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Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Scientist in Atlantic, Iowa

Summary

This position is located in a state, field or area office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). This Resource Soil Scientist is responsible for maintenance, interpretation, and distribution of soil survey information; conducting information and education activities related to soils and soil survey.

Responsibilities

Provides technical expertise in the application of Farm Bill programs. This includes providing leadership and guidance to field offices and assists during the program signup and application periods for CRP, GRP, EQIP, EWP, WRP and other programs.

Provides soil expertise at appeals that are elevated to the County Farm Service Agency Committee, State Conservationist (Technical Reviews), and the National Appeals Division.

Conducts on-site soil investigations. Provides on-site technical assistance to agency personnel and the public on the interpretation and application of soil survey information related to specific soil, water, air, plant, and animal resource concerns.

Plans, develops and provides training in soil science and the use of soil survey information to NRCS and non-NRCS audiences.

Serves as a team member for field office quality assurance reviews and appraisals. Reviews field office use of soils information (source data) in the application of conservation practices and programs.

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

Qualifications

Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including time-in-grade restrictions, specialized experience and/or education, as defined below. Time in grade: Applicants must have at least one year (52 weeks) at the next lower grade to be considered for the next higher grade (e.g. one year at the GS-09 grade level for consideration for the GS-11 grade level; and one year at the GS-11 grade level for consideration for the GS-12). Basic Education Requirement:

Degree: 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

Combination of Education and Experience: 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 in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. In addition to meeting one of the Basic Requirements listed above, applicants must meet the following Minimum Qualifications Requirement in order to be considered: Specialized Experience: To qualify for the GS-11 level, you must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-09 level or higher in Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through Federal service. This experience must be in or directly related to the line of work of the position to be filled and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. Examples of specialized experience includes: Provide support to field offices for technical soil services. Assist with Farm Bill program assessments and work collaboratively with Soil Survey offices. Assist with maintenance, interpretation, and distribution of soil survey information. Assist in the development of training for NRCS employees and other technical specialists. OR

Substitution of education in lieu of specialized experience for the GS-11 level: Three year(s) of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in soil science or a closely related discipline;

OR

Combination of Education and Experience: A combination of graduate-level education and experience, as described above, may be used to qualify for this position. This combination must have equipped you with the necessary knowledge and/or experience to successfully perform the duties of this position. Combinations of experience and education must total at least 100% as outlined in OPM Qualifications policy. To qualify for the GS-12 level, you must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 level or higher in Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through Federal service. This experience must be in or directly related to the line of work of the position to be filled and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. Examples of specialized experience includes: Provide direct support as a Resource Soil Scientist to field offices for technical soil services. Process Farm Bill program assessments and work collaboratively with Soil Survey offices. Maintenance, interpretation, and distribution of soil survey information. Conduct information and education activities to soils survey. Provide training to NRCS employees and other technical specialists. Note: There is no education substitution for the GS-12 level. For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/#url=Group-Standards 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. Applicants must, therefore, only report attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation via this link. All education claimed by applicants will be verified accordingly. Important: If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. Click on this link for more information.

Additional Information

Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): Visit the OPM website for information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100. Veterans who are preference eligible or who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after three years or more of continuous active service are eligible for consideration under the Veteran's Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA). Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA) provides current or former temporary or term employees of federal land management agencies opportunity to compete for permanent competitive service positions. Individuals must have more than 24 months of service without a break between appointments of two or more years. Service must be in the competitive service and have been at a successful level of performance or better. Refer to PUBLIC LAW 114-47-AUG. 7, 2015 for more information. This position is 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. Physical Demands: The work occurs in both outside and office environments. Outside activities involve strenuous walking over rough terrain, frequent bending/stooping, and lifting and carrying of moderately heavy soil samples tools, and specialized scientific equipment. The incumbent must be able to operate four-wheel drive vehicles and other motorized equipment. Work Environment: The work involves regular and recurring exposure to operation of soil survey equipment, adverse weather such as snow, extreme heat, icy or wet field conditions, and unimproved roads. Work requires special safety precautions and/or protective clothing and equipment. 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. It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. See more informational: http://www.chcoc.gov/transmittals/TransmittalDetails.aspx?TransmittalID=6465 Recruitment and/or relocation incentives may be authorized; Management may authorize superior qualifications & enhanced annual leave for applicants who are deemed to be highly qualified. Promotion Potential: If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.

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