Soil Scientist (Modeler)

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Beltsville, Maryland
Posted
Sep 18, 2020
Closes
Sep 24, 2020
Function
Administrative
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

This position is located on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC), NRCS, National Water Quality & Quantity Team (WQQT) associated with the Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS), West National Technology Support Center (WNTSC), in the Science and Technology Deputy area located in any NRCS approved location.

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

  • Collaborates with other Agency experts to integrate soils and water quality data and information into web services, decision support systems, and other tools and technology to support Agency program needs and agency priorities.
  • Collaborates with external public and private organizations to identify and develop soils information products to address critical natural resource management issues.
  • Provides leadership to agency leadership in data management, including edge-of-field monitoring data analysis and management.
  • Facilitates the prioritization, scheduling, and development of soil and water quality information systems and applications for conservation planning functions and develops procedures to use soils and water quality datasets, tools, and models.
  • Leads the use of and integration of soil web services into Agency Nutrient Management and Pest Management technology tools.


Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status
No

Promotion Potential
14

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.
  • Successful completion of one-year probationary period, unless previously served.
  • Subject to one-year supervisory/managerial probationary period unless prior service is creditable. New USDA supervisors must successfully complete all components of the required training program before the end of their probationary 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 E-Verify at https://www.e-verify.gov/.
  • Must possess and maintain a valid state motor vehicle operator's license for the type of vehicle(s) operated to perform the duties of this position.


Qualifications

Time In Grade Requirement: Merit promotion applicants must meet applicable time-in-grade requirements to be considered eligible. One year at the GS-12 level is required to meet the time-in-grade requirements for the GS-13 level. One year at the GS-13 level is required to meet the time-in-grade requirements for the GS-14 level.(Please submit your SF-50 that shows Time-in-Grade eligibility and reflects your title, series, and grade. No Award or General Adjustment SF-50's will be accepted).

Basic Education Requirement:
Degree: Bachelor's or higher degree in 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. (You must submit transcripts)
OR
Combination of Education and Experience: Courses equivalent to a major in soil science or a major 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 in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. The quality of the combination of education and experience must be sufficient to demonstrate that the applicant possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform work in the occupation, and is comparable to that normally acquired through the successful completion of a full 4-year course of study with a major in the appropriate field. In addition to courses in the major and related fields, a typical college degree would have included courses that involved analysis, writing, critical thinking, research, etc. These courses would have provided an applicant with skills and abilities sufficient to perform progressively more responsible work in the occupation. Therefore, creditable experience should have demonstrated similarly appropriate skills or abilities needed to perform the work of the occupation. (You must submit transcripts)
In addition to meeting one of the Basic Requirements listed above, applicants must meet the following Minimum Qualifications Requirement in order to be considered:

Specialized Experience: To qualify for the GS-13 level, you must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS- 12 level or higher in Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through Federal service. This experience must include:
  • Identifying soil information products to address critical soil science and environmental fate modeling as it relates to water quality and quality conservation issues; collaborating with others to integrate soils and water quality data;
  • inputting data into various systems such as webs services, decision support systems, and other tool and formations to support agency program needs; and
  • Identifying soil information products to address critical soil science and environmental fate modeling as it relates to water quality and quality conservation issues. (Must be reflected in resume.)
Note: There is no education substitution for the GS-13 level.

Specialized Experience: To qualify for the GS-14 level, you must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS- 13 level or higher in Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through Federal service. This experience must include:
  • Identifying soil information products to address critical soil science and environmental fate modeling as it relates to water quality and quality conservation issues;
  • Developing polices and guidelines for managing and integrating soil and water quality information systems and applications;
  • Recommending new and innovative approaches, techniques, systems, and guidelines for improving soil quality related activities; and
  • Creating training materials for using national soil and water quality information systems and applications. (Must be reflected in resume.)
Note: There is no education substitution for the GS-14 level.

For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/0400/soil-science-series-0470/

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s).

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.

Physical Demands - The work is primarily sedentary in nature and usually performed while seated at a desk. The job will require some physical exertion while walking and traveling to visit field operations and attend meetings, as well as carrying of light items such as papers, books, folders, etc. The employee may be required to travel internationally and may be required to operate a motor vehicle.

Work Environment - Much of the work is normally in an office environment; however, a portion of time will be spent traveling to field locations. The employee may be exposed o field conditions including the operation of agricultural equipment, adverse weather conditions including snow and ice, as well as humidity and extreme heat.

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. 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. 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.

Foreign Education: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html

Additional information

This position is open to Competitive Merit Promotion, Non-Competitive, and Special Hiring Authority eligibles. You must meet the requirements for one of the below categories to be eligible.

1. A current permanent competitive service employee; former Federal employee who achieved career status in the competitive service; or former Federal employee who served on a career conditional appointment without achieving career status in the competitive service who was separated less than three years ago. You must submit an SF-50 that reflects career or career-conditional (Tenure field is 1 or 2); AND status in the competitive service (Position Occupied field is 1). Please submit your SF-50 that shows Time-in-Grade eligibility and reflects your title, series, and grade. No Award or General Adjustment SF-50's will be accepted.
2. A Veteran applying under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA), must submit a copy of your DD-214 showing an honorable discharge. To be eligible, a veteran must be honorably separated and either a preference eligible or have substantially completed 3 or more years of active service. NOTE: Time-in-grade requirements also apply to VEOA applicants having held a GS position in the past year.
3. A 30% or more Disabled Veteran. You must submit your DD214, a completed SF-15, and letter from the VA dated 1991 or later.
4. Military Spouses. You are eligible if: 1) you are the spouse of an active duty member of the Armed Forces; 2) you are the spouse of a member of the Armed Forces who retired or separated with a disability rating of 100 percent; or 3) you are the un-remarried widow or widower of a member of the Armed Forces killed while in active duty status.Please submit supporting documentation to be considered (e.g. active duty orders, marriage verification, SF-15, DD-214, disability letter from VA, etc.
5. Schedule A: USDA welcomes and encourages applicants from persons with disabilities and is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advance on the basis of merit. Documentation of eligibility under Schedule A can be obtained from a licensed medical professional; a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist (i.e. state or private); or any Federal agency, state agency, or agency of the District of Columbia or a U.S. Territory that issues or provides disability benefits. This letter must be separate from any Veterans Preference documentation.
6. A Former Peace Corps or VISTA Volunteers Appointment. Please submit documentation to be considered.
7. Other non-competitive authorities (please see announcement language for applicable authorities)
9. A current or former Land Management Bureau employee who has served at least 24 months under a time-limited competitive appointment who is eligible for appointment under the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act.
Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Employees: Permanent County employees without prior Federal tenure who are selected for a Civil Service position under Public Law 105-277 will be given a career-conditional appointment and must serve a 1-year probationary period.
This position may be eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the position and other flexible work arrangements. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics):

Data Collection and Analysis, Oral Communication, Soil Science, and Technical Competence

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. Applicants who meet the minimum qualification requirements and are determined to be among the best qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for consideration. Noncompetitive candidates and applicants under some special hiring authorities need only meet minimum qualifications to be referred.

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. 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.

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) provides eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your agency has notified you in writing that you are a displaced employee eligible for ICTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your ICTAP eligibility; 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement; and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well qualified, you must satisfy all qualification requirements for the vacant position and have a final assessment score of 85 or better. You must provide proof of eligibility with your application. Such proof may include a copy of your written notification of ICTAP eligibility or a copy of your separation personnel action form. Additional information about ICTAP eligibility is at: http://www.opm.gov/rif/employee_guides/career_transition.asp#ictap

The Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provides eligible surplus and displaced competitive service employees in the USDA with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your USDA component has notified you in writing that you are a surplus or displaced employee eligible for CTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your CTAP eligibility, 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement, and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well qualified, you must satisfy all qualification requirements for the vacant position and have a final assessment score of 85 or better. You must provide a copy of your written notification of CTAP eligibility with your application. Additional information about CTAP eligibility is at: http://www.opm.gov/rif/employee_guides/career_transition.asp#ctap

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required
No

Required Documents

The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete.
  • 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) other qualifications.
  • A completed Assessment Questionnaire
  • SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action (if applying as a status candidate with current or former Federal service)
  • Other supporting documentation as stated in the announcement
  • If education is required or being used to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application if it includes your name & the necessary course information; however, if you are selected, official transcripts will be required prior to entering on duty.
  • Current and former Federal employees:
    • Non-award Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) showing you are/were in the competitive service, highest grade held (or promotion potential) on a permanent basis, position title, series & grade indicating your status and time-in-grade eligibility. If your eligibility for both merit promotion and/or time-in-grade cannot be determined, your application will be rated ineligible.
    • Most recent performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) showing the official rating of record, signed by a supervisor, or statement why the performance appraisal is unavailable. A performance plan is not an acceptable substitute.
  • Current permanent FSA County employees must submit your most recent non-award Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) showing your highest grade (or promotion potential) held on a permanent basis, position title, series & grade AND most recent performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) per above.
  • Veteran Hiring Authorities: VEOA, 30% Disabled Veterans: DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, that shows dates of service & 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.
  • 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.
  • Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act: Copies of Notification of Personnel Action(s) (SF-50) showing the employee served in eligible appointment(s) for a period(s) of more than 24 mos w/o a break between appointments of two+ years. Include initial hire actions, extensions, conversions and separation SF-50s for each period. Submit performance rating(s) showing acceptable performance for each period counted towards eligibility signed by supervisor(s). If documentation does not exist for one or more periods, submit a statement from supervisor(s) indicating acceptable performance. Applicants who do not have performance documentation for any period shall provide a reason why the documentation is not available and statement that performance for all periods was at an acceptable level.
  • Schedule A, Persons with Disabilities Appointment : Letter from a physician, local, state or federal rehabilitation office citing eligibility under 5 CFR 213.3102 (u).
  • Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.
  • If claiming eligibility under a special hiring authority or an interchange agreement with another merit system not listed above, see the requirements for that authority and submit the required supporting documentation. Go to: USAJOBS Hiring Path for Special Authorities or Special Hiring Authority for more information.


If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

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. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

Similar jobs