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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Pathways Student Intern (Range Management and Soil Conservation)
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Natural Resources Conservation Service
Job Announcement Number:  TX-13-822299-TKM

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$9.74 to $15.00 / Per Hour
Monday, February 25, 2013 to Monday, March 11, 2013
Full Time - Internships
22 vacancies in the following location(s):
Knox City, TX United StatesView Map
Post, TX United StatesView Map
Canadian, TX United StatesView Map
Brady, TX United StatesView Map
San Angelo, TX United StatesView Map
More Locations  (20)
Student/Internship Program Eligibles


Be Remarkable, Make a Difference!  Join the Natural Resources Conservation Service team and help us conserve our nation's Natural Resources!!  Visit our web site ( to learn more. 


Amended Announcement - Please be advised this announcement has been amended to increase the amount of vacancies to 22; extend the closing date to March 11, 2013; add the following three locations: Houston, Paris, and Sonora; and to remove the following three locations: Conroe, Kerrville, and San Angelo.


The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is known worldwide for its accomplishments and innovations in conservation.  The employees of NRCS are recognized for their talent, dedication, and ingenuity in making the Agency's programs work as they take necessary steps to reduce erosion, protect wildlife, promote good land use, and other measures to preserve the Nation's natural resources for future generations.  Join us in protecting and conserving natural resources on America's private land.  Visit our web site at to learn more and see why this is such a great place to work.

Texas NRCS expects to fill multiple student intern positions (Soil Conservation and Range Management Trainees). Locations are listed in USAJOBS for this vacancy.  Applicants must be mobile to all locations throughout Texas for final placement if offered a permanent position upon graduation from college.

These are Excepted Service Appointments.  The purpose of the 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.  The program is formally structured to give interns the opportunity to work in positions related to their academic/career goals.  Participants will complete assigned duties, tasks, readings, and developmental activities specified in the program.  A written agreement is required between NRCS Texas and the intern.  Within 120 calendar days after completing educational requirements and Pathways Program specifics, NRCS may non-competitively promote and convert an intern to a career/career-conditional or term appointment.  Conversion is not guaranteed and is based on the need of the agency.


Pathways Program requirements for an internship with NRCS Texas:

1.  Be a United States Citizen or National

2.  Be at least 16 years old (by the closing date of this vacancy announcement)

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

4.  Must be pursuing a degree in one of the academic majors or related fields listed below.

5.  College or university applicants will not expect to graduate prior to the fall of 2014.

6.  Must be available to work at least two summers and complete a minimum of 640 hours of work experience prior to graduation.

7.  Must be mobile to all locations throughout Texas upon graduation.


Read the entire job announcement and follow all instructions provided.


  • Must be a United States Citizen or National.
  • Must possess a valid Motor Vehicle Operators License.
  • Must sign a Pathways Student Agreement
  • Suitable for Federal Employmnet, determined by Background Investigation
  • Males born after 12/21/59 must be registered with Selective Service


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Rangeland management work includes the following activities in the field on farms and ranches:

Ø Accompany rangeland management specialists to observe conservation planning and application

Ø Assists in performing range site and condition surveys and gathering and assembling data for use in developing resource management plans

Ø Assists with topographical surveys used for design, layout, and construction  of conservation practices


Soil conservation work includes the following activities in the field on farms and ranches:

Ø Accompany natural resource specialists to observe conservation planning and application

Ø Assists in gathering and assembling data for use in developing resource management plans

Ø Assists with topographical surveys used for design, layout, and construction of conservation practices


These are developmental positions designed to provide training in the application of a variety of soil and water conservation practices. The student will work with experienced employees; performing a wide variety of duties tailored to the specific discipline the student is pursuing (i.e. Rangeland Management or Soil Conservation). Some of the duties may include gathering, calculating, and analyzing various types of field resource data; learning to operate tools, equipment, and computer software related to the target profession; receiving training in the use of soil survey maps, technical standards, agency guides, and other available guidelines; becoming familiar with the aims and objectives of the Natural Resources Conservation Service; and assisting in the planning and development of a wide variety of conservation and/or engineering practices. Trainee will accompany a resource specialist to observe methods used in meeting resource conservation needs; gathering and assembling data for use in basic conservation plans; performing surveys used for design and preliminary layout work, participating in inspection of practices being installed, and making field notes; and attend meetings of soil and water conservation district boards. Work will become increasingly more complex as the student masters skills and assignments and progresses through the Internship.



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NRCS Pathways Program candidates will need to meet the qualification requirements consistent with OPM (Office of Personnel Management) qualification standards applicable to the position being filled.  The qualifications for this position are described below and are published in the Qualifications Standards for General Schedule Positions which is as follows:


This position requires the ability to use a personal computer, scanner, or other automated office equipment.


For GS-01:  Must be a high school student and will be 16 years old by the closing date of this vacancy announcement.


For GS-02:  Must have a high school diploma or equivalent.


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


For GS-04:  Completion of 2 academic year of post-high school study or Associate’s degree.


For GS-05:  Completion of 4 academic years of post-high school study leading to a Bachelor’s degree.


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


NOTE:  Definition of qualifying educational institution means (1) A public high school whose curriculum has been approved by a State or local governing body, a private school that provides secondary education as determined under State law, or a homeschool that is allowed to operate in a State; (2) Any educational institutions or curricula that has been accredited by an accredited body recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (i.e.; a technical or vocational school; a 2-year or 4-year college or university).  For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see website


Unofficial transcripts are required to verify educational claims.  NOTE:  Your transcripts must be legible.  See the “How to Apply” section of this announcement.


The required education must lead to a bachelor’s degree with specialization in a directly related field to the position 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.


Courses of Study closely related to Soil Conservation:


·      Soil Science

·      Crop Science

·      Plant Science

·      Forestry

·      Wildlife Biology

·      Range (Range Management, Range Ecology and Management, or Range Resources)

·      Other Agricultural related disciplines

·       Other Agricultural related disciplines or Natural Science related disciplines


The student intern also must complete at least 640 hours of work experience acquired through the Internship Program (agencies may waive up to 320 of the required 640 hours of work for Interns who demonstrate high potential as evidenced by outstanding academic achievement and exceptional job performance).  Must meet the requirements as specified in the Participant’s Agreement and perform their job successfully.


In order to be considered for non-competitive conversion upon graduation, the student intern will be required to meet the following education requirements:


Soil Conservation – A degree in soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline. 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 (with a minimum of 3 semester hours in soils and 3 semester hours in crops or plants science).


Range Management - Degree: 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 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 areas, i.e., plant, animal, and soil sciences. Courses in such areas as plant taxonomy, plant physiology, plant 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 courses in such areas as wildlife management, watershed management, natural resource or agricultural economics, forestry, agronomy, forages, and outdoor recreation management.


·        Public Law 104-134 requires that all federal employees receive salary payments via direct deposit.

·        You must have the ability to use a computer.

·        You must submit a complete application package to be considered for this position.

·        You may be required to do some travel.

·        The work involves regular and physical exertion related to conservation work in an outdoor environment.

·        The work requires outdoor physical activities, such as, walking, and climbing for prolonged periods over rough terrain.

·        The work involves exposure to operating agricultural equipment and adverse weather conditions.

·        The work may involve travel on improved and unimproved roads.


How You Will Be Evaluated:


After the vacancy announcement closes, applications are evaluated against the questionnaire responses and placed into the appropriate quality group.  The best qualified group is the first to be referred to the selection managers for further consideration and possible interview.  The remaining groups may be referred based on the number of applicants available.  The three quality groups are as follows:

Best Qualified

Well Qualified


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 (and document) a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent will be listed in the highest quality category.

If materials are not received by the closing date your application will be evaluated solely on the information available and you may not receive full consideration or be considered eligible.  All the information you provide may be verified by review of your application, by checking references and through other means, such as the interview process.  Any exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempts to conceal information may be grounds for lowering your rating, not hiring you, or removal after employment begins




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The Pathways Program provides work experience that is directly related to the student's academic program and career goals. This allows NRCS to discover firsthand the abilities of a potential employee and gives managers the ability to evaluate the students’ performance in real work situations. The benefit to the student is exposure to public service while enhancing their educational goals and shaping their career choices.  Typically students work full-time during the summer months and then are placed in a non-pay status to return to school during the fall. Students under the Pathways Program may be non-competitively converted to career conditional appointments following completion of their academic and work experience requirements.  Available offers of permanent employment will be dependent upon budget and the availability of positions.


Working for NRCS 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. Additionally NRCS offers Flexi Work, Telework, 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 employees.  To find out more click here: or


Students appointed under the Pathways Program are eligible for both health and life insurance coverage as long as they are expected to be employed under this appointment authority for at least one year and are expected to be in a pay status for at least one third of the total period of time from the date of their initial appointment to the date of the completion of the program requirements.  Costs of the premiums are split between the employee and the agency.

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




Promotion Potential:  Pathways Student Interns who continue to meet eligibility requirements may be promoted to higher-graded trainee positions based on completion of portions of the education and student trainee work experience as follows:


To GS-02:  Upon high school graduation.


To GS-03:  Completion of one full semester or the equivalent of post-high school study and one period of student trainee work experience.


To GS-04:  (a) Completion of 1 academic year of study and two periods of student trainee work experience; or (b) completion of 1½ academic years of study and one period of student trainee work experience.


To GS-05:  Completion of 4 years of academic study leading to a Bachelor's or higher degree and completion of 640 work period hours.


To GS-07:  Completion of 4 academic years of study (or all the requirements) for a Bachelor's degree with superior academic achievement.  See the following website for more information:


Upon completion of all the requirements for a Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate field, student trainees may be reassigned or promoted in the appropriate target series to GS-05 or GS-07 if they meet the qualification requirements of the target occupation, including minimum education requirements.


Veterans’ Preference:  If you are entitled to veterans’ preference, you should indicate the type of veterans’ preference you are claiming on your resume and submit documents to support your claim.  Your veterans’ preference entitlement will be verified by the employing agency.


·       For 5-point veterans' preference, please provide your DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), official statement of service from your command if you are currently on active duty, or other official documentation (e.g., documentation of receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal) that proves your military service was performed under honorable conditions.


·       For 10-point veterans' preference, please submit a Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference and the required documentation.


Selective Service:  If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under Selective Service Law.  See


NRCS provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities.  If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify us.  The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.



The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program.  (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)  Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc., should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).  To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).  USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.



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To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

1. Your Résumé or application (must show dates and hours per week worked for each period of employment)

2. A complete Occupational Questionnaire

3. Additional Required Documents (see Required Documents section below)

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Monday, March 11, 2013.

To begin the process, click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account. Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.

Note: To return to a previously Saved or Incomplete application you may use the following link:

To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload, complete this cover page using the following Vacancy ID 779481. Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

If you cannot apply online:

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

2. Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire, and

3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to 1-478-757-3144. Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.


Faxes or documents mailed to the local Human Resources Office will not be considered.



The following documents are required:


1.  Current resume


2.  Completed Online Questionnaire


3.  Transcripts – a copy of your transcripts, “unofficial” transcripts are acceptable as long as they are legible.  If selected, official transcripts will be required.


4.  Acceptance Letter of Enrollment – if you are a graduating high school senior or just enrolling for your 1st year of college, you must provide proof of enrollment or acceptance for enrollment at an accredited institution of higher learning. Please include major, classes, and semester/quarter hours information if available.


5.  Veteran’s Preference – if you have prior military service and eligible for veterans’ preference, you must include a copy of your DD-214(s) or proof of service (must show type of discharge and character of service).  Applicants claiming preference based on a service connected disability, or based on being the spouse, or mother of a disabled or deceased veteran, must also complete and submit a SF-15 along with supporting documentation (i.e., letter from the Veterans Administration).  Note:  Not all veterans are preference eligible, for more information, see the Vet Guide at:



Tiffinie K. Meyer
Phone: (254)742-9934
Agency Information:
1400 Independence Avenue
Washington, DC


Once your Occupational Questionnaire and resume have been received, you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful. All information provided may be verified by a careful review of your resume, questionnaire responses, reference check, background check, and/or verification of education. After a qualification review of your complete application package, you will be notified of the status of your application. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Any exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempt to conceal information may disqualify you for consideration. A job offer is typically made within 45 days after the deadline for applications. You can track the progress of your application package in Application Manager at

Additional Duty Location Info

22 vacancies in the following locations:
Knox City, TX United StatesView Map
Post, TX United StatesView Map
Canadian, TX United StatesView Map
Brady, TX United StatesView Map
San Angelo, TX United StatesView Map
Bryan, TX United StatesView Map
Mount Pleasant, TX United StatesView Map
Fort Stockton, TX United StatesView Map
Alpine, TX United StatesView Map
Kerrville, TX United StatesView Map
Plainview, TX United StatesView Map
Littlefield, TX United StatesView Map
Pearsall, TX United StatesView Map
Dumas, TX United StatesView Map
Kingsville, TX United StatesView Map
Bellville, TX United StatesView Map
Gainesville, TX United StatesView Map
Brenham, TX United StatesView Map
Sonora, TX United StatesView Map
Houston, TX United StatesView Map
Paris, TX United StatesView Map
Iowa Park, TX United StatesView Map
Lubbock, TX United StatesView Map
Snyder, TX United StatesView Map
Conroe, TX United StatesView Map

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