Post-Doctoral Research Associate - Cranberry Station, CAFE

University of Massachusetts Amherst
UMass Amherst

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Job Details

Job no: 510095
Work type: Post Doc (Amherst Only)
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Cranbry Stat Ext
Union: Post Doc
Categories: Postdoctoral Research Associate, College of Natural Sciences

About the University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

About UMass Cranberry Station

Established in 1910, located 140 miles east of the main campus in the town of East Wareham, Southeastern Massachusetts, the Cranberry Station is administratively linked to the UMass Amherst Campus. It is a research and outreach center charged with the mission of enhancing the economic viability of the Massachusetts Cranberry Industry and serving the public welfare by supporting economic development and the protection of the environment. Currently, there are 15 full-time employees. The Cranberry Station enjoys an active partnership with USDA-ARS (housing 2 scientists on site), cranberry growers and industry. The facility has 18 acres of cranberry bog for research and production, with 11 acres on site.

Job Summary

Although irrigation is an essential component of cranberry production, the water demand for crop production may deplete local water resources. Through funding from USDA, UMASS seeks to better understanding plant-water dynamics to enhance crop production and conserve water resources in southeastern Massachusetts. The goals of this project are as follows: (1) refine models of frost protection for cranberries, which will be tested against an existing model used by the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association to forecast frost events for cranberries, (2) evaluate the effects of diurnal variation in soil tension on cranberry production, and (3) assess regional trends in irrigation thresholds for cranberry production.

The UMass Cranberry Station is seeking applicants to fill a postdoctoral research associate position in East Wareham, Massachusetts. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will on water-plant dynamics in cranberry production. Specifically, the Research Associate will refine current models for applying irrigation for spring frost protection and summer soil moisture. UMass Cranberry Station in East Wareham, Massachusetts, under the mentorship of Principal Investigator Dr. Peter Jeranyama.

Essential Functions

Examples of duties:

  • Install temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed sensors in at least 10 abandoned cranberry farms. Data will be collected over two spring frost seasons and used to verify a frost protection model. Standard statistical techniques will be employed to evaluate model performance relative to an existing model.
  • Obtain soil tension data from individual growers and conduct surveys to compile a large dataset of soil tension thresholds used in the major cranberry producing states (MA, NJ, WI).
  • Conduct greenhouse experiments to test how sinusoidal variation in soil tension affects cranberry production. Research Associate will test the hypothesis that extreme amplitude variation in soil tension adversely affects cranberry production, with higher production related to a more constant supply of irrigation. Various yield component metrics will be evaluated. Greenhouse experiments will include treatments of sprinkler irrigation (high amplitude), subsurface irrigation (low amplitude), and combinations of sprinkler and subsurface irrigation (medium amplitude).
  • Collaborate with the PI (Dr. Peter Jeranyama), and USDA collaborator (Dr. Casey Kennedy) and the extension outreach team to prepare grant reports and to generate funding renewals, as needed. Compile manuscripts for publication in appropriate journals and present results in international, regional and national conferences.

Other Functions

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness.
  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Ph.D. degree in Plant Sciences (incl. Horticulture and Crop Science), or Agroclimatology or Biostatistics or related field.
  • Understanding and experience in projects related to plant science, agroclimatology, laboratory analysis of plant samples, statistics and published articles on the related subject matter.

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

The incumbent should feel comfortable working in inclement outdoor conditions on occasion. The work is split between field, lab, and office.

Work Schedule

Monday - Friday, 40 hours a week, 100% FTE.

Salary Information

Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Special Instructions to Applicants

To apply, submit a cover letter, CV, and contact information for three references. The search will remain open and applicants will continue to be reviewed until position is filled. Questions about the position may be directed to [email protected].

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. (

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Advertised: Sep 14 2021 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:


The University of Massachusetts Amherst is one of the preeminent public research universities in America. Nestled in idyllic Amherst, Massachusetts—often called “The top college town in North America”—the campus is consistently ranked among the top public research universities in the nation, and offers a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers. 

As one of the nation's top public research universities – as measured by national and international rankings, academic citations, and research funding – the campus spends more than $180 million on research each year, demonstrating its contribution to the nation’s position as a technological and economic leader. The university works in conjunction with academic, government, and private partners to translate new knowledge and scientific discoveries into technical innovations and scholarly works that create opportunities for students, faculty and the public. 

Eight schools and colleges offer more than 85 undergraduate majors, 68 master’s and 48 doctoral degree programs, many counted among the top programs in the nation and world. UMass Amherst is also home to New England's premier honors college.

The 1,159 full-time faculty members are dedicated teachers and world-renowned researchers and the campus has regularly been listed among the top performers in terms of faculty awards. With over 24,000 students from all 50 states and over 70 countries, the student body is the most academically successful in the history of the campus. Students participate in 240 organizations, 21 NCAA Division I athletic teams, extensive intramurals, living-learning residence halls, community service, and internships. With one of the largest residential life systems in the nation, UMass Amherst houses approximately 12,000 students on campus. The university is enjoying a facilities renaissance, including new buildings in the sciences, the arts, and recreation. UMass Amherst is part of the Five College consortium with Smith, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire and Amherst colleges.

As an employer, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a national leader in developing family-friendly policies, benefits and amenities designed to help faculty members develop both productive careers and satisfying personal lives. The university offers one of the nation’s most generous parental leave policies. The university is also part of the Academic Career Network, a regional consortium formed to serve dual-career couples and encourage greater diversity in the academy.


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