Careers with the Natural Resource Conservation Service

Careers with the Natural Resource Conservation Service

welcome to this quick look at careers in the Natural Resources Conservation Service the NRCS as we're known is an agency of the US Department of Agriculture our agency is responsible for helping private landowners and managers manage the resources on America's private lands our basic mission is to help people help the land our conservation programs are voluntary so the people that we serve want us to help them develop the necessary steps to conserve soil protect wildlife restore water quality keep air clean and conserve energy and promote good land use all for the benefit of future generations the people of NRCS are recognized for their talent dedication their passion and professionalism they bring to protecting and improving working landscapes healthy landscapes support strong rural economies and lifestyles we ensure the health of our private land natural resource treasures I'd like you to meet some of the special NRCS employees working with me here in the state of Utah the careers that they will introduce you to are available in every state and territory in the United States we have more than 12,000 employees nationwide as a wildlife biologist I believe I have the best job in the NRCS essentially I help people build and protect habitat for fish and wildlife this entails working with private landowners and many other partner organizations such as a state wildlife agencies to assess habitat conditions like I'm doing today and implement on-the-ground projects to benefit a whole variety of species NRCS is the only federal agency charged primarily with helping private landowners conserve natural resources and since roughly seventy percent of the country is privately owned most wildlife species depend upon private lands during at least some portion of their lifecycle also some of the most productive and important lands are often located on private land such as riparian areas wetlands and streams in my career with NRCS so far I've helped to restore and protect wetlands in a rapidly developing area for declining species called the Columbia spotted frog I've also worked with livestock ranchers to improve habitat for species such as sage-grouse antelope and other wildlife to become a biologist for the NRCS you'll have to earn a bachelor's degree in one of the biological sciences this entails taking several courses in biology math chemistry and other natural resource related disciplines I'm a soil conservationist in the price field office I assist farmers ranchers and other interested groups and planning a resource management system conservation plan after finding out the farmers resource concerns will go out into the field and observe his soils and his water conditions his crop production his animals and then we'll go back into the office create a conservation plan on the computer after the plan has been created we'll take it back out to the farmer and he'll look over the plan if he's satisfied with what we have planned he will sign the contract and then we will proceed and implementing his plan I enjoy working for this agency because I have the opportunity to help people help the land to become a soil conservationist you must have a bachelor's degree in the field of Natural Resources or agricultural field and take at least 12 hours in crop in soils or plant sciences I obtained my degree from Langston University in Oklahoma with a degree and Natural Resource Management agricultural I'm at a geographic information specialist with the state one of the things that attracted me to this position is the use of technology to support the field offices geographic information systems are collection of computer software hardware and geographic information this allows users to see trends patterns and relationships that are not noticeable with traditional maps GIS allows the planner to easily see where conservation practices need to be applied to the land the tablet is a mobile device that allows me to work outside with the landowner this allows for instant viewing and editing of the data Global Positioning Systems you satellite technology which allows me to pinpoint my exact location with this data we can use the plotter to print maps which shows great detail on conservation plans to qualify for this job I had a degree in geography and if you wanted to qualify for this job you would want to be interested in geography geology and statistics my name is Randy Jiu Lander I'm the data collection officer basically we measure snow we measure precipitation we measure temperature we measure soil moisture and all these parameters we take the data that we collect and turn that into water supply forecasts for our agriculture from municipalities for dam operations for floods for droughts for hydroelectric generation all kinds of purposes recreation is a side benefit from having this kind of information people want to know how deep the snow is how much snow fell in the last 24 hours how much snow fell in the last seven days they want to go where it's steep and where it's deep and we provide data to the Avalanche forecast center for making avalanche forecasts we provide data to all kinds of recreational clubs that use it to determine where they want to go play a career like this one typically requires huge amounts of math and science I have bachelor's and a master's degree in hydrology and most of the people that work for me they all have bachelors in hydrology and most of them have master's degrees I'm a range land management specialist and I get to work to try and protect our natural range lands because Range lands contribute a lot to our economy through livestock Wow life recreation opportunities and watershed function I get to work in a variety of landscapes from shrub lands to grasslands to streams and wet Meadows my work is never boring I get to evaluate grasses look at plant diversity and plant production and I get to talk with land managers and operators to discuss management opportunities for them I'm part of a planning team and we work together to identify problems complete inventories and develop alternative solutions a favorite part of my job is being able to pass on knowledge to land managers and land operators to help facilitate positive change for conservation what I do can be compared to the medical profession I treat the health of the rangeland by diagnosing problems and symptoms and implementing solutions to become a rangeland management specialist you need a background in biology or related agricultural field range ecology and wildlife biology are particularly important I graduated with a wildlife biology degree and a minor in range ecology I'm an agronomist working for the Natural Resource Conservation Service here in the northern part of Utah my job is kind of twofold as an area gharana study I help teach the field staff and also work with landowners basically I teach agronomic principles such as crop science and pest management working with farmers teaching them about pest management involves the integrated pest management approach one of those approaches is to make sure that that producer sweeps is filled which is scouting for these insects before they make a pesticide or herbicide application nutrient management involves taking soil samples and comparing the nutrients in the soil with crop uptake we're trying to do this to help the farmer to avoid over application or under application of Botha's manure and commercial fertilizer improving irrigation efficiency teaches the proper amount and timing of irrigations as an agronomist you're required to have a bachelor's degree in an agronomic field you know the whole key to this job is that you're teaching farmers to conserve their natural resources which are playing soils animals water and air contrary to popular opinion soil is not dirt it is the dynamic natural body of mineral organic and living matter that covers the whole earth soil and soil conservation has been central to this agency's mission since its inception in fact NRCS started as the soil erosion service in 1933 as an NRCS soil scientist you'll be part of a team charged with classifying and mapping the nation's soil resources so a mapping requires you to integrate knowledge of soil science geology hydrology biology and ecology you'll use new high-tech tools like GPS and geographic information systems as well as old tried-and-true tools like backhoes and shovels to make maps of soil types used in making important land management decisions what I like best about the job is the great balance between fieldwork and office work soil scientists within RCS work with a wide variety customers you get to work with soil data in a variety of formats from older paper maps to new digital maps on the internet to prepare for a career as an NRCS soil scientist you need to have a degree in soil science or closely related discipline with at least 30 semester hours in the biological chemical or geological sciences and at least 15 hours of direct soils courses I'm the district conservationist in Garfield and King counties I manage the pain which field office I manage all the farm bill programs here I oversee the conservation planning and imagine three employees this job entails some computer work but the part that I like the best is the field work we work with private landowners put in conservation on the ground some of the work that we do in this area with the landowners we help them a lot with their irrigation systems we have a lot of hay land and pasture land here and a lot of it is historically flood irrigated and we've moved into the big sprinkler systems another thing that we do a lot of is range work controlling invasive species like sagebrush and rabbit rush and planning some plants that cows would rather eat I work a lot with their commune the organization's I work with three soil conservation districts I also work with county governments we have weed boards – weed boards that I work with helping them locate places where there are noxious weeds that need to be controlled to prepare me for this job I went to college I got a degree in agriculture sciences with an emphasis on plant sciences this is a good job if you like working with people you like working with Natural Resources I'm a civil engineer on the state conservationist engineering staff the engineering staff consists of an irrigation engineer a design engineer and an environmental engineer as an engineer I primarily consists of doing a lot of project planning we actually go out collect data when collecting data might be in the office where we download GIS data I go out to the field to inventory and collect data come back in the office and we develop models to analyze the data and then we propose and look at designs for those projects some of the projects I work on are watershed rehabilitation we look at the actual dam that's been designed and part of this is to look at the watershed and determine how much flow is coming off that watershed and determine if the dam meets current criteria we also have ewp emergency watershed protection program where we have communities after natural disasters occur to help stabilize users or streams or some type of event that devastated the community what I enjoy about this career is that I'm able to start a project study the project and finalize a project I appreciate being involved in every single step and contributing to the team as far as working with biologists rodimus soil scientists geologists and other planners to have a career in civil engineering you must have a bachelor's degree in science and civil engineering or other related appeals I'm an administrative assistant in the USDA career intern program here in the State Office this position affords me the opportunity to work with employees our partners and the public in efforts that further our Natural Resources Conservation Service vision productive lands and healthy environment NRCS offers great opportunities in administrative careers and there are employment programs specifically designed for students in my position I will be learning how the human resources staff assists employees in every stage of their careers I'll help build partnerships through the federal contracting and procurement processes and I'll also gain first-hand experience learning to manage a federal budget education requirements for administrative jobs vary for some positions no degree is necessary and for others you need a four-year degree if you are looking for a stable employer good benefits and a secure retirement and you want to play an active role in securing our natural resources for future generations than this agency is right for you it was certainly a good fit for me for more information about vacancies with the Natural Resources Conservation Service please log on to the USAJOBS website you

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