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Soil Conservationist (District Conservationist)

Expired Job

Department Of Agriculture Fort Sherman Historical , MT 59457

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?" 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 working landscapes.

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

The incumbent serves as a District Conservationist assisting the Conservation Districts within the managerial unit, consisting of one or more counties or districts, in the development of a comprehensive natural resources conservation program. The incumbent performs expert professional duties to achieve an integrated system of sound land use and conservation treatment in harmony with the capability and needs of the land and landowner.

  • Responsible for the overall management of agricultural resources, the formulation and implementation of soil and water conservation plans for all out grants, and providing guidance and assistance to the landowner to implement their selected alternative(s). As a certified conservation planner, works in collaboration with landowner to provide detailed conservation system and practice implementation including conservation practice design, layout, construction, inspection and certification, management, operation and maintenance of the planned conservation system and practices according to the Field Office Technical Guide standards and specifications as well as comply with all federal, state and local regulations.

  • Informs and educates the landowner of conservation technical assistance and financial assistance to consider for conservation system and practice implementation. Executes oversight, management and administration for all Farm Bill programs in accordance with the Conservation Program Manual.

  • Independently provides leadership with conservation planning of natural resources and other activities in cooperation with the Conservation District, tribes, and local, state, and federal conservation partners to address resource concerns on private lands.

  • Leads a coordinated inter-agency delivery of conservation assistance to private landowners and others to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the state's natural resources. Partners with the state conservation partnership to provide long-term commitment to the local, state and federal government conservation delivery system to help private landowners, communities and others conserve natural resources within the state.

  • Responsible for supervision of federal employees located in multiple field office(s) and liaison between the state and district employees. Independently 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 - Up to 20%

Supervisory status

Yes

Promotion Potential
12

  • 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 motor vehicle operator's license for the type of vehicle(s) operated to perform the duties of this position.

  • 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 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.

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.

  • Subject to successful completion of pre-employment medical examination.

Qualifications

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 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-11 level: you must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-9 level or higher 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.

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

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 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-12 level: you must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 level or higher 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:

  • Analyzing workloads, developing and implementing annual work or business plans, and establishing goals within the constraints of funding and staff availability.

  • Directing 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 complex conservation or resource management plans and providing financial or implementation assistance.

  • Communicating and sharing technical information and explaining issues related to natural resource conservation, problems, and solutions to landowners, residents, and land managers.

  • Implementing and/or managing natural resources programs and practices which involve exercising initiative and resourcefulness.

Time-in-Grade: Applicants must have completed at least 52 weeks at the next lower grade (Example 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.

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: https://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Search.aspx. 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. For more information, click on this link: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.


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