Fish Biologist

Fish Biology

GS-0482

Position Overview

Fish biologists at the Department of the Interior preserve, conserve, propagate, and manage the populations and habitats of fish and other aquatic species.

This position is represented at the following bureaus

Bureau of Indian Affairs
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Bureau of Reclamation
National Park Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Geological Survey

Candidate Description

The ideal candidate is able to apply and communicate their scientific knowledge with a wide variety of people with varying levels of technical knowledge. They must have an ability and desire to learn how to use specialized equipment, be able to plan and conduct complex projects, analyze data, and manage programs. 

Work Environment

Work is performed in an office, laboratory, and/or in the field. Field work may include exposure to inclement weather, physical hazards, and wild animals.

Minimum Education Requirements

Please see the Individual Occupation Requirements and the Professional and Scientific Positions Group Qualification Standard on the OPM websites.

Career Level Requirements

Responsibilities by Level

  • Entry:

    • Collects data from field investigations and makes observations
    • Assists in studying and preparing sections of reports on fishery biology investigations
    • Prepares samples and performs data analysis
    • Assists in planning, organizing, and implementing investigations that affect habitat conditions or fish biology

  • Mid:

    • Plans data collection approaches for portions of investigations
    • Recommends modifications to program activities 
    • Performs chemical, biochemical, physiological, or molecular analysis of environmental samples
    • Deploys remote data collection systems and manipulates and analyzes data
    • Monitors and surveys sensitive aquatic species and their habitats and evaluates and reports changes in habitat status

  • Journey:

    • Identifies research needs
    • Coordinates fishery and aquatic biology management strategies and programs
    • Implements scientific monitoring protocols to identify, evaluate, and complete monitoring of fish populations and fisheries
    • Prepares environmental assessments for projects

  • Senior:

    • Establishes new and modified methods, techniques, and procedures to improve aquatic species biology or habitat
    • Conducts program analyses and determines impact of new programs on targeted species
    • Coordinates with other Federal, state, and local government agencies and external stakeholders and groups
    • Provides reports, advice, and guidance to senior leadership

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Strengths by Level

Entry
Mid
Journey
Senior
  • 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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    Entry 5-7
    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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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Creative Thinking
    Uses imagination to develop new insights into situations and applies innovative solutions to problems; designs new methods where established methods and procedures are inapplicable or are unavailable.
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    Entry 5-7
    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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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Entrepreneurship
    Positions the organization for future success by identifying new opportunities; builds the organization by developing or improving products or services. Takes calculated risks to accomplish organizational objectives.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Flexibility
    Is open to change and new information; adapts behavior or work methods in response to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles; effectively deals with ambiguity.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • 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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    Entry 5-7
    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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    Entry 5-7
    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.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Organizational Awareness
    Knows the organization's mission and functions, and how its social, political, and technological systems work and operates effectively within them; this includes the programs, policies, procedures, rules, and regulations of the organization.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Partnering
    Develops networks and builds alliances; collaborates across boundaries to build strategic relationships and achieve common goals.
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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
  • Project Management
    Knowledge of the principles, methods, or tools for developing, scheduling, coordinating, and managing projects and resources, including monitoring and inspecting costs, work, and contractor performance.
    Show Tool Tip
    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.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 5-7
    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.
    Show Tool Tip
    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.
    Show Tool Tip
    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...

38.7%

Natural Resources Management and Biological Sciences

See Position Details
36%

Biological Science Technician

See Position Details
5.3%

Microbiology

Career Information Coming Soon

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