Soil Conservationist
Department Of Agriculture - Lewiston, ID

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Be Remarkable, Make a Difference! Join the Natural Resources Conservation Service team and help us conserve our nation's Natural Resources!! Visit our web site to learn more.

**USA Staffing Application Manager will be down the week of December 17th, the vacancy annoucement closing date was adjusted to account for the scheduled downtime.***

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is known worldwide for its accomplishments and innovations in conservation. The employees of NRCS are recognized for their talent, dedication, and ingenuity in making the agency's programs work as they take necessary steps to reduce erosion, protect wildlife, promote good land use, and other measures to preserve the Nation's natural resources for future generations. Join us in protecting and conserving natural resources on America's private lands!

Applications are accepted from the public, those with Competitive Status and those with special hiring eligibility should also apply to the Status announcement that runs concurrent with this announcement. Only one position is being filled between the two announcements.

This position is located in Lewiston, Idaho. Incumbent serves as soil conservationist in the local field office. The incumbent assists the District Conservationist in carrying out soil and water conservation programs. The incumbent will spend time in the field working with producers and other land users providing technical assistance in planning and applying conservation practices.

Travel, transportation, and relocation expenses are not authorized. Any travel, transportation and relocation expenses associated with reporting for duty to this position will be the responsibility of the selected applicant.


U.S. Citizen

Suitable for Federal Employment, determined by Background Investigation

Positive Education required with specialized experience-see Qualifications

Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered with Selective Service

Must have a valid Motor Vehicle Operators License

This position serves as a Soil Conservationist with primary responsibility for administering Farm Bill Programs and planning and application of conservation technical assistance in the designated counties serviced through the NRCS Lewiston Field Office.

Provides technical assistance to individuals and groups of landowners and operators in developing sound soil and water conservation plans and in the application of soil and water conservation practices.

Provides technical assistance to sponsors of watershed projects on land treatment problems and to planning and zoning commissioners in developing resource plans and land use regulations. Assists private consultants, land appraisers, and others in securing resource inventory data, such as soil survey maps, flood maps, aerial photos, etc.

Develops and maintains special land use guides for small farm owners and urban water users. Gathers information for revising and modifying technical guides and job sheets to address the diverse needs of the area customer base.

Assists the District Conservationist and the Soil Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) in the development and implementation of an information program. Furnishes information for the preparation of news articles. Conducts field tours and demonstrations in order to further SWCD programs.

As requested, represents the District Conservationist in working relationships with other Federal agencies, state government, local municipalities, institutions, groups, and organizations within the Field Office.

Assists the District Conservationist with administrative functions of the field office, including obtaining and recording information for records and reports. Assists in maintaining and revising technical guides, job sheets, and specifications. Inputs data into automated report management systems. Uses computer programs to develop and document conservation plans and applications.

Participates in team meetings and contributes to the annual work plan. Assists in developing workload analysis, schedules, and field office plan of operations. On occasion supports other field offices within assigned area.

A. Bachelor's or higher degree that included a major field of study in Soil Conservation or a related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering that includes

30 semester hours in a natural resource or agricultural field

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.


B. 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 sciences, 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.

Note: Partial credit for courses cannot be given.

College Transcripts are mandatory for this position.

In addition to meeting the Basic Qualifications Applicants must meet the required Specialized experience required for the position. Specialized Experience is required for positions above the GS-5 grade. Higher Level education may be subsituted for meeting specialized experience above the GS-5 grade level. Specialized experience is defined as the following:

--GS-7 Grade Level: One year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-5 level. Experience under direct supervision of a soil conservationist assists landowners with conservation planning; providing technical advice to producers on keeping their plans current; providing resource planning assistance from initial inventory and evaluation through to completion; and other related duties relevant to the occupation.


--GS-7 Grade Level: One year of graduate-level education in a related field or superior academic achievement (upper third of graduating class, 3.0 or greater GPA overall or 3.5 or greater GPA within Major, or honor society membership).


-- GS-9 Grade Level: One year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-7 level. Under close supervision of a seasoned conservationist provides assistance to land managers in planning and applying conventional conservation practices on their land to maintain or improve production while conserving soil and water resources.


-- A Masters degree or 36 semester hours of progressively higher graduate education leading to a Masters degree from an accredited college or university in soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering.

Credit will be given for appropriate qualifying unpaid experience or volunteer work. To receive proper credit for unpaid experience or volunteer work, fully describe your responsibilities and show the actual time (years, months, and hours per week) spent in such activities.

The work involves regular and physical exertion related to conservation work in an outdoor environment.

The work requires outdoor physical activities, such as walking and climbing for prolonged periods over rough terrain.

The work involves exposure to operating agricultural equipment and adverse weather conditions. Travel on improved and unimproved roads maybe required.

You must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

Once the application process is complete and the job announcement closes, a review of your application will be made to ensure you meet the job requirements. To determine if you are qualified for this job, a review of your transcripts, resume and supporting documentation will be made and compared against your responses to the occupational questionnaire. The rating you receive is based on your responses to the questionnaire. The rating is a measure of the degree to which your background matches the knowledge, skills and abilities required of this position. If, after reviewing your resume and or supporting documentation, if a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and/or experience you will be rated ineligible or disqualified from further consideration. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors and omissions may affect your rating.

In describing your experience, please be clear and specific, we will not make assumptions regarding your experience. If your resume/application does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s).

Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics). You do not have to respond to the KSA's separately but your resume should contain sufficient information to demonstrate possession of the KSA's .

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs):
Knowledge of Fundamental soil, water, and resource conservation theories, concepts and principles in order to carry out conservation programs for agricultural, rural, and urban settings.

Ability and Skill to collect, analyze and interpret natural resource data.

Ability and Skill to develop and implement conservation plans for various program objectives and initiatives.

Ability and Skill to plan, survey, design, and supervise the application of conservation measures.

Ability and Skill in oral and written communication.

Basis of Rating: Your application will be evaluated under the Category Rating and Selection procedures. Your resume must support your responses to the occupational questionnaire. We will review your resume and supporting documentation and compare this information jto your responses on the occupational questionnaire to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position.

If you are basically qualified for this position, we will evaluate your application package, using a panel of subject matter experts or HR Specialists to assess the quality, depth, and complexity of your accomplishments, experience, and education as they relate to the critical knowledge, skills, and abilities for the position. We will then place you in one of the following categories and only those in the Best Qualified category will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration.

Best Qualified: Applicants possess all of the job related competencies identified as important for successful job performance.

Well Qualified: Applicants possess a majority (i.e more than half) of the related competencies needed for successful job performance.

Qualified: Applicants meet the basic eligibility and minimum qualification requirements, but do not meet the definition of Well-Qualified or Best-Qualfied described above.

Please Note: You may be contacted after the closing date of the announcement to provide additional information in the selection process to differentiate between quality levels. You may be asked to submit additional job related information, which may include, but is not limited to; responses to the knowledges, skills and abilities; completion of a work sample, and/or be contacted for an interview.

Veterans' Preference is applied after applicants are assessed. Veterans' preference eligibles who meet the qualification requirements are placed in the appropriate category and listed ahead of non preference eligibles. Veteran preference eligibles that have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent are listed in the highest quality category, except in the case of scientific or professional positions at the GS-9 grade level or higher.

To preview questions please View Assessment Questions .

Working for NRCS offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. Additionally NRCS offers FlexiWork, Telework, Transportation Subsidies and a family friendly work environment. The following Web address is provided for your reference to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees.

To find out more click here .

Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP). 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 found well-qualified your application must rate at or above 85. You must provide proof of eligibility with your application to receive selection priority. Such proof may include a copy of your written notification of ICTAP eligibility or a copy of your separation personnel action form. Information about ICTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at .

Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. See .

Promotion Potential: When promotion potential is shown, and if selected at the lower grade the agency is not obligated or committed to promoting you to the higher grade. Promotions depend on your ability to perform the duties, require a minimum of 12-months time in grade and provided you are found otherwise eligible you'll need to be recommended through the supervisory chain. Promotions are not automatic.

Veterans' Preference: If you are entitled to veterans' preference, you should indicate the type of veterans' preference you are claiming on your résumé and submit documents to support your claim. Your veterans' preference entitlement will be verified by the Human Resources Office.

For veterans' preference, please provide your DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), official statement of service from your command if you are currently on active duty, or other official documentation (e.g., documentation of receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal) that proves your military service was performed under honorable conditions. If applicable please submit a Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for Veteran Preference with required documentation.

For additional Information on Veteran's Preference please refer to the Veteran's Guide at

NRCS provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact the servicing personnel office. If you are hearing impaired, or need alternate communication assistance for other reasons please go to for assistance in contacting the person listed above. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and

activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202)720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer." - 19 months ago - save job - block
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