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CULTURAL RESOURCE SPECIALIST

Essential Competencies

Introduction: Cultural Resource Specialists (CRS) work in a wide range of settings with varied responsibilities and assignments. The work of individuals in CRS positions is not primarily that of discipline specialists, even though these people hold academic degrees in cultural resource fields. These positions are located at every organizational level within the Service and duties may include, but are not limited to:

the single cultural resource staff member in a park responsible for accomplishing or coordinating activities involving cultural resources in that park.

a park, systems office, or program center division chief or group leader who supervises, leads, or manages cultural resource programs, discipline specialists, or other cultural resource specialists.

a systems office or program center staff member who works with a variety of cultural partnership programs such as National Register of Historic Places, National Historic Landmarks, Investment Tax Credit Programs, etc.

planners in systems offices and program centers.

Following is a list of the competencies and the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) needed to perform in this particular discipline at the Entry, Developmental, and Full Performance levels. The competencies are in boldface print and are followed by a brief definition. The definitions are then followed by a list of the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to be effective at each level. The competencies and KSAs of the previous level(s) are also required at the next higher level.

ENTRY LEVEL

Description: An individual at this level may possess the basic qualification standards for a cultural resource discipline. An individual at this level is a who may possess some of the knowledge, skills, and abilities called for at the entry level. They will need to develop them further to become eligible for advancement to the developmental level.

Generally, people at the Entry Level are graded GS-5 or GS-7 and are supervised, led, or mentored by a higher level CRS. However, discipline specialists who become CRSs may function at this level until they develop the requisite KSAs for higher levels of responsibility. This level is characterized by a high level of formal and on-the-job training.

I. Professional Discipline

Functions as a basic level discipline professional in area of academic discipline and as a paraprofessional trainee in other necessary discipline areas.

Professional knowledge in at least one of the cultural resource subject matter areas gained through an academic degree program or its equivalent.

Ability to produce basic products in the individual's professional field (e.g., bibliographical essays, outline studies of limited scope, small scale surveys, etc.).

II. Preservation Law, Philosophy, and Practice

Provides general guidance and knowledge on the identification, evaluation, documentation, registration, treatment, and management of cultural resources. At entry level this knowledge is generally limited and the individual is primarily in a learning mode.

Basic knowledge of the mission and objectives of the National Park Service.

Basic knowledge of historic preservation history and philosophy.

Basic knowledge of federal cultural resource legislation, the Secretary of the Interior's Standards, and National Park Service cultural resource management policies and guidelines.

Basic knowledge of the goals, content, and functioning of National Park Service cultural resource programs, both internal and partnership.

Basic knowledge of the Service's various cultural resource disciplines and their roles and capabilities in cultural resource management undertakings.

Basic knowledge of natural resource management issues and concerns as they affect or interface with cultural resources.

III. Research and Inventory

Conducts research on professional topics and conducts or participates in cultural resource surveys and inventories.

Basic knowledge of the Service's cultural resource inventories and their utility in the management of cultural resources.

Basic ability to accomplish research and conduct survey and inventory work in the area of the incumbent's discipline specialty.

Basic knowledge of and rudimentary ability to apply National Register criteria to data gathered through inventory and survey.

Ability to draft National Register documentation, including narrative, bibliography, photographs, and maps for a non-complex resource.

Basic working knowledge of and ability to use CRM-specific software such the List of Classified Structures, Cultural Resource Bibliography, Common, and Geographic Information Systems.

IV. Preservation, Treatment, and Maintenance

Participates in the development of preservation undertakings and assessing their impacts on cultural resources.

V. Program and Project Management

Serves as a staff resource person and consultant for matters dealing with the management and preservation of cultural resource for both park and partnership preservation programs.

Ability to recognize the interrelationships of all resource management disciplines such as museum services, archeology, cultural landscapes, building preservation, ethnography, and maintenance and to work within this divisional/discipline framework to accomplish cultural resources preservation projects and goals.

A. Contracting/Cooperative Agreements

Rudimentary knowledge of contracting requirements and procedures.

Ability to draft scopes of work for the procurement of professional cultural resources services.

B. Planning

Basic ability to participate in planning activities involving or affecting cultural resources.

Basic understanding of and ability to apply and integrate the principles of Section 106 and 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) into the planning process at its earliest stages.

Basic knowledge of planning policies and procedures (NPS-2, the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Preservation Planning, 36CFR63, and 36CFR800).

Elementary skill in drafting alternative treatments for cultural resources and assessing their impacts.

Basic knowledge and understanding of related cultural resources disciplines to the degree that helps ensure their proper consideration in the planning for cultural resources management and preservation.

C. Compliance

Serves as the staff consultant on Section 106 and Section 110 of the NHPA compliance.

Basic knowledge of Sections 106 and 110 of the NHPA and the National Environmental Policy Act and Section 4f as they apply to the management of cultural resources.

Elementary ability to interpret these laws and their implementing regulations and programmatic agreements.

Basic ability to prepare or coordinate the preparation of XXX Forms and their supporting documentation.

Elementary ability to assess compliance issues and know when to request assistance from other cultural resources professionals in assessing effects on cultural resources.

VI. Writing and Communication

Presents information on cultural resource topics, issues, and programs in oral and written form to NPS managers, colleagues, other professionals, and the public.

Ability to communicate clearly both orally and in writing and in an organized manner.

Ability to draft clearly-written professional products (e.g., non-complex National Register nominations, resource survey forms, short, focussed studies, etc.) in the incumbents' academic area.

Ability to draft general correspondence related to cultural resource topics.

VII. Training

Participates in the development and presentation of cultural resources training.

Ability to present standardized training on cultural compliance and preservation philosophy, history, laws, regulations, policies, and guidelines.

DEVELOPMENTAL LEVEL

Description: At this level, an individual has acquired those entry-level KSAs necessary to advance to a developmental level Cultural Resources Specialist (CRS) position. An individual need not have developed all entry-level skills, but only those needed to be effective in the individual's job. At this level, a person is capable of being a CRS in a small or medium-sized park, function as program specialist (e.g., cultural resources planner in partnership programs) in a systems office, or serve as a member of a General Management Plan team for a cultural park. Through formal and on-the-job training and coaching, the developmental CRS has attained or continues to develop to the journeyman level, the competencies outlined at the entry level.

The entry level KSAs will not be repeated at this level, but their continued development to the developmental level is understood. The competencies for this level are intended to be additive to those of the entry level. Generally, individuals at the developmental level are graded at GS-9 or GS-11.

I. Professional Discipline

Functions as a discipline professional in the individual's area of academic discipline and as a paraprofessional in other necessary discipline areas.

Ability to identify need for and prepare or procure studies and inventories needed to support cultural resources management programs.

II. Preservation Law, Philosophy, and Practice

Provides general information and knowledge on the identification, evaluation, documentation, registration, treatment, and management of cultural resources.

Ability to apply federal cultural resources legislation, the Secretary of the Interior's Standards, and National Park Service cultural resources management policies and guidelines to preservation planning and projects.

III. Research and Inventory

Conducts research on professional topics and conducts or participates in cultural resources surveys and inventories.

IV. Preservation, Treatment, and Maintenance

Serves as the staff resource person and consultant for matters dealing with the management and preservation of cultural resources.

Skill in developing alternative treatments for cultural resources and assessing their impacts.

V. Program and Project Management

Serves as a staff resource person and consultant for matters dealing with the management and preservation of cultural resources for both park and partnership preservation programs.

Ability to recognize the interrelationships of all resource management disciplines such as museum services, archeology, cultural landscapes, building preservation, ethnography, and maintenance and to work within this divisional/discipline framework to accomplish cultural resources preservation projects and goals.

Ability to direct a program of cultural resources management.

A. Contracting/Cooperative Agreements

Ability to develop partnerships for the accomplishment of cultural programs.

Ability to prepare cooperative agreements for the accomplishment of cultural resource projects.

B. Planning

Ability to prepare the cultural resource component of a small or medium size park's resources management plan.

Ability to lead planning teams dealing with the preservation of cultural resources.

C. Compliance

Serves as staff expert on Section 106 and Section 110 compliance and cultural portions of the National Environmental Policy Act and Section 4f compliance.

Ability to negotiate compliance agreements with state historic preservation officers and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

Ability to work with state historic preservation officers and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in developing agreements to resolve cultural resource issues.

Ability to assess cultural resource issues and know when to request assistance from other cultural resource professionals in assessing effects on cultural resources.

VI. Writing and Communication

Presents information on cultural resources topics, issues, and programs in oral and written form to NPS managers, colleagues, other professionals, and the public.

VII. Training

Participates in developing and conducting cultural resource training.

Ability to develop effective goals, learner-centered objectives, agendas, presentations, activities, and participant evaluations for training events

Ability to organize, coordinate, or direct the logistical aspects of training courses

Ability to present training over a wide range of issues in the area of cultural resource management.

Ability to prepare and deliver effective talks and papers on historical or preservation issues

Skill in using a variety of teaching techniques, as appropriate, including lectures, open or directed discussions, question/answer sessions, media presentations, individual and group exercises, and field studies.

FULL PERFORMANCE LEVEL

Description: At this level, Cultural Resource Specialists are program managers responsible for the development and implementation of preservation programs and/or are expert resource people who participate in the development and implementation of cultural resource policies. Through formal and on-the-job training and coaching, the full performance CRS has or develops to the expert level those KSAs outlined at the entry and developmental levels needed to function at the full performance level.

The lower level competencies will not be repeated at this level, but their continued development to the full performance level is understood. The competencies for this level are intended to be additive to those of the lower levels. Generally, people at the full performance level are graded at GS-12, 13, and 14.

I. Professional Discipline

Functions as a discipline professional in one area of academic discipline and as a paraprofessional in other necessary discipline areas.

II. Preservation Law, Philosophy, and Practice

Provides general information and knowledge on the identification, evaluation, documentation, registration, treatment, and management of cultural resources.

Extensive knowledge of and knowledge and ability to participate in the further development or revision of the goals, content, and functioning of National Park Service cultural resource programs, both internal and partnership.

III. Research and Inventory

Conducts or manages research on professional topics and cultural resource surveys and inventories.

Extensive knowledge of the Service's cultural resource inventories and the ability to utilize these data in the development and management of complex CRM planning and preservation undertakings.

IV. Preservation, Treatment, and Maintenance

Serves as the staff expert and consultant for matters dealing with the management and preservation of cultural resources.

V. Program and Project Management

Serves as a staff expert and consultant for matters dealing with the management and preservation of cultural resources for both park and partnership preservation programs.

Ability to recognize the interrelationships of all resource management disciplines such as museum services, archeology, cultural landscapes, building preservation, ethnography, and maintenance and to work within this divisional/discipline framework to accomplish cultural resource preservation projects and goals.

Ability to direct diverse and complex programs of cultural resource management.

A. Contracting/Cooperative Agreements

Ability to negotiate partnerships for the accomplishment of cultural programs that are regional or national in scope.

Ability to prepare cooperative agreements for the accomplishment of complex cultural resource programs involving one or more universities or national organizations.

B. Planning

Ability to develop or coordinate the development of cultural resource components of resource management plans in areas with diverse and complex cultural resources.

Ability to lead complex planning undertakings or manage the development of new or revised cultural resource planning policies and methodologies.

C. Compliance

Extensive knowledge of compliance legislation and regulations to the degree that the incumbent participates in consulting or participating in the development or revision of them and/or develops implementing policies and guidelines for the service.

Ability to develop and negotiate Servicewide programmatic agreements with state historic preservation officers and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to resolve complex cultural resource issues.

VI. Writing and Communication

Presents information on cultural resource topics, issues, and programs in oral and written form to NPS managers, colleagues, other professionals, and the public.

Ability to produce complex, clearly-written, well-documented studies of publishable quality to support planning, preservation, and management of cultural resources.

VII. Training

Participates in developing and conducting cultural resource training.

Knowledge and ability to develop training policies to support system-wide cultural resource preservation programs.

Ability to identify regional or national training needs and target audiences for a variety of topics and skills in the fields of history and historic preservation.

Ability to lead complex training situations, which may include agendas with numerous topics and speakers; participants with different backgrounds or levels of knowledge, experience, and motivation; or courses of several days duration.

National Park Service
Training and Development Division
Essential Competencies
crmspec.htm

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