Research Agronomist/Plant Physiologist in El Reno, OK

US Agricultural Research Service
  • Full Time
  • El Reno, OK
  • $98,496 - $151,308 a year USD / Year
  • Applications have closed

Duties

Perform research to broaden the understanding of soil-plant-ecosystem level water dynamics, energy/carbon/water balances, and associated linkages to forage and livestock production and management practices;
Collaborate and communicate environmentally and economically sustainable forage and livestock production practices with individuals, government officials, scientific and academic communities, scientific organizations, and groups;
Collect, analyze, and summarize technical information pertaining to forage and livestock production with an emphasis on using remote sensing and eddy-covariance data;
Prepare written work products based on research to be reviewed and/or published in professional articles, publications, and technical abstracts.

Requirements
Conditions of Employment

You must be a US Citizen or US National
Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt
Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check
Direct Deposit: Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution.
Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify at https://www.e-verify.gov/.
Successful completion of a three year probationary period.

Qualifications

The mission of the Unit is to develop and transfer environmentally and economically sustainable forage and livestock production practices based in fundamental ecological principles and realized through improved technologies, management strategies, strategic and tactical planning tools, and improved plant germplasm for integrated crop, pasture, and livestock systems under variable climate, energy and market conditions. As a member of a multi-disciplinary team, incumbent develops knowledge and guidelines for grazing-based livestock production systems. Specifically, the incumbent seeks to broaden the understanding of soil-plant-ecosystem level water dynamics, energy/carbon/water balances, and associated linkages to livestock production related to climatic variability and extremes, and management practices.

This Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.
Transcripts are required to determine if you meet the education requirement.

Minimum qualification requirements are found in the
OPM Qualification Standards Operating Manual for General Schedule Positions.

Basic Requirements

Plant Physiology (0435) – Degree in botany or plant physiology; or a related scientific discipline that included at least 10 semester hours in plant physiology.

Evaluation of Education: The 10-semester-hour requirement in plant physiology is specific. Course work is qualifying if it dealt with plant physiology, some phase of plant physiology, or methods and techniques applied in plant physiology work. Other course work in borderline areas should be evaluated on the basis of content.

Agronomy (0471) – Degree in agronomy or related discipline of science that included at least 30 semester hours of course work in the basic plant sciences, including at least 15 semester hours in agronomic subjects, such as those dealing with plant breeding, crop production, and soil and crop management OR Combination of education and experience: at least 30 semester hours in the basic plant sciences, including a minimum of 15 semester hours in agronomic subjects, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Graduate Education: Agronomy, or one of the related disciplines or fields of science, such as plant physiology, soils, or genetics, where the curriculum or pattern of training placed major emphasis on field crops or agronomy. Graduate study in related fields, such as botany, plant pathology, and biochemistry may also be qualifying, provided it placed a sufficient amount of emphasis on agronomy.

Evaluation of Education: Course work in such subjects as botany, plant taxonomy, plant physiology, plant breeding or genetics, plant ecology, plant pathology, microbiology, agronomy, or those dealing with basic soil-water-plant relationships of an agronomic or ecologic nature may be used to meet the 30-semester-hour requirement in the basic plant sciences. Agronomy courses include agronomy, fieldcrops, field crop production or management, soil and crop management, plant breeding and development, weed control, and similar courses, including those in soils, biochemistry, plant physiology, etc., provided they dealt with principles, methods, or procedures that are applied directly in agronomic work and in the solving of agronomic problems.

Specialized Experience

In addition to meeting the basic requirements described above, applicants must also meet additional qualification requirements for each grade as stated below:

GS-13: Applicants must demonstrate at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 grade level in the Federal service. The specialized experience requirements for the GS-13 level of this position are:

Research experience with eddy-covariance (EC) equipment deployed in forage and livestock production systems and integration of these EC data with remote sensing;
Producing publications as the primary author that are of interest and value to the field of research;
Conceiving and formulating research ideas that support or produce studies by others;
Developing products in the identified field of research that solve important scientific problems;
Being invited to present information to professional societies within and outside of the organization on technical matters and practices in the area of specialization.

GS-14: Applicants must demonstrate at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-13 grade level in the Federal service. The specialized experience requirements for the GS-14 level of this position are:

Producing publications as the primary author for those that impact the advancement of the field or are viewed as authoritative;
Conceiving and formulating research ideas that advance the field of science or is used as a reference by other scientists;
Experience participating in Symposia that define the state of the discipline or introduce new areas in the field;

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.
To further support your qualifications, it is strongly recommended that you submit a one-page abstract of your MS thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation. Failure to do so could result in loss of your consideration/referral. Also, please submit a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of persons familiar with your stature, contributions, recognition; any honors or awards received; memberships in professional or honor societies; invitations to make presentations at scientific/technical meetings; scientific society office and committee assignments; presentations (other than invitation); and publications.
Applicants must be available to report for duty at the time a selection is made. Selections are typically made within 30 days of the closing date of the announcement.

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 71 out of a possible 100. 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.

This position may be eligible to telework 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.

Benefits

A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is Full Time, Part Time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

You will be evaluated in accordance with the category rating procedure as defined in the USDA Demonstration Project Plan. Applicants who meet the basic minimum qualification requirements established for the position will be placed in the Eligible category. Eligible applicants will be further evaluated against criteria for placement in the Quality category. This evaluation is based on the level of your experience, education, and/or training as determined by your responses to the Assessment Questionnaire. Applicants with veterans’ preference are listed ahead of applicants who do not have veterans’ preference within each category.
Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score may be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities, or you may be found ineligible. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.

Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the “Apply” button to the right.

To view the application form, visit:https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/12088170

Benefits

A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is Full Time, Part Time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

Required Documents

As a new or existing federal employee, you and your family may have access to a range of benefits. Your benefits depend on the type of position you have – whether you’re a permanent, Part Time, temporary or an intermittent employee. You may be eligible for the following benefits, however, check with your agency to make sure you’re eligible under their policies.
The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

Resume that includes:1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) other qualifications.
If education is required or you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application if it includes your name and the necessary course information; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that evaluate education, visit the NACES website. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
If claiming veteran’s preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. Veteran’s preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran’s preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
If claiming 10-point veteran’s preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans’ Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans’ preference visit FEDSHIREVETS
Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.

How to Apply

Please read the entire announcement and all instructions before you begin. You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement. Applying online is highly encouraged. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00a.m. – 4:00p.m., Monday – Friday). If applying online poses a hardship, contact the Agency Contact listed below well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages must be complete and submitted no later than noon ET on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing. This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact the Agency Contact to request this. To begin, click “Apply” and follow the instructions to complete the Assessment Questionnaire and attach your resume and all required documents. NOTE: Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency’s staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency’s staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 5MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, TXT or Word (DOC or DOCX). Do not upload Adobe Portfolio documents because they are not viewable.

Agency contact information
Kent Amott

Phone
970-492-7037
Email
kent.amott@usda.gov

Address

Agricultural Research Service

2150 Centre Avenue

Building D, Suite 300

Fort Collins, CO 80526

US

Next steps

Multiple positions may be filled from this announcement. Your application will be reviewed to verify that you meet the eligibility and qualification requirements for the position prior to issuing referral lists to the selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Log in to your USAJOBS account to check your application status. You must choose to turn on email notifications in your USAJOBS profile if you want to receive important email notifications that may impact your applicant experience (e.g. If you start an application and do not submit it prior to the closing date, USAJOBS will send an email reminder that the closing date is approaching and your application is in an incomplete status).

Fair and Transparent

The Federal hiring process is set up to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy
Reasonable accommodation policy
Financial suitability
Selective Service
New employee probationary period
Signature and false statements
Privacy Act
Social security number request

Required Documents

The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

Resume that includes:1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) other qualifications.
If education is required or you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application if it includes your name and the necessary course information; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that evaluate education, visit the NACES website. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
If claiming veteran’s preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. Veteran’s preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran’s preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
If claiming 10-point veteran’s preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans’ Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans’ preference visit FEDSHIREVETS
Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.

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The public
U.S. Citizens, Nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.

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