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State Conservationist (GS 14-SES)

Job Description

This senior manager provides leadership and management direction of all USDA NRCS administrative and technical functions involved in planning, organizing, and implementing complex soil, water, and natural resource conservation for the state. This person develops and manages partnerships with public and private entities and prioritizes natural resource concerns for the state to ensure that staff and resources are in alignment to have the greatest impact.

Job Duties

  • Provides overall soil, water, and natural resource conservation leadership including coordination and collaboration to establish appropriate state-specific policy, standards, and procedures needed to resolve state natural resource concerns
  • Manages fiduciary and civil rights requirements associated with directing financial and administrative programs including procurement and property, human resources, budget and financial management, and communications to staff and external stakeholders
  • Builds partnerships for the agency and enters into and maintains various effective relationships at the local, state, tribal, and federal levels and with private organizations that share our common conservation goals

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

Sample NRCS Work Experience

  • Develop, debate, review, and execute the state conservation program budget
  • Supervise multi-disciplinary staff
  • Work with a diverse group of partners (e.g., NGOs, state agencies, federal agencies, tribes, and other groups trying to do conservation work)
  • Implement oversight and quality review processes throughout the state
  • Implement or manage Farm Bill conservation programs
  • Perform conservation planning and watershed planning
  • Direct and provide resource support for an operational unit that is gathering watershed information, facilitating partnership/community support, and identifying and quantifying the natural resources attributes and concerns
  • Synthesize information and weigh alternative solutions in the formulation of policies, procedures, budgets, and staffing; and implement decisions based on this information to achieve the desired natural resource outcomes for the watershed

Sample NRCS Training

  • Strategic Leadership Development Program (SLDP)
  • Appropriations Law

Occupational Competencies

  • Conservation Planning and Natural Resources Disciplines
  • Program Management and Implementation
  • Quality Assurance

Foundational Competencies

  • Adaptability and Flexibility
  • Integrity and Honesty
  • Oral Communication
  • Written Communication
  • Influence and Negotiating
  • Interpersonal Skills

Leadership Competencies

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