Vacancy Details


Announcement Number:
Hiring Agency:
Bureau of Land Management
Position Title:
Soil Scientist
Open Period:
04/25/2016 - 05/13/2016 Format MM/DD/YYYY
GS - 0470 09/11
USD $48,968 - USD $77,019
Work Schedule:
Full-time - Work schedule is full time.
Promotion Potential:
Duty Location(s):
1 Vacancy in

Grants Pass, OR, US
Telework Eligible:
For More Info:
Kelly Coleman


Who May Apply/Clarification From the Agency:
All U.S. Citizens – No previous Federal Service is required.
Security Clearance Required:
Q Nonsensitive
Appointment Type
Appointment Type Details:
This is a permanent position.
Marketing Statement:
BLM is seeking a dynamic and energetic individual to join the team to serve as a Soil Scientist.  

The BLM manages more land - 245 million surface acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western States, including Alaska. The BLM, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.
**NOTE:  This announcement has been amended to extend the closing date to 5/13/16.  All other information remains the same. **

For additional information about the BLM, please visit Our website.

For information about the Medford District visit our website.

For information about the Medford and Rogue Valley area, visit their website.
Supervisory Position:
Relocation Expenses Reimbursed:
Travel Required:
Occasional Travel

Occasional travel may be required


This position is established in the Grants Pass Field Office on the Medford District, Bureau of Land Management and reports to the supervisory Assistant Field Manager for Natural Resources. The duty station for this position is located in the Grants Pass Interagency Office, Grants Pass OR.  The incumbent works as the only Soil Scientist for the Grant Pass Field Office completing the following major duties:

  • Develops and transmits to the Area Manager the draft soils annual work plans for the resource area and makes program package recommendations in accordance with advice and directives.   Coordinates the same with the District Soil Scientist. Implements those portions of the annual work plan which are funded.
  • Provides soil input into Environmental Assessments, Environmental Impact Statements, Categorical Exclusions, Documentations of NEPA Adequacy, Right-of-Way easements, and other technical planning documents for forest management, recreation, mining, fuels reduction, wildlife management, and all other activities where the proposed action may Impact soil stability, productivity, and/or water resources
  • Reviews and assesses proposed timber, silvicultural, road construction, and other ground disturbing actions for slope stability concerns, erosion potential, and existing soil disturbance and compaction. Makes predictions on how soil resources will respond to proposed actions and proposes recommendations for mitigating or avoiding potential problems.
  • Provides technical advice and recommends solutions to the area manager and other area personnel on soil capabilities and limitations associated with the broad spectrum of forest management, watershed management, erosion control, recreation and other land uses. Provides expertise in ways to avoid conflict between soils and other resource objectives.
  • Provides soil expertise to resource area planners for project protests and appeals
  • Participates on Interdisciplinary teams as the soil expert for various NEPA documents associated with right-of-way proposals, mining plans, timber sales, fuels reduction, restoration, and other resource area projects.
  • Independently performs soil inventories, slope stability assessments, and soil productivity ratings. Updates timber productivity capability classification (TPCC) maps following soil inventories in cooperation with silviculture staff.
  • Conducts field investigations of soil moisture, compaction, disturbance, and other soil resource values in support of planning and implementation of forest management activities.
  • Performs occasional effectiveness monitoring review of recently completed projects to verify that Project Design Features were correctly implemented and that soil resources were affected as described in whatever analysis was performed.
  • Coordinates effects analysis and ongoing survey findings with other specialists and/or the District Soil Scientist when working on projects to guarantee consistency and efficiency.
  • Develops and maintains professional or technical contacts to include up-to-date processes and techniques (such as reforestation methods, etc.) for analyses related to his/her area of expertise
  • Utilizes GIS and GPS to provide project soil resource location information to Interdisciplinary teams, and to manage and update soil datasets.

Qualifications and Evaluations

Summary of Requirements: You must meet all requirements listed in the "Qualifications" section of the announcement.
Key Requirements:
  • 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 Land.
  • Direct Deposit Required.
  • Background Investigation Required
  • Education Requirements:
    Upon receipt of your complete application package, a review of your application will be made to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements. Your rating will be based on your responses to the Job Specific Questionnaire and the information stated in your resume. If you meet the qualification requirements, you application will be placed in one of three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans.   In addition, interviews may be conducted for this position. The interviews may be conducted on a pass/fail basis or may be scored. The job specific questions relate to the following knowledge, skills and abilities required to do the work of this position.

    1. A professional knowledge and expertise in the principles, practices, and techniques in the fields of geomorphology and soils.

    2. Ability to identify soil series and make recommendations about associated slope stability, erosion potential, and productivity loss as it relates to proposed project actions.

    3. Ability to work effectively as the soils representative in an interdisciplinary team environment and to consider and incorporate other resource values such as general forest management, recreation, fuels, engineering, botany, and wildlife into project planning efforts.

    4. Ability to communicate effectively, professionally, clearly, and tactfully both orally and in writing with other resource specialists, managers, state and federal agencies, public and private groups with opposing viewpoints in order to develop common understanding and resolution of complex issues.

    5.  Proficiency with geographic information systems (GIS) including data management & analysis; creating & managing geodatabases; and following mapping protocols.
    Basic Requirements: Bachelor's degree 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.

    OR a 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 above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

    In addition to meeting the basic requirements above, you must also meet the following Specialized Experience Requirements:  In order to be rated as qualified for this position, we must be able to determine that you meet the specialized experience requirement - please be sure to include this information in your resume. To be creditable, this experience must have been equivalent in difficulty and complexity to the next lower grade of the position to be filled.   Examples for GS-11: Using knowledge of the principles, concepts and techniques of soil science including soil genesis and geomorphology, soil classification and correlation, photo interpretation and soil-landscape relationships; other related disciplines such as geology, mathematics, and statistics; and agency soil science programs, policies and procedures sufficient to produce soil maps; classify soils; prepare soil survey manuscripts; interpret soil information according to technical standards; prepare soil descriptions, field notes, map unit descriptions, taxonomic unit descriptions; and prepare technical and non-technical reports.  For GS-9:  Experience as described above, but performed under greater supervision and with more review of work products.

    OR Substitution of Education for Experience:  For GS-9: 2 years of directly related progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree or master's or equivalent graduate degree.  For GS-11: 3 years of directly related progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree.

    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.

    Benefits and Other Info

    To explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees, visit the Office of Personnel Management's website at Federal Benefits at USAJOBS.
    Other Information:
    Travel and relocation expenses will not be paid by the Department of the Interior. Any travel, transportation and relocation expenses associated with reporting for duty in this position will be the responsibility of the selected employee.

    SELECTIVE SERVICE: Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must certify that they have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. To register or verify your registration go to the Selective Service System website.

    May require completion of a 1 year probationary period.

    Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP)/Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP): CTAP provides eligible surplus and displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is available from OPM's Career Transition Resources website at CTAP or ICTAP. If your agency has notified you in writing that you are a surplus or displaced employee eligible for CTAP consideration or that you are a displaced employee eligible for ICTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1) This vacancy is within your CTAP/ICTAP eligibility; 2) You apply under the instructions in this announcement; and 3) You are found well qualified for this vacancy. You must provide proof of eligibility with your application to receive selection priority. Such proof may include a copy of your written notification of CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, or a copy of your separation personnel action form.

    This announcement is being advertised concurrently under Announcement#OR Merit-2016-0232 for current and former federal employees serving under a competitive service career or career-conditional appointment or reinstatement eligible. You must apply to each announcement separately if you wish to be considered under both recruitment methods.

    Government facilities are required to provide a smoke free environment for their employees. Smoking will be permitted only in designated areas.

    How to Apply

    How to Apply:
    To receive consideration for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package, which includes ALL of the following items: 1. Your responses to the Assessment Questionnaire; 2. Your resume; and 3. Applicable supporting documents specified in the Required Documents section of this job announcement.

    Click on the button "Apply Online" and login to MY USAJOBS.

    If you haven't already registered with USAJOBS, the system will require you to create a user name and password, complete a questionnaire and upload, paste or type a resume into USAJOBS.

    If you have already registered with USAJOBS and forgot your login information, select the "Did you forget your username and/or password" link from the right side menu.

    Your application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM Eastern Time by the closing date of this announcement.

    If you need assistance in applying on-line, please contact the HR Office at 503-808-6455 or email k1colema@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.
    Required Documents:
    In addition to the online application (resume and responses to the questionnaire), you are required to submit the following forms:

    Copy of Transcripts or a list of college courses that include hours and grades from an accredited U.S. college/university. If your degree is from a Foreign Institution, See Foreign Education.

    Veterans' Preference: If you are entitled to veterans' preference, you should indicate the level of veterans' preference you are claiming on your resume. Your veterans' preference entitlement will be adjudicated (verified) by the employing agency using the documents you provide.

    • For 0-point Sole survivorship veterans’ preference (SSP), please provide the documentation you received granting this preference.
    • For 5-point veterans' preference, please provide your DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), official statement of service from your command if you are currently on active duty, or other official documentation (e.g., documentation of receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal) that proves your military service was performed under honorable conditions.
    • For 10-point veterans' preference, please submit a Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, DD-214, and the required documentation.
    Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) eligibles: 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.

    You may submit your documents either via Auto-Requested Fax or by uploading your documents from your USAJOBS Profile.

    Auto-Requested Fax: allows you to submit required documentation that will be electronically displayed along with your resume.

    UPLOADING DOCUMENTS: instead of faxing your documents you may use the uploading procedures thru Applicant Manager. Do not use both options.

    Hard copy paper supplemental documents, submitted without prior Human Resources approval, will be considered as an incomplete application.
    Next Steps:
    You will be notified of the status of your application as the qualification review process is conducted.

    You may also check the status of your application by viewing your MY USAJOBs account.