Explore a Career with the South Dakota State Government

Explore a Career with the South Dakota State Government

Service Forester

Watertown, SD

Job ID: 17498
Agency: Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources/Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry
Location: Watertown or Aberdeen, SD
Salary: $20.69 - $22.73 per hour
Pay Grade: GH
Closing Date: Open Until Filled

This is a Full-Time 40 Hours Weekly position with the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. For more information on the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, please visit https://danr.sd.gov/ .

This position will be part of the division's Urban and Community Forestry team.

The incumbent will evaluate tree health and management issues in towns and communities; provide technical advice to local communities, tree boards, private landowners/homeowners, conservation districts, other agencies and organizations; assist with special urban forestry field projects; participate in meetings, and workshops concerning urban forestry; assist with the community enhancement grants; assist communities to conduct urban tree inventories; coordinate and conduct tree care workshops; respond to sick tree calls; tree insect and disease management; assist communities with establishing and/or maintaining a community forestry program; prepare, review and approve shelterbelt tree planting plans, and other duties as assigned.

Day travel is frequent and overnight trips will average about 2-3 nights per month. Some air travel may be required to attend meetings or training out-of-state.

Normal work hours will be 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

This position will entail outdoor work and the ability to walk for extended distances on rough terrain and in inclement weather. This position will be required to use a variety of forestry tools and equipment.

Licenses and Certifications:
The person hired for this position will be required to become an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist once the individual has met the ISA certification requirements. ISA Certification is not a requirement of hiring but will need to be obtained after being hired.

The person hired for this position will be required to obtain and maintain a pesticide application certificate from the State of South Dakota.

The person hired for this position must have a valid driver's license.

The Ideal Candidate Will Have:
A Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry, Urban Forestry or a related natural resources profession is preferred. Experience may be substituted for education and experience if that experience has prepared the candidate to successfully carry out the duties of this position as outlined in the introductory statement. The ideal candidate must have a working knowledge of computers and Microsoft Office Professional software. A working knowledge of geographic information systems (ArcGIS) is highly desirable. The candidate must be able to collect and analyze extensive resource data and draw logical conclusion from that data. The candidate should have good writing skills and the ability to write complex reports. The candidate will also be required to work independently with minimal supervision.

Knowledge of:
  • urban and community forestry programs;
  • project design and management;
  • dendrology, arboriculture, and biology;
  • biometrics, botany, and forest mensuration;
  • geographic information systems (ArcGIS);
  • horticulture, hydrology, plant physiology, and silviculture;
  • federal and state forestry laws and regulations, and department policies and procedures;
  • identification of tree species and diseases, correct planting and pruning techniques, and care of trees;
  • tree biology, soil management, tree protection, tree risk management;
  • agroforestry - especially windbreaks and riparian buffers;
  • forest certification programs.

Skill in the use of:
  • clinometers;
  • diameter tapes;
  • prisms;
  • increment borers;
  • data recorders;
  • hypsometers;
  • global positioning systems.

Ability to:
  • interpret data gathered by forestry tools;
  • work productively in a remote field Location with limited supervision
  • prioritize work to complete all assigned tasks correctly and on-time
  • drive a 4-wheel drive truck in a variety of weather conditions;
  • conduct literature and technical reference searches;
  • conduct soil survey research;
  • use and interpret topographic maps;
  • use digital graphic software, mapping programs, and GPS information uploading, downloading, and interpretation;
  • write professional and technical reports that can be understood by both professional and lay persons;
  • deal tactfully with others;
  • communicate effectively;
  • work independently with minimal supervision, or with a group in a team setting;
  • establish and maintain working relationships with co-workers and the public;
  • keep records;
  • diagnose tree health problems and determine the appropriate action to address tree planting and tree care needs.

Additional Requirements: To be considered, attach your responses to the questions below. Your responses must be clear, concise, and numbered.

The supplemental questionnaire provides information and work experience specific to this job. Therefore, do not substitute a resume for completion of these questions. You may provide your responses to each question on a separate page. Each page of your answers should contain your name and the question number.

Provide details for any work experience (paid or unpaid) and training that you have related to each question. Limit your answer to each question to no more than one (1) page. If there are several parts to a question, answer each part separately. Number your answers to agree with the questions. Submit the answers with your application.
  • Employees in this position meet with private individuals, local city governments, federal agencies, the media and others to share or disseminate forestry related information. Describe your experience communicating, establishing working relationships and/or coordinating with various agencies, groups or individuals.
  • Describe any experience and training you have in evaluating tree management issues within towns and communities.
  • This position requires assisting communities with grant applications and grant management. Please summarize your experience in grant preparation and management.
  • Describe your experience in training or educating persons in technical issues. Describe your audience and level of responsibility.
  • Describe your experience working with city governments and community tree boards.
  • Describe your experience in diagnosing urban tree health problems and determining an appropriate course of action.
  • This position will be part of team that works together to promote urban forestry on a statewide basis. Please provide your thoughts on what being a good team member means to you.
  • Describe your experience in working or coordinating with other agencies to assure compliance or consistency with their regulations. Please describe a) The specific agencies you have worked or coordinated with, b) the nature of the rules or regulations involved, and c) your role or level of responsibility for the coordination.


    NCRC: If you possess a National Career Readiness Certificate, please submit the certificate with your application. For more information on how to acquire a National Career Readiness Certificate contact a South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation Job Service Office. A certificate is not necessary to be considered.

    The State of South Dakota does not sponsor work visas for new or existing employees. All persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and complete an Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9. The State of South Dakota as an employer will be using E-Verify to complete employment eligibility verification upon hire.

    The State of South Dakota offers employer paid health insurance plus ten paid holidays, generous vacation and sick leave accrual, dental, vision, and other insurance options, and retirement benefits. You can view our benefits information at https://bhr.sd.gov/job-seekers/work-for-state-government/ . This position is a member of Class A retirement under SDRS.

    Must apply online: https://sodakprod-lm01.cloud.infor.com:1443/lmghr/xmlhttp/shorturl.do?key=FR9
    You must apply online, emailed resumes or submissions will not be accepted.

    South Dakota Bureau of Human Resources
    Telephone: 605.773.3148 Email: careers@state.sd.us
    "An Equal Opportunity Employer"

    Service Forester