Position location: Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, University of Minnesota
Faculty supervisor and lab group: Forest Isbell, Isbell Biodiversity Lab
Start date: May 2021
Duration of position: Five months
Research topic: Terrestrial plant community and ecosystem ecology
Required qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in ecology or related fields at the time of appointment and experience conducting field research
Desired qualifications: experience supervising teams of field researchers, managing and analyzing data, and identifying grassland plant species
Application materials: cover letter; CV; and contact information for three references
To apply: 1) Visit https://humanresources.umn.edu/jobs; 2) Click on the tab in the center of the page that corresponds to your situation; 3) Search Job ID #339551 – Seasonal Field Researcher
Direct questions to: Forest Isbell at firstname.lastname@example.org
A seasonal field research technician position is available in the Isbell Biodiversity Lab at the University of Minnesota to work at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. The technician will supervise a team of undergraduate researchers to conduct research in multiple ongoing projects considering terrestrial plant community and ecosystem ecology in grasslands and forests. The Isbell lab has several ecological research projects that consider effects of global changes (habitat fragmentation, biodiversity loss, drought, nutrient enrichment, and warming) on grassland plant communities and ecosystem functioning, effects of bison reintroduction on oak trees and savannas, and effects of wolf recolonization on other wildlife. The position will include establishing a new field experiment, supervising a team of undergraduate researchers, sampling plants and soils in existing field experiments, sampling and maintaining a network of trail cameras, writing sampling protocols, and recording data and metadata. We have recently established a new landscape-scale grassland experiment that manipulates dispersal by habitat fragmentation and seed addition treatments. We are sampling this, and other experiments with drones carrying hyperspectral and lidar sensors, allowing observations of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning at multiple scales. Although the technician in this position will not be expected to collect remote sensing data, there will be an opportunity to learn more about this work.
Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, the field research site for this project, has many large-scale experimental platforms and is one of the most active ecological research sites worldwide. This allows our researchers to build on an enormous amount of available data and establish robust networks of research collaborators. Cedar Creek is a member of NSF’s Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network and hosts the new ASCEND (Advancing Spectral Biology in Changing ENvironments to understand Diversity) NSF Biology Integration Institute. The Isbell lab contributes to both of these projects, making us part of larger collaborative teams.
The University of Minnesota is a global leader in ecological research. Only three other Universities in the world are ranked as highly in ecology by both the US News and World Report and the Shanghai Rankings. This is a great place to advance your career in ecological research.
The Cedar Creek JEDIs for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion are working to increase the diversity of people at Cedar Creek and create a welcoming and inclusive climate. The Isbell lab is part of the team leading these efforts. Our vision is a future where biodiversity and the full diversity of people thrive. Our commitment is to be an inclusive place for research and community for people of all identities. We seek a technician who will contribute to these efforts and who embraces these commitments.
Cedar Creek has also greatly expanded its community engagement programs, now serving more than 14,000 members of the public, including more than 7,000 K-12 students and teachers, each year. This technician position would have an opportunity to contribute to these programs and to further develop skills in communicating scientific results beyond the scientific community.