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

Job Title:Public Affairs Specialist

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Forest Service

Job Announcement Number:14-0513-9758DP-AI

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$69,497.00 to $92,052.00 / Per Year


Friday, April 11, 2014 to Monday, April 21, 2014




Full-Time - Permanent




2 vacancies in the following location(s):
Porterville, CA View Map
San Bernardino, CA View Map


US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.


Not Applicable




A career with the Forest Service will challenge you to manage and care for more than 193 million acres of our nation's most magnificent lands, conduct research through a network of forest and range experiment stations and the Forest Products Laboratory, and provide assistance to State and private forestry agencies.

It's an awesome responsibility - but the rewards are as limitless as the views.

These positions are located on the Sequoia and San Bernardino National Forests, with duty locations in Porterville, and San Bernardino, CA. For further information about the duties of the position, please contact Kevin Elliott at 559-784-1500,  or Jody Noiron at 909-382-2710, .

Salary wage as shown is for Rest of the U.S. (RUS). Specific wage rate will vary by location and may be higher or lower than the amount shown on the vacancy announcement. Please click the following link to search for a specific location on the General Schedule Pay Scale:

These positions are being advertised as a Career Ladder. Target Grade is a GS-13. Positions may be filled as a career ladder or at the full performance level.

This position is being concurrently announced under Merit Promotion Announcement Number 14-0513-9758G-AI. Current or former Federal employees may apply to both announcements, but should be sure to apply to the Merit Promotion Announcement in order to avoid losing consideration since different referral criteria apply to each type of announcement. Disabled veterans, candidates with 3 or more years of active duty military service, and candidates eligible for special hiring authorities may apply to the Merit Promotion Announcement if they meet the criteria outlined in the announcement and submit supporting documentation.

The USDA Forest Service has legislative authority to recruit and fill Permanent (Career/Career-Conditional), Temporary, and Term Appointments under the USDA Demonstration Project. Under this authority, any U.S. citizen may apply.


  • Occasional Travel
  • Occasional travel required such as attending public meetings, training assignments, coordinating with adjacent land and resource management agencies.


  • No


  • US Citizenship is required.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • More than one position may be selected from this announcement.


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Duties listed are at the full performance level:

  • Prepare and review information material for dissemination to various public audiences. Promote and maintain working relationships with representatives of public and private entities to exchange information and ideas. Develop feedback mechanisms to ensure that information is a two-way stream. Organize and implement employee and public meetings to foster employee and public participation in forums. Create a variety of informational material including webpages, newsletters, brochures, informational videos, and blog postings.
  • Identify and analyze communication needs, concerns, and attitudes of various public audiences as they relate to natural resource and environmental programs. Evaluate trends in public opinion to determine public attitudes and perceptions to relate policies with community interests. Research current communication methods and techniques to identify applicability and provide training.
  • Initiate and direct a positive internal and external information program to meet various information needs in agreement with the mission of the organization. Plan and direct public affairs support for an organization to include community relations, media operations, and information strategies. Formulate policies based on research and consideration of public information and public relations. Develop communication plans to inform affected publics of ongoing initiatives. Develop crisis and/or emergency communication plans to provide continuous, timely, and accurate information. Implement communication plans to inform affected publics of ongoing initiatives.
  • Serve as a spokesperson and primary contact for local and national media that give information to the public. Respond to media inquiries involving sensitive topics that may be subject to misunderstanding to clarify information. Act as a liaison between a variety of local, national, and special interest groups to exchange information. Assist media representatives in assuring technical accuracy through coordination of review by appropriate staff or technical experts.
  • Recommend responses to the media for managers during a crisis situation. Recommend ways to proactively communicate about a non-crisis issue to prevent an unnecessary public alarm. Advise on information release to the public based on timing, choice, and importance to keep public opinion favorable. Advise management on important developments in community relations and media interaction to ensure effective communication strategies. Serve as an advisor and spokesperson to supervisor and senior staff on matters involving the public and communication issues. Advise management of internal information needs and the best way to disseminate the information. Prepare and review speeches and presentations to be given by staff to various audiences. Prepare and review written and electronic information to be disseminated by the organization.
  • Plan and assign work to employees to prioritize and ensure work is accomplished. Establish and communicate guidelines to maintain quality work products. Communicate performance requirements and give performance reviews to develop employees’ skills. Identify deficient areas in order to provide training to improve. Hear employee complaints to resolve issues among employees.


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You must possess the Basic Requirements identified below to be considered eligible for this position. Specialized experience is defined as experience that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled and has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. Your application or resume must clearly show that you possess the appropriate experience requirements.

GS-13: One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 grade level. Examples of specialized experience that meet this requirement include: supervised employees and managing their work; managed a public affairs program; created a variety of communication material such as brochures, videos, blogs, and new releases; acted as a spokesperson and point of contact for media; advised management on how to respond to media and public inquiries; acted as liaison to local, national, and special interest groups to exchange information.

GS-12: One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 grade level. Examples of specialized experience that meet this requirement include: assisted in the management of public affairs program; created a variety of communication material such as brochures, videos, blogs, and news releases; acted as a point of contact for the media; reviewed management speeches and presentations to be given by staff to various audiences; acted as liaison to local, national, and special interest groups to exchange information.

To receive consideration for this position, you must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.


  • May be subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary or trial period.
  • Subject to satisfactory completion of a one year supervisory/managerial probationary period.


You will be evaluated in accordance with the category rating procedure as defined in the USDA Demonstration Project Plan. Applicants who meet the basic minimum qualification requirements established for the position will be placed in the Eligible category. Eligible applicants will be further evaluated against criteria for placement in the Quality category. This evaluation is based on the level of your experience, education, and/or training as determined by your responses to the Occupational Questionnaire. Applicants with veterans’ preference are listed ahead of applicants who do not have veterans’ preference within each category.

Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e., the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the "Apply Online" button to the right.

To view the application form, visit:


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  • Relocation expenses are not authorized.
  • If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.
  • Career Transition Assistance Plan(CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, provide proof of eligibility. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles must meet the agency's definition for a quality candidate to be considered. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at
  • BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK: Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.
  • Have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.
  • Government housing is not available.
  • Forest Service affiliated daycare facilities are not available.


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Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin.
The following instructions outline our application process.

  • You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement. 
  • We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office during business hours well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be submitted no later than noon on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.
  • This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact us if you are requesting this.

Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not have one) at It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.

Step 2: Create a resume with USAJOBS or upload a resume into your USAJOBS account. Customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. Your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).

Step 3: Click "Apply Online" and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required.
You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application” to continue.
NOTE: Verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Once in the Agency's staffing system you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).


You must submit a complete Application Package, prior to 11:59, ET, on the closing date of this announcement. The following documents must be submitted for your application package to be considered complete. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents are received within the required timeframes. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, system failure or downtime, etc. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

  • Resume that includes the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 5) supervisors phone number and e-mail address for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 6) other qualifications.
  • College Transcripts if education is required for meeting basic qualifications and/or you are substituting education for specialized experience and/or if you are using education to meet the criteria for the quality category. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty.
  • DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) if claiming Veterans’ Preference. Veterans claiming 10 point preference must also submit a VA Letter and an SF-15 Application for 10-point Veteran Preference. Current Active Duty members must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty under honorable conditions dated within the last 120 days.

Other required documents may include:

  • CTAP/ICTAP Required Documentation Reduction-In-Force: Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, or Notice of Proposed Removal; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position you will be separated from.
  • Worker's Compensation Separation: Agency certification of inability to place employee AND Notification of Separation OR Separation SF-50.
  • Disability Annuity Termination: Notification from OPM of disability annuity termination AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held. Military Reserve or National Guard Technician Special Disability Retirement Annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456: Certification of special disability retirement annuity from a military department or National Guard Bureau AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held.

NOTE : If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the Human Resources Office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must upload both the old document and the new document. Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).


HRM Contact Center
Phone: 877-372-7248, option 2
Fax: 866-377-6318
TDD: 800-877-8339
Agency Information:
fUSDA Forest Service
Do not mail in applications, see instructions under the How to Apply tab.
Albuquerque, NM,
United States
Fax: 866-377-6318


If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an acknowledgement email that the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful, if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Normally, a final job offer to the selected candidate is made within 30-60 days after the issuance of the certificate.

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