Assistant Professor, Critical Zone Pedologist

Lexington, KY
May 19, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

The University of Kentucky is currently seeking a Critical Zone Pedologist, with a faculty appointment at the Assistant Professor level. This is a full time (12-month) tenure track position with an initial appointment of 65% Research, 25% Teaching and 10% Service.

We have entered a new era in which constraints on food and energy production are colliding with a changing global climate and an expanding demand for resources due to ever-increasing human population, affluence, and urbanization. Earth surface (i.e. critical zone) processes govern the functioning of our planet, but are increasingly affected by human activities. Soils play a critical role, linking atmospheric, geologic, elemental, water, and energy cycles. Pedology, has a long history of applying holistic, integrative approaches to studying the role soils play in regulating Earth system processes within the critical zone. Pedology has become an increasingly quantitative discipline resolving the enigmas behind soil and landscape forming factors, the development of heterogeneous systems over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, and the effect of human activities therein. To help address the complex challenges of the future, we seek to hire a pedologist whose research and teaching programs would work towards this goal.

Responsibilities for this position will include:

Research - Research foci should address the role of soils in sustaining life and environmental quality in the critical zone. Field based research supported by the use of modern technological and computational approaches is desired (e.g., geo-spatial and temporal data, landscape analysis, deployment and integration of sensor networks and/or remote sensing tools, isotope techniques, etc.). The appointee is expected to build an innovative, collaborative research program, producing competitive and successful graduate students and to establish strong publication and extramural funding records.

Teaching - The ability and desire to interact with students is essential; the successful applicant will help identify undergraduate soil science education needs. The person hired is expected to teach a course in pedology / geomorphology plus other courses, such as soil judging, as needed.

Service - The person hired will serve as the UK liaison with the USDA NRCS Soil Survey Division. She/he will also participate in service activities at the university and pursue professional development activities in a professional society.

Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2017, or until a suitable applicant is selected. The position is available on January 1, 2018.

The application should include: 1) a cover letter, 2) a curriculum vitae 3) university transcripts (scanned or electronic copies are acceptable for application review), 4) a 1 page description of your research interests (upload under Specific Request 1), and 5) a 1 page statement of your teaching interests, including a description of the steps you have taken to develop/improve your teaching (upload under Specific Request 2). Please also include the names and contact information for at least three references within the application. This information may be utilized to solicit recommendation letters from your references within the employment system.

If you have any questions concerning how to apply, contact HR/Employment, phone 859.257.9555 press 2, or email Questions about the position can be directed to: Dr. Todd Pfeiffer (Chair), Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, 105 Plant Science Building, Lexington, KY 40546-0312 ( telephone 859.218.0709.

Job Title
Assistant Professor, Critical Zone Pedologist

Requisition Number

Working Title

Department Name

Work Location
Lexington, KY

Type of Position

Position Time Status

Required Education

Ph.D. in pedology, soil science or closely related discipline is required by the time of employment.

Required Related Experience

We are seeking a scientist with experience in field based research. A record of peer-reviewed publications is essential, and successful grantsmanship will be evaluated. Teaching experience is valued.

Required License/ Registration/Certification


Does this position have supervisory responsibilities?

Preferred Education/Experience

Preference will be given to those with demonstrated expertise in applying state-of-the-art computational and/or technological tools to address challenges within the critical zone or food-fuel-water nexus.

Open Untill Filled

University Community of Inclusion

The University of Kentucky is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce by ensuring all our students, faculty, and staff work in an environment of openness and acceptance. We strive to foster a community where people of all backgrounds, identities, and perspectives can feel secure and welcome. We also value the well-being of each of our employees and are dedicated to creating a healthy place to work, learn and live. In the interest of maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our students, employees, patients and visitors the University of Kentucky is a Tobacco & Drug Free campus.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we strongly encourage veterans, individuals with disabilities, women, and all minorities to consider our employment opportunities.

Any candidate offered a position may be required to pass pre-employment screenings as mandated by University of Kentucky Human Resources. These screenings may include a national background check and/or drug screen.

Posting Specific Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Where did you first see this position advertised other than on UK's Online Employment System?
    • CSA
    • CSSA
    • ASA
    • SSSA
    • Diverse Issues in Higher Education
    • Academic Keys
    • A Colleague, Friend, and/or Family Member
    • None of the Above

Applicant Documents

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Curriculum Vita
  3. Academic Transcript
  4. Specific Request 1
  5. Specific Request 2
Optional Documents


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