Public Affairs Specialist with NOAA

This position is part of NOAA’s Office of Communications and External Affairs, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) located in the Office of of the Under Secretary (OUS), in Silver Spring, MD.

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Outdoor Market: job
$89,924.00 to $138,136.00 / Per Year
This position is part of NOAA’s Office of Communications and External Affairs, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) located in the Office of of the Under Secretary (OUS), in Silver Spring, MD.
This position will be filled under the DOC Alternative Personnel System (CAPS). This system replaced the Federal GS pay plan and structure. Under CAPS, positions are classified by career, pay plan, and pay band. The ZA-4 is equivalent to the GS-13/14.
This position is also announced under vacancy number (SO-UNSEC-2014-0007), which is open to all Status Candidates. You must apply to both announcements if you want to be considered for both.
•A one year probationary period may be required.
•Payment of relocation expenses is NOT authorized.
•This is a non-bargaining position.
•This is a Moderate risk position.
*This vacancy may be used to fill other (Public Affairs Specialist, ZA-1035-04) positions throughout NOAA. The position must be alike (e.g.: within the same geographic locations, same grade/band requires the same qualifications as indicated in this vacancy announcement).
•Not Required
•Must be a U.S. Citizen or National to apply.
•Registered for Selective Service, if applicable (
•Must be suitable for federal employment.
•Qualification requirements must be met by closing date of announcement.
•Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
The individual selected for this position will:
•Serve as a spokesperson for NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service.
•Communicate daily with the news media about ocean fisheries regulations and marine mammal protection issues.
•Build relationships with journalists and is considered a trusted source of information about the agency’s science, service, and policies.
•Advise managers and scientists about media relations and arranges media interviews, news conferences, and pitches news stories.
•Develop talking points and communication plans.
•Write news releases, fact sheets, letters-to-the-editor and op-eds.
•Develop and implements communicatin plans and deliverables designed to promote NOAA’s science, programs and policies wih the news media, the public and intenal audiences.
•Duties are performed in collaboration with the Department of Commerce Office of Public Affairs.
Qualification requirements in vacancy announcements are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains federal qualification standards. This handbook is available on OPM’s website at:
There are no minimum education requirements for this position.
Applicants must have one year of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to the next lower grade level in the Federal Service (ZP-3 or GS-12).
Specialized experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular competencies/knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position and is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled.
To Qualify for the ZA-4: One full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the ZP-3/GS-12: Experience serving as spokesperson to senior agency/corporate leaders and/or leaders and/or scientist to communicate their work with print and broadcast news media, concentrating on fisheries or marine mammal topics; Writing and editing external communications news media, such as press releases, fact sheets, op-eds on fisheries or marine mammal issues; Planning and executing events for media and working with commercial electronic and print news media on fisheries or marine mammal topics.
NOTE: Your resume must document specialized experience and support your responses to the vacancy questions.
For more information about the qualification requirements for this position QUALS
We will review your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position. If you meet the minimum qualifications stated in the vacancy announcement, we will compare your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to your responses on the scored occupational questionnaire (True/False, Yes/ No, Multiple Choice questions). However, your resume and/or optional cover letter must support your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire questions, or your score may be lowered. The best-qualified candidates will be identified for referral to the hiring manager and may be invited for an interview. The scored occupational questionnaire will evaluate you on the following competencies; please do not provide a separate written response:
•Knowledge of fisheries regulations and/or marine mammal conservation programs.
•Ability to arrange media interviews, news conferences and stories relating to fisheries regulations and/or marine mammal conservation programs.
•Skill in communicating orally to give presentations, conduct meetings and address the public on fisheries regulations and/or marine mammal conservative programs.
•Skill in communicating in writing to develop news releases, fact sheets and respond to questions from the public about fisheries regulations.
To preview questions please click here.
You can review our benefits at:!benefits.hms?orgId=16&jnum=99327
ICTAP candidates will be eligible if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining at least a rating of 85 out of 100. Information about ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management’s Career Transition Resources website at: ICTAP
ICTAP applicants MUST submit the following documents:
1. A copy of your RIF separation notice; notice of proposed removal for failure to relocate; notice of disability annuity termination; certification from your former agency that it cannot place you after your recovery from a compensable injury; or certification from the National Guard Bureau or Military Department that you are eligible for disability retirement;
2. A copy of your SF-50 “Notification of Personnel Action” documenting your RIF separation, noting your positions, grade level, and duty location, and/or Agency certification of inability to place you through RPL, etc
3. A copy of your latest performance appraisal including your rating; and
4. Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential.
NOAA participates in e-Verify. E-Verify is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that enables participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees.
Your complete application, including required documents, must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.
To apply on-line, you must complete and submit an application by accessing the USAJOBS website at USAJOBS. To begin, click the Apply Online button near the bottom of this screen and follow the prompts to register into your USAJOBS account, answer the questions, and submit all required documents. To return to your saved application, log in to your USAJOBS account at USAJOBS and click on “Application Status”. Click on the position title, and then select “Update Application” to continue.
If you have problems completing your on-line application, including problems submitting your supporting documents, please contact the Help Desk by e-mail at ( or phone at 866.656.6831. The help desk is available Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET.
For instructions on submitting your application in another format please contact the Human Resource Assistant listed in this announcement.
A complete application consists of the following:
•Resume showing relevant experience; cover letter optional. Your resume must indicate your citizenship and if you are registered for Selective Service if you are a male born after 12/31/59. Your resume should also list your education and work experience including the dates (mm/dd/yy) of each employment along with the number of hours worked per week. For work in the Federal service, please include the grade level for the position/s. Your resume may be used to validate your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire.
•If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-points veterans’ preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 to show type of discharge or other valid proof of eligibility. If you are claiming 10-point veterans’ preference, you must also submit an SF-15, “Application for 10-Point Veterans’ Preference” plus the proof required by that form. For more information on veterans’ preference see
•Active Duty Service Members– You must submit a statement of discharge/certification of release or an official written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions no later than 120 days from the date the announcement closes. Enlisted Record Briefs and military identification do NOT qualify as official documentation. If the appropriate information is not submitted to confirm the discharge status, dates of service, etc., you will not be considered for this job opportunity under Veteran Preference procedures. To gain access to your DD-214 online please visit
•Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) documentation if applicable (see other information).
•Education. If this position requires proof of higher education, you must submit an unofficial transcript or a list of courses that includes the following information: name of accredited institution, grades earned, completion dates, and quarter and semester hours earned. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education’s website. You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application. Failure to provide such documentation by the closing date of the announcement will result in lost consideration.
Marci Troyer
Phone: 816-426-2038
Fax: 000-000-0000
Agency Information:
601 East 12th Street
Room 1713
Kansas City, MO
Fax: 000-000-0000
You will be notified of your application status through USAJOBS at four points during the hiring process, as applicable. You can check the status of your application by accessing the USAJOBS website at: USAJOBS and clicking on “Application Status”. The four points of notification are:
1. Application Received or Application Incomplete;
2. Minimum Qualification Requirement Met or Minimum Qualification Requirement Not Met;
3. Eligible (Application Referred to the Selecting Official) or ineligible (Application Not Referred to the Selecting Official) and
4. Selected or Not Selected.
By submitting your application, you are certifying the accuracy of the information contained in your application. If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; you may be terminated after you begin work; or, you may be fined or jailed. After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation. You will be required to submit official documentation prior to appointment. The agency will then verify the information provided on your application (i.e., degree, veterans’ preference, disability, etc.).

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