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Soil conservationist

Company Name:
Department Of Agriculture
US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required. Permanent Full-Time USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps America's farmers and ranchers conserve the Nation's soil, water, air and other natural resources. We need people who want to apply their education and experience to make sure we all enjoy the benefits of productive soil, clean water, clean air, and abundant wildlife that come from a healthy environment. "Helping People Help the Land" This position is being concurrently announced under Merit Promotion procedures on . Disabled Veterans, candidates with 3 or more years of active duty military service, and candidates eligible for special hiring authorities can apply to the Merit Promotion announcement if they meet criteria for the above and include supporting documents.
There is 1 vacancy available in Okeechobee, Florida. The incumbent assists with the activities of the field office (FO) primarily servicing Okeechobee County and is a member of the Conservation Delivery Team servicing Highlands, St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River and Okeechobee Counties as well as providing technical assistance to local soil and water conservation districts, local government bodies, state and Federal agencies, individual farmers, ranchers, and growers, and the general public in the development, application and maintenance of a coordinated natural resources conservation program. USCITIZEN SSR PROBATION US Citizenship is required. Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959. A 1-year probationary period is required.
Responsible for addressing resource concerns and explaining cost-share programs and payment procedures to applicants and contract holders pertaining to all applicable NRCS and Farm Bill programs.
Provides technical assistance to individuals, units of government, and the soil and water conservation districts with an emphasis on water quality implementation of best management practices.
Delivers technical assistance to a variety of agriculture and urban clients utilizing electronic data collection tools to develop conservation plans, process applications, develop contracts and implement conservation practices.
Provides technical information to land users, consultants, units of government and environmental groups to solve resources problems.
STATEMENT OF DIFFERENCES: At the GS-7 level the incumbent will perform the major duties of the position as the GS-09 but duties will be structured to be developmental in nature, with the supervisor working with the incumbent to help fill knowledge gaps and expand the employee's understanding of concepts and underlying principles; program requirements and procedures. 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). 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 at the following website: . All education claimed by applicants will be verified accordingly.
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 this link for more information.
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.
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.
Must possess and maintain a valid driver's license
May be subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary or trial period. The category rating procedure is used to rank and select eligible candidates. Under category rating, applicants who meet basic minimum qualification requirements established for the position and whose job related competencies have been assessed are ranked by being placed in one of the following categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, and Qualified. Preference eligibles are listed ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category. The definitions of the categories are as follows:
Best Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a superior level of the evaluation criteria.
Well Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a satisfactory level of the evaluation criteria.
Qualified: Applicants possessing the basic qualifications, with general knowledge, skills, and abilities.
You will be evaluated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the education, experience, and training you described in your application package, as well as the responses to the Occupational Questionnaire. Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g. Peace Corp, 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. Applicants will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience they possess relevant to the duties of the position and the extent applicants possess the following knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies listed below:
Conservation Planning - Decision Support, Financial Assistance Programs Management, Management Practice Application, Data Collection & Analysis, Follow-up & Maintenance; Continiously Learning; Attention to Detail; Adaptability and Flexibility; Accountability; Problem Solving; Organizing and Prioritizing Work; Written Communication
We will review your application, including the online Occupational Questionnaire, to ensure you meet the job requirements and assess your ability to perform this job. Before any certificate can be issued to the selecting official, the resume and supporting documents are reviewed by an HR Specialist to ensure that (a) minimum qualification requirements are met and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your answers will be verified against information provided in your online resume and application. Be sure that your resume clearly supports your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position.
If, after reviewing your resume and / or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score can / will be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Deliberate attempts to falsify information may be grounds for not selecting you.
To view the application form, visit: All applicants must meet all qualifications such as the education requirement and the specialized experience requirements listed below by the closing date of the 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 A above, including at least 12 semester hours in a combination of soils and crops or plant science, plus appropriate experience or additional education. 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 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.
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 toward 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.
Specialized Experience Requirement: To qualify for the GS-07 level, you must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-05 level in the Federal Service, (or private sector equivalent) demonstrating experience and knowledge of the application of routine principles, concepts and methodology associated with natural resources, This experience must have included:
Assisting senior Conservationist in planning conservation measures such as
waterways, water control structures, drainage systems, grazing systems; or
Assisting in advising landowners or agricultural operators of sound erosion
control and drainage techniques; or
Using a variety of topographic, aerial, and soils map for a specific unit of land.
Specialized Experience Requirement: To qualify for the GS-09 level, you must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-07 level in the Federal Service, (or private sector equivalent) demonstrating experience applying conventional and established conservation methods and techniques to maintain or improve production while conserving soil and water resources and developing natural resource conservation plans for land owners, conservation groups and units of government involving a variety of conservations practices. This experience must have included:
Assisting in planning conservation measures such as waterways, water
control structures, drainage systems, grazing systems; or
Explaining soil and water conservation methods, measures, and techniques to
small and moderate sized groups; or
Interpreting and using potential deficiencies to advise landowners or
agricultural operators of sound erosion control and drainage techniques; or
Utilizing and interpreting of variety of maps such as topographic, aerial, and
soils maps for a specific unit of land.
Substitution of Education in Lieu of Specialized Experience:
For GS-07: 1 year of graduate-level education or superior academic achievement.
For GS-09: 2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree or masters or equivalent graduate degree.
Education must be directly related to the position for which applying for.
Time-in-Grade: Applicants must meet one year at the next lower grade (GS-6 for GS-7, GS-8 for GS-9) to be considered for this position.
Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin.
The following instructions outline our application process.
You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.
We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office during business hours well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be submitted no later than noon on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.
This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact us if you are requesting this.
Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not have one) at . It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.
Step 2 : Create a resume with USAJOBS or upload a resume into your USAJOBS account. Customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. Your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).
Step 3: Click "Apply Online" and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required.
You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application" to continue.
NOTE: Verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Once in the Agency's staffing system you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX)
You must submit a complete Application Package, prior to 11:59, ET, on the closing date of this announcement. The following documents must be submitted for your application package to be considered complete. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents are received within the required timeframes. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, system failure or downtime, etc. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
Resume that includes the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 5) supervisors phone number and e-mail address for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 6) other qualifications.
College Transcripts if education is required for meeting basic qualifications and/or you are substituting education for specialized experience and/or if you are using education to meet the criteria for the quality category. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty.
If claiming Veterans Preference, a DD-214, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions or active duty service members may submit a certification document in lieu of the DD-214 that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or releases from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date of the submission of the certification. Veterans claiming 10 point preference must also submit a VA Letter and an SF-15 Application for 10-point Veteran Preference. Current Active Duty members must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty under honorable conditions dated within the last 120 days.
Other required documents may include:
CTAP/ICTAP Required Documentation Reduction-In-Force: Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, or Notice of Proposed Removal; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position you will be separated from.
Worker's Compensation Separation: Agency certification of inability to place employee AND Notification of Separation OR Separation SF-50.
Disability Annuity Termination: Notification from OPM of disability annuity termination AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held. Military Reserve or National Guard Technician Special Disability Retirement Annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456: Certification of special disability retirement annuity from a military department or National Guard Bureau AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held.
NOTE: If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the Human Resources Office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must upload both the old document and the new document. Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).
If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an email acknowledging: 1) the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful, 2) if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and 3) if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Normally, a final job offer to the selected candidate is made within 30-60 days after the issuance of the certificate. The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at: /
If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.
Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, provide proof of eligibility to include your most recent performance appraisal, SF-50, and proof of eligibility such as a RIF separation notice or letter from OPM/your agency. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles will be considered well-qualified if achieving a rating of 85 or above. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at .
This position is eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.
This announcement may be used to fill multiple vacancies.

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