U.S. Department of Commerce - Office of the Secretary U.S. Department of commerce seal

HR Practitioners banner

Home > HR Practitioners > Classification & Position Management > PD Library

Geodesist 14 (State Advisor)

Printable View




Serves as Geodetic State Advisor to a host state government agency, and a geodetic liaison for statewide public and private geodetic activities.


Coordinates a program related to the development and exploitation of coastal resources and property rights involving billions of dollars in revenues for the state and the United States.

Serves as the senior program coordinator between the agency and one or more states. Responsible for the coordination of all charting, geodetic surveys, and marine boundary activities by the agency and the state, either performed by the public sector or through contractual arrangements, involving multi-million dollar expenditures. Principle concern are programs dependent upon the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) and the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS), and coordinating federal policies related to these entities.

As senior on-site coordinator with other Federal Agencies including the U.S. Geological Survey's National Mapping Division, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other NOAA offices, is responsible for delicate, complex coordination between agencies to assure major mapping, charting, and geodetic requirements of the state and the Nation are satisfied.

Advises the state in regard to overall program planning and development relative to a myriad of requirements and conflicting objectives promulgated by establishment of ownership and exploitation of natural resources. Political sensitivity and interest in these activities are national and international in scope.

Provides guidance to the state in preparation of Statement of Work, Requests for Proposals, and related conferences.

Plans mapping and geodetic projects designed to meet a combination of state/Federal requirements. Responsible for planning and introducing new procedures and technology specifically relevant to specific conditions.

Arranges for logistic and special support for field surveys which may include special transportation and equipment.

Participates in policy-level planning activities with state and other Federal officials as the agency representative. Assures compliance with the provisions of other cooperative agreements which were developed to assure agency related user needs are met.


1 - Knowledge Required by the Position. Knowledge of diverse geodetic surveying techniques, specifications, and instrumentation (including state-of-the-art technologies such as GPS) to advise and assist the state in developing a capability for geodetic surveying.

An in-depth knowledge of agency plans and programs to provide the state and other Federal agencies with the broadest range of possibilities to best meet state requirements.

A theoretical and working knowledge of intergovernmental relationships to best assist the various and diverse Federal, state, and local agencies requiring agency support.

Knowledge of agency field activities, procedures, and requirements to assist the state and others with guidelines and assistance to meet specific project objectives.

Knowledge of geodetic and tidal datum requirements and the application of these requirements to meet datum determinations throughout the state and Region.

2 - Supervisory Controls. Supervisor provides administrative direction in terms of the broadly defined missions and functions. Instructions on individual assignments are usually limited to the selection of projects to be undertaken. Technical direction is provided by the senior researchers that have developed the models to be made operational. Employee acts independently to plan, design, and carry out programs, projects, studies, and other work, and has independent responsibility for investigative activities. Assignments are broad in nature and only the overall view of problems is provided. In most instances the employee will suggest the assignment thought to be most important at that time. In executing assignment, the employee does not require technical supervision. Decisions, recommendations, and findings are considered technically authoritative and are reviewed only with respect to their effect of the overall program.

3 - Guidelines. Guidelines are primarily pertinent legislation and broadly stated agency regulations and policies, objectives, mission statements, technical manuals, and related publications. Because much of the work is in new and unexplored areas or deals with unique problems, the guidelines often have very limited applicability to the work performed. Employee uses judgement and ingenuity in deviating from traditional methods, adapts existing methods, and develops new approaches as required. As a recognized technical authority on interpretation of agency guidelines, begins analyses primarily on the basis of own experience and from research being currently accomplished by national and international peers in the general fields covered. There are no agency guidelines for these tasks. Actively cooperates with people in other agencies and establishments, but typically work involves new methods and ideas which are essential for the beneficial application of results to geodesy and geophysics. Employee develops and documents new guidelines, and is solely responsible for the technical adequacy of the results. In many instances, defines and documents new methodology and functions, exercising expert technical judgement and innovation.

4 - Complexity. The work involves development of new methods and techniques to solve obscure and novel problems including interpreting and converting mathematical models into operational form. The work frequently involves difficult or unusual negotiations and coordination concerning technical, administrative, or other aspects such as compromises between a theoretically ideal but costly, method and a more computationally smooth method, costing less. Other complicating factors include selecting the approach and methods, interpreting collateral data, and making deductions from intricate, inconclusive, or variable data.

5 - Scope and Effect. The technical expertise of the employee will have a large impact on the use of geodetic data by the user community and on the progress towards the definition and maintenance of reference systems. The technical expertise provided by the employee will also greatly impact the entire scientific community by affecting future geodetic datums. Employee provides expert advice and assistance to scientists and officials both within and outside the agency on a wide range of geodetic matters. Purpose of the work is to isolate and define unknown conditions, resolve critical problems, or develop new approaches and guides for geodesists. Work effects scientific experts, high officials, and the development of major segments of agency programs.

6 - Personal Contacts. Principal contacts are with scientists and officials in the agency's headquarters, regional offices, other Federal agencies, and scientists outside NOAA worldwide. In addition, close contact is maintained with surveying and mapping user groups in the Federal, state, and private sectors to ensure their needs are properly considered. Contacts are not established on a routine basis.

7 - Purpose of Contacts. Contacts are to share and expand geodetic ideas; to join in communication to solve common problems; to broaden knowledge in field; to communicate the new techniques in geodesy and computer application and expand knowledge in the fields of surveying and mapping achieved through applied research. Contacts involve negotiation and persuasion to obtain the adoption of technical points and methods that might be in conflict with current practices or with those of the users of the agency products. Typical contacts are with persons with widely differing viewpoints/goals who must be persuaded to accept the agency's point of view or suitable compromises/alternatives.

8 - Physical Demands. The physical demands of the work are sitting, standing, walking, and occasionally climbing. A valid driver's license is required to perform the work.

9 - Work Environment. The employee works in an office which is adequately lighted, heated and ventilated


This position is exempt from coverage under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

(Last Updated:)

A - Z HR Policy Library for HR Practitioners