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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Student Trainee- Internship (Biological Science, GS-499-03/04)
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Natural Resources Conservation Service
Job Announcement Number:  SD-854148-SK

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 $36,384.00 / Per Year
Monday, March 11, 2013 to Monday, April 01, 2013
Full Time - Internships NTE 08/24/2013
4 vacancies in the following location(s):
Chamberlain, SD United StatesView Map
Timber Lake, SD United StatesView Map
Student/Internship Program Eligibles


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

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 website ( to learn more and see why this is such a great place to work.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service in South Dakota is hiring Student Trainees for temporary summer employment under the Pathways Internship Program to assist with the National Resources Inventory (NRI) Rangeland Field Study. 

Two (2) vacancies will be filled at Timber Lake and two (2) vacancies will be filled at Chamberlain.  Please indicate if you are interested in Timber Lake, Chamberlain or both locations. 



  • You must be a U.S. Citizen
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with the Selective Service.
  • You must complete a FBI Background & Security Investigation.
  • You must have a valid state driver license.


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Assembles maps, aerial photographs, and equipment required for the collection of field data.


Accurately collects and records all required field data based on protocol defined in the National Resources Inventory (NRI) Handbook of Instructions for Rangeland Field Study Data Collection.


Edits collected data for quality, completeness, and accuracy.


Communicates progress, problems, and other relevant information regarding inventory to supervisor or project coordinator(s).


Maintains equipment.


The on-line occupational questionnaire that you will complete will address the following Knowledge, Skills and Abilities necessary for this position:


  1. Skill in Plant Identification.
  2. Skill in Soil Science
  3. Knowledge of and Skill in Using Computer Systems.
  4. Ability to communicate orally and in writing.
  5. Ability to organize, coordinate, analyze and prepare data.



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Must meet the qualification requirements consistent with OPM qualification standards applicable to the position being filled.


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.  For technical school, an academic year is defined as 36 weeks of study (20+ classroom hours per week).




Unofficial transcripts are required to verify educational claims.  All academic degrees and course work must be completed at a college or university 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 positons have specific educational requirements, so we encourage you to provide a complete description of your educational achievements.

Foreign Education — Education completed outside of the United States must be deemed equivalent to that gained in conventional/accredited U.S. education programs to be acceptable for Federal employment. Applicants must submit all necessary documents to a private U.S. organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign educational credentials, commonly called a credential evaluation service when they apply for positions in order for the foreign education to be considered as a part of the qualification requirements or for positive education requirements.


a. Be a United States Citizen.

b. Be at least 16 years old.

c. Have completed range plant identification training.   

d. Have completed at least one year of college or technical school. 

e. Have a valid driver's license.  


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 qualifcation 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 here: 



Housing Subsidy; USDA/NRCS South Dakota may authorize a housing subsidy while working Full Time during the summer depending on budget.

EEO Policy Statement:

Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement:

Veterans Information:

Legal and Regulatory Guidance:


Shari Kieffer



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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.


If you cannot apply online:

1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire:  Online 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 materials 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:854148.  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 Online Questionnaire and the 1203FX form to document your responses.
  • Résumé 
  • College Transcripts to support education requirements.  Copies of unofficial transcripts are acceptable for proof of education.  If selected for a position you will be required to provide official transcripts and proof of enrollment.
  • Veterans:  If you have prior military service, please include copies of all your DD-214s for 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.



    Shari Kieffer
    Phone: (605)352-1224
    Fax: (605)352-1270
    Agency Information:
    Federal Building - Room 203
    200 fourth Street SW
    Huron, SD
    Fax: (605)352-1270


    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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    EEO Policy Statement | Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement | Veterans Information | Legal and Regulatory Guidance