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Soil Conservationist (Area Resource Conservationist)

Expired Job

Department Of Agriculture Salisbury , NC 28145

Posted 3 months ago

  • Videos

  • Duties

HelpDuties Summary

Do you want to work for a premier conservation agency whose mission is to "help people help the land?" The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has been working with farmers, ranchers, forest managers, non-governmental organizations, local and state governments, and other federal agencies to create and maintain healthy, productive landscapes. We need people who want to apply their education and experience to help ensure a healthy environment and productive agriculture.

Learn more about this agency


The Soil Conservationist (Resource Conservationist) works in the local field office and assists the District Conservationist in developing and implementing a comprehensive natural resource conservation program.

  • Provides leadership, technical guidance, interpretations, and recommendations to assigned technical staff, Field Offices, Area Offices, and the Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations (ASTC-FO) in the assessment, planning, development and application of conservation plans.

  • Provides support to field office staff in implementing National and State Conservation planning policies, procedures, and requirements of the Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG).

  • Ensures all planning and environmental compliance functions are reviewed in program appraisals; confirms subsequent ecological practice spot-checking processes are carried out on an annual basis.

  • Acts as an area NRCS representative in establishing and maintaining positive working relations with other federal, state, local agencies and organizations on problems of mutual interest regarding the soil and water conservation program. Represents the ASTC (FO) at conferences and committee meetings, as assigned. Subsequently advises and makes recommendations based on results of conference and committee deliberations.

  • Responsible for supervision of federal employees located in field office(s) and acts as liaison between the state and district employees. Ensures quality and quantity of work, reviews work of subordinates and accepts, revises, or rejects work. Sets performance standards and evaluates performance for subordinates.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - As needed for field visits, training, and other activities

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential

  • Job family (Series)
    0457 Soil Conservation

  • Requirements

HelpRequirements Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizen or U.S. National

  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.

  • A 1-year probationary or trial period may be required.

  • A 1- year supervisory probationary period may be required.

  • Must possess and maintain a valid state motor vehicle operator's licence for the type of vehicle(s) operated to perform the duties of this postiion. This will require the operation of a motor vehcile on both public and private roads during daylight hours and occasionally after dark.

  • Incumbent is required to obtain conservation planning level certification .

  • Entrance on duty is contingent upon completion of a pre-employment security investigation. The position may be subject to a Public Trust background investigation at the time of appointment, and may be subject to reinvestigation every five years thereafter. A favorable adjudication of the clearance or background investigation at the time of appointment and on reinvestigations is a condition of employment.

  • Work takes place in both office and field environments. lField work includes physical exertion retated to conservation work, walking on rough terrain, jumping ditches and furrows, and exposure to adverse weather conditions and poisonous or irritating insects and plants. Work may require protective clothing associated with outdoors work or construction sites.

PLEASE NOTE: In the interest of filling these positions as efficiently as possible, we are requiring the following:

  • If called for an interview, applicants must be available to interview within 3 business days of being contacted.

  • If a tentative job offer is extended, selectee will have 2 business days in which to accept or decline.


All applicants must meet all qualification (i.e. Basic Education Requirement, Specialized Experience Requirement) and eligibility (e.g. time-in-grade, general restriction on movement after competitive appointment/time-after-competitive appointment) by the closing date of this vacancy announcement.

Basic Education Requirement:

Degree: Soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering.

The study must have included 30 semester hours in a natural resource or agricultural field, including at least 12 semester hours in a combination of soils and crops or plant science. Of the 12 semester hours, a minimum of 3 semester hours must have been in soils and 3 semester hours in crops or plant science; OR

Combination of Education and Experience: at least 30 semester hours in one or more of the disciplines as shown above, including at least 12 semester hours in a combination of soils and crops or plant science, plus appropriate experience or additional education. Of the 12 semester hours, a minimum of 3 semester hours must have been in soils and 3 semester hours in crops or plant science.

Evaluation of Education: Education that provided specialized knowledge and skills in soil and water conservation is more valuable than education that imparted broad but general knowledge and skills.

Courses in soil fertility, soil chemistry, soil genesis, plant physiology, plant science, and field crops are examples of specialized courses that contribute towards meeting the required 12 semester hours as described above. Courses in the physical sciences or engineering such as geology, civil engineering, and hydrology also meet the soils, crops, or plant science course requirements where such courses included a complete introduction to the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils.

Evaluation of Experience: Experience that included the application of techniques, principles, and methods from a variety of agricultural and natural resource fields is appropriate, given the interdisciplinary character of the soil conservation occupation. For example, experience gained in a specialized field such as soil science, forestry, or agronomy is as fully acceptable as experience directly obtained in soil conservation work.

In addition to meeting one of the Basic Requirements listed above, applicants must meet the following Minimum Qualification Requirement in order to be considered:

Specialized Experience Requirement:

To qualify for the GS-11 level: Applicants must have at least one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-9 grade level in the federal service which is in or directly related to the line of work of the position to be filled and which has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position.

This experience is defined as providing technical guidance and assistance in phases and steps of the conservation planning process for a limited geographic region. Examples of this experience include: Providing technical guidance and assistance in the inventory and evaluation, design and certification phases of most ecological science conservation practices; Providing routine technical guidance and scientific advice on the management and administration of related natural resources conservation programs; Resolving most technical problems to implement sound conservation plans and practices with limited assistance; OR

Substitution of education in lieu of specialized experience for the GS-11 level: 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in a directly related discipline; OR

Combination of Education and Experience: A combination of graduate-level education and experience as described above, may be used to qualify for this position at the GS-11 level.

This combination must have equipped you with the necessary knowledge and/or experience to successfully perform the duties of this position. Combinations of experience and education must total at least 100% as outlined in OPM Qualifications policy.

To qualify for the GS-12 level: Applicants must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 level in the Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through federal service.

For this position, specialized experience is defined as providing technical guidance, assistance and training in all phases and steps of the conservation planning process for a wide geographic region. Examples of this experience include: Providing technical guidance and assistance in the inventory and evaluation, design and certification phases of complex ecological science conservation practices; Providing recommendations and solutions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of agency conservation activities; Providing guidance and oversight to others on conservation planning and implementation.

Time-in-Grade: Applicants must have completed at least 52 weeks at the next lower grade (GS-9 for GS-11, GS-11 for GS-12), or have held the same grade or higher grade level as the one advertised in order to be considered for this position.

Experience Note: Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here:


You must submit a copy of your college transcripts or a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grades received to verify all education requirements (i.e. substitution of education and/or basic education requirement).

If a relevant course is not clearly qualifying (e.g. special topic, seminar, research, thesis, obscure or misleading course title, etc.), please submit an official course syllabi and/or detailed course description from the university/college for that particular course to ensure you are properly evaluated. Please note that qualifications determinations are based solely on the information submitted for each particular vacancy announcement.

You must document all requirements on every vacancy; we cannot use previous determinations as a basis for rating. All required information must be received by the closing date of this announcement, and non-submission of all required documents/documentation will result in non-consideration. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted.

This information must be received by the closing date of this announcement. Non-submission of these documents will result in non-consideration.

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications.

Applicants must, therefore, only report attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation via this link.

All education claimed by applicants will be verified accordingly. Important: If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. Click on this link for more information.

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Soil Conservationist (Area Resource Conservationist)

Expired Job

Department Of Agriculture