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Soil Conservationist (Resource Conservationist)

Expired Job

Department Of Agriculture Des Moines , IA 50301

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

This position is located with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) state office staff. The incumbent provides statewide leadership for conservation and planning activities and is responsible for providing guidance, training, and coordination of the conservation planning aspects of NRCS programs in the State.

  • Serves as staff specialist on conservation planning issues, including support and management of conservation planning certification that result from the implementation of NRCS programs and activities in the state. Works closely with other discipline specialists.

  • Maintains NRCS handbooks and manuals specific to conservation planning, including the National Planning Procedures Handbook and related parts of the Conservation Programs Manual and NRCS General Manual. Develops policy and procedures for the states, conditions, and incorporates these into appropriate handbooks and manuals.

  • Analyzes training needs and develops training programs specific to conservation planning. Mentors, provides guidance, leadership and training to area and field headquartered staff, district conservationists, technical service providers, and others engaged in resource conservation assistance and planning on all land uses.

  • Conducts Quality Assurance Reviews for NRCS activities, including reviews for the adequacy of conservation planning, compliance with NRCS policy, and compliance with NRCS program requirements. Inspects and evaluates resource conservation planning and practice application performed by field personnel and others, and provides technical guidance to soil conservationists and others engaged in resource conservation planning on all land uses.

  • Utilizes computer systems and associated software including MS Office, Customer Service Toolkit, ArcGIS, CSG Database, eFOTG, Protracts, PRS, database management systems, web systems, and analysis and planning models and tools in order to access, enter, interpret, summarize and exchange natural resource data and other technical information in order to provide technical assistance to field employees. Provides leadership in the development and use of computer and web-based planning tools.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Up to 20%

Supervisory status

No

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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.

Specialized Experience Requirement:

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 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 and assistance in phases and steps of the conservation planning process for a limited geographic region. Examples of specialized experience include:

  • Providing technical guidance and assistance in the inventory and evaluation, design and certification phases of most ecological science conservation practices;

  • Providing 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

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.

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. 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 specialized experience include:

  • Providing technical guidance and assistance in the inventory and evaluation, design and certification phases of ecological science conservation practices;

  • Providing technical guidance and scientific advice on the management and administration of related natural resources conservation programs;

  • Resolving technical problems to implement sound conservation plans and practices without assistance

Note: The OPM Qualification Standards for this position can be found at: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/#url=List-by-Occupational-Series

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.

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 (Resource Conservationist)

Expired Job

Department Of Agriculture