Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Conservationist (Recent Graduate) - Incentives May Be Authorized in United States
Summary The Pathways Recent Graduate Program is for recently graduated or graduating individuals who are looking for developmental experiences in the Federal Government intended to promote possible careers in the civil service. Locations will be Negotiable: Applicants interested in locations not specifically listed on the announcement are encouraged to communicate/negotiate location availability during the interview stage. Responsibilities Works with farmers and other landowners to develop conventional conservation plans addressing common resource concerns; provides information concerning Farm Bill and State Conservation Programs. Develops conservation contracts according to the NRCS Conservation Program Contracting Manual. Fully utilizes Toolkit/protracts programs in the documentation and management of conservation plans and technical assistance by the service center. Conducts regular follow-up on all scheduled practices assigned and develops operation and maintenance agreements for all structural practices planned and contracted. Performs annual contract reviews on all assigned contracts to ensure contract schedules are followed and that practice are being maintained according to NRCS standards and specifications. Completes highly erodible land (HEL) and Wetland Determinations and annual Farm Service Agency (FSA) Compliance Checks for HEL and Wetlands. Requirements Conditions of Employment Qualifications (NOTE: You must attach a copy of your transcripts. Failure to submit transcripts will result in an ineligible rating.) Basic Requirements: For the GS-05 level: 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 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 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. GS-7 Grade Level: In addition to meeting one of the Basic Requirements above, applicants must meet the following Minimum Qualification requirement in order to be considered for this position: Specialized Experience: To qualify for the GS-07 grade level, you must possess at least one year specialized experience equivalent to the GS-5 level or higher in the Federal service (or private sector equivalent) demonstrating experience and knowledge of the application of the principles, concepts and methodology associated with natural resources. For this position, specialized experience is defined as experience providing technical advice to address soil and water resource concerns and implement conservation planning. OR Superior academic achievement in a bachelor's degree a curriculum directly related to the work of the position. To qualify for superior academic achievement, you must have ONE of the following: (1) standing in the upper third of your college class or major subdivision at the time you apply; (2) grade point average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or its equivalent for all courses completed, either (a) at the time of application or (b) during the last 2 years of your undergraduate curriculum; (3) B+ (3.5 on a 4.0 scale) or its equivalent for all courses completed in a related discipline, either (a) at the time of application or (b) during the last 2 years of your undergraduate curriculum; OR (4) election to membership in one of the national honorary scholastic societies that meets the requirements of the Association of College Honor Society; OR Education Substitution: (1) one year of graduate-level education in soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering. OR Possess 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. GS-9 Grade Level: In addition to meeting one of the Basic Requirements above, applicants must meet the following Minimum Qualification requirement in order to be considered for this position: Specialized Experience: To qualify for the GS-09 grade level, you must possess at least one year specialized experience equivalent to the GS-7 level or higher in the Federal service (or private sector equivalent) demonstrating experience and knowledge of the application of the principles, concepts and methodology associated with natural resources. For this position specialized experience is defined as experience independently providing technical advice to address soil and water resource concerns and implement conservation planning. OR Substitution of Education in Lieu of Specialized Experience: Possess two years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a masters degree or masters or equivalent graduate degree in soil conservation or a related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering; OR Possess 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. To view the position's Qualification Requirements of the associated occupational series as outlined in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, General Schedule Qualifications Standards. See the link below: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/#url=0400-ndx 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. Recent Graduates will serve on this appointment for one year learning the fundamentals of the position for which they can be converted. For more information on the Pathways Recent Graduate Program, please visit https://www.usajobs.gov/StudentsAndGrads. This paid appointment may offer additional Recruitment and Relocation incentives. It may allow for Student Load Repayment Program opportunities. Please see additional information in the announcement below. 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. If you have not yet conferred your degree or certificate, but will within 120 days of the closing date of this announcement, a letter from the school documenting current standing, degree being obtained and expected graduation date must be submitted with your application. 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. Official transcript will be required prior to entering on duty. 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. Additional Information Education Status: Completed all requirements for an associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational, or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution within the previous two (2) years; or individuals who, due to military service obligation, were precluded from applying to the Recent Graduates Program during any portion of the 2-year eligibility period described above shall have a full 2-year period of eligibility upon release or discharge from active duty. This eligibility period cannot extend more than 6 years from the date on which the requirements for the academic course of study were met. Recent Graduate appointments may not exceed two years. Recent Graduates who satisfactorily complete all the USDA Recent Graduates Program requirements may be non-competitively converted to a Term or Permanent appointment in the competitive service. Conversion is not guaranteed. Recent Graduates converted to Term appointments may later be non-competitively converted to a Permanent competitive service position. Locality Pay: The salary for each location may vary depending on locality. Locality tables my be found at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/. Promotion Potential: 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. Physical Demands: The work requires regular and recurring physical exertion related to conservation work requiring walking on rough terrain, jumping ditches and furrows, or climbing steep banks and similar activities. Work Environment: The work involves regular and recurring exposure to operating agricultural equipment including tractors, caterpillars and a wide variety of attached implements such as cultivators, discs, plows, etc. There may be exposure to snow and ice conditions, and herbicide and chemical spray operations requiring safety precautions. Protective gear and clothing such as hard hat, boots, and gloves may be necessary. 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. This position is eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the position and other flexible work arrangements. Other flexibilities are possible dependent upon availability and/or the position and its associated duties. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor. Additional Selections: Selecting Officials may consider applicants in locations not listed in this Job Opportunity Announcement (JOA). Applicants should apply to the locations in each state(s) that is listed in this announcement, location will be discussed during interviews to assess interest in other area's within the state(s) of interest. Recruitment and Relocation Incentives may be offered. Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) may be authorized upon meeting Pathway Conversion eligibility requirements, if SLRP policy requirements are met and as Agency funding allows.