Previous Page TOC Next Page


SOCIAL SCIENTIST - PLANNING

Essential Competencies

ENTRY LEVEL

Description: The completion of an accredited undergraduate degree in the Arts and Sciences is assumed. Application of Social Science 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. Value Analysis
G. Visitor Experience Analysis
H. Computer Skills
I. Recreation Planning
J. Cost Benefit Analysis
K. Behavior Factors
L. Surveying Methodologies
M. Visitor Use Modeling
N. Park/SSO/Central Office Experience
II. Environmental Ethic in Global Context
A. Ecosystem Planning
B. Economics & Economic Development
C. Constituency Building
D. Education & Interpretation

III. Environmental/Heritage Ethic

A. Legislative Processes
B. Preservation Stewardship
C. Conservation Stewardship

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 planning techniques to promote customer service
General knowledge of sustainable practices

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. Multi-Disciplinary Teams
B. NPS Planning Principles
C. Data Gathering/Analysis
D. Compliance (Laws/Policy)
E. Sustainable Practices
F. Value Analysis
G. Visitor Experience Analysis
H. Computer Skills
I. Recreation Planning
J. Cost Benefit Analysis
K. Behavior Factors
L. Surveying Methodologies
M. Visitor Use Modeling
N. Local/Regional Planning Principles
O. Public Involvement
P. Contracting (Professional Services)
Q. Transportation Analysis
R. Visitation Forecasting
S. Demographics
T. Ethnography
U. Statistical Analysis
V. Park/SSO/Central Office Experience

II. Environmental Ethic in Global Context

A. Ecosystem Planning
B. Economics & Economic Development
C. Constituency Building
D. Education & Interpretation

III. Environmental/Heritage Ethic

A. Legislative Processes
B. Preservation Stewardship
C. Conservation Stewardship

IV. Inter/Intra-Personal Skills

A. Team Building/Team Mgt Skills
B. Synergistic Relationships (Partnership Development)
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

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 social factors which may affect park planning

Working knowledge of effective techniques that promote customer service

General knowledge of the concepts and theories associated with the planning process

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

Ability to develop/present briefings and conduct small meetings with peers

Knowledge of customer issues and ability to respond appropriately

Ability to coordinate, anticipate problems and negotiate outcomes

Understanding of how profession fits and works within NPS roles/responsibilities

Working knowledge of the NPS ethic and its principles, policies and decisions

FULL PERFORMANCE LEVEL

Description: Performs advanced planning and project/team coordination. As subject matter expert, collaborates with in-house and external resource personnel and works independently when necessary.

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. Value Analysis
G. Visitor Experience Analysis
H. Computer Skills
I. Recreation Planning
J. Cost Benefit Analysis
K. Behavior Factors
L. Surveying Methodologies
M. Visitor Use Modeling
N. Local/Regional Planning Principles
O. Public Involvement
P. Contracting (Professional Services)
Q. Transportation Analysis
R. Visitation Forecasting
S. Demographics
T. Ethnography
U. Statistical Analysis
V. Park/SSO/Central Office Experience

II. Environmental Ethic in Global Context

A. Ecosystem Planning
B. Economics & Economic Development
C. Constituency Building
D. Education & Interpretation

III. Environmental/Heritage Ethic

A. Legislative Process
B. Preservation Stewardship
C. Conservation Stewardship

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. 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 external 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

Ability to lead in own discipline and perform mid-level mentoring

Ability to organize, delegate and manage time efficiently

***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-socsci.htm

Previous Page TOC Next Page