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Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Scientist (Direct Hire) in Opelousas, Louisiana

Summary The incumbent of this position serves as a team member developing and disseminating soil information for use in conservation planning. Direct Hire Authority: These positions are being filled through the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Direct-Hire Authority for this occupation. Responsibilities Utilizes soil-landscape relationships to systematically map and describe the way soils occur in the landscape. Identifies and acquires the appropriate spatial data layers necessary to create and maintain a digitally-based soils map. Determines and applies principles, practices, and methods to apply plant species identification and the use of plants as indicators of soil type, ecological sites, and soil-site and topographic relationships. Assists Soil Scientist and/or the MLRA Soil Survey Leader to document soil-plant relationships, collect production estimates for crops, trees and grasses and develop/gather other information for ecological site descriptions. Requirements Conditions of Employment 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: For the GS-05 level: 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. In addition to meeting the Basic Requirements above, applicants must meet the following Minimum Qualification requirement to be considered for the following grade levels: For the GS-07 grade level: Specialized Experience: To qualify for the GS-07 grade level, you must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-05 level or higher in the Federal service (or private sector equivalent). Examples of specialized experience include applying routine principles, concepts and methodology associated with soil science, gaining practical experience working directly with other soil scientists; 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: One (1) year of graduate-level education in soil science or a directly related discipline; OR Combination of Education and Experience: 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. For the GS-09 grade level Specialized Experience: To qualify for the GS-09 grade level, you must possess at least one year specialized experience equivalent to the GS-07 level or higher in the Federal service (or private sector equivalent). For this position, examples of specialized experience include advanced-trainee level experience such as: conducting standard soil resource inventories and watershed restoration needs inventories; collecting soil samples for laboratory analysis to determine physical, chemical, an morphological characteristics; classifying soil properties according to appropriate standards; assisting in writing watershed restoration plans, erosion control plans, soil resources improvement plans, soil management reports, soil survey reports; OR Education Substitution: Two (2) or more years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree or equivalent graduate degree in soil science or a directly related discipline; OR Combination of Education and Experience: 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. Experience Note: 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, knowledge, and skills 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 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 85 out of a possible 100. If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed. Physical Demands: The work requires regular and recurring physical exertion related to conservation work, such as walking on rough terrain, jumping ditches and furrows, or climbing steep banks. Work may include frequent lifting of moderately heavy items such as equipment and samples. Work Environment: The work requires regular and recurrent exposure to operating agricultural equipment, adverse weather such as snow and icy field conditions, and unimproved roads, and exposure to irritating plants and insects. 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. Duty Location: Duty Locations will be discussed upon interview. THIS IS AN OPEN CONTINUOUS ANNOUNCEMENT. This type of announcement provides NRCS the with a readily available source of applicants when vacancies occur. Eligibility and qualifications will be verified when there is a vacancy for the location and grade for which you applied. This is a direct hire solicitation, open continuous announcement; this posting will close on July 15, 2021, or when all positions are filled. The first cut-off date is within 14 days of the open date of this public notice. Other certificates may be issued as needed. This position is eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the position and other flexible work arrangements. Current USDA policy includes telework for an 8 hour work day, 4 days per week; other flexibilities are possible dependent upon availability and/or the position and its associated duties. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor. Relocation/recruitment incentives may be authorized. Information about incentives can be found at opm.gov. Recruitment, Relocation & Retention Incentives (opm.gov)

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