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Natural Resources Conservation Service Interdisciplinary Agronomist/Soil Conservationist/Natural Resources Specialist in Pullman, Washington

Summary

This position serves as the manager of a Plant Materials Center (PMC). The incumbent manages the PMC staff and resources to provide plant science solutions to water quality concerns, control erosion on cropland and critical areas, improve forage production and quality on pasture and rangelands, and improve wildlife habitat.

Responsibilities

Develops and directs a plant materials-agronomic plant and vegetative technology testing program usually serving a multi-state service area.

Directs and conducts the business management function of the Plant Materials Center.

Performs a full range of supervisory duties for the permanent and temporary employees at the Plant Materials Center.

Develops and coordinates plant materials training with states within the Plant Materials Center service area.

Prepares the Plant Materials Center Annual Reports and other special reports covering results of work accomplished.

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

Qualifications

Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including time-in-grade restrictions, specialized experience and/or education, as defined below. Time in grade: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience at the next lower grade to be considered for the next higher grade (e.g. one year at the GS-11 grade level for consideration for the GS-12 grade level). Basic Education Requirement - 0401 Series:

Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position; OR

Combination of Education and Experience: Includes courses equivalent to a major, as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. Basic Education Requirement - 0457 Series:

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.; OR

Combination of Education and Experience: Includes 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.

Basic Education Requirement: - 0471 Series:

Degree: agronomy; or related discipline of science that included at least 30 semester hours of course work in the basic plant sciences, including at least 15 semester hours in agronomic subjects, such as those dealing with plant breeding, crop production, and soil and crop management; OR

Combination of Education and Experience: Includes at least 30 semester hours in the basic plant sciences, including a minimum of 15 semester hours in agronomic subjects, as shown in above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. Graduate Education: Agronomy, or one of the related disciplines or fields of science, such as plant physiology, soils, or genetics, where the curriculum or pattern of training placed major emphasis on field crops or agronomy. Graduate study in related fields, such as botany, plant pathology, and biochemistry may also be qualifying, provided it placed a sufficient amount of emphasis on agronomy. Evaluation of Education: Course work in such subjects as botany, plant taxonomy, plant physiology, plant breeding or genetics, plant ecology, plant pathology, microbiology, agronomy, or those dealing with basic soil-water-plant relationships of an agronomic or ecologic nature may be used to meet the 30-semester-hour requirement in the basic plant sciences. Agronomy courses include agronomy, fieldcrops, field crop production or management, soil and crop management, plant breeding and development, weed control, and similar courses, including those in soils, biochemistry, plant physiology, etc., provided they dealt with principles, methods, or procedures that are applied directly in agronomic work and in the solving of agronomic problems.

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-12 level, you must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 level or higher in Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through Federal service. This experience must include experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. For this position, specialized experience is defined as: Applying plant, agronomic, and soil principles and techniques in the development and implementation of plant research activities to identify appropriate plants or vegetative technologies that address natural resource conservation issues; Providing plant-related technical training and guidance to customers; Preparing technical reports in the dissemination of information generated through plant-related studies, and; Providing leadership all phases of studies or projects from study design to final product development. Note: There is no education substitution for the GS-12 level. For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here: Group Standard, 400 series 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

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements: You must submit a copy of your transcripts to include course number, title, completion and grade. 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. 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. 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. Failure to provide all of the required documents/information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

Additional Information

Recruitment and/or relocation incentives may be authorized. Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) or Reemployment Priority List (RPL): Visit the OPM website for information on how to apply as a CTAP or RPL eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP 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 applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100. Physical Demands: The work requires regular physical exertion related to conservation work in an outdoor environment. The work requires outdoor physical activities (walking, climbing, etc.) for prolonged periods over rough terrain. Work Environment: The work involves recurring exposure to operating agricultural equipment and adverse weather conditions. The incumbent travels on improved and unimproved roads. Protective equipment is required on construction sites, when working with hazardous materials, and during the use of off­-road vehicles. Training is required for operation of off-road vehicles. PLEASE NOTE: In the interest of filling these positions as efficiently as possible, we are requiring the following: If called for an interview, applicants must be available to interview within 3 business days of being contacted. If a tentative job offer is extended, selectee will have 2 business days in which to accept or decline.

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