Geographer

Geography

GS-0150

Position Overview

Geographers partner with other DOI scientists and technical experts from many disciplines.  Their expertise and research helps DOI answer challenging questions and drives recommendations in support of effective natural resource management.

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
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 is a skilled problem solver who identify relationships and linkages and apply in-depth knowledge of geographical science to a multitude of complex issues.  Working in multi-disciplinary teams requires the ability to collaborate and communicate effectively. 

Specialty Areas

Topography; Bathymetry; Remote Sensing; Geographic Information Systems (GIS); Structure-from-Motion; Climatology; Economic Geography; Regional Geography; Human Settlement; Land use / Land change

Work Environment

Geographers perform their work in offices and also conduct field work, often in remote areas.

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:

    • Installing, monitoring, and operating various geographic data collection instruments
    • Recording and maintaining databases
    • Assisting with studies documenting changes in land use

  • Mid:

    • Collecting information to develop an analysis of landscape dynamics
    • Gathering and summarizing data on seismic and volcanic activity, coastal erosion and land loss, or landslides
    • Participating in a team conducting fieldwork studies to obtain and validate geospatial data
    • Verifying data accuracy
    • Assessing the impact of climate change on geographic areas

  • Journey:

    • Utilizing Geographic Information Systems to analyze features and trends related to offshore oil and gas exploration, critical minerals, natural hazards, pollution, vegetation
    • Analyzing data to create maps and extract landform features of interest; Recommending better ways to visualize and display data
    • Advising on policy and planning for programs; Publishing research and present at professional conferences
    • Designing research and development tools and studies to resolve puzzling scientific questions
    • Planning and managing work of interns and other less experienced employees
    • Analyzing remote sensing data such as satellite imagery, lidar, or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) imagery

  • Senior:

    • Advising on policy and program development and long-range planning for a complex technical organization
    • Serving as a branch chief, associate director, deputy regional director or other position requiring similar level of leadership responsibility
    • Providing technical leadership and guidance to internal or Inter-agency teams of senior scientists whose work drives major technological advances
    • Publishing research and presenting at professional conferences
    • Proactively partnering with high-ranking officials from federal and international agencies and others on geospatial data acquisition and sharing

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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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    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
  • 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.
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    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.
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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.
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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
  • 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

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