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Soil Conservationist (Resource Conservationist)

Expired Job

Department Of Agriculture Cortez , CO 81321

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 incumbent will assist the field offices and staff in developing and implementing a comprehensive natural resource conservation program throughout the geographical area of responsibility by providing technical guidance, assistance, and evaluation on matters related to Farm Bill Programs and Conservation Program contracting and implementation. This position is responsible for other NRCS programs in the designated area of responsibility.

  • Provides technical assistance and guidance to carry out various types of natural resource conservation programs, ensuring conservation goals are effectively and efficiently achieved. Assists landowners with the application of planned resource management systems in compliance with agency standards and specifications.

  • Assists the Area Resource Conservationist and/or District Conservationist with field office operations including establishing goals, developing and implementing the team-wide plan of operations, determining workload, and the training of others.

  • Represents the agency on county committees and/or task forces as directed by the supervisor; establishes and maintains a positive working relationship with other federal, state, and local agencies, units of government, and interested groups; participates with applicable groups in meetings, tours, and demonstration projects to explain resource conservation planning.

  • Provides program management, training and quality control for NRCS Farm Bill Programs, and other programs as they are legislated to the technical office and field offices. Conducts area reviews, perform program quality checks in accordance with agency policies, and provides training to the field staff for technical practices.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - up to 20%

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 period may be required.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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 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 grade 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. For this position, 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

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.

Time-in-Grade: Applicants must have completed at least 52 weeks at the next lower grade (GS-9 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.


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. For more information, click on this link:

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Soil Conservationist (Resource Conservationist)

Expired Job

Department Of Agriculture