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Appointments Made Through The National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) Program

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General Information

Since 1965, the USGS has partnered with the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) to provide internship opportunities for recent graduates and students as part of a Cooperative Field Training Program. Each year the NAGT program nominates a number of students and recent graduates for summer field, laboratory, and scientific office and field work with the USGS.

NAGT selectees are hired using an excepted service authority that allows recent graduates the opportunity to gain experience in an entry level professional internship at the GS-05 level with the USGS for a period of up to a 5 months. On occasion, the NAGT program will nominate and select candidates who are current students and do not meet the qualification requirements for an entry level professional scientific position. When thatís the case, the student may be appointed to a technician positon at the GS-03/04 level. Standard Position Descriptions have been developed and are accessible on the Nationwide Standard Position Description listing accessible at

Eligibility Requirements

Candidates are considered eligible based upon nomination and a multi-step panel process that places interns with the best possible USGS project.

  • Candidates are nominated for the internship by their field camp director.  They submit resumes, transcripts, and cover letters to the USGS Education Office through USAJOBS (see the Program Homepage for application procedures).
  • USGS scientists across the nation submit project proposals to host an intern.  Consistent with the earth systems approach used in modern research, these proposals come from a wide variety of disciplines, including geology, hydrology, ecosystems, and other areas of the earth sciences.
  • A panel of USGS scientists representing all disciplines is convened and is responsible for reviewing candidate applications, project proposals, and for determining potential matches. The panel attempts to find at least 2 to 4 potential projects for each intern based on the student’s interests, educational background, and career goals.
  • Candidates are informed of the projects that have been selected as a potential match for them, and are asked to review each project proposal for acceptability.
  • USGS Scientists are informed of the candidates that have been identified as potential matches for their project. They are asked to conduct telephone interviews with each student, after which they submit a ranked list of their preferred candidates.
  • The final match-up of interns to projects is determined by way of scientist and candidate preference. USGS scientists have the ultimate choice in candidate selection, although student preferences will be accommodated whenever possible.
  • Once interns have been placed with a project, they will be contacted by their science mentor to set up a tentative start date, and will receive instructions on the hiring process from the servicing Human Resources Specialist/Assistant.

Qualification Requirements:   In order to be considered for an internship, nominated candidates must meet the qualification requirements for at least one of the following scientific occupations prior to their appointment date:

Occasionally, when current students are nominated they may only qualify for technician positions at the GS-03 or GS-04 level. Qualification requirements must be met prior to the appointment date. Below are links to the qualification requirements for scientific technician positions:

Appointment Options

NAGT opportunities are filled as an excepted service temporary appointment under Schedule A, section 213.3102 (i)(3). These appointments are limited to persons selected under the NAGT/USGS Cooperative Summer Field Training Program only. Employment under this program may not exceed 5 months total.

While under this appointment, the appointee:

  • Does not acquire eligibility for non-competitive conversion to a permanent position;
  • Will not be eligible for promotion, detail, change to lower grade, or reassignment to another geographic location;
  • Will not be eligible for life insurance or retirement benefits but may be eligible to elect health insurance coverage in certain circumstances;
  • Will be eligible to earn annual and sick leave and be paid for holidays. 
  • May be terminated at any time for a legitimate management reason (not related to adverse actions).

Requirements for Considering Displaced/Surplus Employees

Provisions of the Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP)/Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) do not apply to an excepted service appointment (reference 5 CFR 330.609(i) and 330.707(g)).

Probationary/Trial Period Requirements

Temporary appointees under a NAGT appointment do not serve a probationary or trial period.

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Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 12-Apr-2016 10:04:43 EDT