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

Job Title:Pathways Student Intern (Soil Conservationist Trainee)

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Natural Resources Conservation Service

Job Announcement Number:MT-13-921099-CK

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$9.74 to $12.18 / Per Hour


Monday, July 15, 2013 to Friday, July 19, 2013




Full Time - Internships NTE 1 year




1 vacancy in the following location:
Baker, MT United StatesView Map


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. 

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 lands.  Visit our website to learn more and see why this is such a great place to work! 

This vacancy announcement is open to U.S. citizens.  

This announcement is for one (1) position which will be located in Baker, Montana.   The work schedule will vary.  Relocation is not authorized for this vacancy announcement.

This is an Excepted Service Appointment.  This position is a temporary appointment not-to-exceed one year.  This appointment may be extended in one year increments dependent on the following factors:  employee performance; work project needs; agency funding; and whether program qualification requirements continue to be met by the student.   

The purpose of the Pathways Student Intern Program is to provide interns 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.  


  • U.S. Citizen
  • Suitable for Federal Employment, determined by Background Investigation
  • Must sign a Pathways Student Agreement
  • Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered with Selective Service
  • Must have a valid Motor Vehicle Operators License


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As a Soil Conservationist student intern, you will work with staff specialists to assist with various stages of conservation planning, surveying and carrying out resource conservation plans.   The internship provided intensified training in soil conservation and is qualifying for a professional position upon graduation from college. 


Duties include


  • Accompanying soil conservationist 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 inspections of construction and making field notes.


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



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Applicants must meet all of the qualifications/minimum requirements of this position by the closing date of this vacancy announcement.   

Qualification Statement:  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:   

Basic Requirements:  In order to be found eligible for this position, you must...   

  • Be a United States Citizen
  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Have at least a 2.8 cumulative GPA. 
  • Be a high school student or a college/university student who is on at least a half-time basis as defined by your school.  Transcripts (official or unofficial) are required to verify current enrollment.
  • Must be mobile to all locations throughout Montana upon initial placement and subsequent summers as well as upon graduation.  Note: High school students are placed at the nearest field office to their home. 

College or university applicants must also... 

  • Be pursing a degree in one of the following academic majors or related fields:  Soil Science, Crop Science, Plant Science, Agronomy, Natural Resource Conservation, Range (Range Management/Range Ecology & Management/Range Resources), Agricultural or Natural Science related disciplines. 
  • Not be expected to graduate college prior to the fall of 2014, OR will graduate college prior to the fall of 2014 but will continue your education with another qualifying degree. 

Education Notes:  Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.)   Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.   All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly.   Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website:

Foreign Education:  If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for your education.   

Conversion Information

This position may be converted to an intern position which does not have a not-to-exceed date.  If this converstion happens, this position  may be made permanent upon graduation if you meet all qualification, eligibility, educational requirements and are recommended for conversion by your supervisor. To help you determine whether your degree will be qualifying for conversion, we are listing the educational requirements that must be met upon college/university graduation:

GS-457 Soil Conservationist Basic Requirements:  Completion of a 4-year or higher degree in soil conservation or a 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 be in soils and 3 semester hours in crops or plant science.

Physical Requirements:  This work involves regular and physical exertion related to conservation work in an outdoor environment, sometimes under adverse weather conditions.  Outdoor physical activities include walking and climbing for prolonged periods of time over rough and mountainous terrain.  This work also involves exposure to operating agricultural equipment.

Travel: Some travel is involved during the summer months.  This travel may be on improved or unimproved roads.  

Valid Driver's License: You may be required to operate a motor vehicle on both public and private roads during daylight hours and occasionally after dark.    

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

Student Agreement:  A written agreement is required between NRCS Montana and the intern.  



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, you will be referred to the hiring manager for consideration.    

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 who 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.  



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Temporary employees are eligible for sick leave, annual leave.  They will also be paid for federal holidays that fall within the employee's regularly scheduled tour of duty or holiday pay for holidays worked. 

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, who is at least 18 years old, 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

Reasonable Accommodation:  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.


Equal Opportunity:  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 Friday, July 19, 2013 in order to receive consideration.  Mailed or emailed applications will not be accepted.

To begin, click the Apply Online to create or log into your  USAJOBS Account.  Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.  Be sure to upload the required documents before you submit your application.  It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.

To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and then 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.  

Click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process to submit your application package.

To verify that your application is complete or check the status of your application, log into your USAJOBS account and then select Application Status and click on 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 sent related to this application.   Your uploaded document may take several hours to clear the virus scan process. 

If you apply online, you may fax supporting documents you are unable to upload

1. Complete this single page cover sheet using the following Vacancy ID: 921099. 

2. Placing the cover sheet on top of your documents, fax your application materials to: 1-478-757-3144.

3. Keep your fax confirmation sheet in the event that verification is needed. 

If you cannot apply online, you may apply via a fax machine


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


2. Print the 1203FX form to provide your responses to the occupational questionnaire.  The 1203FX form will serve as your fax cover sheet, so it must be placed on top of all materials being faxed.  Fax the completed 1203FX form with supporting documents to: 1-478-757-3144.


3. Keep your fax confirmation sheet in the event that verification is needed.


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

  1. Your Résumé
  2. A complete Occupational Questionnaire
  3. Transcripts (official or unofficial) are needed to verify current enrollment.  A Letter of Enrollment for acceptance into a college or university is acceptable if you have just enrolled for a qualifying degree program and have not yet received transcripts.  Please ensure that this letter includes the following information:  major, classes and semester/quarter hour information.
  4. Veterans:  Veteran preference documentation:  DD-214 or equivalent and, if appropriate, SF-15: Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference and your VA disability Letter.  You may click on the following link for additional information regarding veteran's preference:


Christina Klima
Phone: (406)587-6869
Agency Information:
10 E Babcock Street
Bozman, MT


Once your Occupational Questionnaire and resume have been received, you will receive an automated 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.  

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