applicants must meet all qualifications such as the education requirement and
the specialized experience requirements listed below by 11:59 PM (Eastern) on
the closing date, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, of the announcement.
To qualify for the GS-05 level: Applicants must meet the minimal
education requirements as listed under Basic Education Requirement.
To qualify for the GS-07 level:
Applicants must have at least one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent
to the GS-5 level in the Federal service or other comparable experience not
gained through federal service. For this position, specialized experience is
defined as performing most of the following duties under guidance of a senior
soil conservationist or related position: developing or assisting in developing
portions of conservation plans or whole plans of a routine nature; assisting in
the gathering of crop history, soil erosion data, drainage characteristics,
land use data, and other resource information and planning map preparation;
assisting in the evaluation of onsite urban, rural or wetland conservation
needs and application of land treatment measures including the installation of
erosion and water control practices.
for the GS-7 based on Superior Acaedmic Achievement (SAA) you must meet one of
the following: 3.0 average (on a scale of 4.0) based on the average of all
completed college courses at the time of application or courses completed
during the final 2 years of undergraduate curriculum, OR 3.5 or higher out of a
possible 4.0 based on the average of all completed courses in major field of
study at the time of application or of all such courses completed the final 2
years of the undergraduate curriculum, OR Class standing: applicant must be in
the upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major
subdivision, such as the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Business
Administration, based on completed courses, OR Election to membership in the
national scholastic honor society. More on SAA: http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-policies/#url=General-Policies
- OR -
year (or 18 semester hours) of graduate-level coursework from an accredited
college or university in soil, agriculture or natural resources or related
information on the qualifications for this position, click here:http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/0400/soil-conservation-series-0457/
Basic Education Requirement: (The educational requirement
cannot be waived. Applicants must have the basic academic background to be
eligible. It is the responsibility of the applicant to support and prove
- A degree
in Soil Conservation or 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 have been in soils and 3 semester hours in
crops or plant science.
combination of education and experience with at least 30 semester hours in one
or more of the disciplines as shown above, including at least 12 semester hours
in a combination of soils and crops or plant science, plus appropriate
experience or additional education .Of the 12 semester hours, a minimum of 3
semester hours must have been in soils and 3 semester hours in crops or plant
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. Applicants must, therefore, only
report attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting
institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can
verify accreditation at the following website: http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html.
All education claimed by applicants will be verified accordingly.
*** 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 that
education. *** Click this link for more information.
Evaluation of Experience: Experience
that included the application of techniques, principles, and methods from a
variety of agricultural and natural resource fields is appropriate, given the
interdisciplinary character of the soil conservation occupation. For example,
experience gained in a specialized field such as soil science, forestry, or
agronomy is as fully acceptable as experience directly obtained in soil
Evaluation of Education: Education that provided
specialized knowledge and skills in soil and water conservation is more
valuable than education that imparted broad but general knowledge and skills.
Courses in soil fertility, soil chemistry, soil genesis, plant physiology,
plant science, and field crops are examples of specialized courses that
contribute towards meeting the required 12 semester hours as described above.
Courses in the physical sciences or engineering such as geology, civil
engineering, and hydrology also meet the soils, crops, or plant science course
requirements where such courses included a complete introduction to the
physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils.
Conditions of Employment:
position requires regular and recurring outdoor physical exertion related to
conservation field work, including prolonged walking on rough terrain, crossing
ditches and furrows, and/or climbing steep banks. May include exposure to
agricultural equipment that may be in operation or adverse weather conditions.
- You will be required to operate a
motor vehicle on both public and private roads during daylight hours and
occasionally after dark. Travel on improved and unimproved roads may be
- You will be required to obtained conservation planning certification by a
specified timeframe (generally two years).
Investigation: To ensure the accomplishment of its mission, the Department of
Agriculture requires each and every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To
meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully
complete a background investigation for Suitability as a condition of placement
in this Non-Sensitive level position. This review includes financial issues
such as delinquency in the payment of debts, child support and/or tax
obligations, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession
HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel
Management's (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating.
Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications 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. Category placement will be determined based on
applicants' quality of experience and the extent they possess the following
knowledge, skills, and abilities (or
1. Knowledge of fundamental soil, water, and
resource conservation theories, concepts and principles in order to address
natural resources conservation problems and achieve program objectives.
to collect, analyze, and interpret natural resources data in order to perform
and implement conservation activities that meet agency standards and
to develop and implement conservation plans for various programs objectives and
initiatives in order to assist landowners in conservation planning, application
and maintenance of conservation
practices on a variety of land uses.
to plan, survey, and design the applications of a variety of conservation
programs in order to address natural resource conservation problems and
achieves projects objectives by assisting
landowners with conservation plans
5. Ability to communicate with
Best Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a
superior level of the evaluation criteria.
Well Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a
satisfactory level of the evaluation criteria.
possessing the basic qualifications, with general knowledge, skills, and
The questionnaire will assess your
qualifications for the job, and will be used to identify the best qualified
applicants to be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and
possible interviews. Your ratings in this Assessment Questionnaire are subject
to evaluation and verification based on the documents and references you
submit. Later steps in the selection process are specifically designed to
verify your ratings. Attempts to falsify information; inflate your
qualifications or providing inaccurate information on federal documents may be
grounds to adjust your rating or to not select you. Errors, omissions or
providing inaccurate information on federal documents may affect your
eligibility. If selected providing inaccurate information on federal documents
could also be grounds for dismissing you from the position/agency. Please
follow all instructions carefully.