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Soil Conservationist: Mid (GS 9)

Job Description

This person is a line officer who plans the application of total resource management systems; provides conservation planning assistance from initial evaluation to completion. This person possesses a practical knowledge of the methods and techniques of soil, water, and environmental conservation as they relate to agricultural operations and land use measures. They also help landowners with issues such as dealing with soil, water, air, plants, and animal resource concerns.

Job Duties

  • Works with landowners to develop, implement, maintain and revise complex conservation plans without the assistance of others
  • Promotes, markets, and implements Farm Bill initiatives and maintains positive relationships with local, state, and federal agencies
  • Evaluates the implementation of conservation plans and their alternatives

Recommended Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in 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
  • In some instances, a bachelor’s degree can be substituted for the specific semester hours listed above, plus appropriate experience or additional education
  • Certified conservation planner (within 12 months of employment)

Sample NRCS Work Experience

  • Speaks at meetings and workshops and gives presentations on various conservation initiatives
  • Represents the District Conservationist at a soil water conservation district meeting
  • Completes approved conservation plan and works toward Cert Planner Status
  • Performs conservation planning and implements full-cycle program sign-up, ranking, contracting, payments
  • Independently designs basic practices (e.g., waterways and buffer strips)

Sample NRCS Training

  • Soil Mechanics
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Hydrology Training Series
  • Managing for Excellence
  • Economics of Conservation Planning

Occupational Competencies

  • Defining Objectives
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Decision Support
  • Engineering Design and Implementation
  • Management Practice Application
  • Vegetative Practice Application
  • Follow-up and Maintenance
  • Financial Assistance Programs Management

Foundational Competencies

  • Attention to Detail
  • Accountability
  • Organizing and Prioritizing Work
  • Representing the Agency
  • Technology Management
  • Organizational Awareness
  • Adaptability and Flexibility
  • Continuous Learning
  • Initiative
  • Integrity and Honesty
  • Stress Tolerance and Resilience
  • Oral Communication
  • Written Communication
  • Influence and Negotiating
  • Conflict Management
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Decisive Judgment and Decision Making

Leadership Competencies

  • Assigning, Evaluating, and Monitoring Work
  • Developing Others
  • Human Resource Management
  • Team Building
  • External Awareness
  • Vision
  • Strategic Thinking and Action
  • Relationship Management
  • Leveraging Diversity
  • Public Service Motivation
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