Visiting Assistant Scientist, Agricultural Habitat - Illinois Natural History Survey ( A1800455 )

Job description

Visiting Assistant Scientist, Agricultural Habitat

Illinois Natural History Survey
Prairie Research Institute
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) has been the guardian and recorder of the biological resources of Illinois-the state's biological memory. With more than 260 scientists and staff, INHS is recognized as the premier natural history survey in the nation. The mission of INHS is to investigate and document the biological resources of Illinois and other areas, and to acquire and provide natural history information that can be used to promote the common understanding, conservation, and management of these resources. INHS is part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. PRI houses five large scientific surveys covering a wide range of expertise including biology, water resources, climate, geology, sustainable technology, and archaeology. PRI's mission is to provide objective, integrated scientific research and service, in cooperation with other academic and research units of the University of Illinois and elsewhere, that allow citizens and decision-makers to make choices that ensure sustainable economic development, enduring environmental quality, and cultural resource preservation for the people, businesses, and governments of Illinois. To learn more about INHS please visit

INHS is seeking a Visiting Assistant Scientist, Agricultural Habitat to promote and implement programs that work with farmers and natural resource managers in agricultural landscapes of Illinois to establish drainage water management in active agricultural fields to create habitat for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl and to assess the quality of existing agricultural and non-agricultural wetlands for migrating birds. Position is based in Champaign, Illinois.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

• Engage producers (farmers) to promote the use of drainage water management and to manage site water levels in such a way as to create habitat for migrating shorebirds and waterfowl.
• Monitor wildlife, including point counts for shorebirds and transect surveys for waterfowl.
• Capture waterfowl and shorebirds using mist-nets, rocket nets, and/or other appropriate techniques.
• Track waterfowl and shorebirds using radio-telemetry
• Examine abundance of potential shorebird and waterfowl food resources in agricultural fields and wetlands
• Work with producers to identify lands suitable for drainage water management.
• Work with USDA, IDNR, and the U of I to process applications and facilitate the payment to producers enrolled in the program through university payables process.
• Use GIS and other appropriate software to investigate potential habitat in agricultural landscapes.
• Analyze data, and provide presentations on the status of the program to both local and regional stakeholders.
• Develop professional contacts and activities at a state and/or national level and build a strong professional reputation.
• Mentor staff, train co-workers, students, peers; and serve as a guest lecturer on campus.
• Ensure the safety of staff and equipment.
• Provide service to professional associates, journals, and to the scientific community in general.
• Conduct outreach and service to local and state organizations, community groups, and public/private institutions.
• Establish relationships with relevant units on campus.
• Publish the results of original research in high-quality, peer-reviewed scientific journals and other outlets that have a rigorous review process, including co-authoring.
• Create scientific or compliance reports, as well as technical bulletins or service related deliverables.
• Conceive service activities, write scientific reports, and expand permanent databases consistent with the Survey's mission.
• Perform other duties as needed in order to further the mission and goals of PRI.

Required Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in biology, wildlife ecology, natural resources, or related discipline. Alternative degree fields will be considered/accepted depending on nature and depth of experience as it relates to this position. A minimum of 5 years of experience working in the field of agricultural ecology or wildlife management in agricultural landscapes. Experience capturing and handling birds. Experience using GIS and full Microsoft Office Suite. Ability to interact with the general public to achieve a successful outcome. Ability to identify Illinois wildlife and flora. Demonstrated expertise in computer applications and ability to learn new software programs. Demonstrated skills to prepare publications and reports. Demonstrated ability to independently complete complex tasks as required by projects. Demonstrated ability to have a sustained record of completing assigned work in an accurate, efficient, and timely manner. Ability to assure that project data, reports, and collections are archived in a proper manner. Effective communication, personal relations, collaboration, organizational, teamwork, and leadership skills. Demonstrated ability to perform effectively in a diverse and fast-paced work environment consisting of multiple and changing priorities with stringent deadlines, under minimal supervision. Attention to detail, sound judgment, and strong conflict resolution skills. Proficiency in commonly employed software and databases. Valid driver's license.

Preferred Qualifications: Master's degree in biology, wildlife ecology, natural resources, or related discipline. Alternative degree fields will be considered/accepted depending on nature and depth of experience as it relates to this position. Experience working with waterfowl and/or shorebirds. Experience deploying rocket nets. Experience attaching radiotransmitters to birds and tracking bird movements using radiotelemetry. Familiarity with field methods for examining abundance of food resources for shorebirds and waterfowl.

This is a visiting, full-time, contract-funded academic professional appointment subject to the continued availability of funding and programmatic need. Position may become a regular, non-visiting position at a later date depending on funding and programmatic need. The starting date is negotiable after the closing date.

Applications must be received by July 31, 2018. Applicants may be interviewed before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after this date. To apply, please visit to complete an online profile and to upload 1) a cover letter that clearly articulates how your qualifications and experience make you a viable candidate for this position and should address the qualifications listed above, 2) a resume/CV, and 3) the names and contact information (including e-mail addresses) of three professional references. All requested information/documentation must be submitted for applications to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

For further information please contact Lori Walston-Vonderharr, Human Resources, Prairie Research Institute, at [email protected] or 217-244-2401. For technical inquiries, please contact Dr. Kirk Stodola, Associate Ornithologist, at [email protected].

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit To learn more about the University's commitment to diversity, please visit

College Name or Administrative Unit: Office of Vice Chancellor for Research
Category: 6-Research
Title: Visiting Assistant Scientist, Agricultural Habitat - Illinois Natural History Survey ( A1800455 )
Open Date: 07/17/2018
Close Date: 07/31/2018
Organization Name: Illinois Natural History Survey





Diversity Profile: University



View more

Learn more on Inside Higher Ed's College Page for University

Arrow pointing right
Job No:
Posted: 7/18/2018
Application Due: 8/1/2018
Work Type: