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NATURAL RESOURCE SPECIALIST - PLANNING

Essential Competencies

ENTRY LEVEL

Description: The completion of an accredited undergraduate degree in the Arts and Sciences is assumed. Application of natural resource preservation knowledge and the expansion/application of that expertise to the interdisciplinary practice of NPS planning is required. Performs less complex planning duties on an independent basis. Generally works on more complex plans under the supervision of a senior planner.

I. Knowledge of Planning Discipline

A. Multi-Disciplinary Teams
B. NPS Planning Principles
C. Data Gathering/Analysis
D. Compliance (Laws/Policy)
E. Sustainable Practices
F. Cultural Landscape Preservation
G. Value Analysis
H. Computer Skills
I. Natural Resource Management Principles
J. Biological Diversity
K. Wildlife/Plant Ecology
L. Air/Water Quality
M. Soils and Geology
N. NEPA Processes
O. Park/SSO/Central Office Experience

II. Environmental Ethic in Global Context

A. Ecosystem Planning
B. Constituency Building
C. Education & Interpretation

III. Environmental/Heritage Ethic

A. Legislative Processes
B. Preservation Stewardship
C. Conservation Stewardship
D. Cross-Cultural Perspective

IV. Inter/Intra-Personal Skills

A. Team Building
B. Synergistic Relationships (Partnership Development)
C. Basic Facilitation
D. Goal Setting

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Basic understanding of identified competencies and how they relate to the NPS planning process

Knowledge of NPS standards and application of these standards to a particular discipline. Basic understanding of NPS park operational systems and culture

General knowledge of values/ethic/legislative mandates/ issues associated with Park management

Basic understanding of global topics as they apply to the NPS mission.

General knowledge of effective techniques to promote customer service

General knowledge of sustainable practices

Awareness of need for cross-cultural perspective and its application to planning

DEVELOPMENTAL LEVEL

Description: Performs at a more advanced level with less supervision as employee advances through the development stages. Collaborates with in-house and external experts. As employee advances, is exposed to more comprehensive aspects of relevant subject matter.

I. Knowledge of Planning Discipline

A. Mgt of Multi-Disciplinary Teams
B. NPS Planning Principles
C. Data Gathering/Analysis
D. Compliance (Laws/Policy)
E. Sustainable Practices
F. Cultural Landscape Preservation
G. Value Analysis
H. Computer Skills
I. Natural Resource Management Principles
J. Biological Diversity
K. Wildlife/Plant Ecology
L. Air/Water Quality
M. Soils and Geology
N. NEPA Processes
O. Public Involvement
P. Contracting (Professional Services)
Q. Cumulative Effects of Actions
R. Park/SSO/Central Office Experience

II. Environmental Ethic in Global Context

A. Ecosystem Planning
B. Constituency Building
C. Education & Interpretation

III. Environmental/Heritage Ethic

A. Legislative Processes
B. Preservation Stewardship
C. Conservation Stewardship
D. Cross-Cultural Perspective

IV. Inter/Intra-Personal Skills

A. Team Building/Team Mgt Skills
B. Synergistic Relationships (Partnership Development/Mgt)
C. Effective Facilitation
D. Goal Setting
E. Conflict Resolution

V. NPS Leadership/Management

A. Creative Problem Solving
B. Program/Budget Formulation
C. Measurement/Evaluation
D. Managing Change Process
E. Strategic Thinking
F. Achieving Mission/Goals

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Same as entry level plus:

Working knowledge of the principles that govern park operations/park planning

Working knowledge of how to interpret natural resource factors which may affect park planning

Working knowledge of effective techniques that promote customer service

General knowledge of natural resource preservation concepts and theories associated with managing the planning process

Broad knowledge and ability to apply a specific discipline to the work of interdisciplinary teams

Working knowledge of cross-cultural values and ability to address in planning products

FULL PERFORMANCE LEVEL

Description: Performs advanced studies and compliance actions and project/team coordination. As subject matter expert, collaborates with in-house and external resource personnel.

I. Knowledge of Planning Discipline

A. Mgt of Multi-Disciplinary Teams
B. NPS Planning Principles
C. Data Gathering/Analysis
D. Compliance (Laws/Policy)
E. Sustainable Practices
F. Cultural Landscape Preservation
G. Value Analysis
H. Computer Skills
I. Natural Resource Management Principles
J. Biological Diversity
K. Wildlife/Plant Ecology
L. Air/Water Quality
M. Soils and Geology
N. NEPA Processes
O. Public Involvement
P. Contracting (Professional Services)
Q. Cumulative Effects of Actions
R. Visitor Experience Analysis
S. Park/SSO/Central Office Experience

II. Environmental Ethic in Global Context

A. Ecosystem Planning
B. Constituency Building
C. Education & Interpretation

III. Environmental/Heritage Ethic

A. Legislative Processes
B. Preservation Stewardship
C. Conservation Stewardship
D. Cross-Cultural Perspective

IV. Inter/Intra-Personal Skills

A. Team Building/Team Mgt Skills
B. Synergistic Relationships (Partnership Development/Mgt)
C. Effective Facilitation
D. Goal Setting
E. Conflict Resolution

V. NPS Leadership/Management

A. Creative Problem Solving
B. Program/Budget Formulation
C. Measurement/Evaluation
D. Managing Change Process
E. Strategic Thinking
F. Achieving Mission/Goals
G. Project Management

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Same as developmental level plus:

Ability to practice and train others, demonstrating a complete understanding of NPS values/principles/ethics

Knowledge of natural resource preservation factors to park planning and effective integration of findings into the scoping/alternatives development process

Knowledge of effective planning and management techniques in the practice by participating/leading the planning process

Ability to apply the principles of leadership in conducting planning activities from vision formulation to project evaluation

Demonstrated ability to function effectively in most aspects of the planning process

Ability to communicate effectively with other disciplines in order to integrate team member contributions

Provides leadership in the area of applying cross-cultural perspective and understanding to professional work for parks

***At expert level (GS-14/15) for future specialist career path:

Ability to represent NPS before other agencies/commissions; is recognized as agency's expert/leader in discipline and/or multi-faceted programs

National Park Service
Training and Development Division
Essential Competencies
p-natres.htm

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