Soil Conservationist, GS-457-7/9, Louisiana
Department Of Agriculture - Oak Grove, LA

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The Natural Resources Conservation Service provides leadership in a partnership effort to help conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment.

Come and enjoy the flavor of Louisiana . Southern Hospitality, The Big Easy, Cajun Prairie, Piney Hills, Coastal Marsh, Bottomland Forest and good cooking are never far away no matter where you work. With this dynamic environment, various land uses, and natural resources, it is no wonder why we are called, ‘Sportsman’s Paradise’. Come and be a part of our conservation team helping people help the land!

RELOCATION EXPENSES ARE NOT AUTHORIZED FOR THIS POSITION .

For more information about NRCS, click here: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov

KEY REQUIREMENTS

U.S. Citizenship Required

Must meet education/experience requirements--See Qualifications Section

You must have a valid state driver's license.

Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with Selective Service

You will be required to sign a Mobility Agreement.

DUTIES:
The incumbent shares with the District Conservationist the responsibility for assisting the cooperators of the Soil and Water District (s) (SWCD) in carrying out a coordinated soil and water conservation program.

Provides technical assistance to individuals and groups of land managers in the development, application and maintenance of natural resources conservation plans.

Assists in developing field office plans of operations by recommending work tools, program objectives and staffing needs.

Assists with keeping the public informed of the need and progress of natural resources conservation by writing news articles and by giving presentations at meetings.

Assist with field tours to further the district program.

Services conservation plans including determination of feasibility layout, installation checking, and recommending certification of performance as a basis for cost-share payments.

Works closely with other agencies and works to facilitate close cooperative working relationships with NRCS conservation partners.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:
BASIC QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:
The qualifications for this position are described below and are published in the "Qualification Standards Handbook" for the GS-457 series: http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/Standards/group-stds/gs-prof.asp
Individual Occupational Requirements

Basic Requirements:
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.

IN ADDITION TO THE BASIC REQUIREMENTS, APPLICANTS MUST ALSO MEET THE FOLLOWING:

GS-07: Applicants must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to grade level GS-05 in the federal service which qualifies for the GS-7 level. This experience required the knowledge of the principles and theories of soil and water conservation and related sciences in identifying problems in the soil and water conservation program. EXAMPLES include completing developmental assignments which involve learning the use of soil survey data, surveying methods, types of surveying instruments, installation of various soil and water conservation practices. I have documented this experience in my resume or other supporting documentation OR 1 year of graduate-level education or superior academic achievement.

GS-09: Applicants must have at least one year of Specialized Experience equivalent to grade level GS-07 in the federal service which qualifies for the GS-09 level. This experience required the knowledge of the principles and theories of soil and water conservation and related sciences in identifying problems in the soil and water conservation program. Examples include providing technical guidance and assistance such as soil interpretations, erosion control, and water quality recommendation to groups and individuals with planning responsibilities; communicating and sharing general information and explaining issues related to soil and water conservation issues, problems, and solutions to groups of rural and community landowners, residents, and agribusiness representatives and performing such duties as communicating soil and water conservation issues an problems to groups and individuals. I have documented this experience in my resume or other supporting documentation OR 2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree or master's or equivalent graduate degree.

Applicants must meet the general and/or specialized experience requirement by the closing date of this announcement.

REQUIREMENTS:
Public Law 104-134 requires that all federal employees receive salary payments via direct deposit.
You will be required to complete a 1 year probationary period.
You must meet the positive education/specialized experience by the closing date of this announcement.
You may be required to work outdoors under adverse weather conditions.
You must submit a complete application package to be considered for this position.
You will be required to do some travel.
You will be required to sign a Mobility Agreement.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
All applicants will be rated on the following Skills or Competencies:

ABILITY TO COLLECT, ANALYZE AND INTERPRET RESOURCES DATA

ABILITY TO DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT CONSERVATION PLANS FOR VARIOUS PROGRAM OBJECTIVES AND INITIATIVES

KNOWLEDGE OF NATIONAL, FEDERAL, USDA, AND NRCS PROGRAMS, POLICIES, AND PROCEDURES

ABILITY TO PRIORITIZE WORKLOADS, ASSIST IN SETTING GOALS AND DEVELOPING A BUSINESS PLAN

ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE WITH OTHERS ORALLY

ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE WITH OTHERS IN WRITING

BASIS OF RATING: Your application will be evaluated and rated 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 to your responses on the occupational questionnaire to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for this position. If you are basically qualified for this position, we will evaluate your application package, using a panel of subject-matter experts or HR Specialist 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 possesses a majority (i.e., more than half) of the job related competencies needed for successful job performance.

Qualified: Applicants meets the basic eligibility and minimum qualification requirements, but does not meet the definition of Well-Qualified or Best Qualified describe above.

For CTAP and ICTAP , "well-qualified" means that the applicant possesses a majority (i.e more than half) of the job related competencies needed for successful job performance.

Individuals who have special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position to receive consideration for special priority selection. To be well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, displaced Federal employees must be rated at 85 or above on the rating criteria for this position. For those instances where the best qualified lists include applicants with scores less than 85, the well-qualified score becomes the lowest score on the best qualified list. CTAP and ICTAP eligibles must submit one of the following as proof of eligibility for the special selection priority: a separation notice; a "Notice of Personnel Action" (SF-50) or equivalent that documents separation; an agency certification that you cannot be placed after injury compensation has been terminated; an OPM notification that your disability annuity has been terminated; OR a Military Department or National Guard Bureau notification that you are retired under 5 U.S.C. 8337 (h) or 8456. Please annotate on your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible.

Veterans’ preference is applied after applicants are assessed. Veterans’ preference eligibles who meet the qualification requirements are placed in the appropriate category and are 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 level or higher.

Your application will be evaluated based on your responses to the on-line questions, specialized experience documented in your on-line resume, and college transcripts. If materials are not received by 11:59 PM (CST) on Monday, February 04, 2013 , your application will be evaluated solely on the information available. All the information you provide may be verified by review of your application, by checking references and through other means, such as the interview process. Any exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempts to conceal information may be grounds for lowering your rating, not hiring you, or removal after employment begins.

The questionnaire may consist of multiple choices and/or yes or no responses as developed for this position. Applicants must choose the best answer that is supported by their resume, transcripts, and other supporting documentation that have been requested.

After the on-line questionnaire has been completed and submitted, you will receive a notice via email confirming receipt of your on-line application. However, your application will not be considered completed until you have uploaded your resume and additional supporting documents as required by this announcement.

BENEFITS:
The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees (i.e. Federal Holidays, Leave, Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Retirement Program, Alternative Work Schedules, Flexible Spending Account, Long Term care Insurance, etc) . This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees. http://www.usajobs.gov/ResourceCenter/Index/Interactive/Benefits#icc .

NRCS provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need reasonable accomodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

OTHER INFORMATION:
Veterans’ Preference: If you are claiming 5-point or 10-point veterans’ preference , you must submit documentation described in “Required Documents.”

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