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Soil Conservationist

Expired Job

Department Of Agriculture Stanford , KY 40484

Posted 3 months ago

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  • Duties

HelpDuties Summary

Do you want to work for a premier conservation agency whose mission is to "help people help the land?" For more than 83 years, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has worked in close partnership with farmers, ranchers, forest managers, non-governmental organizations, local and state governments, and other federal agencies to create and maintain healthy and productive agriculture.

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

The incumbent performs duties which assist the District Conservationist (DC) in developing and carrying out a coordinated natural resources conservation program tailored to customers' needs and meeting USDA and NRCS requirements. Incumbent provides technical assistance to local government bodies, tribal entities, state and Federal agencies, private landowners (i.e., individual farmers and ranchers), and the general public in the development, application, and maintenance of a coordinated natural resources conservation program.

  • Works with farmers and other landowners to develop conventional conservation plans addressing resource concerns; provides information concerning Farm Bill and State Conservation Programs; and develops conservation contracts according to the NRCS Conservation Program Contracting Manual.

  • Understands/applies applicable NRCS and Farm Bill programs available to address resources concerns and explains cost-share programs and payment procedures to applicants and contract holders.

  • Conducts regular follow-up on all scheduled practices assigned; develops operation and maintenance agreements for all structural practices planned and contracted; performs annual contract reviews on all assigned contracts to ensure contract schedules are followed and that practices are being maintained according to NRCS standards and specifications.

  • Recommends practices to farmers and ranchers which help control erosion and conserve soil and water.

  • Utilizes computer, web-based programs and technology tools in the documentation and management of conservation plans and technical assistance by the service center.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Up to 20%

Supervisory status

No

Promotion Potential
11

  • 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.

  • Motor vehicle operator: Must possess and maintain a valid state motor vehicle operator's license for the type of vehicle(s) operated to perform the duties of this position.

  • Physical Demands: This work requires regular and recurring physical exertion related to conservation work.

    This includes walking on rough terrain, jumping furrows, or climbing steep banks. This work also involves regular and recurring exposure to operating agricultural equipment including tractors, caterpillars and a wide variety of attached implements such as cultivators, discs, plows, etc. There may be exposure to snow and ice conditions as well as herbicide and chemical spray operations which will require safety precautions.

  • Entrance on duty is contingent upon completion of a pre-employment security investigation. The position may require 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.

  • If you are newly hired, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS "E-VERIFY" system. Federal law requires the use of E-VERIFY to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. Under this system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.

  • Have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.

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.

Qualifications

All applicants must meet all qualification (i.e. Basic Education Requiremement, 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 in 1 above, including at least 12 semester hours in a combination of soils and crops or plant science, plus appropriate experience or additional education comparable to a 4 year degree. 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 to qualify for the GS-09 level: you must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-07 level or higher in Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through federal service. This experience must include knowledge of the principles and theories of soil and water conservation and related sciences such as biology, agronomy, and forestry, in identifying conservation related problems. Examples of specialized experience include experience at the advanced trainee level:

  • Developing conservation plans to treat natural resource concerns;

  • Implementing and following up with conservation practices; and/or

  • Developing and managing conservation program contracts; OR

Education Substitution: 2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree or master's or equivalent graduate degree in a soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering; 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.

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.

Specialized Experience to qualify for the GS-11 level: you must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-09 level in the Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through federal service. This experience must include knowledge of the principles and theories of soil and water conservation and related sciences such as biology, agronomy, and forestry, in identifying conservation related problems. Examples of specialized experience include:

  • Providing technical guidance and assistance to groups and individuals on topics such as soil interpretations, erosion control measures, pest and invasive species control, water quality improvements, livestock management, wildlife habitat, and forest management;

  • Preparing conservation or resource management plans and providing financial or implementation assistance; and/or

  • Communicating and sharing general information and explaining issues related to natural resource conservation, problems, and solutions to landowners, residents, and land managers; OR

Education Substitution: 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in a soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering; 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.

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.

Time-in-Grade: Applicants must have completed at least 52 weeks at the next lower grade (GS-7 for GS-09, GS9 for GS-11), 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.

Education

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

Expired Job

Department Of Agriculture