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Archaeologist (Cultural Resource Specialist) DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Natural Resources Conservation Service


Do you want to work for a premier conservation agency?

Open & closing dates
09/21/2023 to 10/12/2023

$59,407 – $93,437 per year

Pay scale & grade
GS 9 – 11

1 vacancy in the following locations:

Hilo, HI
Honolulu, HI
Remote job

Telework eligible
Yes—as determined by the agency policy.

Travel Required
Occasional travel – You may be expected to travel for this position.

Relocation expenses reimbursed

Appointment type
Permanent –

Work schedule
Full-time –


Promotion potential

Job family (Series)
0193 Archeology

Supervisory status

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test

Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

Trust determination process


Announcement number

Control number

This job is open to

Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL)
Federal employees who meet the definition of a “surplus” or “displaced” employee.

The public
U.S. Citizens, Nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.
Clarification from the agency
Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL) and the public.

Determines and prioritizes allocation of time and resources to best achieve annual goals of the cultural resource program for the assigned area of responsibility.
Provides guidance and training on cultural resource issues to field office personnel in the assigned area of responsibility. Serves as liaison to other federal, state, tribal and local agencies involved with cultural resource issues.
Provides technical cultural resource sections of contracts, environmental documents, agreement documents and other instruments of agency intent in the assigned area of responsibility.
Serves as area Staff Specialist in planning and application activities on all cultural resources in the assigned area of responsibility.
Prepares and maintains all technical guides and information dealing with cultural resources in the assigned area of responsibility.

Conditions of Employment
You must be a US Citizen or US National.
Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt.
Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check. If selected you will be sent instructions on obtaining fingerprints. Please note we are not able to reimburse any fees incurred for fingerprints.
Successful completion of one-year probationary period, unless previously served.
Direct Deposit: Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution.
Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify at
Must possess and maintain a valid state motor vehicle operator’s license for the type of vehicle(s) operated to perform the duties of this position.
Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.

Basic Education Requirement:

Degree: Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor’s or higher degree that included a major field of study or specific course requirements that included 3 semester hours each in the following course areas: History of archeology, Archeology of a major geographical area such as North America or Africa, Regional archeology, archeological cultures, or sites in a specific part or portion of a major geographical area to acquire or develop a foundation for regional specialization for professional development, Theory and methods of archeology. Methods include, but are not limited to, typology, classification, sampling, cultural evolution, diffusion, dating, and analytical techniques, Archeological field school, to provide a basic understanding of theoretical and practical approaches to research design implementation, field preservation techniques, and report preparation by participation in actual field work; AND Six semester hours of related course work in: geography, geology, or cultural geography; history, historiography, or historical archeology; environmental studies; scientific writing (nonfiction English composition); and/or surveying; AND Archeological field school. Related Curriculum: degree in anthropology (with emphasis on ethnology, physical anthropology, or scientific linguistics), history, American studies, or a related discipline may be accepted as satisfying in full the educational requirements, provided the curriculum supplied academic course work sufficiently similar to the requirements.; OR

Combination of Education and Experience: College-level education or training that provided knowledge equivalent to that described in A above, plus appropriate technical experience or additional education; OR

Four years of archeological work experience that demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the fundamental principles and theories of professional archeology.

In addition to meeting one of the Basic Requirements listed above, applicants must meet the following Minimum Qualifications Requirement in order to be considered:

Specialized experience GS-09: You must have at least one (1) year of specialized experience, equivalent to GS-07 level in the Federal Service or comparable experience not gained through Federal Service. For this position, examples of specialized experience includes: assisting in conducting background studies and document reviews pertaining to archeological project development: and assisting in the examination, documentation and preservation of artifacts by applying principles, theories, concepts, methods, and scientific techniques. OR

Substitution of education in lieu of specialized experience:2 years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to a master’s degree or master’s or equivalent graduate degree.

Combination of Education and Experience: Possess a combination of graduate-level education and experience, as described above, may be used to qualify for this position. This combination must have equipped you with the necessary knowledge and/or experience to successfully perform the duties of this position. Combinations of experience and education must total at least 100% as outlined in OPM Qualifications policy.

Specialized experience GS-11: You must have at least one (1) year of specialized experience, equivalent to GS-09 level in the Federal Service or comparable experience not gained through Federal Service. For this position, examples of specialized experience includes: preserving and maintaining written, photographic and drawn records and electronic databases; and explaining policies, programs, and projects to State Conservationist, their staffs, other federal agencies, state agencies, and various organizations. OR

Substitution of education in lieu of specialized experience: 3 years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree. OR

Combination of Education and Experience: Possess a combination of graduate-level education and experience, as described above, may be used to qualify for this position. This combination must have equipped you with the necessary knowledge and/or experience to successfully perform the duties of this position. Combinations of experience and education must total at least 100% as outlined in OPM Qualifications policy.

For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here:

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 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 submit a copy of your college transcripts or a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grades received to verify all education requirements (i.e. substitution of education and/or basic education requirement). If a relevant course is not clearly qualifying (e.g. special topic, seminar, research, thesis, obscure or misleading course title, etc.), please submit an official course syllabi and/or detailed course description from the university/college for that particular course to ensure you are properly evaluated. Please note that qualifications determinations are based solely on the information submitted for each particular vacancy announcement. You must document all requirements on every vacancy; we cannot use previous determinations as a basis for rating. All required information must be received by the closing date of this announcement, and non-submission of all required documents/documentation will result in non-consideration. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted. This information must be received by the closing date of this announcement. Non-submission of these documents will result in non-consideration.

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Applicants must, therefore, only report attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation via this link.

All education claimed by applicants will be verified accordingly. Important: If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. Click on this link for more information.
Additional information
In addition to salary, compensation will also include a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) of 9.28%. COLA is subject to change. COLA is not subject to Federal income tax and is not calculated as salary for retirement.
Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) or Reemployment Priority List (RPL): Visit the OPM website for information on how to apply as a CTAP or RPL eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP 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 applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.
This position is eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the position and other flexible work arrangements. Current USDA policy includes telework for an 8-hour workday, 4 days per week; other flexibilities are possible dependent upon availability and/or the position and its associated duties. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.
Physical Demands: The work will involve both an office environment and a field environment. Field work requires regular and recurring physical exertion such as walking, climbing, bending, crossing rivers and creeks, excavating sampling sites and performing shovel tests, and walking across farmland, rangeland, or forested terrain for periods of several hours’ duration carrying loads of up to 20 pounds. Physical fitness and common-sense precautions typical for both office and field settings are required.
Work Environment: Work environment is variable. In the office, the work is primarily performed in a normal setting. In the field the environment is varying including extreme cold, hot sun, rain and snow; special protective measures may be required.
Recruitment and/or relocation incentives may be authorized.
PLEASE NOTE: In the interest of filling these positions as efficiently as possible, we are requiring the following:If called for an interview, applicants must be available to interview within 3 business days of being contacted.
If a tentative job offer is extended, selectee will have 2 business days in which to accept or decline

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

Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures and USDA policy using category rating. Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications 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. Category placement will be determined based on applicants’ quality of experience and the extent they possess the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) or competencies:


History and Archaeology
Oral Communication
Written Communication

Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position. Those determined to be in the best qualified category will be referred to the selecting official for consideration.

Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score may be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities, or you may be found ineligible. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.

Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the “Apply” button to the right.

To view the application form, visit:

To apply for this job please visit