Rangeland Management Specialist/Soil Conservationist/Soil Scientist/Agronomist

Employer
Department Of Agriculture
Location
Greensboro, North Carolina, US
Salary
Competitive
Posted
May 01, 2021
Closes
May 10, 2021
Ref
2152620224
Discipline
Land Management
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type
Salary
Overview
Accepting applications

Open & closing dates
Opening and closing dates04/29/2021 to 05/31/2021
Service

Competitive

Pay scale & grade

GS 12 - 13

Salary
$77,488 to $129,116 per year
Appointment type

Permanent

Work schedule

Full-time
Duties SummaryThis Regional Soil Health Specialist (RSHS) position is on the NRCS National Soil Health Division (SHD) Staff in the Science and Technology Deputy Area. SHD is responsible for providing leadership on agency soil health policies, tools, practice standards, assessments, programs, technology, training, and approaches used by staff, partners, and customers to facilitate successful implementation of soil health management systems.ResponsibilitiesServes as a point of contact for assistance to selected states to address regional and national soil health related priorities and needs and to facilitate successful implementation of soil health management systems by the entire agency.Leads soil health strategies and priorities by providing training and technical assistance to NRCS personnelInvestigates, analyzes and evaluates highly complex problems and situations involving a wide variety of novel soil health circumstances and/or highly unusual conditions.Serves as a Regional support leader for Soil Health activities associated with all agricultural land uses.Works with all members of the Soil Health Division to provide national soil health guidance, direction, and technical support.Contributes to Soil Health Division and interdisciplinary technical development of soil health related training materials, documents, assessment procedures, technical policy and outreach.The incumbent works on interdisciplinary teams, across NRCS Science and Technology Deputy Area and other Deputy areas to incorporate soil health science, technology, benefits and activities into soil health management systems activities and programs.Works closely with members of other agencies, land grant universities and the private sector to identify and address major issues.Collaborates on identifying applied soil health science and technology gaps and integration opportunities for assessment and production system implementation regionally and nationally.Collaborates to develop and integrate new soil health technologies into soil health related practice standards, tools, technical guidance and planning and implementation of management systems for regional or national application.Represents NRCS as a recognized soil health expert and advisor for the purpose of explaining soil health opportunities and to encourage cooperative efforts and continuity of message in solving natural resource concerns and problems.Coordinates with State NRCS personnel in providing leadership and technical assistance to customers, conservation partners, and other interested parties on state-of-the-art soil health strategies, tools, practices, systems, and methodologies.Travel Required50% or less - You will may be expected to travel for this position, post-pandemic, often multiple times per month.
Supervisory status

No

Promotion Potential

13
Requirements Conditions of EmploymentYou must be a US Citizen or US National.Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt.Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check.Successful completion of one-year probationary period, unless previously served.Subject to one-year supervisory/managerial probationary period unless prior service is creditable. New USDA supervisors must successfully complete all components of the required training program before the end of their probationary period.Direct Deposit: Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution.Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify at https://www.e-verify.gov/.Must possess and maintain a valid state motor vehicle operator's license for the type of vehicle(s) operated to perform the duties of this position. QualificationsTIME-IN-GRADE REQUIREMENTS: Merit promotion applicants must meet applicable time-in-grade requirements to be considered eligible. One year at the GS-11 level is required to meet the time-in-grade requirements for the GS-12 level. One year at the GS-12 level is required to meet the time-in-grade requirements for the GS-13 level. (Please submit your SF-50 that shows Time-in-Grade eligibility and reflects your title, series, and grade. No Award or General Adjustment SF-50's will be accepted).This is an interdisciplinary position description and may be filled in any of the following occupations/series; Rangeland Management Specialist (0454), Soil Conservationist (0457), Soil Scientist (0470), Agronomist (0471).Basic Qualifications for the Rangeland Management Specialist series 0454: Must have a bachelor's degree or higher in range management; or a related discipline that included at least 42 semester hours in a combination of the plant, animal, and soil sciences, and natural resources management, as follows:
Range Management - At least 18 semester hours of course work in range management, including courses in such areas as basic principles of range management, range plants, range ecology, range inventories and studies, range improvements, and ranch or rangeland planning;
Directly Related to Plant, Animal, and Soil Sciences - At least 15 semester hours of directly related courses in the plant, animal, and soil sciences, including at least one course in each of these three scientific area, i.e., plant, animal, and soil sciences. Courses in such areas as plan taxonomy, plant physiology, plan ecology, animal nutrition, livestock production, and soil morphology or soil classification are acceptable;
Related Resource Management Studies - At least 9 semester hours of course work in related resource management subjects, including course in such areas as wildlife management, watershed management, natural resources or agricultural economics, forestry, agronomy, forages, and outdoor recreation management.
OR
Must have completed a combination of education and experience that included at least 42 semester hours of course work in the combination of plant, animal, and soil sciences and natural resources management shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.Basic Qualifications for the Soil Conservationist series 0457: Must have a bachelor's 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.
OR
Must have a combination of education and experience that included 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.Basic Qualifications for the Soil Scientist series 0470: Must have a bachelor's degree or higher in soil science or a closely related discipline that included 30 semester hours or equivalent in biological, physical, or earth science, with a minimum of 15 semester hours in such subjects as soil genesis, pedology, soil chemistry, soil physics, and soil fertility.
OR
Must have a combination of education and experience that included courses equivalent to a major, in soil science or a related discipline that included at least 30 semester hours in the biological, physical, or earth sciences. At least 15 of these semester hours must have been in the areas specified above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.Basic Qualifications for the Agronomist series 0471: Must possess a Bachelor's or higher degree in agronomy; or related discipline of science that included at least 30 semester hours of course work in the basic plant sciences, including at least 15 semester hours in agronomic subjects, such as those dealing with plant breeding, crop production, and soil and crop management.
OR
Must possess a combination of education and experience: At least 30 semester hours in the basic plant sciences, including a minimum of 15 semester hours in agronomic subjects, as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. The quality of the combination of education and experience must be sufficient to demonstrate that the applicant possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform work in the occupation, and is comparable to that normally acquired through the successful completion of a full 4-year course of study with a major in the appropriate field.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 and/or education for the respective grade level(s) in which you are applying:GS-12Specialized Experience: You must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 grade level in the Federal service that included:
Providing leadership and technical assistance to landowners, conservation partners, and other interested parties in all phases of Soil Health Management Systems;Delivering soil health training and soil health science and technology technical support to personnel, partners, and customers; andCollaborating on interdisciplinary teams along with partners and producers to incorporate soil health science, technology, benefits and activities into soil health management systems activities and programs.GS-13Specialized Experience: You must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-12 grade level in the Federal service that included:

Leading soil health strategies and priorities by providing technical assistance to personnel and providing leadership and technical assistance to landowners, conservation partners, and other interested parties in all phases of Soil Health Management Systems;Developing and delivering soil health training and soil health science and technology technical support to personnel, partners, and customers; andCollaborating on interdisciplinary teams along with partners and producers to incorporate soil health science, technology, benefits and activities into soil health management systems activities and programs.(Your resume must CLEARLY demonstrate this experience)IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s).
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.htmlAdditional informationThis position is open to Competitive Merit Promotion, Non-Competitive, and Special Hiring Authority eligibles. You must meet the requirements for one of the below categories to be eligible.
1. A current permanent competitive service employee; former Federal employee who achieved career status in the competitive service; or former Federal employee who served on a career conditional appointment without achieving career status in the competitive service who was separated less than three years ago. You must submit an SF-50 that reflects career or career-conditional (Tenure field is 1 or 2); AND status in the competitive service (Position Occupied field is 1). Please submit your SF-50 that shows Time-in-Grade eligibility and reflects your title, series, and grade. No Award or General Adjustment SF-50's will be accepted.
2. A Veteran applying under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA), must submit a copy of your DD-214 showing an honorable discharge. To be eligible, a veteran must be honorably separated and either a preference eligible or have substantially completed 3 or more years of active service. NOTE: Time-in-grade requirements also apply to VEOA applicants having held a GS position in the past year.
3. A 30% or more Disabled Veteran. You must submit your DD214, a completed SF-15, and letter from the VA dated 1991 or later.
4. Military Spouses. You are eligible if: 1) you are the spouse of an active duty member of the Armed Forces; 2) you are the spouse of a member of the Armed Forces who retired or separated with a disability rating of 100 percent; or 3) you are the un-remarried widow or widower of a member of the Armed Forces killed while in active duty status.Please submit supporting documentation to be considered (e.g. active duty orders, marriage verification, SF-15, DD-214, disability letter from VA, etc.
5. Schedule A: USDA welcomes and encourages applicants from persons with disabilities and is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advance on the basis of merit. Documentation of eligibility under Schedule A can be obtained from a licensed medical professional; a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist (i.e. state or private); or any Federal agency, state agency, or agency of the District of Columbia or a U.S. Territory that issues or provides disability benefits. This letter must be separate from any Veterans Preference documentation.
6. A Former Peace Corps or VISTA Volunteers Appointment. Please submit documentation to be considered.
7. Veterans eligible for a Veterans' Recruitment Appointment (VRA). You must submit a copy of your DD-214. (only applies to positions at the GS-11 level and below).
8. Other non-competitive authorities (please see announcement language for applicable authorities)
9. A current or former Land Management Bureau employee who has served at least 24 months under a time-limited competitive appointment who is eligible for appointment under the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act.Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Employees: Permanent County employees without prior Federal tenure who are selected for a Civil Service position under Public Law 105-277 will be given a career-conditional appointment and must serve a 1-year probationary period. How You Will Be EvaluatedYou will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics):
Conservation Planning, Leadership, Oral Communication, Partnering, Soil Science, Teaching Others, and Writing
Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position. Applicants who meet the minimum qualification requirements and are determined to be among the best qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for consideration. Noncompetitive candidates and applicants under some special hiring authorities need only meet minimum qualifications to be referred.
Note: If after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score may be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities, or you may be found ineligible. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.
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 have a final assessment score of 85 or better. 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:
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 USDA 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 have a final assessment score of 85 or better. You must provide a copy of your written notification of CTAP eligibility with your application. Additional information about CTAP eligibility is at: Background checks and security clearanceSecurity clearance
Not Required
Drug test required
No
This job is open to
Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL)

Federal employees who meet the definition of a "surplus" or "displaced" employee.

Family of overseas employees

Family members of a federal employee or uniformed service member who is, or was, working overseas.

Federal employees - Competitive service

Current or former competitive service federal employees.

Individuals with disabilities

Land & base management

Certain current or former term or temporary federal employees of a land or base management agency.

Military spouses

Peace Corps & AmeriCorps Vista

Special authorities

Individuals eligible under a special authority not listed above, but defined in the federal hiring regulations.

Veterans
Clarification from the agency
You may apply if you are a Status Candidate (Merit Promotion, VEOA, Land Management Eligible, FSA perm county employee) and/or a Non-Competitive Hiring Authority Eligible (30% Disabled Veteran, Certain Military Spouse, Schedule A, Certain Peace Corps/VISTA Employee/Volunteer, Certain Former Overseas Employee, Foreign Service Employee, CTAP/ICTAP, Interchange Agreement Employee, or you are employed under a Miscellaneous Authority not regulated by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.)

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