Opportunity Type:


Information Technology Specialist (GS-2210-11)


About the Position: The Northern Research Station is announcing an upcoming vacancy for an Information Technology Specialist (GS-2210-11) position that will provide science support to the Center for Research on Ecosystem Change in the Northern Research Station. The position is a permanent appointment with a full-time tour of duty, stationed in either Grand Rapids, MN or Durham, NH.

Job Description: The NRS07 Information Manager will be responsible for (1) alignment of digital data with the historic 60 year analog data set for both the Hubbard Brook and Marcell Experimental Forests, (2) processing of ~75 million data points per year collected with our environmental sensor systems; (3) working with Unit scientists and staff to perform QA/QC to insure that experimental forests maintain the highest standards in data quality; (4) provide experimental forest and laboratory data to our collaborators in a timely fashion; and (5) providing oversight and data management for the Smart Forest Network and the SPRUCE Experiment.

Knowledge Required: Knowledge of managing large climatological, hydrological, ecological and biogeochemical data bases is critical. The incumbent must have modern information management skills and the ability to manipulate large data sets in near real time. Ability to efficiently QA/QC climatological, hydrological, ecological and biogeochemical data. An understanding of suitable data exchange mechanisms for within Forest Service and with collaborators and students outside of the agency. An understanding of web-based development methods, Geographic Information Systems, environmental modeling, and a strong statistical background is preferred.

Other Information of Interest:

  • The area of consideration is all United States citizens
  • One position will be advertised
  • Work will include overnight travel
  • Basic entry qualifications for this series are a Masters’s degree in information science or similar, and/or degrees in natural resources, soil science, water resources, ecology, atmospheric sciences, hydrology, or related disciplines that have proficient skills in information technology.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills are essential
  • An ability to work both independently and in a team setting is necessary
  • United States citizenship required

The Research Environment: The focus of the research program is on 1) understanding ecosystem processes and functions at multiple scales; 2) predicting ecosystem responses to disturbance and change; 3)assessing management approaches to address factors that change ecosystems; and 4) evaluating long-term responses to change and management utilizing our experimental forest. We manage the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire and Marcell Experimental Forest in Minnesota, both sites of long-term collection of data on hydrology, water chemistry, soil, climate and ecosystem biogeochemical data across multiple watersheds.

The Grand Rapids Community: The community of Grand Rapids is a city of about 10,000 located in the north-central part of Minnesota in the heart of lake country. Grand Rapids has a rich history in logging, iron mining, and year-around recreation. There are more than a million acres of forests and over a thousand lakes in the Grand Rapids area. The city is a regional center for education, recreation, commerce, and culture. The Reif Center for the Performing Arts and the Itasca Community College contribute greatly to the cultural and educational opportunities within the community. The Forestry Sciences Laboratory is located on the campus of the Itasca Community College and the University of Minnesota’s North Central Research and Outreach Center. The Chippewa and Superior National Forests are nearby, as are numerous State and County forests. A Regional Office for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is located in Grand Rapids as well as production facilities and land management offices for the UPM Blandin Paper Company. The Duluth, Hibbing, and Bemidji airports serve the community with connections to Minneapolis. Grand Rapids is a full service community with an abundance of medical, dental, and legal services. Housing for either renting or buying in a broad range of price categories is readily available. For more information about Grand Rapids see http://www.visitgrandrapids.com.

The Durham Community: Durham, NH (2010 pop. 14,638) offers the best of both worlds–breathtaking scenery and the slower pace of New England country and small-town life. With the seacoast city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire only 8 miles to the east, Boston, MA 1 hour to the south, and Portland, ME 1 hour to the north, residents have the ability to access the best in health services, arts, culture, and sporting events. The Research Laboratory is located off of the University of New Hampshire campus. The White Mountain National Forest is located with a 2 hour drive and includes both Hubbard Brook and Bartlett Experimental Forests. Interstate 95 is the primary access to the town from the north and south. State Highway Routes 108, 101, 4 and 33 provide convenient access from adjoining areas. Transportation facilities within the Durham Area include Amtrak Train service and a bus system that connects the city with Boston, New York City, and Portland, Maine. Air transportation offers a number of choices. Boston’s Logan Airport, the region’s largest, is 50 miles to the south, and provides both domestic and international passenger service through a variety of carriers. Manchester Airport, 35 miles west, is smaller, sometimes more convenient, and has undergone a $65 million expansion. To a large extent, Durham has a maritime climate. Spring often comes late due to the colder ocean temperatures and quickly transitions into summer. Autumn is usually long and very pleasant. For more information about Durham see https://www.ci.durham.nh.us/.

To Express Interest: To learn more about the job duties or other questions about the position, contact Randy Kolka at (218) 326-7115 (e-mail: rkolka@fs.fed.us). If you are interested in this position, please fill out the enclosed outreach notice by March 15, 2018. Once the position is advertised in USAJOBS, we will notify you by email.

Candidates will be considered without discrimination for any non-merit reason such as race, color, religion, sex, national origin, politics, marital status, physical handicap, age or membership in any employee organization. The USDA is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer.


If you are interested in this position, please complete and submit the attached form to Randy Kolka, Team Leader, Grand Rapids, MN, rkolka@fs.fed.us; FAX 218-326-7123. This will help us determine the level of interest of prospective candidates and establish the area of consideration. Please respond by March 15, 2018.