Supervisory Forester

Department of Agriculture

Knoxville , Tennessee


The selectee is a Supervisory Forester in the Southern Research Station (SRS), Research Work Unit, Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) located in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The mission of SRS-FIA is to conduct a program of research to improve the understanding of southern forest ecosystems through inventories and analyses of the status and trends in resource conditions, use, productivity, and sustainability; and to conduct research to provide improved technology for timely and accurate resource inventories.


  • Supervisory Duties 25% or more: Serves as Section Head for Data Acquisition and fulfills supervisory responsibilities for up to 6 direct reports.
  • Serves as the liaison between the unit’s Data Acquisition section and the unit’s Methods and Techniques section.
  • Coordinates with other Sections within the unit to ensure that delivered data supports comprehensive analyses, and provide for timely and accurate reporting of annual inventory results.
  • Works with the Sections to identify, develop, test, and implement new methods and techniques to improve the efficiency and quality of the data collection effort. Maintain collaborative relationships with State forestry agencies, universities, and other collaborators.
  • Assists the Program Manager in Unit planning by preparing annual work, staffing, and budget plans for approximately half of the Unit; participating in technical assistance visits, regional management team meetings, and user group meetings; contributing to the Unit’s research work unit description and study plans; and reviewing the national FIA strategic plan.
  • Leads the Unit’s annual inventory data collection effort and is responsible for meeting all deadlines for collecting, and delivering annual inventory statistics for 13 states in the Southern region plus Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
  • Oversees the procurement, production, and revision of operations manuals, software programs, computer hardware, and field equipment used to gather and process annual inventory data; the smooth flow of work within and between production steps; the establishment of quality objectives; the implementation of quality assurance and control procedures; and the assessment of performance.
  • Represents the Unit at national FIA meetings and on national FIA teams. Works with FIA colleagues and outside partners to develop annual inventory policies and practices that minimize regional differences, promote national consistency, and forward the unified FIA mission as described in the national FIA strategic plan.

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, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

TIME IN GRADE REQUIREMENT: If you are a current federal employee in the General Schedule (GS) pay plan and applying for a promotion opportunity, you must meet time-in-grade (TIG) requirements of 52 weeks of service at the next lower grade level in the normal line of progression for the position being filled. This requirement must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

Basic Qualifications:
Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements defined below by the closing date of the announcement. 

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 in forestry; or a related subject-matter field that included a total of at least 30 semester hours in any combination of biological, physical, or mathematical sciences or engineering, of which at least 24 semester hours of course work were in forestry. The curriculum must have been sufficiently diversified to include courses in each of the following areas:

Management of Renewable Resources -- study of the science and art of managing renewable resources to attain desired results. Examples of creditable courses in this area include silviculture, forest management operations, timber management, wildland fire science or fire management, utilization of forest resources, forest regulation, recreational land management, watershed management, and wildlife or range habitat management.

Forest Biology -- study of the classification, distribution, characteristics, and identification of forest vegetation, and the interrelationships of living organisms to the forest environment. Examples of creditable courses in this area include dendrology, forest ecology, silvics, forest genetics, wood structure and properties, forest soils, forest entomology, and forest pathology.

Forest Resource Measurements and Inventory -- sampling, inventory, measurement, and analysis techniques as applied to a variety of forest resources. Examples of creditable courses include forest biometrics, forest mensuration, forest valuation, statistical analysis of forest resource data, renewable natural resources inventories and analysis, and photogrammetry or remote sensing.


Combination of education and experience: courses equivalent to a major in forestry, or at least 30 semester hours in any combination of biological, physical, or mathematical sciences or engineering, of which at least 24 semester hours were in forestry. The requirements for diversification of the 24 semester hours in forestry are the same as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

For the GS-13 Level:
In addition to the basic qualifications listed above, applicants must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 level. Specialized experience is defined as:

  • Assisting in preparing annual work, staffing, and budget plans for a field inventory data collection operation;
  • Creating content for a multi-unit training program for forest data collection;
  • Performing supervisory duties including development and review of field performance elements and standards;
  • Coordinating with other federal, state and local agencies for consistency in all phases of inventory data collection and analysis policies, practices and protocols.