In this position you will provide expertise in pest biology, taxonomy and risk analysis as a recognized specialist and consultant or team member to agency import policy staff, survey design groups, survey personnel, and Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) program managers. You will also review, evaluate and suggest modifications of inspection or trapping methodologies and approaches as an enhancement to plant pest and plant disease surveillance systems.
The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence and limited complexity. The duties may include, but are not limited to: Identifies or verifies identification of plant pests such as insects, some arachnids, and mollusks to genera and species and the family level. Refers some pests to National Identifiers, when virtually no pertinent reference material is available or the interception is particularly unusual. Monitors samples submitted for identification, pest interception, survey data, and pest detection techniques. Maintains, develops, and supplements information on taxonomy, hosts, distribution and other related information pertaining to intercepted and/or survey plant pests. Determines options for quarantine actions to be enforced by DHS and PPQ. Consults with and advises Department of Homeland Security (DHS), State departments of agriculture and other cooperators on the identity and biology of and procedures for detecting plant pests. Develops or aids in developing training modules and appropriately illustrated identification aids and works with national program staff to deliver training to PPQ, DHS and State employees.
Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement, including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.
BASIC REQUIREMENT: Degree in entomology; or a related discipline of the biological or physical sciences that included at least 16 semester hours in entomology.
OR Combination of education and experience: courses equivalent to a major that included course work as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
FOR THE GS-09 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-07 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:
- Has performed specialized and difficult taxonomic work based on major subject matter expertise. Identifying or verifying identification of plant pests, such as insects, some arachnids (e.g. mites, ticks, spiders), and mollusks, in immature and adult stages; identifies specimens to genera and species and, where insufficient information is available, to the family level.
- Maintained, developed, and supplemented information on taxonomy, hosts, distribution, and other related information pertaining to intercepted and/or survey plant pests.
- Developed and maintained specimen collections of plant pests pertinent to programs and consulting with and advising federal agencies, state departments of agriculture, and other cooperators on the identity and biology of and procedures for detecting plant pests (insects, some arachnids and mollusks).
- Developed or aided in developing training modules and identification aids and assisted in delivering training to federal agencies, state departments of agriculture and other cooperators.
OR 2 years of graduate-level education leading to a master's degree in entomology or a related discipline.
Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for this grade level.