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Assistant Professor of Crop Nutrient Management

Assistant Professor of Crop Nutrient Management

Job No: 528333
Work Type: Tenure-Track Faculty
Location: Palm Beach
Categories: Biology/Life Science, Agricultural Sciences
Department: 60740000 - AG-EREC-BELLE GLADE

Job Description

Classification Title:

Ast Prof

Job Description:

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is creating an environment that affirms community across all dimensions. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service. If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352-392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at 800-955-8771 (TDD) or visit Accessibility at UF .

This is a 12-month tenure-accruing position that will be 40% research (Florida Agricultural Experiment Station) and 60% extension (Florida Cooperative Extension Service available at the Everglades Research and Education Center (EREC) within the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Tenure will accrue in the Agronomy Department. The incumbent is expected to develop a program with a major focus on soil nutrient management and plant nutrition for main agronomic and horticultural crops (especially sugarcane, rice and sweet corn) on organic soils in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) and for sugarcane produced on mineral soils of the region surrounding the EAA. Another research focus will investigate the use of amendments and composts from local agricultural industry to improve soil health and fertility testing of these amendments. Research-based, cost-effective fertilizer and nutrition programs are vital to the profitability and sustainability of commercial crop production in the EAA. Growers in south Florida have had increased economic and environmental challenges in recent years, which emphasize the need to develop sound fertilizer recommendations and best management practices (BMPs) and communicate them effectively. The UF/IFAS has also initiated a multimillion state funded program to update fertilizer recommendations statewide on economically important crops.

Potential research areas include:
  • Research on site specific and variable rate fertilizer application: Greenhouse and field-scale research using the latest advances in precision agriculture technology to acquire highly reliable spatial and temporal data and analyze those data with GIS and innovative statistical techniques and modeling.
  • Improved nutrient use efficiency and development of new or improved management strategies for resource-efficient, and environmentally-sound cropping systems.
  • Research on leaf analysis for sugarcane, sweet corn, rice, and other important crops in the EAA as needed to complement fertilizer programs.
  • Evaluation of new production practices and technologies for improved economic returns for stakeholders, and long-term agronomic sustainability of cropping systems.
  • Soil health and soil sustainability research; development of methods to measure soil health parameters in organic (Histosols) and mineral soils. Incorporate techniques in the commercial soil testing laboratory at EREC.
  • Research on soil amendments and compost generated from the sugarcane industry, fertility testing of the use of the amendments on organic and mineral soils.

Another primary extension responsibility of the position is serving as the Director of the Everglades Soil Testing Laboratory (ESTL) at EREC. The incumbent will supervise 4 employees in the ESTL which analyzes approximately 9000 grower samples and 1700 research samples annually. The laboratory uses methodologies developed specifically for the soils and crops of the EAA and the Director will be responsible for ensuring that reliable soil test data are provided for growers in a timely manner.

This is an opportunity to work as part of an interdisciplinary research and extension team at EREC, while serving as a faculty member in the University of Florida Agronomy Department with statewide and campus-based colleagues. The incumbent is expected to work with and train county and regional extension faculty and develop an extension program to meet industry needs. This assignment may change in accordance with the needs of the unit.

The faculty member will actively participate in graduate education by chairing and serving on graduate committees, supervising graduate and undergraduate research, and publishing research results with students. Faculty are encouraged to participate in professional development activities related to teaching and advising and may teach courses and seminars. Because of the IFAS land-grant mission, all faculty are expected to be supportive of and engaged in all three mission areas - Research, Teaching and Extension—regardless of the assignment split.

Background Information

Everglades Research and Education Center (EREC) is an 800-acre facility located in Belle Glade within the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA), near the southern edge of Lake Okeechobee in western Palm Beach County. The EAA is a dynamic, agriculturally diverse region with major production of sugarcane, rice, commercial sod, and winter vegetables (sweet corn, leafy and leafy green vegetables, green beans, celery, and radish). EREC hosts faculty members that represent Agronomy, Entomology and Nematology, Horticultural Sciences, Plant Pathology, and Soil Water, and Ecosystem Sciences Departments. Regional Extension Agents specializing in sugarcane, rice, sod, and fresh market vegetables are located at the EREC and other offices in the EAA. Approximately 80 additional personnel and students support faculty research and extension programs. EREC facilities include offices, laboratories, greenhouses, 700-acre research farm, and residential dormitories and housing for graduate students and visiting scientists.

Belle Glade is located west of the metropolitan West Palm Beach area, a region with a population of 1.5 million. The area is supported by an excellent subtropical climate, exceptional Atlantic coast beaches, and the cultural advantages of a medium-sized city, including year-round outdoor recreational activities, cultural events, and professional sporting venues.

The University of Florida is a Land-Grant, Sea-Grant, and Space-Grant institution, encompassing virtually all academic and professional disciplines, with an enrollment of more than 56,000 students. UF is a member of The Association of American Universities. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences includes the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Florida Sea Grant program, and encompasses 16 on-campus academic departments and schools, 12 Research and Educational Centers (REC) located throughout the state, 6 Research sites/demonstration units administered by RECs or academic departments, and Florida Cooperative Extension Service offices in all 67 counties (counties operate and maintain). The School of Natural Resources and Environment is an interdisciplinary unit housed in IFAS and managed by several colleges on campus. UF/IFAS employs nearly 4,500 people, which includes approximately 990 salaried faculty and 1,400 permanent support personnel located in Gainesville and throughout the state. IFAS, one of the nation's largest agricultural and natural resources research and education organizations, is administered by a Vice President and four deans: the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Dean for Extension and Director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, the Dean for Research and Director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Dean for the College of Veterinary Medicine. UF/IFAS also engages in cooperative work with Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

Expected Salary:

Commensurate with Education and Experience

Minimum Requirements:

  • A doctorate (foreign equivalent acceptable) in agronomy, soil fertility, agroecology, or a closely related discipline at the time of hire is required.
  • Candidates should have demonstrated skills in verbal and written communication, interpersonal relationships, and procurement of extramural funding.
  • Candidates must be supportive of the mission of the Land-Grant system.
  • Candidates must also have a commitment to UF core values of excellence, discovery & innovation, inclusion, freedom & civility, community, and stewardship.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in applied plant nutrition and soil fertility research and fertilizer recommendations.
  • Expertise in precision agriculture techniques (e.g. variable rate technology) and tools
  • Expertise in GIS and remote sensing
  • Data science expertise/skills.
  • Experience in Extension outreach and stakeholder engagement

Special Instructions to Applicants:


Nominations are welcome. Nominations need to include the complete name and address of the nominee. This information should be sent to:

Please refer to Requisition # 528333

Dr. Hardev Sandhu

Chair, Search and Screen Committee

University of Florida

Everglades Research and Education Center

3200 E Palm Beach Road

Belle Glade, FL 33430

Phone: 561-993-1567

Fax: (561) 993-1582

Electronic Mail:

Application Information

Application must be submitted by 11:55 p.m. (ET) of the posting end date. Individuals wishing to apply should go online to
Careers at UF and submit:
    • Cover letter that states applicant's interest in the position and qualifications relative to the credentials listed above
    • Research statement including previous and planned research (up to 2 pages)
    • Extension statement (up to 1 page)
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Contact information (including email addresses) for 3 individuals willing to write letters of recommendation
    • Unofficial transcripts

Selected candidate will be required to provide an official transcript to the hiring department upon hire. A transcript will not be considered “official” if a designation of “Issued to Student” is visible. Degrees earned from an education institution outside of the United States are required to be evaluated by a professional credentialing service provider approved by National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US. The University of Florida is a public institution and subject to all requirements under Florida Sunshine and Public Record laws.

The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution. The University and greater Gainesville community enjoy a diversity of cultural events, restaurants, year-round outdoor recreational activities, and social opportunities.

Health Assessment Required:

Applications Close: 19 Nov 2023

To apply, visit

The University is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training.

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