Pathways Recent Graduate (Soil Conservationist)

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Harrisonburg, Virginia
Posted
Oct 21, 2019
Closes
Oct 26, 2019
Function
Administrative
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

The Pathways Recent Graduate Program is for recently graduated or graduating individuals who are looking for developmental experiences in the Federal Government intended to promote possible careers in the civil service. Recent Graduates will serve on this appointment for one year learning the fundamentals of the position for which they can be converted. For more information on the Pathways Recent Graduate Program, please visit https://www.usajobs.gov/StudentsAndGrads.

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

  • Works with farmers and other landowners to develop conventional conservation plans addressing common resource concerns; provides information concerning Farm Bill and State Conservation Programs.
  • Develops conservation contracts according to the NRCS Conservation Program Contracting Manual.
  • Fully utilizes Toolkit/protracts programs in the documentation and management of conservation plans and technical assistance by the service center.
  • Conducts regular follow-up on all scheduled practices assigned and develops operation and maintenance agreements for all structural practices planned and contracted.
  • Performs annual contract reviews on all assigned contracts to ensure contract schedules are followed and that practice are being maintained according to NRCS standards and specifications.
  • Completes highly erodible land (HEL) and Wetland Determinations and annual Farm Service Agency (FSA) Compliance Checks for HEL and Wetlands.


Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status
No

Promotion Potential
9

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.
  • Satisfactory Background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
  • Successful completion of one-year trial period.
  • 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 https://www.e-verify.gov/.
  • Signed participant agreement is required for employment under Pathways.
  • This position requires the incumbent to possess and maintain a valid state driver's license.
  • Duty Location may change based upon training needs or upon conversion to competitive service.


Qualifications

(NOTE: You must attach a copy of your transcripts. Failure to submit transcripts will result in an ineligible rating.)
Basic Requirements:
    For the GS-05 level: Degree: 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: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
GS-7 Grade Level: In addition to meeting one of the Basic Requirements above, applicants must meet the following Minimum Qualification requirement in order to be considered for this position:
  • Specialized Experience : To qualify for the GS-07 grade level, you must possess at least one year specialized experience equivalent to the GS-5 level or higher in the Federal service (or private sector equivalent) demonstrating experience and knowledge of the application of the principles, concepts and methodology associated with natural resources. For this position, specialized experience is defined as experience providing technical advice to address soil and water resource concerns and implement conservation planning.
  • OR Superior academic achievement in a bachelor's degree a curriculum directly related to the work of the position. To qualify for superior academic achievement, you must have ONE of the following: (1) standing in the upper third of your college class or major subdivision at the time you apply; (2) grade point average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or its equivalent for all courses completed, either (a) at the time of application or (b) during the last 2 years of your undergraduate curriculum; (3) B+ (3.5 on a 4.0 scale) or its equivalent for all courses completed in a related discipline, either (a) at the time of application or (b) during the last 2 years of your undergraduate curriculum; OR (4) election to membership in one of the national honorary scholastic societies that meets the requirements of the Association of College Honor Society; OR Education Substitution: (1) one year of graduate-level education in soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering. OR Possess a combination of graduate-level education and experience, as described above, may be used to qualify for this position. This combination must have equipped you with the necessary knowledge and/or experience to successfully perform the duties of this position. Combinations of experience and education must total at least 100% as outlined in OPM Qualifications policy.
GS-9 Grade Level: In addition to meeting one of the Basic Requirements above, applicants must meet the following Minimum Qualification requirement in order to be considered for this position:
    Specialized Experience : To qualify for the GS-09 grade level, you must possess at least one year specialized experience equivalent to the GS-7 level or higher in the Federal service (or private sector equivalent) demonstrating experience and knowledge of the application of the principles, concepts and methodology associated with natural resources. For this position specialized experience is defined as experience independently providing technical advice to address soil and water resource concerns and implement conservation planning.
  • OR Substitution of Education in Lieu of Specialized Experience : Possess two years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a masters degree or masters or equivalent graduate degree in soil conservation or a related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering;
  • OR Possess a combination of graduate-level education and experience, as described above, may be used to qualify for this position. This combination must have equipped you with the necessary knowledge and/or experience to successfully perform the duties of this position. Combinations of experience and education must total at least 100% as outlined in OPM Qualifications policy.

To view the position's Qualification Requirements of the associated occupational series as outlined in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, General Schedule Qualifications Standards. See the link below: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/#url=0400-ndx
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.

Education

You must submit a copy of your college transcripts or a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grades received to verify all education requirements (i.e. substitution of education and/or basic education requirement). If a relevant course is not clearly qualifying (e.g. special topic, seminar, research, thesis, obscure or misleading course title, etc.), please submit an official course syllabi and/or detailed course description from the university/college for that particular course to ensure you are properly evaluated. Please note that qualifications determinations are based solely on the information submitted for each particular vacancy announcement. You must document all requirements on every vacancy; we cannot use previous determinations as a basis for rating. If you have not yet conferred your degree or certificate, but will within 120 days of the closing date of this announcement, a letter from the school documenting current standing, degree being obtained and expected graduation date must be submitted with your application. All required information must be received by the closing date of this announcement, and non-submission of all required documents/documentation will result in non-consideration. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted. Official transcript will be required prior to entering on duty. This information must be received by the closing date of this announcement. Non-submission of these documents will result in non-consideration.

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 via this link . All education claimed by applicants will be verified accordingly. Important: 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 on this link for more information.

Additional information

Education Status: Completed all requirements for an associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational, or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution within the previous two (2) years; or individuals who, due to military service obligation, were precluded from applying to the Recent Graduates Program during any portion of the 2-year eligibility period described above shall have a full 2-year period of eligibility upon release or discharge from active duty. This eligibility period cannot extend more than 6 years from the date on which the requirements for the academic course of study were met.

Recent Graduate appointments may not exceed two years. Recent Graduates who satisfactorily complete all the USDA Recent Graduates Program requirements may be non-competitively converted to a Term or Permanent appointment in the competitive service. Conversion is not guaranteed. Recent Graduates converted to Term appointments may later be non-competitively converted to a Permanent competitive service position.
  • Physical Demands: Work requires long periods of standing; walking or riding horses/ATVs/motorcycles over rough terrain; recurring bending, crouching, stooping, reaching, similar activities. Regular and recurring physical exertion related to conservation work requires walking on rough terrain, jumping ditches and furrows, or climbing steep banks.
  • Conversion/Promotion to the next higher grade may occur without further competition once all legal and regulatory requirements are met to include management's certification of the continuing need for performance of duties at the higher grade level. Conversion/Promotion is not guaranteed.
  • This position is eligible for telework within the commuting area of the duty location of the position and other flexible work arrangements. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.
  • This announcement may be used to fill multiple vacancies.
  • It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. See more information at: http://www.chcoc.gov/transmittals/TransmittalDetails.aspx?TransmittalID=6465


How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position. Those determined to be in the best qualified category will be referred to the selecting official for consideration.

Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score may be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities, or you may be found ineligible. Please follow all instructions carefully. may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.

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" button to the right.

To view the application form, visit: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10628634

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Other

Drug test required
No

Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

Trust determination process
Suitability/Fitness

Required Documents

The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
  • Resume that includes: 1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) supervisor's phone number, e-mail address for each work period listed, and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and 5) other qualifications.
  • You must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application if it includes your name and the necessary course information; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that evaluate education, visit the NACES website. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
    • If you have not yet conferred your degree or certificate, but will within 120 days of the closing date of this announcement, a letter from the school documenting current standing, degree being obtained and expected graduation date must be submitted with your application.
You must submit the documents below if you claim any of the following:
  • If claiming veteran's preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. Veteran's preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran's preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
  • If claiming 10-point veteran's preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans' preference visit FEDSHIREVETS .