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Agricultural Research Service Research Soil Scientist/Agricultural Engineer/Hydrologist in Columbia, Missouri

Summary

The incumbent is a Research Soil Scientist/Agricultural Engineer/Hydrologist in the Cropping Systems & Water Quality Research Unit (CSWQRU) at Columbia, Missouri, where the Unit mission is to develop knowledge and provide technological solutions to optimize agricultural production systems at the sub-field to watershed scale, for both economic and environmental sustainability.

Responsibilities

Monitors environmental fluxes of water, gases, and energy in agroecosystems at scales ranging from plot to watershed.

Participates with other CSWQRU scientists to develop and evaluate innovative cropping systems that are productive and sustainable, for example by using water flux measurements to examine variability in crop evapotranspiration.

Applies advanced instrumentation (e.g., eddy covariance systems) and analysis techniques (e.g., machine learning) to understand flows of water, nutrients, and energy within agroecosystems.

Collaborates with other ARS, university, and private sector scientists to build the multi-disciplinary team necessary for this research.

Analyzes, interprets, and disseminates the findings in the form of reports, presentations, and publications in scientific journals.

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

Qualifications

This is an interdisciplinary position and may be filled in any of the job series/position titles listed. In addition to the specialized experience requirements, applicants must submit proof that they meet the educational requirements for at least one of the series described in the announcement. Applicants may only be appointed to job series/position titles for which they meet all experience and educational requirements. Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below. QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS Minimum qualification requirements are found in the OPM Qualification Standards Operating Manual for General Schedule Positions. Qualification requirements must be identified for each grade level advertised. Basic Requirements Soil Science Series, 0470 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. Agricultural Engineer series, 0890 A. Degree: Engineering. To be acceptable, the program must: (1) lead to a bachelor's degree in a school of engineering with at least one program accredited by ABET; or (2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics. OR

B. Combination of education and experience -- college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying engineering, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering. The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by one of the following: Professional registration or licensure -- Current registration as an Engineer Intern (EI), Engineer in Training (EIT), or licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE) by any State, the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico. Absent other means of qualifying under this standard, those applicants who achieved such registration by means other than written test (e.g., State grandfather or eminence provisions) are eligible only for positions that are within or closely related to the specialty field of their registration. For example, an applicant who attains registration through a State Board's eminence provision as a manufacturing engineer typically would be rated eligible only for manufacturing engineering positions. Written Test -- Evidence of having successfully passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination or any other written test required for professional registration by an engineering licensure board in the various States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Specified academic courses -- Successful completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences and that included the courses specified in the basic requirements under paragraph A. The courses must be fully acceptable toward meeting the requirements of an engineering program as described in paragraph A. Related curriculum -- Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in an appropriate scientific field, e.g., engineering technology, physics, chemistry, architecture, computer science, mathematics, hydrology, or geology, may be accepted in lieu of a bachelor's degree in engineering, provided the applicant has had at least 1 year of professional engineering experience acquired under professional engineering supervision and guidance. Ordinarily there should be either an established plan of intensive training to develop professional engineering competence, or several years of prior professional engineering-type experience, e.g., in interdisciplinary positions. (The above examples of related curricula are not all-inclusive.) For more information about EI and EIT registration requirements, please visit the National Society of Professional Engineers website at: http://www.nspe.org. The FE examination is not administered by the U. S. Office of Personnel Management. For more information, please visit: http://www.nspe.org/Licensure/HowtoGetLicensed/index.html. Hydrology Series, 1315: A. Degree: physical or natural science, or engineering that included at least 30 semester hours in any combination of courses in hydrology, the physical sciences, geophysics, chemistry, engineering science, soils, mathematics, aquatic biology, atmospheric science, meteorology, geology, oceanography, or the management or conservation of water resources. The course work must have included at least 6 semester hours in calculus (including both differential and integral calculus), and at least 6 semester hours in physics. Calculus and physics, as described above, are requirements for all grade levels. OR B. Combination of education and experience -- course work as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. Additional Requirements In addition to meeting the basic requirements described above, applicants must also meet additional qualification requirements as stated below. GS-12: Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree directly related to the duties of the position (e.g., soil science, agricultural engineering, hydrology, environmental science, meteorology, agronomy) OR one-year (52 weeks) of specialized experience (defined below) equivalent to at least the GS-11 grade level in the Federal Service OR a combination of graduate level education and specialized experience. Specialized Experience: Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. The specialized experience requirements for this position at the GS-12 level are: Experience planning and conducting research in soil science, agricultural engineering, and/or hydrology; Experience using instrumentation for measuring energy, water and/or gas fluxes from ecosystems; and Experience publishing research in peer-reviewed scientific journals related to soil science, agricultural engineering, and/or hydrology. GS-13: Applicants must have one-year (52 weeks) of specialized experience (defined below) equivalent to at least the GS-12 grade level in the Federal Service. The specialized experience requirements for this position at the GS-13 level are: Planning and conducting independent and collaborative research related to monitoring environmental fluxes of water, gases, and/or energy in agroecosystems; Experience with analysis of geospatial data and computer programming for interrogating large datasets; and Primary authorship of one or more peer-reviewed scientific publications related to monitoring or modeling environmental fluxes of water, gases, and/or energy.

Education

Please see above for education qualification requirement information.

Additional Information

This position requires the selectee to undergo a pre-employment check and a full background investigation. Any offer made is considered a tentative job offer pending the outcome of the pre-employment check. Retention in the position is based upon a favorable adjudication of the background investigation. The incumbent will be subject to periodic reinvestigations.

CONFIDENTIAL FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE REPORT: Federal employees are subject to prohibitions against officially dealing with outside organizations in which they have a financial interest. If hired for this position, you may be required to submit a financial disclosure report within 30 days of the effective date of your appointment and annually thereafter. 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 incentive may be authorized. Final determination to pay an incentive will be made by the hiring official at time of job offer.

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