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Geographer, GS-0150

Definitions:

EXPERIENCE: One year of work experience is twelve months working full-time (at least 35-40 hours per week). Part-time experience can be pro-rated (i.e., a year at 20 hours per week is credited as 6 months of experience). If your position consisted of mixed duties, experience credit is given for the percentage of time that you spent on qualifying duties (i.e., if you held a position for 2 years, full-time, consisting of 25% personnel work and 75% budget work, and then applied for a budget position you could calculate your experience as follows: 2 yrs = 24 months. 24 months x 75% [percentage of time spent on budget duties] = 18 months of qualifying experience.)

UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION: A year of undergraduate education is 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours or the equivalent of college study. This education must have been obtained in an accredited college or university for which high school graduation or the equivalent was a prerequisite.

GRADUATE EDUCATION: In the absence of specific graduate program information, a year of graduate education is 18 semester hours or 27 quarter hours of graduate level college course work, or the number of credit hours the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full time study. This education must have been obtained in an accredited college or university.

For GS-05:

BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENT: Applicants must meet A or B below to satisfy the basic education requirement for Geographer, all grade levels.

  1. Degree in geography; or related physical or social science such as geology, meteorology, economics, statistics, sociology, anthropology, political science, history, cartography, computer science, urban studies, or planning that included at least 24 semester hours in geography or related fields.
  2. A combination of education and experience-- courses equivalent to a major in geography, or a related field that included at least 24 semesters hours in geography or related fields, as shown in "A" above, plus appropriate experience and/or additional education. The education or combined education and experience must be comparable in type, scope and thoroughness to that acquired through successful completion of a 4-year course of study as described in "A" above. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE)

For GS-07:

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-07 level:

**One year of successfully completed graduate level education (18 semester hours, 27 quarter hours or the equivalent) in geography or other directly related field of study if it provided the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to do the work of the position to be filled.

**OR Superior Academic Achievement based on undergraduate study. (CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SUPERIOR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT).

**OR one year of appropriate professional experience in geography that is equivalent to at least the GS-05 level in the Federal service.

Examples of such experience could include involvement in the collection and identification of geographic information concerning the exact location and place names of physical and cultural features, population changes during a specified time period in a given place or area, and changes in topographic features. This level of work would have involved receiving close guidance, clear, specific, and detailed instructions, carrying out assignments in accordance with established procedures and would have required a basic knowledge of the principles of geography. **OR a combination of successfully completed graduate level education, as described above, and professional experience, as described above. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE)

For GS-09:

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-09 level:

**Master's or equivalent graduate degree in geography or other directly related field of study or 2 years of progressively higher-level graduate education (36 semester hours, 54 quarter hours or the equivalent) leading to a master's degree in geography or other directly related field of study if it provided the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to do the work of the position to be filled.

**OR one year of appropriate professional experience in geography that is equivalent to at least the GS-07 level in the Federal service.

Examples of such experience could include compiling and evaluating basic geographical facts from a variety of specified sources, ascertaining discrepancies in data, and presenting geographical information from specified maps, charts, and other source materials in the most useful format. This level of work would have involved following established procedures or detailed instructions and would have required a familiarity with a variety of basic geographic tools and sources.

**OR a combination of successfully completed progressive graduate level education, as described above, that is beyond the first year of graduate study and professional experience, as described above. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE)

For GS-11:

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-11 level:

**Ph.D. or equivalent graduate degree in geography or other directly related field of study or 3 years of progressively higher-level graduate education (54 semester hours, 81 quarter hours or the equivalent) leading to a Ph.D. in geography or other directly related field of study if it provided the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to do the work of the position to be filled.

**OR one year of appropriate professional experience in geography that is equivalent to at least the GS-09 level in the Federal service.

Examples of such experience may include: 1) locating, examining, evaluating and selecting, from a variety of source materials, information for use in depicting the location and standardizing the nomenclature of physical and humane features on a map, chart or in a gazetteer; 2) determining the distribution of like phenomena (e.g., deciduous vegetation or precipitation) over Eastern U.S., or comparing the distribution of two or three different kinds of phenomena, e.g., deciduous vegetation and precipitation; 3) providing assistance to a higher-graded researcher on small, self-contained studies. Examples 1 & 2 included independent responsibility for small projects or significant segments of larger projects. Discrepancies may have arisen in source materials. Judgment was used to resolve the less difficult problems; a higher-level authority resolved the most difficult problems. Work was carried out in accordance with established procedures and criteria. For example 3, extensive and precise instructions were provided and the project leader was readily available for consultation and guidance.

**OR a combination of successfully completed progressive graduate level education, as described above, that is beyond the second year of graduate study and professional experience, as described above. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE)

For GS-12:

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet the following to qualify for the GS-12 level:

**One year of appropriate professional experience in geography that is equivalent to at least the GS-11 level in the Federal service.

Examples of such experience may include: 1) assembling information concerning the location and nomenclature of physical and cultural phenomena covering an area the size of Canada, and making determinations in the more difficult cases regarding location and nomenclature to appear on a map, etc. to insure standardization of such information; 2) compiling and synthesizing geographic data to show and compare the distribution of various features and events; 3) performing analytic and interpretive work concerned with determining and explaining the interrelationships existing between or among two or three varieties of phenomena. Examples 1 & 2 required a high degree of independence in planning and carrying out the assignments, selecting the approach or methodology to be used, resolving most of the conflicts that arose, and coordinating the work with others as necessary. The work usually involved established methods and conventional techniques and involved assisting in or partial responsibility for changing and modifying established procedures and precedents. Example 3 required independence in the execution of the research process, except for conferring with the supervisor at intermediate stages to assure that the approaches taken were effective and sound.

For GS-13:

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet the following to qualify for the GS-13 level:

**One year of appropriate professional experience in geography that is equivalent to at least the GS-12 level in the Federal service. Examples of such experience may include: 1) serving as a recognized expert on the location and nomenclature of all physical and human features regarded as significant for navigational, intelligence, logistic and general geographical use; 2) responsibility for a comprehensive descriptive study of significant geographical aspects of a major nation state, e.g. Brazil, involving the bringing together of numerous available facts and their presentation; 3) publication of papers dealing with problems, findings, or determinations which are recognized as having considerable significance in the field; 4) performing analytical and interpretive assignments of considerable significance and complexity; 5) designing and creating GIS databases. For examples 1-5, the work involved collaborating with superiors in planning future projects and making recommendations as to the feasibility of proposed projects and the necessity for new phases of existing projects. Apart from program policy, formal guidelines did not exist.

For GS-14:

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet the following to qualify for the GS-14 level:

**One year of professional geographer experience that is equivalent to at least the GS-13 level in the Federal service.

Examples of such experience may include: 1) initiating, formulating, planning, and controlling of major research projects or geographical programs critical to the organization; 2) developing and testing hypotheses to clarify complex and often obscure causal relationships; 3) examining geographic processes to understand their nature and assess their impact upon organizational programs; 4) conducting analytic and comparative studies that define geographic areas throughout the nation.

For examples 1-4, assignments were given in terms of general objectives; the work often involved research and investigations of a subject in which little work had been done; the geographer's decisions were authoritative; and he/she was recognized as the organization's expert in their field.

For GS-15:

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet the following to qualify for the GS-15 level:

**One year of professional geographer experience that is equivalent to at least the GS-14 level in the Federal service.

Examples of such experience may include: 1) Serving as a recognized authority that other senior technical experts in geography turn to for advice and counsel; 2) Planning, directing, and executing projects involving highly unstructured and interconnected geographic problems involving both difficult technology and complex human relations or programmatic issues; 3) Developing and coordinating major geographic projects and/or programs that have special significance for the success of the organization (i.e. a wide region or multiple program areas); 4) Serving as project manager for a new technology especially critical to the organization's programs.



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Page Last Modified: Thursday, 01-May-2014 14:38:14 EDT