Soil Conservationist (Resource Conservationist)

Company Name:
Department Of Agriculture
Current NRCS Status Employees, 30% Disabled Vets, CTAP eligibles Permanent Full Time
The Natural Resources Conservation Services provides leadership in a partnership effort to help conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment.
This incumbent will serve as the Resource Conservationist in charge of the Soil Health Initiative in Tennessee. The position is located on the Ecological Sciences Staff in Nashville, Tennessee, and will be eligible for the Telework Program. The State Resource Conservationist is the supervisor. Incumbent provides technical assistance to landowners, conservation partners, NRCS personnel , and other interested parties on all phases of cropping systems, including vegetable production, which leads to the conservation and wise use of natural resources.
U.S. Citizenship Required Positive Education Required; must submit transcripts to be eligible. Must meet time-in-grade by closing date Male applicants born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with Selective Svc Must be a licensed state driver and able to drive safely. May be eligible for the Telework Program.
Serves as the Resource Conservationist in charge of the Soil Health Initiative in Tennessee. Primary focus is on conservation activities associated with cropping systems on agricultural lands, including vegetable production.
Provides technical assistance to landowners, conservation partners, NRCS personnel and other interested parties on all phases of cropping systems, including highly erodible crops like vegetables, corn, beans, tobacco.
Demonstrates soil quality assessment techniques with emphasis on agronomic and soil biology aspects of soil health. Assists state agronomist, grazing specialist, resource conservationists, biologists, and other technical specialists with soil health training.
Develops training materials and slide shows, etc, for meetings, field days, and training sessions for all levels of audience participation. Demonstrates the rainfall simulators and the soil health kits to a large variety of audience members.
Provides technical guidance in evaluating physical, chemical, and biological properties contributing to soil health. Provides guidance to other specialists with HEL and Wetland Compliance determinations.
Candidates must meet both the basic eligibility requirements for the GS-0457 Soil Conservation Series and the requirement of one year specialized experience related to the position.
At the GS-12 grade level, candidates must show possession of one year of professional, specialized experience at the GS-11 grade or equivalent to the GS-11 level in the Federal sector. Examples of this level of experience demonstrate the ability in developing complex soil, water and resource conservation management plans, for example waste treatment at Confined Animal Feeding Operations, or streambank restoration in highly-erosive areas. This level of experience includes a comprehensive knowledge of federal, agency and state laws, policies, and procedures governing soil, water, air, and animal and plant resources, and the ability to persuade or negotiate with landowners, groups, organizations, or agencies who do not agree with or understand agency policy, regulations, etc.
Basic eligibility requirements for the GS-0457 series as set forth in the Qualification Standards is a 4-year degree in soil conservation or related agricultural/natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, or agricultural engineering. Study must include 30 semester hours in an agricultural/natural resource 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 hours must be in soils and a minimum of 3 hours must be in crops or plant science.
OR You may have a combination of education and specialized experience. Your educational background must have been as described above and your education must have contained at least 12 hours in junior or senior level courses. Education cannot be waived; if you do not meet the educational requirement you will not be considered for the position.
Employees must meet the time in grade requirement of one year of service in the next lower grade. Employees must be able to work in inclement weather, such as icy and cold conditions and extreme temperatures, and drive a government vehicle.
Your application will be evaluated and rated under procedures required by the NRCS Merit Promotion Plan. Your resume must support your responses to the occupational questionnaire. Once the Job announcement closes 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. 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 Knowledges, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) require of the position. Well-Qualified candidates are those who meet the satisfactory level for each KSA (in questionnaire) and exceed the satisfactory level for at least one KSA. _This assessment questionnaire is based on the following KSAs:_
Knowledge of soil health and ecology principles to oversee and lead the state soil health initiative, including principles and expertise using soil health tools.Knowledge of native and introduced plants and their physical and biological requirements sufficient to plan conservation management systems and prescribe plant types and mixes for optimum soil health benefits.Knowledge of field level conservation planning including: Agronomic and structural conservation practices and the ability to identify and document resource concerns and alternatives on NRCS-CPA-52; Ability to analyze impacts of conservation practice installation, resource management systems, and project-related activities on soil health and ecosystem components.Knowledge of state and federal laws and regulations, including Farm Bill legislation and NRCS policy to assure soil health practices recommended and implemented meet all requirements and policy.Experience in conducting statewide programs and assessments; ability to establish working relationships with individuals, other agency employees and organizations; ability to train and educate agency personnel, partners, and the public on the benefits of improving soil health.If after reviewing your resume and or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and/or experience, your rating can and will be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating.
To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package, which includes _both_ of the following parts:
1. Your responses to the Assessment Questionnaire, and
2. Your r sum , college transcripts, and any _other documents specified_ _in the Required Documents section of this job announcement._
Do not submit an incomplete package; it will impact your consideration for this position.
Use _Application Manager_ for convenience and quickest processing. Track your progress to a _Complete_ Application Package using the _My Application Packages_checklist and status displays in Application Manager. Your Application Package status must be _Complete_ by Tuesday, August 05, 2014 .
Option A: Application Manager
To begin, choose one of these options:
If your r sum is going to come from_ the USAJOBS Resume Builder_, you begin the process by clicking the _Apply Online_ button near the bottom of this page. Your r sum will be attached only to the Application Package you complete and Submit immediately _after_ you click the Apply Online button for this job announcement, not to any Application Packages you may already have created.
If your r sum is going to be one you prepared outside_ of USAJOBS R sum Builder_, click this link to begin the process: View Occupational Questionnaire .
To return to Application Manager at any time, use whichever one of the links you used to begin as described above, or simply go /.
View Occupational Questionnaire
Option B: Paper Qualifications Questionnaire
If it is not possible for you to use _Application Manager_, you can write your answers on paper. Application must be received no later than the closing date of this announcement. Follow these steps:
1. You can view and print a copy of the Qualifications Questionnaire by clicking on this link: View Occupational Questionnaire
2. Obtain and print a copy of the OPM Form 1203-FX, which you will use to provide your answers. You can obtain the form or by calling USAJOBS by Phone at ; after the introduction, press 1, and listen for instructions.
3. You may submit the Form 1203-FX, resume, and any supporting documents by fax only.
By Fax: If you are faxing a Form 1203-FX, _do not_ use a separate cover sheet. Simply make sure the Form 1203-FX is on top of any other documents you are faxing. If you are faxing any documents without the Form 1203-FX on top, always use the official cover sheet which is here -- -- and be sure to fill it out completely and clearly. The fax number is . Feed all documents into your fax machine top first so that we receive them right-side up.
Call or email the Contact Person listed at the end of the announcement if you have questions on application documentation required. Failure to submit a complete package impacts consideration for this position. It is up to the applicant to ensure their application is complete; after applying you can go back through application manager to verify the status of your application.
Step 2: For this announcement YOU MUST SUBMIT ALL the following documents:
1. Resume, with your full name, address, last 4 digits of your SSN, contact numbers and email; employment record showing month and year of each and supervisor's name and contact number.
2. Your response to the on-line occupational questionnaire: View Occupational Questionnaire
3. If qualifying based on education, you must submit all applicable college transcripts (copies are permitted in application if they include hours of credit earned and grades; if selected you will be required to submit original transcripts.)
4. If you are a current or former NRCS employee you must submit an SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action form, showing your highest grade held, or date of last WGI (within-grade increase), and type of appointment. Other good 50's to include are date of last promotion.
5. You must submit an OF-306 form, found at / .
6. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, you must attach an SF-15, and all of the pertinent attachments. This includes Member copy 4 of the DD-214, letter from the VA giving your percentage of disability, and any other documentation required.
7. If you are a federal employee you must submit your last end-of-year performance appraisal with worksheets dated within the last 18 months. This is the final summary rating you received at the end of the fiscal year, not a mid-year review.
8. CTAP eligibles must include proof of eligibility for priority selection: a separation notice; a "Notice of Personnel Action", SF-50 documenting separation due to RIF; an agency certification that you cannot be placed after injury compensation has been terminated; and OPM notification that your disability annuity has been terminated; OR a military or National Guard Bureau notification that you are retired under 5 USC 8337(h) , or 8456. You must note on your application that you are applying as a CTAP eligible. For more information on these considerations: .
Failing to submit a complete package will negatively impact your consideration for this position. It is up to the applicant to ensure their application is complete; after applying you can go back through the application manager to verify the status of your application.
To submit the documents requested follow the options listed above. Yourresume, curriculum vitae, or any other written format you choose to describe your job-related qualifications can be submitted electronically using the document upload process, or by fax.
IMPORTANT - Submitting Documents
If you upload your documents using Application Manager, DO NOT FAX the same documents. To verify uploaded documents have been processed, please wait one hour to ensure they have cleared the virus scan. You can verify that your uploaded documents are attached to your application by checking the Details tab of your Application Manager for this vacancy announcement. Your documents will display under the Details tab in the Document area.
To fax documents, you MUST use the special cover page. Print the pre-populated cover page on the upload documents screen of Application Manager. Or, you may click this to print a copy of the cover page. When faxing documents, follow the procedures outlined below.
Include the 8-character Vacancy Identification Number 1170490
Provide your Social Security Number and full name in the spaces provided or we will not be able to associate your document(s) with the rest of your application.
You may submit multiple documents for the same vacancy announcement using one cover page.
Fax your cover page and documents to .
Faxed documents submitted with missing information will not be processed.
Note: If you have documents in your Application Manager account from a previous vacancy announcement they can be opened, copied and saved then reused as an upload file for this vacancy. Uploading your documents will speed the processing of your application for this announcement.
Once the online questionnaire is received you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful. After a review of your complete application is made you will be notified of your rating and/or referral to the hiring official. If further evaluation or interviews are required you will be contacted by phone or email.
Working for Natural Resource Conservation Service 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 (FERS). Additionally, NRCS offers FlexiWork, Transportation subsidies and a family-friend work environment. The following web address is provided for your .
1. If you are a male applicant who was born after 12/31/59 and are required to register by Selective Service Act, the Defense Authorization Act of 1986 requires that you be registered or you are not eligible for appointment in this agency.
2. All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement. Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualifications Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions. It is available for your review in our office, in other Federal agency personnel offices, and on OPM's web site .
3. A background investigation will be required for all new appointments. Your continued employment will be subject to your successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination
4. False Statements: If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; or you may be fired after you begin work; or you may be fined or jailed.
5. If this announcement is posted at two grade levels and you are selected at the lower grade you would be eligible for non-competitive promotion to the next higher grade after completing the minimum 12 months time in grade provided you are found otherwise eligible and recommended through your supervisory chain. Promotions are not automatic.
6. E-Verify: This employer will provide the Social Security Administration and, if necessary, the Department of Homeland Security with information of each new employee's Form I-9 to confirm work authorization.
7. Reference Checks: Are likely to occur, often in advance of an interview. Applying for this announcement gives consent to these reference checks.
8. Vehicle Operation: Serves as an incidental motor vehicle operator on public and private roads during daylight and after dark, as needed, to perform the duties of the position. A valid state driver's license is required.

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