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

Job Title:Soil Conservationist GS-457-5/7/9

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Natural Resources Conservation Service

Job Announcement Number:CO-887956-KA

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$31,315.00 to $47,448.00 / Per Year


Thursday, May 09, 2013 to Wednesday, May 22, 2013




Full Time - Permanent




1 vacancy in the following location:
Springfield, CO United StatesView Map


United States Citizens


Since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, NRCS has worked with conservation districts, Federal, State, tribal, and local governments to help landowners conserve natural resources on private lands. We need you to join us in “Helping People Help the Land”! Visit our web site ( to learn more.

70% of the land in the United States is privately owned, making stewardship by private landowners vital to the health of our Nation's environment. NRCS is known worldwide for its accomplishments and innovations in conservation. This reputation is built through the technical knowledge, passion, and dedication of our employees as they work to reduce erosion, protect wildlife, promote good land use, and preserve the Nation's natural resources for future generations.

This vacancy announcement is open to all United States Citizens. One or more positions may be filled through this announcement.

The position is located in the NRCS field office in Springfield, Colorado. The incumbent serves as a soil conservationist in the local field office assisting the District Conservationist in carrying out soil and water conservation programs. They will spend time in the field working with producers, foresters and other specialists, and other land users providing technical assistance in planning and implementing conservation practices.

Relocation expenses will not be paid


  • U.S. Citizen
  • Suitable for Federal Employment, determined by Background Investigation
  • Positive Education required with specialized experience-see Qualifications
  • Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered with Selective Service
  • Must have a valid Motor Vehicle Operators License


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This position serves as a Soil Conservationist with primary responsibility for providing planning and implementation of technical assistance in the designated county serviced center through an NRCS Field Office. Other duties include:

  • Providing technical assistance to individuals and groups of landowners and operators in developing sound soil and water conservation plans and in the application of soil and water conservation practices;
  • Providing technical assistance to sponsors of watershed projects on land treatment problems and to planning and zoning commissioners in developing resource plans and land use regulations. Assists private consultants, land appraisers, and others in securing resource inventory data, such as soil survey maps, flood maps, aerial photos, etc;
  • Assisting the District Conservationist (DC) in the development and implementation of an information program. Furnishing information for the preparation of news articles. Conducting field tours and demonstrations in order to further districts' programs;
  • Assisting the DC in administrative functions of the field office, including obtaining and recording information for records and reports;
  • Assisting in maintaining and revising technical guides, job sheets, and specifications. Entering data into automated report management systems. Using computer programs to develop and document conservation plans and applications.


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Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor's or higher degree that included a major field of study in Soil Conservation or a related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering that includes

  • 30 semester hours in a natural resource or agricultural field
  • 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 a combination of education and experience. However education must meet the semester hour requirement as outlined above.

Note: Partial credit for courses cannot be given.

Copies of official College Transcripts are mandatory for this position.

Specialized experience is defined as the following:

-To qualify for the GS-5 Grade Level: Minimum qualifications as stated above.

-To qualify for the GS-7 Grade Level: One year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-5 level. Providing assistance to land managers in planning and applying conventional conservation practices on their land to maintain or improve production while conserving soil and water resources.

--One year of graduate-level education in a related field or superior academic achievement (upper third of graduating class, 3.0 or greater GPA overall or 3.5 or greater GPA within Major, or honor society membership).

-- To qualify for the GS-9 Grade Level: One year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-7 level. Experience assisting landowners with conservation planning; providing technical advice to producers on keeping their plans current; providing resource planning assistance from initial inventory and evaluation through to completion; and other related duties relevant to the occupation..

-- A Masters degree or 36 semester hours of progressively higher graduate education leading to a Masters degree from an accredited college or university in soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering.

Credit will be given for appropriate qualifying unpaid experience or volunteer work. 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.

* The work involves regular and physical exertion related to conservation work in an outdoor environment.
* The work involves exposure to operating agricultural equipment and adverse weather conditions.
* Travel on improved and unimproved roads may be required.
* You must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.


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 and possible interview.  The remaining groups may be referred based on the number of applicants available.

Best Qualified:Applicant possesses all of the job related competencies identified as important for successful job performance.
Well -Qualified: Applicant possesses a majority (i.e., more than half) of the job related competencies needed for successful job performance.
Qualified: Applicant meets the basic eligibility and minimum qualification requirements, but does not meet the definition of Well-Qualified or Best Qualified describe above. 

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

1. Knowledge of conservation planning and implementation processes.
2. Ability to evaluate field data, recognize needs, and make decisions.
3.Knowledge of computer hardware and general purpose software applicaitons.
4. Skill in communication in order to implement, sell and maintain a conservation program.

Veteran's preference rules for Category Rating apply. CPS - 30% disability or higher, CP - 10%-30% disabled, TP - Qualifying Veteran, XP - Spouse, Widow/Widower, Mother of deceased Veteran, or Purple Heart recipient. Documentation and request for preference must be submitted at the time of application.

To preview this questionnaire and determine if your experience matches the skills required for this position, click the following link: View Assessment Questions


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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 FlexiWork, 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


Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP). The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) provides eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your agency has notified you in writing that you are a displaced employee eligible for ICTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your ICTAP eligibility, 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement, and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be found well-qualified your application must rate at or above 85. You must provide proof of eligibility with your application to receive selection priority. Such proof may include a copy of your written notification of ICTAP eligibility or a copy of your separation personnel action form. Information about ICTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at

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 the Selective Service Law. See

Promotion Potential: When promotion potential is shown, and if selected at the lower grade the agency is not obligated or committed to promoting you to the higher grade. Promotions are not automatic.

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 complete the occupational questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below.

The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 to receive consideration.

  • To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.
  • Click the Submit My Answers button to submit your application package.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.
  • To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account,, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.
  • To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.


The following documents are required:
  • Resumé or application
  • College Transcripts to support Education requirements (copies of official transcripts are acceptable)
  • Responses to the questionnaire
  • Proof of eligibility for Veteran's Preference

    Faxing Applications or Supporting Documents:

    You are encouraged to apply online. Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application.

    NOTE: If you applied online and your application is complete, do not fax the paper application (1203FX) as this will overwrite your prior online responses and may result in you being found ineligible.

    If you completed the occupational questionnaire online and are unable to upload supporting document(s):

    1. To fax your documents, you must use the following cover page and provide the required information. The Vacancy ID is 887956.
    2. Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

    If you cannot complete the Application Package online, you may fax all of your materials. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Wednesday, May 22, 2013. to receive consideration. Keep a copy of your fax confirmation in the event verification is needed.

    To complete the occupational questionnaire and submit via fax:

    1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire.
    2. Print the 1203FX form, follow the instructions and provide your responses to the occupational questionnaire items
    3. Fax all six pages of 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.


Kent Amott
Phone: (720)544-2833
Agency Information:
DFC Building 56
Room 2604
Denver, CO


After all application packages have been received, 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. After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability and/or security background investigation if one has not been previously conducted. A final job offer for this position is typically made within 45 days after the deadline for applications.

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