Environmental Specialists

Environmental Protection Specialist

GS-0028

Position Overview

The Department of the Interior manages and protects the nation’s public lands, natural resources, and species and their habitats.  Environmental Protection Specialists partner with DOI scientists, natural resources managers, engineers and many others to help DOI protect and improve environmental quality, control pollution, remedy environmental damage, and ensure compliance with environmental laws, regulations and Executive Orders.

This position is represented at the following bureaus

Bureau of Indian Affairs
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Bureau of Reclamation
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
Department of the Interior Offices
National Park Service
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Geological Survey

Candidate Description

The ideal candidate understands the relationship between the preservation and management of historic, cultural, and natural resources and environmental protection.   This person is an analytical thinker who can plan and evaluate, identify solutions, and collaborate with others effectively. The ideal candidate has an extensive knowledge base or interest in compliance with and application of environmental laws in order to protect or manage resources.

Work Environment

Mostly in an office setting but field visits and inspections are also required to gather data and complete projects.

Minimum Education Requirements

Please see the Administrative and Management Group Qualification Standard on the OPM website.

Career Level Requirements

Responsibilities by Level

  • Entry:

    • Gathering and summarizing environmental data
    • Supporting monitoring activities
    • Researching a variety of environmental statutes, regulations and policies

  • Mid:

    • Providing information on statutes such as the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act
    • Reviewing and updating local policies and procedures to ensure compliance with current environmental requirements
    • Drafting responses to Congress and others seeking information on environmental impact of activities on DOI lands
    • Assisting in writing environmental compliance documents or environmental assessments.

  • Journey:

    • Evaluating proposed DOI project work for potential environmental effects and making recommendations to remedy identified problems
    • Negotiating cooperative agreements with special interest groups and industry
    • Planning and executing innovative solutions and techniques to correct environmental problems
    • Leading task forces or work groups to identify and resolve environmental compliance or enforcement issues
    • Writing National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents, such as environmental assessments or environmental impact statements

  • Senior:

    • Directing comprehensive environmental programs
    • Overseeing work of environmental specialists, scientists, engineers
    • Managing a regional or national environmental protection/enforcement program

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Strengths by Level

Entry 5-7
Mid 9-11
Journey 12-13
Senior 14-15
  • Accountability
    Holds self and others accountable for measurable high-quality, timely, and cost-effective results. Determines objectives, sets priorities, and delegates work. Accepts responsibility for mistakes. Complies with established control systems and rules.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Attention to Detail
    Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail.
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    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Compliance
    Knowledge of procedures for assessing, evaluating, and monitoring programs or projects for compliance with Federal laws, regulations, and guidance.
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    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Customer Service
    Works with clients and customers (that is, any individuals who use or receive the services or products that your work unit produces, including the general public, individuals who work in the agency, other agencies, or organizations outside the Government) to assess their needs, provide information or assistance, resolve their problems, or satisfy their expectations; knows about available products and services; is committed to providing quality products and services.
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    Mid 9-11
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  • Decision Making
    Makes sound, well-informed, and objective decisions; perceives the impact and implications of decisions; commits to action, even in uncertain situations, to accomplish organizational goals; causes change.
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    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • External Awareness
    Identifies and understands economic, political, and social trends that affect the organization.
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    Mid 9-11
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  • Influencing/Negotiating
    Persuades others to accept recommendations, cooperate, or change their behavior; works with others towards an agreement; negotiates to find mutually acceptable solutions.
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    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Information Management
    Identifies a need for and knows where or how to gather information; organizes and maintains information or information management systems.
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    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Interpersonal Skills
    Treats others with courtesy, sensitivity, and respect. Considers and responds appropriately to the needs and feelings of different people in different situations.
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    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Learning
    Uses efficient learning techniques to acquire and apply new knowledge and skills; uses training, feedback, or other opportunities for self-learning and development.
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    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Oral Communication
    Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.
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    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Planning and Evaluating
    Organizes work, sets priorities, and determines resource requirements; determines short- or long-term goals and strategies to achieve them; coordinates with other organizations or parts of the organization to accomplish goals; monitors progress and evaluates outcomes.
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    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Political Savvy
    Identifies the internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization. Perceives organizational and political reality and acts accordingly.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Problem Solving
    Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Reasoning
    Identifies rules, principles, or relationships that explain facts, data, or other information; analyzes information and makes correct inferences or draws accurate conclusions.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Resilience
    Deals effectively with pressure; remains optimistic and persistent, even under adversity. Recovers quickly from setbacks.
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    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Teamwork
    Encourages and facilitates cooperation, pride, trust, and group identity; fosters commitment and team spirit; works with others to achieve goals.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Technical Competence
    Uses knowledge that is acquired through formal training or extensive on-the-job experience to perform one's job; works with, understands, and evaluates technical information related to the job; advises others on technical issues.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Writing
    Recognizes or uses correct English grammar, punctuation, and spelling; communicates information (for example, facts, ideas, or messages) in a succinct and organized manner; produces written information, which may include technical material, that is appropriate for the intended audience.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15

Common Pathways

Candidates who made this career change most commonly held these occupations...

26.4%

Natural Resources Management and Biological Sciences

See Position Details
8.4%

Miscellaneous Administration and Program

See Position Details
6.7%

Environmental Protection Assistant

Career Information Coming Soon

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