionnaire. Best qualified candidates will be referred if all required supporting documentation has been provided.

    Candidates who apply under Noncompetitive Merit Promotion procedures will undergo a quality review to determine if they are minimally qualified based on the content of their resume and their responses to the questionnaire. Qualified candidates will be referred if all required supporting documentation has been provided.

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance


    Drug test required


    Position sensitivity and risk

    Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

    Trust determination process

    Suitability/Fitness, National security

  • Required Documents

    Required Documents

    You must submit a complete application package. We will not make assumptions about your experience and/or education.

    Required Documents:

    1. Resume: You are highly encouraged to use USAJOBS Resume Builder to ensure all required information is included in your Resume. If you use your own resume, curriculum vitae, or any other written form you choose then you must describe your job-related qualifications that includes beginning and ending dates for paid and non-paid work experience, hours worked per week, month and year of employment for each job title listed, annual salary, and description of job duties. Include name and address of employer; supervisor name and telephone number. Additional information on what to include can be found here. Your experience needs to address every required qualification.

    2. College Transcripts: Please refer to the education section above for additional information. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable. A copy of your official transcripts may be required if you are selected.

    3. SF-50: (non-award), or equivalent Notification of Personnel Action if you are a current or former Federal employee. Your SF-50 (non-award) must show tenure code 1 or 2 in block 24, and position occupied code 1 (competitive service) in block 34. If you have previously held a higher grade than the grade/position you currently occupy, you must submit a copy of the last non-award SF-50 you received for that position.

    Note: Federal employee who has reinstatement eligibility please review the How to Apply for Reinstatement page for all required documents.

    If you have any questions regarding which SF-50's to submit, it is highly recommended that you contact the person listed on this vacancy announcement before the closing date.

    Note: You must submit ALL SF-50s and performance information for each period of temporary/term employment if you are requesting to be considered Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act eligibility. For Public Land Corp eligibility, a copy of the Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Compliance Hiring Based for Public Land Corps Service is required for verification of eligibility.

    Additional Documentation if applicable:

    1. Cover Letter

    2. Veterans' Preference Documentation: If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-point veterans' preference, you must attach a copy of your DD-214 Member Copy 2 or 4 showing you were honorably discharged. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, attach an SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference in addition to the proof required by that form (i.e. VA letter). You may not be awarded preference if you do not attach the correct Veteran Documentation as specified above.

    3. CTAP/ICTAP Documentation: If you are applying under CTAP or ICTAP, you MUST submit proof of eligibility under 5 CFR 330.602(a) for CTAP and 5 CFR 330.704 for ICTAP. This includes a copy of the agency notice, a copy of your most recent performance rating, and a copy of your most recent SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action) showing your position, grade level, and duty location. Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible.

    4. Performance Appraisal: 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.

    Failure to submit any of the above-mentioned required documents may result in loss of consideration due to an incomplete application package. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents have been submitted

    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

  • Benefits


    A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits

    Review our benefits

    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.


This job is open to

  • Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL)

    Federal employees who meet the definition of a "surplus" or "displaced" employee

  • Federal employees - Competitive service

    Current or former competitive service federal employees

  • Land & base management

    Certain current or former term or temporary federal employees of a land or base management agency

  • Veterans

Clarification from the agency

Govt. Wide: Current Career or Career Conditional Federal Employees, Land Management eligibles, 30% disabled veterans, Military Spouse, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Vista, VRA, VEOA, ICTAP/CTAP, Schedule A, Reinstatement eligibles, PLC.

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