Soil Scientist in Lewistown, MT

US Bureau of Land Management
  • Full Time
  • Lewistown, MT
  • $46,696 - $89,835 a year USD / Year
  • This position has been filled

Duties

Selection at the GS 07 or GS 09 level, the incumbent will perform the duties of the position, with a reduced level of responsibility and/or difficulty, while receiving on-the-job trainee assignments or other appropriate training.
At full performance level, duties include, but not limited to, the following: Provides soil and/or ecological site description data, information, and land use planning, restoration projects, and permitted actions.
Assists with/conduct investigations of soil, topography, and climate to obtain data for multiple use resource activities.
Operates computer programs, including Geographic Information System (GIS), Global Positioning System (GPS), and spatial data management systems to ensure resource management objectives are met.
Participates as a member of an Interdisciplinary team to assess all planning actions and outline recommended design features incorporation into environmental assessments (EAs), and other lower level planning documents.

Requirements
Conditions of Employment

U.S. Citizenship is required.
Be sure to read the How to Apply and Required Documents Sections.
You cannot hold an active real estate license: nor can you have an interest or hold stocks in firms with interest in Federal Lands.
Direct Deposit Required.
Appointment will be subject to a favorably adjudicated background/suitability investigation/determination.
Your resume must contain enough information to show that you meet the qualification requirements as defined in the announcement. In addition, your responses to the questions must adequately reflect in your resume.
An applicant appointed to this position must possess (or obtain within 30 days of entrance on duty) and maintain a valid state driver’s license while employed in this position.
May require a one year probationary period.

Qualifications

In order to be rated as qualified for this position, we must be able to determine that you meet the qualification requirements – please be sure to include this information in your resume. No assumptions will be made about your experience.

Specialized Experience:

GS 07: In addition to meeting the education requirement, you must possess one (1) full year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-05 level that is equivalent in difficulty and complexity as indicated by the following examples: Assist with basic soil inventories, slope stability assessments, soil productivity ratings, and watershed resource inventories; assist with the identification, interpretation, classification, and description of soil profiles based on field examination and determination of chemical and physical characteristics; acquire soil identification data, interpret data, and describe impacts as a result of surface disturbing projects including soil rehabilitation and remediation.

-OR-

Education: Successfully completed 1 year of graduate-level education leading to a master’s degree in soil science, environmental science, watershed or restoration ecology, range/plant science, natural resources and rangeland ecology, watershed management, land resources, geology or directly-related field.

– OR-

Combination of Education and Experience: You may meet qualifications requirement for this position with an equivalent combination of specialized experience and appropriate graduate education. Graduate level education must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work of this position.

GS 09: In addition to meeting the education requirement, you must possess one (1) full year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-07 level that is equivalent in difficulty and complexity as indicated by the following examples: Conduct basic soil inventories, slope stability assessments, soil productivity ratings, and watershed resource inventories; provide advice on soil productivity, suitability, and limitations for natural resource management activities; prepare basic technical reports with soil descriptions, interpretations, and recommendations for management activities; interpret ecological site description data, geological maps, aerial photographs, climatological or other data to assess shifting trends in vegetative communities.

-OR-

Education: Successfully completed 2 year of graduate-level education leading to a master’s degree in soil science, environmental science, watershed or restoration ecology, range/plant science, natural resources and rangeland ecology, watershed management, land resources, geology or directly-related field.

– OR-

Combination of Education and Experience: You may meet qualifications requirement for this position with an equivalent combination of specialized experience and appropriate graduate education. Graduate level education must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work of this position.

GS 11: In addition to meeting the education requirement, you must possess one (1) full year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-09 level that is equivalent in difficulty and complexity as indicated by the following examples: Independently conduct soil inventories, slope stability assessments, soil productivity ratings, and watershed resource inventories; recommend design features for natural resource management activities based on chemical and physical soil properties and ecological site description information provided in soil surveys.

-OR-

Education: Successfully completed 3 year of graduate-level education leading to a master’s degree in soil science, environmental science, watershed or restoration ecology, range/plant science, natural resources and rangeland ecology, watershed management, land resources, geology or directly-related field.

– OR-

Combination of Education and Experience: You may meet qualifications requirement for this position with an equivalent combination of specialized experience and appropriate graduate education. Graduate level education must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work of this position.

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, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

You must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

Physical Demands: Fieldwork requires gathering samples and other data, monitoring and inventory activities, and participation in project work. This work requires some physical exertion such as long periods of walking, standing, bending, crouching, stooping, reaching, lifting or riding in or driving vehicles over rough, uneven, or rocky terrain. The work requires the ability to travel into remote locations on foot or by vehicles (two and four-wheel drive trucks or UTV’s) under a wide variety of climatic conditions and elevations. Work may also include lifting of moderately heavy items, such as equipment and samples. Field work may also involve working in areas characterized by burning vegetation, snags and other dangers inherent to wildfire.

Work Environment: Field work encompasses a variety of terrains, climates and temperature extremes. This work requires physical exertion to examine subsurface soil characteristics. Field work involves use of motorized and non-motorized equipment, including fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters that may constitute a hazard. May be subject to hostile wildlife or livestock, chemical, and physical hazards. May be exposed to poisonous insects, plants, and reptiles. Exercise prudent judgment and take safety precautions.

Education
Basic Requirement: Degree: Must have successfully completed a full 4-year bachelor’s degree program in 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. (You must submit transcripts.) 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 above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. The quality of the combination of education and experience must be sufficient to demonstrate that the applicant possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform work in the occupation, and is comparable to that normally acquired through the successful completion of a full 4-year course of study with a major in the appropriate field. In addition to courses in the major and related fields, a typical college degree would have included courses that involved analysis, writing, critical thinking, research, etc. These courses would have provided an applicant with skills and abilities sufficient to perform progressively more responsible work in the occupation. Therefore, creditable experience should have demonstrated similarly appropriate skills or abilities needed to perform the work of the occupation. (You must submit transcripts.) If using education to qualify, you must submit copies of all transcripts or a list of college courses that include hours and grades from an accredited U.S. college/university. See Required Documents section for more information.

Additional information

DOI uses E-Verify to confirm employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please visit E-Verify Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP)/lnteragency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP): These programs apply to employees who have been involuntarily separated from a Federal service position within the competitive service or Federal service employees whose positions have been deemed surplus or no longer needed. To receive selection priority, you must: 1) meet CTAP or ICTAP eligibility criteria; 2) be rated well qualified for the position with a score of 85 or above; and 3) submit the appropriate documentation to support your CTAP or ICTAP eligibility. For more information: CTAP or ICTAP Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered for Selective Service Tax Law Impact for PCS: Moving expenses reimbursement is a taxable benefit. However, the Federal Travel Regulation 18-05 issued by General Services Administration has authorized agencies to use the Withholding Tax Allowance and Relocation Income Tax Allowance to pay for “substantially all” of the increased tax liability resulting from the “2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” for certain eligible individuals. This announcement is being advertised concurrently under number MTMP-23-12141988-SJB, for status candidates and special hiring authority eligible. You must apply to each announcement separately if you wish to be considered under both recruitment methods. Certain incentives (such as Recruitment, Relocation or Student Loan Repayment) may be authorized to eligible selectees. If eligible and qualified, you may be offered a recruitment or relocation incentive. The decision to offer an incentive will be made on a case-by-case basis and is neither promised nor guaranteed. For information visit: Recruitment Incentive or Relocation Incentive or Student Loan Repayment.

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.

Review our 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.
Once the application process is complete, we will review your application to ensure you meet the job requirements. To determine if you are qualified for this job, a review of your resume, supporting documentation and responses to the online questionnaire will be made. Your responses to the online questionnaire will be used to measure the degree to which your background matches the requirements for this position. Qualified applicants will be placed in one of three predefined categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified and Qualified. However, your resume must support your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire, or your score may be lowered. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran’s preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Candidates placed in the Best Qualified category will be identified for referral to the hiring manager and may be contacted for an interview. Your answers to the online questionnaire will be used to evaluate your competencies in the following areas:

Oral Communication
Planning and Evaluating
Rangeland Management
Soil Science
Technology Application

In order to be considered for this position, you must complete all required steps in the process. In addition to the application and application questionnaire, this position requires successful completion of the following additional assessment: Subject Matter Expert Resume Panel Review. These assessments measure the critical competencies listed above that are required to successfully perform the job.

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.

Review our 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.
To apply for this position, you must submit a complete Application Package which includes: Resume or Application. At a minimum, your resume MUST contain job title (include job series and grade, if federal), duties, starting and ending dates (month and year), hours worked per week, and salary. USAJOBS has a template to ensure a complete resume. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YX7o1PBoFk Your resume will be used to validate your responses to the assessment tool(s). Failure to provide required information will result in loss of eligibility. You are welcome to submit an optional cover letter. Transcripts: If using education to qualify, submit a copy of ALL your college transcripts or a list of ALL college courses that include hours and grades from an accredited U.S. college/university. Upon selection, official transcripts must be received prior to appointment. If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet qualification requirements, you must show that your education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. Veterans: If you are claiming veterans’ preference you must submit a copy of your DD-214, ‘Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty,’ (Member 4 copy is preferred), showing the dates of active duty, type of discharge, and character of service (must be honorable) OR written documentation from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. If you are claiming 10-point veterans’ preference, in addition to the documents specified above, you must submit documentation that supports your claim as shown on the back of the Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference. SF-15. If you are claiming Sole Survivorship Veterans’ Preference (SSP), please provide the documentation you received granting this preference. Additional information on veterans’ preference can be found in the www.fedshirevets.gov/job-seekers/special-hiring-authorities/. Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) eligibles: Submit documentation verifying your CTAP/ICTAP eligibility – this includes a copy of the agency notice and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level and duty location. Please note that documents selected for transfer from your USAJOBS profile are NOT automatically added to your application. You need to transfer your document(s) in the ‘Documents’ step during the application process. Hard copy paper supplemental documents, submitted without prior Human Resources approval, will be considered as an incomplete application. Required documentation must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, on the closing date of this announcement.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

How to Apply

THIS IS AN ONLINE APPLICATION PROCESS THROUGH USAJOBS. Your application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM Eastern Time by 10/13/2023. If you need assistance in applying on-line, please contact the HR Office at sbarber@blm.gov. If applying on-line poses a hardship for you (i.e. you do not have access to the Internet) you must contact us prior to the closing date of the announcement for an alternative method of applying. PLEASE NOTE: If you have access to a public library, State Job Service Office, etc., you should use these resources to apply online. You must follow the steps described below to complete the application process: YOU MUST HAVE OR CREATE A PROFILE IN USAJOBS. Your profile must contain a current resume for submission. See Required Documents section for what to include in your resume. INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION COULD RESULT IN AN INELIGIBLE RATING. The USAJOBS Resume Builder was designed to ensure that your resume includes the standard information needed. The Resume Builder is an available tool when you login to your USAJOBS account.

Review the Appointment Eligibility Criteria: The eligibility section of the application process is designed to allow you to choose how you wish to be considered for this vacancy announcement. You will ONLY be considered for the appointment eligibilities that you selected. You must provide proof of your eligibility to be considered.

You must submit a resume and also complete the online application and assessment questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section.

To begin, click Apply to access the online application. You will need to be logged into your USAJOBS account to apply. If you do not have a USAJOBS account, you will need to create one before beginning the application.
Follow the prompts to select your resume and/or other supporting documents to be included with your application package. You will have the opportunity to upload additional documents to include in your application before it is submitted. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.
After acknowledging you have reviewed your application package, complete the Include Personal Information section as you deem appropriate and click to continue with the application process.
You will be taken to the online application which you must complete in order to apply for the position. Complete the online application, verify the required documentation is included with your application package, and submit the application.
The eligibility portion of the application process is designed to allow you to choose how you wish to be considered for this announcement. You may choose more than one eligibility. You must provide proof of your eligibility and will only be considered for the questions that you answer “yes”.
Please note, your eligibility will be based solely on the selections you have indicated in this section. You must provide the supporting documentation to support your claim to be considered. You may choose more than one eligibility in this section.
To view the assessment questionnaire, click here: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/12141987
To verify the status of your application, log into your USAJOBS account https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login, all of your applications will appear on the Welcome screen. The Application Status will appear along with the date your application was last updated. For information on what each Application Status means, visit: https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/how-to/application/status/.

FOLLOW UP. Check your application status before the announcement closes. It is your responsibility to ensure that a complete application (including a resume, on-line questionnaire, and applicable supplemental documentation) is received by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on 10/13/2023. NOTE: Technical problems may take at least 1 business day to resolve; therefore, you are highly encouraged to complete the application process prior to the closing date.

Agency contact information
Sabrina Barber

Phone
406-740-3073
Email
sbarber@blm.gov

Address

BLM Montana State Office

BLM Montana State Office, MT-933

Branch of Human Resources

5001 Southgate Drive

Billings, MT 59101

US

Next steps

You can track the progress of your application package via your USAJobs account. You will receive an acknowledgement email from USAJobs that your submission was successful once we have received your online questionnaire, resume, and any supporting documentation. You will be notified of the status of your application and/or referral to the hiring official via your USAJobs account after the evaluation process is complete. You will be contacted if further evaluation or interviews are required. Applicants who apply under this job opportunity announcement agree to have their application, associated documents and applicable personal information shared with other Bureaus/Offices within the Department of the Interior (DOI) who have vacancies within the same occupational series, grade, full performance level and in the same geographic location(s), including within the same metro/commuting area. Applying to this announcement does not replace the need to apply to other job opportunity announcements for which you wish to receive consideration.

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

To apply for this position, you must submit a complete Application Package which includes: Resume or Application. At a minimum, your resume MUST contain job title (include job series and grade, if federal), duties, starting and ending dates (month and year), hours worked per week, and salary. USAJOBS has a template to ensure a complete resume. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YX7o1PBoFk Your resume will be used to validate your responses to the assessment tool(s). Failure to provide required information will result in loss of eligibility. You are welcome to submit an optional cover letter. Transcripts: If using education to qualify, submit a copy of ALL your college transcripts or a list of ALL college courses that include hours and grades from an accredited U.S. college/university. Upon selection, official transcripts must be received prior to appointment. If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet qualification requirements, you must show that your education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. Veterans: If you are claiming veterans’ preference you must submit a copy of your DD-214, ‘Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty,’ (Member 4 copy is preferred), showing the dates of active duty, type of discharge, and character of service (must be honorable) OR written documentation from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. If you are claiming 10-point veterans’ preference, in addition to the documents specified above, you must submit documentation that supports your claim as shown on the back of the Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference. SF-15. If you are claiming Sole Survivorship Veterans’ Preference (SSP), please provide the documentation you received granting this preference. Additional information on veterans’ preference can be found in the www.fedshirevets.gov/job-seekers/special-hiring-authorities/. Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) eligibles: Submit documentation verifying your CTAP/ICTAP eligibility – this includes a copy of the agency notice and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level and duty location. Please note that documents selected for transfer from your USAJOBS profile are NOT automatically added to your application. You need to transfer your document(s) in the ‘Documents’ step during the application process. Hard copy paper supplemental documents, submitted without prior Human Resources approval, will be considered as an incomplete application. Required documentation must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, on the closing date of this announcement.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

Help
This job is open to

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

Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL)
Federal employees who meet the definition of a “surplus” or “displaced” employee.

Clarification from the agency
All U.S. Citizens – No previous Federal Service is required. CTAP and ICTAP candidates in the local commuting area.