BLM Direct Hire Authority for Resource Assistants (DHA-RA) Program

GeoCorps America Partnership 

Man in blue shirt inspecting fossilized leaf.The Geological Society of America (GSA) GeoCorps America program is continuing to partner with the United States Bureau of Land Management’s Direct Hire Authority for Resource Assistants (DHA-RA) program!

During the summer season the GSA GeoCorps America program offers rigorous geoscience opportunities through the BLM’s DHA-RA program. The individuals who successfully participate in these special opportunities can become eligible for noncompetitive hire into certain Department of Interior jobs, under the Direct Hire Authority. This is a fantastic opportunity for geoscientists who are highly interested in a career with the BLM and other federal agencies!

All eligible candidates are given equal consideration for these opportunities. The BLM's DHA-RA program is focused on full representation of women, individuals from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and other diverse schools. Participants from African American, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, and other underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.  These opportunities bring new and diverse viewpoints to the BLM while working on rigorous projects targeted for attracting, recruiting, and filling mission critical and hard-to-fill occupations.

Summer 2018 Opportunities

GeoCorps America is working with the BLM DHA-RA program to offer "Resource Assistant" opportunities for summer 2018. Follow the link below to learn more about the opportunities available this summer, and to apply to participate in the 2018 BLM DHA program.

2018 BLM Direct Hire Authority for Resource Assistants (BLM DHA RA) Opportunities:
BLM DHA RA - Geology
BLM DHA RA - Environmental Assessment/Physical Science & Natural Resource Management
BLM DHA RA - Petroleum Engineering
BLM DHA RA - Archaeology

To apply for these positions, please go to the GeoCorps application web-page. Applications will be accepted until 26 February 2018, so apply ASAP. If you already applied to other summer GeoCorps positions, all you need to do to apply to this program is add a cover letter specific to this program.

To learn about recent participants' experiences with GeoCorps, read their stories on the GSA blog, "Speaking of Geoscience ".

For more information on the BLM's Direct Hire Authority for Resources Assistants program visit the BLM's Careers Page.


All candidates to the BLM DHA GeoCorps positions must:

  1. African American woman wearing BLM hard hat at industrial site.Be at least 18 years old at the start of the project.
  2. Be a U.S. citizen (by birth or naturalization) or a U.S. legal permanent resident (a "green card" holder).
  3. Be enrolled in a post-secondary educational program at an accredited institution of higher education, OR, have completed a post-secondary educational program at an accredited institution of higher education less than two years prior to the anticipated date by which the DHA would be used for obtaining federal employment. [Ideally, a candidate who has already completed their higher education studies would use the DHA to obtain federal employment immediately or shortly after the completion of the 11-week GeoCorps project.]
  4. Be available to provide a minimum of 11 weeks of continuous service.
  5. Be willing to fulfill all reporting requirements (bi-weekly reporting, final reporting, and follow-up reporting in the months after completing the program).
  6. Be willing to submit to a government security background clearance process.
  7. Meet the specific qualifications listed for the specific opportunity to which one is applying.
  8. Meet the general GeoCorps eligibility guidelines.
  9. Have a strong interest in a career with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and/or the Department of Interior (DOI), which includes U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Park Service (NPS), and many other bureaus and offices.

Direct Hire Authority (DHA) and Noncompetitive Hiring Details

The Direct Hire Authority (DHA) allows eligible persons to be hired into federal jobs “noncompetitively”, essentially providing a fast-track to employment in agencies like the BLM, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service. More specifically, “Under the DHA [Direct Hire Authority] the Secretary [of Interior] may appoint directly a candidate(s) without competing in a competitive examination or competing with career and career-conditional employees under internal merit staffing procedures for any position(s) for which they are eligible in a land management agency. Veteran’s preference does not apply. Candidates applying under this authority will be considered with other noncompetitive candidates.” For more details, see Personnel Bulletin (PB) No. 12-15, published by the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior.


BLM logo

The Geological Society of America (GSA) GeoCorps America program is partnered with the BLM Office of Recruitment and Retention Programs (ORRP), which manages the BLM’s Direct Hire Authority for Resource Assistant Internship Program (DHA-RAI). Other organizations partnered with the BLM for this program include: American Conservation Experience, the Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative (IIC) at Southern Utah University, and the HACU (Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities) National Internship Program (HNIP).

The GeoCorps Role

The GeoCorps involvement with the BLM DHA-RA program began in the summer of 2015, and is expected to continue and grow over the next five years. GeoCorps will manage BLM DHA-RA opportunities in a very similar manner to other GeoCorps opportunities, but these BLM DHA-RA opportunities come with a few minor, additional requirements, while offering a huge new benefit – the possibility of applying to and being hired into federal employment using the Direct Hire Authority!


GeoCorps America logo

GeoCorps America is a program of the Geological Society of America, in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. The program offers geoscience opportunities in some of the most beautiful natural areas in the world--America's public lands. Past GeoCorps projects have taken place in the Tongass National Forest (AK), Sierra National Forest (CA), Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (UT), Craters of the Moon National Monument (ID), and dozens of other amazing public lands. GeoCorps project areas include geology, hydrology, paleontology, mapping , GIS (Geographic Information Systems), minerals, soils, glaciology, geo-hazards, cave/karst science, education, and interpretation. For a full description of the GeoCorps America program, please see the main GeoCorps America website.

If you have any questions, please contact Allison Kerns and Matt Dawson at .