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

Job Title:Assistant State Conservationist (Operations)

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Natural Resources Conservation Service

Job Announcement Number:NC-805022-BD

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$84,317.00 to $84,317.00 / Per Year


Tuesday, December 11, 2012 to Monday, December 24, 2012




Full Time - Permanent




1 vacancy in the following location:
Raleigh, NC United StatesView Map


United States Citizens


The Natural Resources Conservation Services provides leadership in a partnership effort to help conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment.

This position is located in the North Carolina State Office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Raleigh, North Carolina.  As an Assistant to the State Conservationist, the incumbent has statewide responsibility for strategic planning and the coordination, direction, and evaluation of operations and management activities.  This position is supervised by the State Conservationist.


Applications will be accepted from U.S. Citizens.

Applicants with prior Federal civilian experience may apply under Vacancy Announcement  NC-804275-BD.

Relocation expenses will be authorized as allowable by law.  Applicants who have never held a permanent competitive status appointment will not be offered relocation.

Please read the entire vacancy announcement prior to contacting the Point of Contact (POC) shown on this announcement and follow all application instructions.  All required documentation must be submitted for you to receive consideration for this vacancy.


NOTE:  To receive veteran preference, eligible veterans claiming 5-Point Preference must submit a copy of their DD-214.  All 10-Point Preference Eligibles must also submit a completed Standard Form 15 (SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference), and a letter from the Veteran’s Administration (VA) dated within the last 12 months outlining the percentage of their service connected disability. 


  • U.S. Citizenship Required
  • Must submit a copy of all "Official College Transcripts"
  • You must have a valid state driver's license.


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1.       Participates with the State Conservationist and other top management officials in and outside the agency in the formulation and establishment of State soil and water conservation policies and programs based on broad national agency objectives.


2.       Assists the State Conservationist in the overall management of state and field operations.  Serves as a catalyst in the flow of information between the state and field.  Facilitates teamwork between the state and field to meet program goals as related to operations/management.


3.       Provides leadership and guidance, as it relates to field office operations, in the development and management of Service resources; this includes (1) workforce planning; (2) directing budget management, as it relates to financial assistance, to attain utmost efficiency; and (3) providing guidance on soil and water conservation district programs and plans.


4.       Provides assistance to the State Conservationist, staff specialists, and other offices in the development of operations/management inventories, multi-year priorities and objectives, workload analyses, accomplishment reporting and program and activity reviews.  Provides leadership in the use of “operations management” tools in achieving program objectives of the State to adhere to broad national objectives.


5.       Provides leadership for the coordination and development of the State and partnership strategic plan.  Provides coordination on determining resource trends, opportunities and threats, strengths and weaknesses and critical issues for the future. 


6.       Serves as Program Manager for Conservation Technical Assistance Program.


7.       Coordinates budget proposals and work improvement studies of program operations to support financial assistance, (FA), requests from State Conservationist and other agency officials.


8.       Coordinates program activities with the State Leadership Team to ensure compatibility, financial integrity, and accomplishment of state NRCS objectives.


9.       Recommends priorities in the preparation and implementation of plans, project studies, and activities of conservation technical assistance program.


10.   Develops and implements a system of Civil Rights assessments and reviews to evaluate effectiveness of programs and to determine adherence to policy and technical standards.


11.   Responsible for providing guidance and coordinating the implementation of USDA/NRCS office consolidation efforts in the state.  Works closely with other USDA agencies, county and state FAC, and State Leadership Team to insure that plans are carried out in an efficient and effective manner.


12.   Establishes and maintains cooperative working relationships with other Federal agencies, state and local government officials, public and private agencies, and other groups and individuals to develop partnerships to enhance operations, program development, and program delivery. 


13.   Responds to Congressional inquiries about specific field operation and program issues.  Takes the lead in investigations and appeals.  Coordinates all activities closely with State Leadership Team, State Conservationist, or other agencies as necessary.


14.   Serves a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the state.


15.   Responsible for creating, analyzing, and displaying data (including GIS data) for the purposes of workload, staffing, and facilities management planning.


16.   Responsible for creating, analyzing, and displaying NRCS performance and progress, planning and practice application, including GIS data (e.g. geodata from the NRCS Integrated Data for Enterprise Analysis (IDEA) website) for the purposes of operations management as well as reporting to internal and external partners.


17.   Represents the NRCS at conferences or meetings relating to areas of responsibility.  Establishes and maintains contacts and cooperative relations with federal and state agencies, municipal and private organizations, and individuals on opportunities and problems of mutual interest.


18.   Responsible for developing agreements with the Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, State/Federal agencies and/or local units of government for carrying our conservation activities.  Negotiates transfer of matching funds or in-kind services subject to the STC approval.


19.    Develops and maintains effective working relationships with the conservation districts and the State level natural resources agencies; other United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies; other local, state, and federal agencies; environmental groups and organizations; and organizations interested in natural resources issues.  Works with partners in the coordination of departmental and other agricultural programs within the objectives of an overall soil and water conservation program.


20.   Supervises operational staff member(s).  Responsibilities for staff member(s) include: planning and assigning work to be accomplished; developing and establishing performance plans and evaluating performance, providing for training and developing; providing advice and counsel; interviews, recommends, promotes and reassigns candidates within the unit; hears and resolves employee complaints; effect disciplinary measures; and finds ways to improve production or increase the quality of the work directed.



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Required Specialize Experience:


You must have at least one year of qualifying Specialized Experience equivalent to the next lower grade level (GS-12) in the federal service. An example of qualifying specialized experience that would be creditable for this position is experience that included the application of techniques, principles and methods from a variety of agricultural and natural resources fields. For example, experience gained in a specialized field such as soil conservation, soil science, forestry, or agronomy, which includes applications of a broad range of soil and water conservation principles and techniques; experience in analyzing complex natural resource factors and interpreting related social and economic conditions; extensive experience in devising and implementing cohesive, short- and long-term conservation plans or comprehensive, integrated resource development projects; success in recommending optimum and alternative natural resource development strategies; designing and conducting feasibility studies for multipurpose conservation projects; and formulating difficult major resource conservation cost-sharing proposals. Experience in clearly explaining and describing soil and water conservation issues, problems, and solutions to diverse groups of rural and community landowners, residents and agribusiness representatives in writing and orally; Experience logically organizing and presenting appropriate data supporting comprehensive conservation measures, plans, and objectives. Successfully advising and motivating individuals and organized groups of landowners and representatives of governmental agencies in the evaluation of conventional soil erosion problems, water quality and control conditions, and different local government jurisdictional roles; experience in preparing land and water treatment plans, measures, and techniques and recommending their adoption. Attainment of annual plan of operation objectives, and promoting agency credibility among program in a rural and, or urban area; Experience in managing and supervising a diverse staff, resolving conflicts and building partnerships. 


Specialized Experience must be clearly reflected in resume.   


To meet the basic eligibility requirements for the GS-401 series as set forth in the Qualification Standards, you must have:  


A 4-year Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences, Agriculture, Natural Resources, Ecology or a related discipline; or, a sufficient number of semester hours required to constitute a major field of study in any subject listed above.  Acquiring the sufficient number of semester hours is deemed as the semester hours specified by the individual's attended college or university.   


Education can not be waived; if you do not meet the educational requirement you will not be given consideration beyond initial review.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to justify and prove the qualification standard is met at the time of application.


Credit will be given for appropriate qualifying unpaid experience or volunteer work such as community, cultural, social service, and professional association activities on the same basis as for unpaid experience; experience will be applied to grade eligibility only.  To receive proper credit for unpaid experience or volunteer work, fully describe your responsibilities and show the actual time (years, months, and hours per week) spent in such activities. 

Your Assessment questionnaire will be scored based on your responses.  The score is a measure of the degree to which your background matches the following knowledges, skills and abilities (found in the assessment questionnaire) for this position:

1.       Knowledge of management, supervisory, and EEO/CR policies and practices.

2.       Ability to analyze data, evaluate facts and make decisions.

3.       Ability to lead and motivate others and maintain working relationships.

4.       Ability to communicate with others.

5.       Knowledge of NRCS programs, policies, and procedures.

6.       Knowledge of Geographic Information Systems


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 identifies 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.

Veterans’ preference is applied after applicants are assessed.  Veterans’ preference eligibles who meet the qualification requirements are place in the appropriate category and are listed ahead of non-preference eligibles.  Veteran preference eligibles that have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent are listed in the highest quality category, except in the case of scientific or professional positions at the GS-9 level or higher.

In order to receive credit for your specialized experience, you must fully describe your responsibilities and show the actual time (years, months, and hours per week) spent in such activities.  If, after reviewing your resume and or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you inflated your qualifications and or experience, OR that your resume does not support the score on your questionnaire, your score can and will be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities. In addition, if you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your description of experiences and/or education OR that your application is incomplete, your application will be unrated with an explanation that the narrative does not support the self-report.  Your application will receive no further consideration for this announcement. 


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This is a permanent, career-conditional appointment.  Selectee will be eligible for health and life insurance, annual leave (vacation), sick leave and will be covered under the, Thrift Savings Plan, Federal Employees Retirement System(FERS), or Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS).

The work schedule is full time (40 hours per week).

All Federal employees are required by Public Law 104-134 to have federal payments made by Direct Deposit.

Your pay grade and step will be set in accordance with Federal pay regulations.

The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees. The following Web addresses are provided for your reference to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees.

Flexible Spending Accounts - The Federal Flexible Spending Accounts Program (FSAFeds) allows you to pay for certain health and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars. For additional information visit:

Health Insurance - The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program offers over 100 optional plans. For additional information visit:

Leave - Most Federal employees earn both annual and sick leave. For additional information visit:

Life Insurance - The Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI) offers: Basic Life Insurance plus three types of optional insurance, for additional information visit:

Long Term Care Insurance - The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) provides long term care insurance for Federal employees and their parents, parents-in-law, stepparents, spouses, and adult children. For additional information visit:

Retirement Program - All new employees are automatically covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). FERS is a three-tiered retirement plan. The three tiers are: Social Security Benefits, Basic Benefit Plan, Thrift Savings Plan. For additional information visit:

This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees.



VETERANS PREFERENCE: Five points may be added to the eligible ratings of veterans who: Entered the military service prior to October 14, 1976; served on active duty during the Gulf War between August 2, 1990 and January 2, 1992, regardless of where the person served; or, served in a military action for which they received a campaign badge or expeditionary medal. Medal holders and Gulf War veterans must have served continuously for at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty. Ten points may be granted to the eligible ratings of disabled veterans; Purple Heart recipients; spouses or mothers of a 100 percent disabled veteran; or the widows, widowers, or mothers of a deceased veteran.

Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with the Selective Service.

You must complete a FBI Fingerprint, Background and Security Investigation.

Applicant must complete a one-year probationary period.


View Occupational Questionnaire


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To apply for this position, you must complete the online questionnaire and any other documents specified in the Required Documents section of this job announcement.

The Application Manager is the most convenient and quickest way to apply for this vacancy announcement. You can 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 Completed by Monday, December 24, 2012.



Option A:  Application Manager

To begin, choose one of these options:

1.   If your résumé 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 résumé 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.

2.   If your résumé is going to be one you prepared outside of USAJOBS Résumé Builder, click this link to begin the process:


To return to Application Manager at any time, use whichever one of the links you used to begin as described above, or simply go to


Option B:  Paper Qualifications Questionnaire

If it is not possible for you to use Application Manager, you can write your answers on paper.  Follow these steps:

1.  You can print a copy of this job announcement so that you can read the questions offline.

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 at this URL or by calling USAJOBS by Phone at (703) 724-1850; 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.  Do not use a separate cover page. Simply make sure that all six pages of the Form 1203-FX are on top of any other documents you are faxing. The fax number is  1-478-757-3144.  Feed all documents into your fax machine top first so that we receive them right-side up.


Faxed documents will take 2-3 business days to process.  To fax documents, you MUST use the special cover sheet page.  Print the pre-populated cover page on the upload documents screen of Application Manager.  Or you may click this link to print a copy of the cover page.  When faxing documents, follow the procedures outlined below.


1.      Include the 8-character Vacancy Identification Number    805022.

2.      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.

3.      Fax your cover page and documents to 1-478-757-3144.

You may submit multiple documents for the same vacancy announcement using one cover page.

Fax documents submitted with missing information will not be processed.  The following will prevent your documents from being processed.

1.      Not using the special cover page mentioned above.

2.      Missing incomplete or invalid Vacancy Identification Number

3.      Missing or incomplete Social Security Number or name. 

 Note: If you are uploading your supporting documents see the Submitting Documents instruction below. 


The following documents are required:

  • Resume
  • College Transcripts to support education requirements.  Transcripts must be an "OFFICIAL" copy that indicates the degree awarded and the date it was conferred. (Copies are acceptable.)
  • Responses to the questionnaire.
  • Veterans Preference documentation (DD-214 or equivalent, SF-15 and VA Letter, as appropriate)
  • Step 2 - IMPORTANT - Submitting Documents

If you upload your documents using Application Manager, DO NOT FAX the same documents.   At the Document Upload screen, select the type of documents you are attaching for upload from the drop down menu on the left side of the screen.  Select the “Browse” button and attach the file(s) you want to submit. Press the “Upload” button to submit the document file(s). You will receive an “Upload Successful” acknowledgment when the file has been received. If you have submitted all your materials using the recommended method 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. 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 account for this vacancy announcement.  Your documents will display under the Details tab in the Document area. 


If you have “Saved” an incomplete Occupational Questionnaire, you may finish it by clicking on or inserting this link into your Internet browser Insert your user ID and password.” And click the “Login” button.  Once you are logged in, follow the instructions to finish an incomplete application or to add documents.

If you do not want to upload your documents, the USAJOBS website provides a “Create a Resume” feature that you may use to develop and submit a resume for this position. The completed resume can be attached to this vacancy announcement and submitted electronically.  To do so, scroll down to the end of the vacancy announcement.  Click on the “Apply Online” icon. Then follow the USAJOBS website instructions. After you complete and submit the online resume and online questionnaire, you will receive a “Confirmation of Submission” message stating that your online resume has been successfully submitted. If you do not receive this message, please submit again as this indicates that your resume has not been received.


To make sure everything you submitted is successfully received, follow these steps:

  1. Go to and log in.
  2. Verify that all of your documents appear on the table with a status of Processed.

Note: If you have documents in your Application Manager account from a previous vacancy announcement, they can be opened, copied, saved, and then reused as an upload file for this vacancy.  Uploading 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. 


Tell us what job you are applying for, i.e.                                                              

  - The announcement number, title and grade.


Provide all of the following.

  - Full name, mailing address and day/evening telephone numbers               

  - Social Security Number.                                                    

  - Country of Citizenship.                                                    

  - Highest Federal civilian grade held, job series, and dates of employment in grade.                                                                       



  - High School name, city, state and zip code, date of diploma or GED.        

  - Colleges and/or Universities attended, city, state and zip code            

  - Major field(s) of study.                                                   

- Type and year of degree(s) received.


Work experience related to the job for which you are applying:

  - Job title.                                                                 

  - Duties and accomplishments.                                                

  - Number of hours per week.                                                   

  - Employers name and address.                                                

  - Supervisor's name and phone number.                                        

  - Starting and ending dates of employment (month and year).                  

  - Salary.                                                                    

  - Indicate if your current supervisor may be contacted.                      


Other Qualifications:                                                         

  - Job-related training courses (title and year).                             

  - Job-related skills (e.g., other languages, computer software/hardware, tools, machinery, typing speed, etc.)                                        

  - Job-related certificates and licenses.                                     

-  Job-related honors, awards, and special accomplishments  (e.g. publications, memberships in professional or honor societies, leadership activities, public speaking, performance awards, etc.) Do not send copies of documents unless specifically requested.


Betty Dickens
Phone: (919)873-2110
Agency Information:
4407 Bland Road
Suite 117
Raleigh, NC


After the vacancy announcement closes, we will review your resume and transcripts to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements.  We will evaluate each applicant who meets the basic qualifications on the information provided in the Supplemental Questionnaire and may interview the best-qualified applicants.  If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted.

You will be notified through Applicant Manager regarding the status of your application.  

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