» Jobs » Research Agronomist (Weed Scientist) with United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Tifton, GA

Research Agronomist (Weed Scientist) with United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Tifton, GA

Type of position This is a full-time permanent position with the U.S. Government and applicants must be a US Citizen or US National. Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt. Employment is subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
Employer United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Southeast Area, Southeast Watershed Research Unit
Description of Employer The mission of the Southeast Watershed Research Unit is to develop the scientific understanding and associated technologies of watershed systems essential to maintaining/enhancing the environmental and natural resource base upon which a viable, sustainable, and productive agricultural economy depends. The focus of the Laboratory is primarily on the Coastal Plain region of the southeastern U.S., a region with low-gradient drainage systems and extensive near stream riparian areas. Specific objectives are to develop: (a) conceptual understanding of responses in natural resource and environmental systems based on physical, chemical, and biological processes; (b) methodologies to direct optimal use of soil and water resources in the production of quality food and fiber while maintaining short-and-long term productivity requirements, ecosystem stability, and environmental quality; (c) sustainable strategies for the management of weed, disease, and arthropod pests of agronomic and vegetable crops while minimizing the effects of agricultural chemicals on the environment and public health; and (d) development and application of models and information based systems to guide responsible management decisions for action and regulatory agencies at field, farm, and watershed scales.
Location Tifton, GA
Description of Location The incumbent will serve as the weed science expert at the Southeast Watershed Research Laboratory (SEWRL), located in Tifton, GA. The SEWRL is home to the Gulf Atlantic Coastal Plain site of USDA’s Long Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) Project, the ARS Little River Benchmark Watershed of the USDA Conservation Effects Assessment (CEAP) Project, and collaborates as part of the USDA Southeast Biomass Research Center. The successful candidate will be a member of teams working to resolve systems-level pest management problems in the Coastal Plains region of the southeastern U.S. The incumbent’s research program will focus on the characterizing relationships between weed, arthropod, and disease ecologies. The goal of the incumbent will be in developing economically efficient integrated pest management systems with emphasis on delivering research and assisting with programs that evaluate weed shifts, weed herbicide resistance, crop rotation, and reducing the risk of insect-vectored diseases in the region. Quality candidates will have a PhD and a record of peer reviewed publication in weed ecology and management; ecological interactions between weeds as landscape reservoirs of crop arthropod pests or disease vectors; or ecoinformatics-based analyses on landscape associations between plant and arthropod species.
Salary $76,721 to $99,741 per year
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.
Closing date of competition January 4, 2021
Date position available April-May, 2021
Description of duties
  • Develop alternative weed management systems in vegetable crops to reduce vulnerability of cropping systems to weed establishment while minimizing weed propagule production.
  • Develop greater understanding of the ecology of herbicide-tolerant (e.g., Benghal dayflower) and herbicide-resistant (e.g. Palmer amaranth) weeds and apply this knowledge to improve weed management efficiency and maximize crop growth and yield.
  • Serve as a team member quantifying regional associations between crop, weed, and natural vegetation species as reproductive hosts for and/or seasonal reservoirs of arthropod pests of southeastern U.S. fruit and vegetable crops.
  • Develop strategies to combine chemical and non-chemical control methods that minimize environmental and economic costs from these pests.
  • Develop alternateive aquatic weed management systems to reduce blockage of irrigation pond intake systems, pump damage, and nozzle fouling.
  • Conceive and design research and collect, analyze, summarize, interpret and report research outcomes in local, national, and international meetings, and to publish research findings in peer reviewed journals.
Qualifications sought
  • Applicants must have a graduate degree in agronomy or related dsiciplines and 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. Related fields such as botany, plant pathology, and biochemistry may also be qualifying, provied it placed a sufficient amount of emphasis on agronomy.
  • Applicants must demonstrate at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 grade level in the Federal service or posess a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree or possess an equivalent combination of graduate level education and experience that equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work.
  • Specialized experience requirements are:  Developing alternative management practices that overcome weed resistance to herbicides; Conducting molecular and/or physiological research successfully characterizing mechanisms of herbicide resistance in weeds and/or crops; and Publishing research in peer-reviewed scientific journals related to weed management in agronomic systems.
Contact for additional information sindy.leon@usda.gov
Application procedure  
Submit what 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. See details at: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/586074600

Submit to See https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/586074600

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.

Additional Information 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.
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