Research Soil Scientist

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Beltsville, Maryland
Posted
Jun 23, 2022
Closes
Jun 30, 2022
Function
Analyst, Research
Hours
Full Time
Duties

  • Conduct field and green house studies that lead to improved understanding of the soil biological ecosystem.
  • Quantify the biological and physical dynamics of the soil biome and organic matter and their relationship with climate and water availability.
  • Identify and evaluate sustainable crop and soil management strategies through experimentation to maintain and improve long-term soil health and crop resilience under changing CO2, temperature, and moisture conditions related to climate change.
  • Quantify short-time scale effects of general rhizosphere microbial communities as well as growth promoting fungi and mycorrhiza activity on root growth and nutrient dynamics in the soil microbiome.
  • Quantify the interplay of root exudates, temperature, CO2, water/soil pore system and soil management on nitrous oxide, methane and CO2 emissions.
  • Translate research results into conceptual and computer models of the soil biosphere that consider carbon and water budgets, and the interactions among plant roots and the soil biome.
  • Plan research activities, reporting to customers and scientific peers, and supporting technology transfer of products developed.


Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a US Citizen or US National.
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt.
  • Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
  • Direct Deposit: Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution.
  • Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify at https://www.e-verify.gov/
  • Successful completion of a three year probationary period.


Qualifications

Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.

Basic Requirements
Degree: soil science or a closely related discipline that included 30 semester hours or equivalent in biological, physical, or earth science, with a minimum of 15 semester hours in such subjects as soil genesis, pedology, soil chemistry, soil physics, and soil fertility.
OR
Combination of education and experience: courses equivalent to a major in soil science or a related discipline that included at least 30 semester hours in the biological, physical, or earth sciences. At least 15 of these semester hours must have been in the areas specified above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Additional Requirements
In addition to meeting the basic requirements described above, applicants must also meet additional qualification requirements as stated below.

GS-12: Applicants must demonstrate at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 grade level in the Federal service or possess a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree or possess an equivalent combination of graduate level education and experience. Graduate education must be directly related to the work of the position and must have equipped applicants with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work. The specialized experience requirements for the GS-12 level of this position are: experience conducting research focused on the improvement of soil biological ecosystem health; analyzing results using quantitative and statistical methodology, and working with crop simulation models; and developing and evaluating soil biosphere models.

GS-13: Applicants must demonstrate at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 grade level in the Federal service. Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. The specialized experience requirements for the GS-13 level of this position are: experience leading research focused on the improvement of soil biological ecosystem health; analyzing results using quantitative and statistical methodology, and working with crop simulation models; developing and evaluating soil biosphere models; identifying sustainable crop management strategies associated with maintaining and improving long-term soil health and crop resilience under CO2, temperature, or water variations related to climate change; and experience publishing peer reviewed articles focused on soil health and sustainability.

GS-14: Applicants must demonstrate at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-13 grade level in the Federal service. Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. The specialized experience requirements for the GS-14 level of this position are: experience leading research focused on the improvement of soil biological ecosystem health; analyzing results using quantitative and statistical methodology, and working with crop simulation models; developing and evaluating soil biosphere models; identifying sustainable crop management strategies associated with maintaining and improving long-term soil health and crop resilience under CO2, temperature, or water variations related to climate change; and experience publishing peer reviewed articles focused on soil health and sustainability.

GS-15: Applicants must demonstrate at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-14 grade level in the Federal service. Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. The specialized experience requirements for the GS-15 level of this position are: experience leading research focused on the improvement of soil biological ecosystem health; analyzing results using quantitative and statistical methodology, and working with crop simulation models; developing and evaluating soil biosphere models; identifying sustainable crop management strategies associated with maintaining and improving long-term soil health and crop resilience under CO2, temperature, or water variations related to climate change; experience publishing peer reviewed articles focused on soil health and sustainability and experience in leading people and establishing research objectives, goals and programs.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
To further support your qualifications, it is strongly recommended that you submit a one-page abstract of your MS thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation. Failure to do so could result in loss of your consideration/referral. Also, please submit a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of persons familiar with your stature, contributions, recognition; any honors or awards received; memberships in professional or honor societies; invitations to make presentations at scientific/technical meetings; scientific society office and committee assignments; presentations (other than invitation); and publications.

Applicants must be available to report for duty at the time a selection is made. Selections are typically made within 30 days of the closing date of the announcement.

Education

Please see above for education qualification requirement information.

Additional information

  • Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): Visit the OPM website for information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 71 out of a possible 100.
  • Recruitment or Relocation Incentive may be authorized. Final determination to pay an incentive will be made by the hiring official at time of job offer.
  • Research scientists have open-ended promotion potential. Research accomplishments and their impact on the duties and responsibilities of positions are evaluated periodically. The grade level is limited only by the individual's demonstrated ability to perform research of recognized importance to science and technology. *Final grade level may be determined by a peer review panel.
  • This position may be eligible to telework up to four days per week, based upon the duties of the position. This position may also be eligible for flexible work arrangements as determined by agency policy and any applicable collective bargaining agreements.
  • To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Therefore, to the extent a Federal job announcement includes the requirement that applicants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 pursuant to E.O. 14043, that requirement does not currently apply. Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.