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Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Conservationist in Belfast, Maine

Summary

This position is located in the State Conservationist office, assigned to a field office or area office in the assigned state, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The selectee performs duties which assist the District Conservationist in developing and carrying out a coordinated natural resources conservation program tailored to customers' needs and meeting USDA and NRCS requirements.

Responsibilities

Assist in gathering and assembling preliminary data for all resource concerns for use in developing basic farm conservation plans, including conducting engineering surveys and preparing drawings for conservation practices common to the area.

Utilize Toolkit/Protracts programs in the documentation and management of conservation plans and technical assistance by the service center.

Carry out a follow-up schedule for applying soil conservation practices in accordance with plan and contract schedules.

Work with District Conservationists to conduct environmental education on natural resource issues, water quality, and general conservation.

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

Qualifications

Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the 09/25/2020 the of the announcement. BASIC REQUIREMENTS: Degree: Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's degree or higher degree in 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. (Must submit transcripts); 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 that included the application of techniques, principles, and methods from a variety of agricultural and natural resource fields 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. (Must submit transcripts). In addition to meeting one of the Basic Requirements listed above, applicants must meet the following Minimum Qualifications Requirement in order to be considered: MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: To be considered minimally qualified for this position, you must demonstrate that you have the required specialized experience/education for the respective grade level(s) in which you are applying: GS-05 LEVEL You must meet the basic requirement. GS-07 LEVEL Specialized Experience: One or more full-time years (12-months) of specialized work experience, equivalent to at least the GS-05 grade level in the Federal service, performing the following duties: Assisting in the application of routine soil and water conservation processes; Recommending practices to farmers and ranchers to help control erosion and conserve soil and water; and Maintaining accurate field notes to draft preliminary conservation designs. OR Education: Successful completion of at least one full year of graduate level education in a field such as soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering. One full year is generally equivalent to 18 semester hours. (You must submit transcripts) OR Combination: You must have a percentage of the education and experience which when combined totals 100% of the necessary education and experience to qualify for this position. When combining education with experience, first determine total qualifying education as a percentage of the education required; then determine experience as a percentage of the experience required; finally, add the two percentages. The total percentage must equal at least 100 percent to qualify. (You must submit transcripts) OR Superior Academic Achievement (SAA): A Bachelor's degree in soil conservation or a related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering. SAA may be met in one of the following three ways: 1. Class Standing-Applicants must be in the upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision, based on completed courses. 2. Grade Point Average-Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 based on 4 years of education, or based on the last 2 years of the curriculum; or a 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field, or the required courses completed in the major during the final 2 years of the curriculum. 3. Election to Membership in a National Scholastic Honor Society-Applicants can be considered eligible for SAA based on membership in a national scholastic honor society that meets the minimum requirements of the Association of College Honor Societies. Membership in a freshman honor society cannot be used to meet the requirements of this provision. (You must submit transcripts) GS-09 LEVEL Specialized Experience: One or more full-time years (12-months) of specialized work experience, equivalent to at least the GS-07 grade level in the Federal service, performing the following duties: Applying conventional and established conservation methods to maintain or improve production while conserving soil and water resources; Developing natural resource conservation plans that involve a variety of soil patterns and conservation practices (e.g. contours, terraces, tilling, diversions, etc.); Obtaining physical data on multiple land uses (e.g. crop history, soil erosion data, drainage characteristics, etc.) to identify and inventory natural resources; and Evaluating urban, rural, or wetland conservation needs to apply land treatment measures. OR Education: Successful completion of at least two full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree or master's or equivalent graduate degree in a field such as soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering. (You must submit transcripts) Combination: You must have a percentage of the education and experience which when combined totals 100% of the necessary education and experience to qualify for this position When combining education with experience, first determine total qualifying education as a percentage of the education required; then determine experience as a percentage of the experience required; finally, add the two percentages. The total percentage must equal at least 100 percent to qualify. (Note: Only education in excess of 18 semester hours is qualifying when calculating education percentage.) (You must submit transcripts) 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.

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. Foreign Education: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html

Additional Information

This position may be eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the position and other flexible work arrangements. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.

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. The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) provides eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your agency has notified you in writing that you are a displaced employee eligible for ICTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your ICTAP eligibility; 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement; and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well qualified, you must satisfy all qualification requirements for the vacant position and rate equivalent to the Highly Qualified or better category using established category rating criteria. You must provide proof of eligibility with your application. Such proof may include a copy of your written notification of ICTAP eligibility or a copy of your separation personnel action form. Additional information about ICTAP eligibility is at: http://www.opm.gov/rif/employeeguides/careertransition.asp#ictap

The Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provides eligible surplus and displaced competitive service employees in the USDA with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your Department of Justice component has notified you in writing that you are a surplus or displaced employee eligible for CTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your CTAP eligibility, 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement, and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well qualified, you must satisfy all qualification requirements for the vacant position and rate equivalent to the Highly Qualified or better category using established category rating criteria. You must provide a copy of your written notification of CTAP eligibility with your application. Additional information about CTAP eligibility is at: http://www.opm.gov/rif/employeeguides/careertransition.asp#ctap

Active Duty Service Members-- You must submit a statement of discharge/certification of release or an official written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions no later than 120 days from the date the certification is signed. Enlisted Record Briefs and military identification do NOT qualify as official documentation.Although veteran preference points are not assigned under category rating procedures, veteran preference eligibles are listed ahead of non-veterans within each category for which they are qualified. In addition, qualified veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 10% or more are placed at the top of the highest quality category (i.e. Best Qualified).

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