All 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, Monday, June 23, 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 on site urban, rural
or wetland conservation needs and application of land treatment measures
including the installation of erosion and water control practices.
To qualify for the GS-7 based on
Superior Academic 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 -
Have one year (or 18 semester hours)
of graduate-level course work from an accredited college or university in soil,
agriculture or natural resources or related discipline.
For more 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 eligibility.)
- 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
- A 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 science.
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 conservation work.
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. This may include exposure to
agricultural equipment that may be in operation or adverse weather conditions
a government-owned motor vehicle as an incidental driver.
·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 maybe
·You will be required to obtained conservation planning certification by a
specified timeframe (generally two years).
Background 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.
2. Ability to collect, analyze, and
interpret natural resources data in order to perform and implement conservation
activities that meet agency standards and specifications.
3. Ability 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.
4. Ability 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 and application.
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.
Qualified: Applicants possessing the basic qualifications, with general
knowledge, skills, and abilities.
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