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Biologist/Entomologist/Plant Pathologist/Horticulturist/Agronomist with USDA-EPA at Arlington, VA

Type of position Biologist/Entomologist/Plant Pathologist/Horticulturist/Agronomist
Employer USDA-EPA
Location Arlington, VA
Salary $56,233 to $88,450 per year (Pay scale GS 09-11)
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. Learn more about federal benefits.

Join EPA in protecting human health and the environment and enjoy many work life quality options! Working for the EPA offers you a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. To learn more about us, visit Life and Careers at EPA.

Closing date of competition 10/04/2018
Date position available TBD
Description of duties – Develop information on the use, benefits, and efficacy of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and other types of pesticides and their alternatives.

– Participate in the development and evaluation of pesticide use and data summaries, data sources for herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and other types of pesticides to validate technical data.

– Assist in the facilitation of the development of human health and ecological risk assessments for herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and other types of pesticides.

– Assist in providing scientific and policy advice to agency management on matters regarding regulatory decisions related to the use of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and other types of pesticides.

When entering a Federal job at a grade level lower than the highest promotion potential level, you may be promoted to more complex duties and work more independently as your career progresses.

Qualifications sought

Conditions of Employment

  • If you are selected, a pre-employment background check is required.
  • Position has educational/degree requirements (see Qualifications section).
  • EPA and non-EPA applicants must submit transcripts/course listings.
  • You must submit resume and required documents (see How to Apply section).
  • You may be required to travel 1 to 5 days per month.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen.

If you are selected, you will be required to complete a Confidential Financial Disclosure form within 30 days of your first day of employment and annually thereafter.

This position is designated as Low Risk and requires a background investigation. Unless an appropriate background investigation is already on record with the Office of Personnel Management, you must undergo a background investigation.

If you are selected, you must complete a one year probationary period.

Qualifications

You need a degree or combination of education and experience as described below to qualify for this position.

Biology:  You must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in one of the following:  biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position; OR a combination of education and experience with courses equivalent to a major, as listed.

Entomology: You must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in entomology; or a related discipline of the biological or physical sciences that included at least 16 semester hours in entomology; OR a combination of education and experience with courses equivalent to a major, as listed

Plant Pathology: You must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in plant pathology; or a related scientific discipline that included at least 20 semester hours in basic botany or plant science, and 10 semester hours in plant pathology

HorticultureYou must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in horticulture; or a related discipline of basic plant science that included at least 30 semester hours in the basic plant sciences, of which at least 16 semester hours were in horticultural subjects such as those dealing with the breeding, care, management, production, and post harvest handling of horticultural crops; OR combination of education and experience with courses equivalent to a major as listed.

Agronomy: You must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university 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 listed.

As part of the application process, you are required to submit college transcripts or a list of courses as described in the Required Documents section of this announcement.  However, if you are selected, you must provide official educational transcripts before you start work with EPA.  More information on verification of education can be found here:  https://www.epa.gov/careers/epa-job-vacancy-announcements-policies-and-procedures/

In addition to the educational requirements, we are looking for at least one year of specialized experience related to this position as described below:

To qualify for the GS-09 level, you need to have at least one year of full-time experience equivalent to the GS-07 level defined as collecting, analyzing, and/or summarizing data related to agronomy, agriculture, entomology, horticulture, plant pathology and/or weed science – OR master’s or equivalent graduate degree; or 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree in the academic discipline as described above.

To qualify for the GS-11 level, you need to have at least one year of full-time experience equivalent to the GS-09 level defined as participating in field, greenhouse, and/or laboratory studies related to agronomy, agriculture, weed science, entomology, horticulture, pest control, and/or related fields; collecting and/or analyzing technical data- OR Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree; or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree in the academic discipline as described above.

Your answers to the online assessment will be used to evaluate your competencies in the following areas:  1) Skill in developing scientific assessments related to weeds, insects, plant pathogens, and/or other pests; 2) Ability to analyze technical data related to herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and/or other types of pesticides in an agricultural and/or non-agricultural setting; 3) Knowledge of agriculture, agronomy, weed science, entomology, plant pathology, horticulture, and/or related sciences; 4) Skill in collecting data related to herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and/or other types of pesticides; 5) Knowledge of pest control related to crop production practices; 6) Skill in oral communication; 7) Ability to advise on matters related to pesticide use designated to mitigate risk; 8) Skill in written communication.

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. 

Education

See Qualifications Section

Additional information

This position is located in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Office of Pesticide Programs, Biological and Economic Analysis Division, Biological Analysis Branch, in Arlington, VA.  

For more information on this office, visit their website: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-office-chemical-safety-and-pollution-prevention-ocspp

If selected, you must work at the location stated in this announcement.

Except in special circumstances, those new to the federal government will be hired at the starting salary (step 1) of the applicable grade range listed above.

Are you a Displaced Federal Employee?  If so, please read the Required Documents section and visit the EPA website for additional information: https://www.epa.gov/careers/epa-job-vacancy-announcements-policies-and-procedures/

EPA participates in E-Verify. E-Verify is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that enables participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. For additional information: https://www.epa.gov/careers/epa-job-vacancy-announcements-policies-and-procedures/

This position is in the bargaining unit.

If you have part-time work experience, read this:  https://www.epa.gov/careers/epa-job-vacancy-announcements-policies-and-procedures/

Position has portable work and selectee may be authorized to telework after meeting eligibility requirements if approved by the supervisor/manager.

If you are selected, travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid by EPA.  Any travel, transportation, and relocation expenses associated with reporting to work in this position will be your responsibility.

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/512236200

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

We will review your resume and required documents to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements. Your resume must address the knowledge, skills, and abilities listed in the Qualifications section. If you meet basic qualification requirements, your application will be further evaluated based on your answers to the online assessment. Your responses to the online assessment will be used to measure the degree to which your background matches the requirements for the position.  You are being evaluated under the category rating method which means, if you are determined to be qualified, you will be placed into the ‘Best Qualified’, ‘Well Qualified’, or ‘Qualified’ category.

We will compare your resume and supporting documentation to your responses on the assessment questionnaire.  If you rate yourself higher than is supported by your application materials, your responses may be adjusted and/or you may be excluded from consideration for this job.  We will evaluate your qualifications and eligibility and notify you if you meet minimum qualification requirements.  If you are referred for consideration, you may be subject to additional assessments.

NOTE:  We do not require a separate statement responding to the competencies, also referred to as Knowledges, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs).  However, your resume should clearly show possession of these competencies.

To preview questions please https://jobs.monstergovt.com/epa/vacancy/previewVacancyQuestions.hms?orgId=1&jnum=63002

Contact for additional information Marketa M. Evans
Phone: 800-433-9633
Fax: 919-541-2186Email: evans.marketa@epa.gov
Application procedure  
Submit what Documents to be submitted online:

–Resume clearly stating your experience related to this position as described in the Duties section and Qualifications section. In describing your experience, you need to be clear and specific. We may not make assumptions regarding your experience.

–Responses to the online assessment questionnaire.

–College transcripts – required to submit either unofficial transcripts or a list of courses that includes school(s) attended, school address, course title, grades earned, completion dates, department, and quarter or semester hours earned.

–Veterans’ Preference Documents – DD-214 Member 4 copy (or other copy indicating character of service), VA letter stating overall/combined disability rating (percentage), and SF-15, if applicable; active duty service members: submit certification from the armed forces documenting active duty dates, expected discharge/release date, campaign medals/badges, and character of service (a certification is any written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged/released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions within 120 days after you submit the certification).

–Displaced Federal employees under ICTAP/CTAP: copy of your most recent performance appraisal, proof of eligibility, and your most current SF-50 noting position, grade level, tenure, and duty station.

Additional information can be found on our website: EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures.

Submit to You are strongly encouraged to read the entire announcement before you submit your application for this position.

To begin the application process, click the Apply button to the right on this screen, follow the prompts to log-in/register, submit all required documents, and complete the assessment questionnaire. To be considered, you must submit a complete application package by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on the day the announcement closes.

All required supporting documents will be collected electronically via the USAJOBS document portfolio feature.

If you cannot apply online, you must contact the Human Resources Office listed below for assistance no later than three business days prior to the closing date of this announcement. You must provide complete application materials by the day the announcement closes.

For detailed instructions to assist you in ensuring your application package is received, go to EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures.

More details can be found here:  https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/512236200 

Additional Information Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants

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