Job opening: Soil Conservationist (District Conservationist)
Salary: $72 553 - 131 452 per year
Published at: Jan 03 2024
Employment Type: Full-time
**Recruitment/Relocation Incentive of up to $7500 may be authorized.**
The incumbent will serve as a District Conservationist assisting the Conservation District(s), consisting of at least one county or district, in the development of a comprehensive natural resources conservation program. The incumbent performs 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.
Provides advice and assistance to farm managers, farmers, and other interested individuals and groups on the planning and development of land use regulations.
Informs and educates the landowner of conservation technical assistance and financial assistance to consider for conservation system and practice implementation. This includes oversight, management and administration for all Farm Bill programs.
Provides conservation technical assistance through and in cooperation with the conservation districts as specified in a memorandum of agreement established at the local, state and national level.
Develops training plans to ensure personnel are adequately qualified to perform assigned tasks and to ensure personnel are provided the opportunity to develop their skills to optimum level.
Interviews and determines selection from available candidates. Resolves complaints and grievances and takes appropriate action as necessary. Reviews job descriptions for accuracy. Initiates or participates in review and improvement of work methods.
Responsible for supervision of federal employees located in a field office and liaison between the state and district employees. Ensures quality and quantity of work, reviews work of subordinates and accepts, revises, or rejects work.
Sets performance standards and evaluates performance for subordinates. Interviews and determines selection from available candidates. Resolves complaints and grievances and takes appropriate action as necessary.
- 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. If selected, you will be sent instructions on obtaining fingerprints. Please note we are not able to reimburse any fees incurred for fingerprints.
- 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 https://www.e-verify.gov/.
- 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 will be required to obtain necessary requirements to serve within determined designated conservation planner role.
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;
Combination of education and experience: at least 30 semester hours in one or more of the disciplines as shown in 1 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.
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 Requirement for GS-11: To qualify for the GS-11, you must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-09 level in the Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through federal service. The experience requires the 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 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.
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.
Combination of Education and Experience: College-level education or training that provided knowledge equivalent to that described above, plus appropriate technical experience or additional education.
Specialized Experience Requirement for GS-12: To qualify for the GS-12, you must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 level in the Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through federal service. The experience requires the 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.
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.
There is no education substitution for GS-12.
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.
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-SeriesTime-in-Grade: Applicants must have completed at least 52 weeks at the next lower grade, 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. Click on this link
for more information.
- Address Natural Resources Conservation Service
1400 Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC 20250
- Name: Chanael Laster
- Phone: 817-509-3001
- Email: [email protected]