Position Description and Application Information
The purpose of this position is to support the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) mission of providing resources to farmers and landowners to aid them with conservation. This position serves as an expert in the provision of direct wetland determination assistance to Field Offices and producers and for supervision of assigned staff.
- Services Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification requests, quality assurance of wetland determinations, review and oversight of consultant provided documentation. Reviews reports of possible wetland non-compliance.
- Provides assistance to producers and field offices on Wetland Conservation Compliance activities associated with the Swampbuster provisions of the Food Security Act, as amended.
- Services informal appeals of wetland determinations. Serves as agency representative, collects data, assembles the agency record, and prepares draft appeal responses.
- Provides accurate and effective training on all aspects of Wetland Conservation Compliance, including technical and policy requirements.
Conditions of Employment
- Successful completion of one-year probationary period, unless previously served.
- You 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. If selected you will be sent instructions on obtaining fingerprints. Please note we are not able to reimburse any fees incurred for fingerprints.
- 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.
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.
BASIC REQUIREMENT FOR 0457: 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.
Evaluation of Education: Education that provided specialized knowledge and skills in soil and water conservation is more valuable than education that imparted broad but general knowledge and skills. Courses in soil fertility, soil chemistry, soil genesis, plant physiology, plant science, and field crops are examples of specialized courses that contribute towards meeting the required 12 semester hours as described above. Courses in the physical sciences or engineering such as geology, civil engineering, and hydrology also meet the soils, crops, or plant science course requirements where such courses included a complete introduction to the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils.
Evaluation of Experience: Experience that included the application of techniques, principles, and methods from a variety of agricultural and natural resource fields is appropriate, given the interdisciplinary character of the soil conservation occupation. For example, experience gained in a specialized field such as soil science, forestry, or agronomy is as fully acceptable as experience directly obtained in soil conservation work.
BASIC REQUIREMENT FOR 0401: Degree: Biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position; ORCombination of education and experience:
Combination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
BASIC REQUIREMENT FOR 0470: 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
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 below 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-9 level or higher in the Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through federal service. This experience must include knowledge of the principles and theories of soil and water conservation and related sciences in identifying conservation related problems. Examples of specialized experience include: Providing technical assistance to producers and field offices on Wetland Conservation Compliance, wetland restoration, water management, and/or wetland identification; Servicing Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification requests; Servicing informal appeals of wetland determinations.
Substitution of education in lieu of specialized experience: (3) years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resources management, or related disciplines appropriate to the position; 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.
For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here: 0401 , 0457 , 0470.
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.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
You must submit a copy of your transcripts to include course number, title, completion and grade. 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. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. 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 syllabus 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.
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.
Failure to provide all of the required documents/information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
- 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.
- 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.
- Physical Demands: The work is performed both in the office and in the field. Field work requires regular and recurring physical exertion related to wetland work such as walking over rough terrain, jumping ditches or climbing steep banks to make on-ground observations for making wetland determinations and evaluating maintenance requests. Work may require frequent lifting and carrying of equipment weighing 45 pounds. The employee may operate a motor vehicle.
- Work Environment: The work requires common sense precautions typical of office and field settings. Field work involves regular and recurring exposure to all types of weather conditions and insects. Exposure to discomfort from such extremes as heat, cold, rain, snow, and other inclement weather is encountered when performing the field work.
- 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.
- This position is eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the position and other flexible work arrangements. Current USDA policy includes telework for an 8-hour workday, 4 days per week; other flexibilities are possible dependent upon availability and/or the position and its associated duties. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.
- Recruitment and/or relocation incentives may be authorized.