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

Job Title:Soil Conservation Technician

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Natural Resources Conservation Service

Job Announcement Number:WA-13-922137-EJ-DEU

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.

SALARY RANGE:

$31,315.00 to $38,790.00 / Per Year

OPEN PERIOD:

Tuesday, July 09, 2013 to Tuesday, July 23, 2013

SERIES & GRADE:

GS-0458-05/07

POSITION INFORMATION:

Full Time - Temporary NTE 1 Year

PROMOTION POTENTIAL:

07

DUTY LOCATIONS:

4 vacancies in the following location(s):
Spokane, WA United StatesView Map
Ephrata, WA United StatesView Map
Davenport, WA United StatesView Map
Walla Walla, WA United StatesView Map

WHO MAY APPLY:

United States Citizens

JOB SUMMARY:

Be remarkable and make a difference! Join the best NRCS team in the nation!  Visit our web site (http://www.wa.nrcs.usda.gov) to learn more and see why this is such a great place to work!

The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Washington State is seeking 4 Soil Conservation Technicians.  The incumbents of these positions will assist in carrying out a program of soil and water conservation, resource managerment, and community development in their assigned locations.  These positions are being filled on a temporary basis due to budget and staffing constraints, and cannot be made permanent without further competition.  Only those truly willing to take a temporary position should apply.

 

One Soil Conservation Technician position will be filled in each of the following locations:  Davenport, WA; Ephrata, WA; Walla Walla, WA; and Spokane, WA.  Applicants will be asked to specify their preferred location(s) during the application process.

 

Applications under this announcement number will be accepted from all qualified U.S. Citizens and nationals.  

KEY REQUIREMENTS

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National
  • Valid Motor Vehicle Operators License
  • Specialized experience or education is required
  • Some travel is required
  • Outdoor field work in rugged terrain and adverse weather is required

DUTIES:

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The purpose of these positions is to assist in carrying out a program of soil and water conservation, resource management, and community development within the assigned Team.

 

Contacts land users who have indicated an interest in receiving conservation assistance to determine practice needs, discuss options and alternatives for land use treatment, and develop or help develop basic conservation systems for animal waste, irrigation, grazing and other systems/practices common to the work area.

 

Gathers and compiles needed inventory data for conducting resource evaluations. Gathers survey information for completing designs and job specifications, including making cross sections, topographic surveys, running traverses, etc. to determine practice feasibility and identify limiting factors such as soil characteristics, erosion, drainage problems, water quantity and quality, and other applicable resource issues.

 

Prepares field sketches and drawings, and works with the landowner to select suitable designs to fit site conditions.   Presents and discusses alternative engineering plans and specifications, including costs and benefits that can be expected, and obtains understanding and decisions from participants. Conducts practice layout, construction oversight, and inspects construction to determine adherence to plans and specifications, and prepares completion reports.

 

Assists field staff with landowner applications for USDA conservation programs. Completes ranking and evaluation of applications, assists planners with contract development, and completes practice certifications and completion documents needed to process cost share  payments.

 

Develops articles on conservation activities occurring within the team. Assists lead planners with program and technical meetings, presenting information to explain well established programs, and participates in other informational activities as directed.


QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

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QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED: This position has very specific qualification requirements.  Please read this information carefully and be sure you document all requirements in your application package.  You may qualify three ways for each grade level:  based on specialized experience; based on an educational substitution; or based on a combination of education and experience.  IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOUR READ BOTH THE OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT'S 'GROUP STANDARD FOR TECHNICAL AND MEDICAL SUPPORT POSITIONS', AND THE 'INDIVIDUAL OCCUPATIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE GS-0458 SOIL CONSERVATION TECHNICIAN SERIES' BEFORE APPLYING FOR THIS POSITION.  You can view those requirements at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/0400/soil-conservation-technician-series-0458/.

 

To qualify for this position at the GS-5 level you must have (and document) at least one year of specialized experience comparable to at least the federal GS-4 level installing and maintaining conservation measures on public or privately owned land including parks, shoreline, refuse waste sites, dams and reservoir areas, water and sewer sites, road embankments, forests, and wildlife habitats.  Work at the GS-4 level is characterized by the ability to execute tasks associated with established procedures or recurring and continuing work, and where minor adjustments may be needed to accommodate minor variations in some situations -OR- you must have completed (and have documented) a full 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree (a) with major study in forestry, range management, agriculture, or another subject-matter field directly related to the position, or (b) that included at least 24 semester hours in any combination of courses such as forestry, agriculture, crop or plant science, range management or conservation, wildlife management, watershed management, soil science, natural resources (except marine fisheries and oceanography), outdoor recreation management, civil or forest engineering, or wildland fire science (of which no more than 6 semester hours in mathematics is creditable) -OR- you must have a qualifying combination of education and experience as outlined in the Office of Personnel Management's Group Standard for Technical and Medical Support Positions. 

 

To qualify for this position at the GS-6 level you must have (and document) at least one year of specialized experience comparable to at least the federal GS-5 level gathering and compiling natural resource data, conducting basic research in support of conservation planning efforts, preparing maps and interpreting soil survey data, and advising land owners on the design, installation, and effectiveness of a variety of standard conservation practices.  Technicians at the GS-5 level generally work independently to complete small projects or segments of larger projects and often must choose from several accepted practices and/or determine the proper course of action using mostly familiar conservation methods and techniques -OR- you must have completed (and have documented) at least 9 semester hours of graduate level education leading towards a Master's degree in Natural Resources, Agriculture, Forestry, Range Management, or another subject matter field directly related to this position -OR- you must have a qualifying combination of education and experience as outlined in the in the Office of Personnel Management's Group Standard for Technical and Medical Support Positions. 

 

To qualify for this position at the GS-7 level you must have (and document) at least one year of specialized experience comparable to at least the federal GS-6 level, independently installing and maintaining a wide range of non-routine conservation practices, procedures, design methods, and operational criteria to a variety of land or farm units.  Work at the GS-6 level is characterized by the ability to independently schedule and prioritize workload, and carry out and use discretion in applying and adapting technical specifications when conservation precedents are not fully acceptable -OR- you must have completed (and have documented) at least 1 year (18 semester hours) of graduate level education leading towards a Master's degree in Natural Resources, Agriculture, Forestry, Range Management, or another subject matter field directly related to this position -OR- you must have a qualifying combination of education and experience as outlined in the Office of Personnel Management's Group Standard for Technical and Medical Support Positions. 

 

IMPORTANT - How to document your education and experience:

 

Documenting Education:  IF USING EDUCATION ALONE, OR A COMBINATION OF EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE TO QUALIFY FOR THIS POSITION IT IS MANDATORY TO SUBMIT COLLEGE TRANSCRIPTS.  Photocopies are acceptable.  Please ensure your transcripts show proof of degree (when applicable) and contain enough information to show you meet educational requirements.  If it is not readily apparent from a course title that a specific class meets the requirements for this position, please submit a course catalog description or other supportiing documentation.   If we cannot determine, from the materials submitted, that a class meets the requirements listed above, we will not credit that class and you may be rated as ineligible for this position.  If you are qualifying based entirely on specialized experience instead of education or a combination of experience and education transcripts are not required.

 

Documenting Experience:  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 paid experience.  To receive proper credit for your experience, whether paid or unpaid, you must fully describe your responsibilities and show the actual time, dates, and hours per week spent in such activities (example 3/1/2002 through 5/9/2006, 40 hours per week).  If we cannot determine, from the materials submitted, that you have the full amount of qualifying experience you may be rated as ineligible for this position.

 

Applicants must meet and document all qualifications requirements by the closing date of this announcement.  Applicants who fail to meet and document all requirements will be found ineligible for consideration.   If you are not sure you meet these requirements, or have any questions about proper documentation, please contact us for clarification.  It is up to the applicant to clearly document that they meet all requirements, and we will not accept additional information after the closing date of this announcment.

 

 


Foreign Education: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.  The processing of this vacancy announcement will not be held/delayed pending your evaluation of foreign education. You must adequately document that you meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

Conditions of Employment and Other Requirements:

Travel required: Occassional day or overnight travel to field sites and outlying areas (estimated at 1-5 days per month) both in-state and out of state to perform work and to attend meetings, conferences, and training may be required.  Incumbent may be required to obtain, maintain, and use a government-issued charge card for any official travel.   

Driver's License:  To perform the duties of this position, the incumbent must serve as an incidental motor vehicle operator.  This will require the operation of a motor vehicle on both public and private roads during daylight hours and occasionally after dark.  A valid state driver's license is required.

Field work:  The work is performed in both the office and the field requiring common sense precautions typical of these settings.  Field work requires physical exertion sufficient to do regular and recurring prolonged walking over rough terrain, tilled fields, and pastures, and possible exposure to inclement weather and/or wild animals.  Bending, lifting, and stretching is common when using survey instruments and equipement, and this position requires the use of suitable field clothes, including protective rain gear and boots . 

Suitability:  If you are selected for this position you will be required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) to determine your suitability for Federal employment, authorize a background investigation, and certify the accuracy of all the information in your application information.

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 http://www.sss.gov/.

A background investigation will be required for all new appointments. Your continued employment will be subject to your successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.

Citizenship:  You must be a U.S. citizen or national to receive consideration under this announcement. 

E-Verify:   This employer will provide the Social Security Administration and, if necessary, the Department of Homeland Security with information of each new employee's Form I-9 to confirm work authorization.

Reference Checks:  The agency reserves the right to check your references, either in advance of an interview or after an interview.  Applying for this announcement gives consent to these reference checks.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED: As part of the application process you will be asked to submit an on-line questionnaire used to evaluate your Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities as outlined below:

 

KNOWLEDGE OF THE PROCESSES, PRINCIPLES, CONCEPTS, AND SCIENTIFIC/NATURAL RESOURCES FACTORS RELATED TO CONSERVATION PLANNING

 

ABILITY TO DESIGN, INSTALL, MONITOR, AND INSPECT A WIDE VARIETY OF TECHNICAL CONSERVATION AND ENGINEERING PRACTICES

 

ABILITY TO OPERATE COMPUTER HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE, AND OTHER TOOLS USED TO CARRY OUT AND DOCUMENT CONSERVATION ACTIVITIES

 

ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE AND WORK WELL WITH OTHERS IN A TEAM ENVIRONMENT

 

Applicants must choose the best answer that is fully supported by their resume, transcripts, and other application materials. Your resume must reflect both the specialized experience required for this position, and the answers you select in the on-line questionnaire. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU PREVIEW THE QUESTIONNAIRE BEFORE COMPLETING IT, AND CROSS-REFERENCE AS NEEEDED TO ENSURE YOUR RESUME SUPPORTS THE ANSWERS YOU SELECT IN THE ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE.  Please provide enough detail in your application materials for us to clearly determine your levels of experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities.  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.  All the information you provide is subject to verification either by review of your application, by checking references, or 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.

 

 

Once the application process is complete we will review your resume and supporting documentation to ensure you meet the basic job requirements.  If found basically eligible we will further evaluate your application package and questionnaire results, and using Category Rating and Selection Procedures your application will be placed in one of three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories applicants eligible for veteran's preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans, and only those in the Best Qualified category will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration.

 

To preview questions please View Assessment Questions.


BENEFITS:

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Temporary employees earn annual (vacation) leave, sick leave, and paid holidays.  Depending on eligibility, they may also be eligible for flexible work schedules, telework, transit benefits, and more.  They pay into Social Security (FICA), but are not covered by health or life insurance benefits, are not entitled to participate in the Federal Employees Retirement System or Thrift Savings Plan, and do not receive Within Grade Increases.  Note:  current federal employees who are selected for a temporary position and are appointed without a break in service may possibly retaim their existing federal benefits; however, they are still subject to the time limitations of this temporary appointment and will not be returned to their previous position/appointment once this temporary position ends.  Please contact the hiring office before applying if you have questions about  benefits for those on temorary appointments. 



OTHER INFORMATION:

Travel and relocation expenses will NOT be paid by the government.  If selected under this announcement any travel, transportation and relocations expenses associated with reporting for duty to this position will be the responsibility of the selected employee.

Temporary Appointments:  This position is being filled on a temporary basis only.  As a temporary employee you will serve under a time-limited appointment, initially not-to-exceed one year.  Please note that not-to-exceed dates are not a guarantee of employment for any specified amount of time; under Federal regulations temporary employees are subject to termination at any time without use of adverse action or reduction-in-force procedures.  This position may be extended without competition, if funding and workload permit, to a maximum of 2 years total.  Temporary employees are not eligible for promotion or reassignment to other positions, and do not qualify for noncompetitive conversion to a career-conditional appointment. 

Veterans' Preference (Category Rating):  If you are a veteran who is eligible under law for veteran's preference we encourage you to document your preference in your application materials.  Under Category Rating Procedures veterans who meet (and document) preference criteria are listed above non-preference eligibles within the same quality category (best qualified, well qualified, etc.) in which they are assigned based on job-related assessment tools, and CPS or CP veterans are listed above non-preference eligibles in the highest (Best Qualified) category.  Not all veterans are eligible for preference.  To learn more and find out if you qualify for preference visit the Feds Hire Vets website at http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/veterans.aspx. You must provide acceptable documentation of your preference when you apply to this announcement or you will not be awarded preference.  This includes a Member 4 copy of your DD214 showing character of service (honorable etc.), and, if claiming 10 point preference, Standard Form SF-15 'Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference' with all applicable supporting information attached.  See the 'Veterans Information' link on the last page of this announcement for more information.

Information on the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) and Agency Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP).   ICTAP and the CTAP provide eligible surplus or displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies.  If you have been separated from you agency and are eligible for CTAP, or 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 CTAP/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 annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible and provide proof of eligibility with your application to receive selection priority.  Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility and required documentation can be found on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at http://www.opm.gov/ctap/index.asp



HOW TO APPLY:

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  • Before you apply, please read the entire vacancy announcement and follow instructions carefully to ensure that your application is complete when submitted.  We will not accept additional information after the closing date of the announcement.  This announcement is open to all qualified U.S. Citizens and nationals.  Note:  CTAP/ICTAP eligibles may apply for priority consideration.  See 'Other Information' for details and documentation requirements, and be sure to submit all required documentation with your application materials.

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

    1. Your Résumé
    2. A complete Occupational Questionnaire
    3. The Additional Required Documents Listed Below

    The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Tuesday, July 23, 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 linkhttps://applicationmanager.gov/.

     

    To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload, complete this cover page http://staffing.opm.gov/pdf/usascover.pdf using the following Vacancy ID 922137.  Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.  DO NOT FAX, EMAIL, OR MAIL YOUR DOCUMENTS DIRECTLY TO THE HIRING OFFICE; YOU MUST PRINT THIS COVER PAGE AND FAX TO THE NUMBER LISTED ABOVE.  WE WILL NOT ACCEPT OR UPLOAD EMAILED OR MAILED DOCUMENTS, OR DOCUMENTS FAXED TO ANY NUMBER EXCEPT THAT LISTED ABOVE. IT IS THE APPLICANT'S RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE ALL DOCUMENTS ARE ELECTRONICALLY AVAILABLE AS PART OF THEIR ONLINE APPLICATION PACKAGE, EITHER THROUGH THE UPLOAD PROCESS OR THE CORRECT FAX PROCESS. 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
     http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdfimage/opm1203fx.pdf,

    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.

    Note:  It is a violation of federal law to use government-franked postage to submmit application materials.

     

     



    REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:

    College Transcripts (required only if qualifying based on education or a combination of education and experience).  Photocopies and/or online transcripts are acceptable during the application process.  Please provide enough detail to show you meet all Education requirements (i.e. proof of degree(s), quarter/semester hours per class, course descriptions/syllabus if the course content is not apparent from the course title, etc.).

     

    Veteran's Preference documentation (required only if applicable):  DD214(s) showing character of service (honorable or general discharge, etc.), VA letter, SF-15 if claiming 10 pt. preference, or if you are currently on active duty a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty under honorable conditions dated within the last 120 days. Please double check to ensure you have adequately documented your preference.  If not, preference will not be awarded. See 'Other Information' for details.

     

    CTAP/ICTAP documentation (required only if applicable).  SF-50 or notice of eligibility from your agency, Performance Rating, etc. Please double check to ensure you have provided all required documents.  If not, you will not receive priority consideration. See "Other Information' for details.

    AGENCY CONTACT INFO:

    Cathy Firth
    Phone: (509)323-2934
    Email: CATHY.FIRTH@WA.USDA.GOV
    Agency Information:
    USDA NRCS WEST
    316 W Boone Avenue
    Suite 450
    Spokane, WA
    99201

    WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT:

    Once your Occupational Questionnaire and resume have been received, you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful.  The hiring office will not pre-review applications to make sure they are complete; instead, applicants should cross reference their submissions to the information in the vacancy announcment to ensure their application package is complete.   Applicants can also track the progress of their application package in Application Manager at http://ApplicationManager.gov .

    All information provided by applicants is subject to verification by the hiring office.  This may involve a careful review of your resume, questionnaire responses, reference checks, background checks, and/or verification of education.  After we have completed our initial qualifications review you will be notified of your basic eligibility (i.e. Eligible or Ineligible) and 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.

     


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    Job Announcement Number:

    WA-13-922137-EJ-DEU

    Control Number:

    347210600