Soil Conservationist (District Conservationist)

Department Of Agriculture Salinas , CA 93901

Posted 2 weeks ago

  • Duties




The incumbent will serve as a member of the State Leadership Team, and participates in formulation of overall operations for the State. Responsible for managing field operations, associated programs, and budget formulation and execution for an assigned area of the state.

Learn more about this agency


  • Utilizes quality improvement processes, field office and/or managerial unit appraisals, field inspections, reports and results obtained by subordinates to develop, analyze, and implement improvements to field office and/or managerial unit operations,

  • improving the quantity, quality, consistency and effectiveness of conservation work in the state.

  • Oversees the development of conservation plans for a work area that covers a large geographic area usually consisting of cropland, rangeland, pastureland, forest land, and includes urban as well as rural areas.

  • Integrates and manages agency resources on the local level among the teams. Resources include budgets, schedules of assistance, equipment, and allocation and utilization of personnel and equipment to administer the conservation programs.

  • Guides the resource teams in the development and maintenance of effective working relationships with federal, state, and local agencies, groups, and individuals to improve the conservation partnership.

  • This includes communicating agency commitment and the importance of the quality improvement process to employees and partners.

  • Provides supervision to a wide variety of technical and administrative staff.

  • This includes providing overall leadership of program activities, making work assignments, evaluating performance, interviewing candidates, making selections, and determining training needs.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


  • Job family (Series)

0457 Soil Conservation

  • Requirements



Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a US Citizen or US National.

  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt.

  • Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check.

  • Successful completion of one-year probationary period, unless previously served.

  • Subject to one-year supervisory/managerial probationary period unless prior service is creditable. New USDA supervisors must successfully complete all components of the required training program before the end of their probationary period.

  • Direct Deposit: Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution.

  • Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify at

  • 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.

  • Incumbent is required to obtain Conservation Planning Level certification.


Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including time-in-grade restrictions, specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.

Time in grade: Current federal employees applying for a promotion opportunity must meet time-in-grade (TIG) requirement of 52 weeks of service at the next lower grade level in the normal line of progression for the position being filled.

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 Qualifications Requirement in order to be considered:

Specialized Experience to qualify for the GS-12 grade 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. 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 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.

Note: There is no education substitution for the GS-12 level.

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

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 and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.


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 (District Conservationist)

Department Of Agriculture