Skip Navigation

Soil Conservationist: Senior (GS 11-12)

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 the most complex conservation plans and trains others in these areas
  • Promotes, markets, and implements multiple Farm Bill initiatives and develops and maintains positive relationships with local, state, and federal agencies
  • Provides recommendations based on the evaluations of conservation plans and 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

  • Provides training to other soil conservationists
  • Provides input to state leadership teams to help with decision making
  • Deals with more complex planning situations (i.e., agronomic situations, working 10-20 counties at once)
  • Performs spot checks of other field offices
  • Provides suggestions for change

Sample NRCS Training

  • Team Building
  • New Managers Workshop
  • Civil Rights Compliance in Program Delivery
  • Supervising for Excellence
  • Consultation with American Indian Governments

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
myNRCScareer; Guide Logo