This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Student Trainee - Internship

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Natural Resources Conservation Service

Job Announcement Number:LA-16-DD-13-0001(793633-SP)

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$24,933.00 to $27,990.00 / Per Year


Wednesday, December 05, 2012 to Friday, January 04, 2013




Full Time - Internships




12 vacancies in the following location:
Alexandria, LA United StatesView Map


Student/Internship Program Eligibles


Be remarkable and make a difference! Join the Natural Resources Conservation Service team and help us conserve our nation's natural resources in partnership with America's land owners. 

Specific locations throughout Louisiana will be determined at time of offer of employment.NRCS in Louisiana is recruiting students to participate in the Pathways Internship Program.  

These positions are expected to begin Summer 2013.  Positions to be filled are Student Trainees in Soil Conservation.  The program allows students to gain real, paid work experience while pursuing a college degree in a particular career field.  Work locations vary each summer and the duties and locations are designed to provide hands-on experience and training in the specific discipline for which hired.  Students who successfully complete all work, study, qualifications, and other eligibility requirements may be offered permanent positions with our agency upon graduation.




  • You must be a U.S. Citizen.
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with the Selective Service.
  • You must complete a background and security investigation.
  • You must have a valid state driver's license.
  • Must be enrolled at least 1/2 time or accepted as a degree seeking student


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The purpose of the new Pathways Intern Employment Program is to provide the intern with exposure to public service, enhance educational experience, and provide financial support to encourage and support educational goals.  For further information regarding the Pathways Internship Program:


Soil Conservationist Student Intern:

As a Soil Conservationist trainee, you will spend most of your time in the field assisting a NRCS employee who is working with farmers and other land users offering conservation planning and technical assistance.  You will learn ways to conserve the soil, improve water quality, manage nutrients, restore wetlands, and protect and improve wildlife habitat. 


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NRCS Pathways Program candidates will meet the qualification requirements consistent with OPM qualification standards applicable to the position being filled. See qualifications at


For GS-03: Completion of 1 academic year of post-high school study

For GS-04: Completion of 2 academic years of post-high school study or associate's degree


Note: An academic year of undergraduate education is defined as 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours, or the equivalent in an accredited college or university.


The required education must lead to a bachelor's degree with specialization in a directly related to the field in which the student trainee will participate in the intern program.  The degree of specialization in this field must satisfy on graduation the specific educational requirements in the qualification standard for the corresponding position.


In order to be considered for non-competitve conversion upon graduation applicants will be required to meet the following education requirements. 


Soil Conservation, GS-0457, Education 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.


Unofficial transcripts are required to verify educational claims.  All academic degrees and coruse work must be completed at a college, or univeristy that has obtained accreditation from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see


Many NRCS positions have specific educational requirements, so we encourage you to provide a complete description of your eductional achievements. 

Courses of Study closely related to Soil Conservation:

  • Agronomy
  • Soil Science
  • Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Natural Resource Conservation
  • Agricultural Discipline
  • Natural Science Discipline

Pathways Program requirements for an internship with Louisiana NRCS:

a. Be a United States Citizen.

b. Be at least 16 years old.

c. Have at least a 2.9 GPA.  3.0 or higher is preferred.

d. Be pursuing a baccalaureate or graduate degree in one of the academic majors or related fields listed above.

e. Must be enrolled in an accredited college or university on at least a half-time basis as defined by the college or university.

Physical Requirements: Applicants may need to work outdoors under adverse weather conditions.


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.

Candidates will meet the qualification requirements consistent with the OPM qualification standards applicable to the position being filled.  Veteran's preference applies to all selections made under the Pathways Program authority in accordance with Part 302 of 5 CFR.  Candidates who meet the minimum qualification requirements need not be further evaluated; however, if no further evaluation is done, qualified veterans have preference.  If candidates are further evaluated using NRCS's category rating process, qualified veterans have absolute preference within the appropriate category.


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The Federal Government 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.  USDA/NRCS also offers Flexi Work, Tele-work, Transportation Subsidies and a family friendly work environment.  The following web address is provided for your reference to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employee.   To find out more click

Relocation expenses are not authorized unless the individual selected is currently a Federal Employee under a competitive service appointment with permanent or conditional tenure.


Housing Subsidy: USDA/NRCS Louisiana may authorize a housing subsidy for Rent while working Full Time during the summer depending on budget.

EEO Policy Statement:

Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement:

Veterans Information:

Legal and Regulatory Guidance:



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To apply for this position, you must provide a complete application (see "Required Documents" section below).  The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) by the closing date of this announcement.


To begin the process, click the Apply Online button to the right of this announcement to create a USAJOBS account or log into our existing USAJOBS account.  Be sure to upload the required documents before you submit your application.  Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.  Mailed/emailed applications will not be accepted.


Note: To change or update your application, simply reapply through USAJOBS before the closing date of this announcement.  To check the status of your application, log into your USAJOBS account, select Application Status and click on the More Information link under the application status for this position.


Click on the following link to preview the assessment questions:View Assessment Questions


If you cannot apply online:

1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire:View Occupational Questionnaire

2. Print the OPM Form 1203FX to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire:

3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with all supporting documents to (478) 757-3144.  Do not use a separate cover sheet.  Your 1203FX form must be placed on top of all materies and will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission. 

4. Keep a copy of your fax transmission receipt in case verification is needed.


To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload:

1. Complete this cover page using the following Vacancy ID:793633.  You must use this fax cover sheet in order for your documents to be matched with your online application.

2. Fax this cover sheet and supporting documents to (478) 757-3144.



The following documents are required:


  • Completed Occupational Questionnaire.  This can be completed online.  Make sure that you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the questionnaire.  If you wish to complete the questionnaire via paper, please print the       and the 1203FX form to document your responses.


  • Résumé


  • College Transcripts to support education requirements.  Copies or unofficial transcript are acceptable for proof of education.  If selected for a position you will be required to provide official transcripts.


  • Veterans:  If you have prior military service, please include copies of all your DD-214s or proof of service.  Applicants claiming preference based on service-connected disability, or based on being the spouse or a mother of a disabled or deceased veteran, you must also complete and submit a SF-15 along with supporting documentation.


If you have submitted all documents listed above, you have completed the application process.   If you want to save an incomplete Occupational Questionnaire and return later, select the Save button at the top or bottom of each of the application pages and click the Logout button.


Sandra Plunkett
Phone: (318)473-7763
Agency Information:
Louisiana NRCS State Office
3737 Government Street
Alexandria, LA


Once the online occupational questionnaire is received you will receive an automated acknowledgement email that your submission was successful.   After a review of ALL applications are made, you will be notified of your qualification status and referral or non-referral to the hiring official for further consideration.   If further evaluation or interviews are required you will be contacted.

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