Professional Aide (Plant Soil And Microbial Sciences)

By Pau Costa Foundation from Pau Costa Foundation

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2021 field techs x3: forest resilience & C recovery after wildfires in California. Posting #687937 

Position Summary(Basic Job Function)

This is a temporary or an on-call position. Provides professional support. Responsibilities may include general business, science, medical, agricultural or other professional support functions. Term: Temps can work two (2) nine (9) month terms with a week break in service in between and at the end of the second term terminate for three (3) months or switch to an on-call. On-Call allowed to work 1039 hours in any twelve (12) month period.

Unit Position Summary

The Miesel Fire and Ecosystem Ecology lab in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University (MSU), in collaboration with the USDA Forest Service Northern & Pacific Southwest Research Stations, seeks applications for field technicians on a study investigating forest resilience and carbon recovery after fire in Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forests. The crew will be responsible for re-measuring a unique network of field plots in California mixed-conifer forests where pre-, active-, and immediate post-wildfire measurements were collected. Fieldwork will consist of measuring forest structure and composition (identifying trees and shrubs to species, measuring DBH, height, crown characteristics, surface and ground fuels measurements, herbaceous cover). These data will support the overall project goals of (1) determining how pre-fire fuels and environmental factors influence fire behavior and forest carbon loss; (2) defining thresholds of forest resilience, and (3) evaluating the recovery of forest vegetation and carbon stocks. Students and post-graduates seeking field experience for a career in ecology, forestry, or related topics are encouraged to apply.

We anticipate hiring one crew leader and two crew members (see Qualifications for each position below).

The crew will travel weekly for field work at sites across the Sierra Nevada range, between June to September 2021. Shared crew housing will be available at reasonable cost at various central locations (TBD) and camping will be required during most field weeks. Three- or four-month appointments are available, with exact dates determined by the availability of our top candidates (so please indicate this in your cover letter). Salary is commensurate with experience.

Desired Qualifications

We anticipate hiring one crew leader and two crew members:
• The Forest Ecology Lead Technician supports and works closely with the project Research Associate to accomplish all aspects of the field campaign. The ideal candidate will possess experience, knowledge and skills in forest vegetation measurements and sampling, crew management, and data management. The successful candidate will have knowledge of California mixed-conifer forests, and a high level of technical aptitude, attention to detail, and ability to communicate and work effectively independently and in a team. Past experience collecting soil samples is desired. Preference will be given to candidates with training in wilderness first aid or higher. This position is targeted towards candidates with experience beyond at least a BSc in a relevant field, or those with equivalent work experience.

• The Forest Ecology Crew Members support the Lead Technician and Research Associate to accomplish plot measurements and sampling. The ideal candidates will possess previous experience, knowledge and skills relevant to forest vegetation measurements and sampling, and basic knowledge of the vegetation in mixed-conifer forests. The successful candidates will have a high level of technical aptitude, attention to detail, and demonstrated ability to work effectively as a member of a team. Past experience collecting soil samples is desired. These positions are targeted towards recent BSc graduates and/or advanced upper-level students in a relevant discipline, or applicants with equivalent work experience.

The following requirements apply to all candidates:
Must be able to hike in rugged terrain carrying up to 40 lb packs and work long hours in potentially inclement weather. All candidates must have a current valid US Driver’s License with a clean driving record (<3 moving infractions in the past 36 months). Past experience operating 4WD vehicles on unimproved roads is desired. Candidates are required to provide evidence of current first aid and CPR certification at the time of hiring. Candidates are expected to provide their own personal camping supplies and gear. The crew will be expected to comply with current COVID-19 guidelines.

To apply, upload the following required documents: (1) a letter of interest detailing qualifications for the position, its relevance to your career goals, and the start/end dates of your availability; (2) resume/curriculum vitae, (3) a list of 3 professional references with contact information (institution, email address, phone number), (4) a copy of your driver’s license. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.

Work Hours


Summary of Physical Demands

Must be able to hike in rugged terrain carrying up to 40 lb packs and work long hours in potentially inclement weather, record data and perform data entry, and similar tasks.

Advertised: Dec 28, 2020 Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: Mar 7, 2021 Eastern Standard Time

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