Opportunity Type:

Summary of Position:

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (CCESR) is a 5500-acre, internationally renowned ecological research facility that focuses on understanding the fundamental processes that control the functioning of ecosystems and the services that ecosystems provide to society. A team of 70 – 100 faculty, post- doctoral and student researchers conduct their research at CCESR. Cedar Creek is a long-term ecological research (LTER) site that has been funded by the National Science Foundation since 1982. Because of this long history, Cedar Creek likely has the largest number of large-scale, long-term ecological experiments in the world.

We seek an Associate Director for CCESR to coordinate and direct day-to-day operations, help plan long-term strategies, and personally contribute to CCESR’s research and education missions. Other duties include coordination of research and site usage, management and development of site facilities and related budgets, protection and
enhancement of CCESR ecosystems, and mentoring interns.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • 50% Site and Operations Management and Coordination
  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of CCESR and ensure highly effective management of fiscal and human resources.
  • Oversee and coordinate all research activities, including proposal reviews, site usage, and annual progress reports.
  • Organize and lead all land management activities, including the long-term prescribed burning program and actions to preserve CCESR’s diverse ecosystems
  • Assure excellent site-usage information
  • Oversee all facility management issues (budgets, building and grounds maintenance, etc.) and all ecosystem management issues (budgets, burning program, ecosystem restoration, etc.)
  •  Establish good working relationships with all relevant local and regional governmental officials, agencies, planning councils, zoning boards, etc. to form beneficial partnerships and to assure future viability and integrity of CCESR.
  • Fund-raising for support of CCESR and its missions.
  • Establish good working relations between CCESR and programs and researchers on UMN campuses.

45% Research (25%) and Teaching (20%)

  • Write research grant proposals and perform collaborative or independent research at CCESR.
  • Teach or co-teach a field course at CCESR that serves the College of Biological Sciences and the rest of the University. The course would build on the research and diversity of habitats, ecosystems and organisms of CCESR.
  • Coordinate intern research opportunities.

5% Outreach and Community Engagement

  •  In cooperation with the Education Coordinator, help establish and run programs that reach out to nearby communities.


The Associate Director will report to the Director, Dr. David Tilman, and may periodically meet with the Dean of the College of Biological Sciences, Dr. Valery Forbes.

Working Conditions

To maintain close ties and facilitate communication between CCESR and the UMN campus, the Associate Director will have an office in both locations. During spring, summer and early autumn, about 80% of time would be at CCESR and about 20% on the UMN campus. For late autumn and winter these percent times would reverse.


Required Qualifications

  •  Ph.D. in ecology or related scientific field.
  • Excellent organizational and leadership skills.
  • Strong communication and teaching skills (speaking/lecturing, listening & writing).
  • Highly self-motivated, with a strong work ethic
  • Creative problem-solver.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge of CCESR and its ecosystems and experience doing research at CCESR
  • Scientific interest and skills that expand and supplement the scholarly diversity of CCESR.

How To Apply

The application is available at this link.

Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please click the Apply button and follow the instructions. You will have the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a cover letter and resume.

Additional documents may be attached after application by accessing your “My Job Applications” page and uploading documents in the “My Cover Letters and Attachments” section.

This position will remain open until filled.

To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail employ@umn.edu or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).


The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the U: http://diversity.umn.edu.

Employment Requirements

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.