Physical Scientist

Physical Scientist, GS-1301-12
OPEN:  October 15, 2012
CLOSE: November 23, 2012

The Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory anticipates recruiting for a Physical Scientist, GS-1301-12 to serve as a physical science analyst and technology transfer specialist. This position is located in the Fire Modeling Institute of the Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program at the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula, MT. The position will work with Program scientists, scientists from other Station Programs, and individuals from National Forest System Regions and their partners in developing science/manager partnerships to synthesize science findings related to research and development in fire, fuel, smoke, and the effects of climate change. The incumbent will develop tools for managers and stakeholders, and provide usable research results to natural resource managers.  The position reports directly to the Director of the Fire Modeling Institute. This is not a permanent position. A term appointment is 13 months in duration with a possibility of extension up to a maximum of four years.

DUTY STATION:  This position is located at the Fire Sciences Laboratory, 5775 West Highway 10, Missoula, Montana.  For information about the Fire Lab, the website is<>. Missoula, Montana is a full service community nestled on the east side of the Bitterroot Mountains where the Blackfoot and Bitterroot Rivers join the Clark Fork River. The community is surrounded by public and private timberlands and is the home of the University of Montana.  This scenic city is bustling with activity, as western Montana’s regional source for business, culture, medical services, retail, and entertainment. There are opportunities for fishing, thousands of miles of trails, and plenty of guides and shops to clue you in on the hot spots. Within 20 minutes of Missoula, you will discover two ski areas, one of which gets more than 300 inches of snow per season. With an area population of more than 80,000, Missoula has what you’d expect to find in a city–a wide range of hotels, restaurants, shops and galleries, several museums, a ballet company, live theater and a symphony. Missoula is home to a College of Technology and the University of Montana.

More information on the Missoula area can be found on the internet at For additional information regarding Missoula, MT and the surrounding communities, please visit the following webpages at:<> or call the Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce at 406-543-6623.


Science Delivery and Dissemination of Information 50%
Primary contact and responsibility for providing communication linkage between fire research and fire and fuel management. Develops and implements communication, outreach, science delivery, and technology transfer activities related to fire and fuel management, fire effects, climate change, and landscape restoration. Organizes workshops, seminars, trainings, and scientific meetings. Communicates scientific, technical, and management information to non-technical and professional audiences using a variety of print- and web-based media. Determines approaches, specific topics or aspects to be emphasized, and the most effective media to use for intended audience. Designs, writes, and produces a wide range of materials, including presentations, briefings, brochures, websites, and interactive activities. Fosters communication between agency staff, other government, and/or private organizations. Creates and adopts new and innovative ways to reach various audiences. Develops, organizes, and implements training in new or improved fire analysis practices and techniques. Facilitates the effective transfer of fire-related software and modeling systems from research to application and acts as interface between developer and user.

Wildland Fire Studies and Investigations 25%
Analyzes and integrates models and data from current and emerging research resulting in new or significantly improved techniques or solutions to specific problems. Performs investigations of complex relationships between wildland fire, climate change, and forest and grassland ecosystems. Compiles, synthesizes, and integrates scientific models, data, papers, and other resources to analyze natural resource opportunities. Summarizes data, makes calculations, uses simulation modeling systems, and performs statistical analysis when appropriate. Produces scientific reports, original research papers, and other peer-reviewed documents. Organizes and participates in scientific workshops, seminars, and meetings. Presents new research information, results, and syntheses to scientific audiences.

Collaborates with research and management partners on a wide variety of projects. Participates in the planning, development, and implementation of research projects. Maintains contact and cooperates with government, university, and private-sector representatives to partner and coordinate cooperative projects.

Performs the full range of activities for grants/cooperative agreements/IAGs that involve significant special provisions. Coordinates and administers activities and budgets of numerous research and management projects. Assists in design and oversight of activities and projects. Records and facilitates completion of specific objectives, milestones, and phases for complex projects. Coordinates and/or monitors schedule and budget requirements to ensure proper integration and completion of assignments.

Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Coordination and Liaison Functions 25%
Represents the agency on large inter-agency projects, meetings, and activities and in the public arena. Plans and arranges meetings and participates in negotiations. Maintains contact and cooperates with state, federal and local agencies and tribal governments to partner and coordinate cooperative natural resources management projects. Ensures adequate technical guidance is provided on natural resources projects and in the development of programs, plans and projects to ensure that such activities are consistent and compatible with agency direction and other agency missions. Maintains liaison with public groups, fire-related organizations and conservation organizations. Makes presentations at meetings and conducts tours of the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory for public and professional groups as required.

QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS:  Those who are interested must meet the qualification requirements for the GS-1301 series that are covered by the U. S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions – GS-1301, Professional and Scientific Positions.  The OPM Qualification Standards Handbook Manual is available for review at any federal personnel office or on the Internet at and

Primary Contact:  Kristine Lee
Phone Number:  406-829-6977
E-mail address:<>
Respond by:  November 23, 2012

E-mail attached OUTREACH NOTICE form by the closing date to:<>

RMRS – Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory
Missoula, MT
Physical Scientist
(GS 1301-12)

If you are interested in this detail/temporary promotion, please complete this form and send it by e-mail to<>  (Please include “GS-1301-12 Outreach” on the subject line of your message)

Please respond no later than November 23, 2012.  The position will be advertised on the OPM USA Jobs website<> shortly.

Missoula, Montana
U.S. Forest Service
Kristine Lee