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  • 1 week ago

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Summary This position is located in the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Northeast Area, Research Center Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory in Beltsville, MD. In this position you will be leading an experiment or research project related to soil and water science; analyzing and interpreting research data or results; and operating and maintaining scientific... equipment or performing scientific techniques. Responsibilities Determine the proper experimental approach in setting up experiments to solve complex physiological and agronomic responses of plants to multiple climatic and soil factors. Conducts experiments in which various environmental and soil factors are manipulated, including CO2 concentration, air temperature, and soil water contents. Maintains data, performs appropriate calculations and analyses, and evaluates the adequacy of results for meeting objectives. Complies with laboratory practice and experimental protocols to ensure plants are grown, fertilized, watered, inspected regularly for disease and insects, and treated appropriately, adhering to Beltsville Area safety and health guidelines. Analyzes results according to established principles and procedures and summarizes experimental outcomes of completed projects in a form suitable as the basis for the first draft of written reports to scientific journals. Ensures all safety rules, regulations, and precautions are taken to accomplish activities. Programs, operates, and provides routine maintenance of highly specialized complex equipment, including computerized control systems and plant gas exchange, and data acquisition devices, custom-developed software programs, analytical devices. Uses computer systems and appropriate software such as word processing, spreadsheets, PowerPoint, and the internet for documenting information and presenting data. Operates, troubleshoots, and maintains, as possible, growth chamber heating, cooling, and electrical systems. 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 at the next lower grade to be considered for the next higher grade (e.g. one year at the GS-09 grade level for consideration for the GS-11 grade level). Basic Requirements: 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 in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. AND In addition to meeting the basic requirements described above, applicants must also meet additional qualification requirements as stated below. GS-09: Specialized Experience: Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. Specialized experience must be described for each grade level advertised. The specialized experience requirements for this position are: Qualifying experience for GS-09 includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-07 which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position. For this position, specialized experience is experience providing support for an experiments or research projects related to soil or water science; and analyzing research data or results. OR Education: Successful completion of 2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree or master's or equivalent graduate degree, if directly related to the position. Related degrees may include soil science or environmental science. OR A combination of graduate level education and specialized experience. GS-11: Specialized Experience: Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. Specialized experience must be described for each grade level advertised. The specialized experience requirements for this position are: Qualifying experience for GS-11 includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-09 which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position. For this position, specialized experience is experience leading an experiment or research project related to soil and water science; analyzing and interpreting research data or results; and operating and maintaining scientific equipment or performing scientific techniques. OR Education: Successful completion of three full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D., or a Ph.D., or equivalent doctoral degree, if directly related to the position. Related degrees may include soil science or environmental science. OR A combination of doctorate level education and specialized experience. Physical Demands: The work requires regular and recurring walking on agricultural fields with uneven surfaces; climbing on ladders or large field equipment; bending, crouching, stooping, lifting, or reaching to observe, collect, or record field data. The incumbent must be able to lift large bags of seed or fertilizer and carry soil samples from the field to a vehicle weighing less than 50 pounds. Frequent travel and driving to research sites inside and outside the state are required. Work Environment: The work involves regular and recurring moderate risks or discomforts which require special safety precautions, e.g., working with irritant chemicals, a dusty environment, or working outdoors. Working outside will expose the employee to periods of hot and cold weather and humid, wet, and dry conditions. The incumbent is required to use protective items such as gowns, coats, boots, goggles, gloves, ear protection, and sunscreen. 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 Please see above for education qualification requirement 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. Veterans who are preference eligible or who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after three years or more of continuous active service are eligible for consideration under the Veteran's Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA). Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Employees: Permanent County employees without prior Federal tenure who are selected for a Civil Service position under Public Law 105-277 will be given a career-conditional appointment and must serve a 1-year probationary period. For more information on applying under special hiring authorities such as the Veteran's Recruitment Act (VRA), 30 percent disabled veterans, certain military spouses, Schedule A Disabled, etc., explore the different Hiring Paths on the USAJOBS website. Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA) provides current or former temporary or term employees of federal land management agencies opportunity to compete for permanent competitive service positions. Individuals must have more than 24 months of service without a break between appointments of two or more years. Service must be in the competitive service and have been at a successful level of performance or better. Refer to PUBLIC LAW 114-47-AUG. 7, 2015 for more information. This position may be eligible to telework up to four days per week, based upon the duties of the position. This position may also be eligible for flexible work arrangements as determined by agency policy and any applicable collective bargaining agreements. Recruitment or Relocation Incentive may be authorized. Final determination to pay an incentive will be made by the hiring official at time of job offer. Travel and relocation expenses will not be paid by the Department of Agriculture. Any travel, transportation and relocation expenses associated with reporting for duty in this position will be the responsibility of the selected employee. 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
Calverton MD USA

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Apply - Soil Scientist Calverton