Job Overview

Summary

About the Agency

You can make a difference! The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP) needs bright, energetic and committed professionals to facilitate the domestic and international marketing of U.S. agricultural products and to protect the health and care of animals and plants in the United States. MRP offers an array of occupations and is committed to diversity in the workplace. We operate in domestic and global markets. Be part of an organization that protects the health and agriculture of the American people. Join our team!
APHIS is an emergency response agency. This means that all Agency employees may be asked or assigned to participate in rotating temporary duty assignments to support emergency programs at some time during their careers with APHIS. For details click: APHIS Emergency Response.

Duties

The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence and limited complexity. The duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Identifies or verifies identification of plant pests, such as plant pathogens (i.e. bacteria, fungus), and identifies and isolates nematodes; identifies specimens to genera and, where sufficient information is available, to species; and records required information and reports results of taxonomic work as necessary.
  • Categorizes potential pest as injurious and of economic significance, cosmopolitan and domestic and not significant, or not significant or cosmopolitan and domestic but significant in particular parts of the U.S.
  • Maintains, develops, and supplements information on taxonomy, hosts, distribution, and other related information pertaining to intercepted and/or survey plant pests and develops and maintains specimen collections of plant pests and plant pathogens.
  • Consults with and advises Department of Homeland Security (DHS), State departments of agriculture and other cooperators on the identity and biology of and procedures for detecting plant pests, such as plant pathogens.
  • Develops or aids in developing training modules and appropriately illustrated identification aids and works with national program staff to deliver training to PPQ, DHS, and State employees.
  • Exercises agency regulatory authority by initiating regulatory action, e.g. for quarantine pests intercepted from imported commodities or new State or county determinations from domestic surveys.
  • Provides technical assistance regarding PPQ domestic program pests and exotic pests, and the pathways through which they enter the U.S. by analyzing interception records for trends of pest entry, monitoring inspection procedures, and establishing solid contacts with industry.
  • Keeps current and uses state of the art technology to perform taxonomic duties, such as digital imaging, chemical diagnostic tests, and microscopy and specimen preparation techniques and equipment.