Position Website and Application Information
The Illinios Natural History Survey is seeking a Large River Ecologist to Administer research activities of the Survey by developing, planning, directing, and conducting basic and applied research for the aquatic macroinvertebrate component of the Long-Term Resource Monitoring Program (LTRM), an element of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program (UMRR).
Duties & Responsibilities
- Serve as field crew leader/coordinator for the Macroinvertebrate component of the LTRM, an element of the UMRR.
- Collect and report on macroinvertebrate data utilizing the LTRM sampling protocols and focused research.
- Coordinate benthic and colonizer macroinvertebrate sampling across the 6 LTRM field stations, lead a team responsible for sorting and identifying macroinvertebrate samples, and facilitate collaboration between other potential research facets of the project (e.g., contaminant analysis, genetic analysis, emergent traps, microplastics).
- Develop or leverage existing Macroinvertebrate Biological Indices for application across the Upper Mississippi River trend pools.
- Conduct ecological statistical analyses, including coding, univariate and multivariate techniques, data visualization, time-series analysis, and ecological modeling especially pertaining to macroinvertebrate data (chemical, hydraulic/hydrologic, temporal-spatial).
- Explore, mine, and synthesize historic macroinvertebrate data from the LTRM program • Coordination and collaboration with other related projects (fisheries, limnological, and hydrological)
• Provide necessary information to public constituents, research associates, and collaborating research agencies.
• Create and maintain databases for various projects conducted at the Illinois River Biological Station.
• Analyze data files to ensure quality control and assurance.
• Archive, organize and manage data files ensuring historical data is protected for future use in natural history and management research.
• Contribute to the development of project reports to granting agencies for Illinois and Mississippi river projects.
• Distribute final project reports to granting agency, INHS, and PRI.
• Provide recommendations to funding agencies, collaborators, and other interested parties.
• Assemble data to be utilized in technical reports to granting agencies and peer-reviewed publications.
• Lead and assist with the preparation of manuscripts for peer-reviewed publications as well as presentations for professional meetings.
• Supervise full and part- time assistants in lab work, as well as crews in boat-based field sampling efforts.
• Supervise, train, and lead hourly workers to achieve success and foster a culture of innovation and high-level performance at both individual and organizational levels.
• Ensure marine safety protocols are followed and enforced.
• Prioritize, organize, and plan to ensure projects move forward in a timely manner.
• Coordinate field sampling schedules including identifying sampling locations, completion of equipment inventory for each trip, and safety inspection of marine craft.
• Work with lay community to engender positive feedback regarding scientific research
• Coordinate and cooperate with the Survey, PRI, University of Illinois, and other groups.
• Attend local, regional, national, and international conferences
• Represent the Survey, PRI, the University, and other state and federal agencies on professional and interagency committees associated with river ecology and fisheries
• Represent the Survey, PRI, and the University on search committees and outreach activities
• Trailer, operate, and navigate watercraft to sampling sites on commercially navigable waters when necessary
• Perform other duties as needed to further the mission and goals of INHS, PRI, and the University of Illinois.
• Keep abreast of developments in this discipline.
Overnight travel may be necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of this position. Will require working in adverse field conditions (heat, humidity, biting insects, cold, etc.), travel (Including driving to and from research sites) throughout the state of Illinois and neighboring states bordering the Upper Mississippi River; lift and carry equipment weighing up to 50 lbs. The work of this position also takes place in an office setting as well as the field. The office component is sedentary and involves remaining in a stationary position for extended periods of time working at a computer, using a keyboard and mouse, and using repetitive hand motions.
Master’s degree in Biology, Aquatic Ecology, Statistics or ecological statistics or related field. Alternate degree fields will be considered depending on the nature and depth of the experience at it relates to this position. Master’s degree with a minimum of 5 years of experience and demonstrated analytical/statistical method application to ecology-based research questions, demonstrated research communication through peer-reviewed manuscripts, and macroinvertebrate identification/research experience. Valid Driver’s License.
Ph.D. in Biology, Aquatic Ecology, Statistics, Ecological Statistics, or related field. Alternate degree fields will be considered depending on the nature and depth of the experience at it relates to this position. Ph.D. with a minimum of 3As years of experience applying statistical techniques to ecological data and familiarity or have conducted field and laboratory research on large rivers or other large aquatic systems. Experience driving boats on rivers or other large bodies of water. Experience analyzing macroinvertebrate data, time-series or similar analyses and are familiar with implementation of ecological and multivariate models. Experience managing and analyzing large data sets is a bonus.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Strong analytical skills and strong proficiency with R or SAS statistical software and its application to ecological-based statistics. Must be able to write clearly and scientifically as demonstrated through prior publications. Must possess excellent organizational, interpersonal, and oral and written communication skills. Ability to apply analytical/scientific thinking to define and solve problems. Ability to work independently, collect and analyze field data, and coherently communicate findings (verbally and in writing) to granting agencies and to scientific and public communities. Effective communication, personal relations, collaboration, organizational, teamwork, and leadership skills. Demonstrated ability to perform effectively in a diverse and fast paced work environment consisting of multiple and changing priorities with stringent deadlines, under minimal supervision. Attention to detail, sound judgment, and strong conflict resolution skills. Proficiency in macroinvertebrate identification, commonly employed software and databases, including MS Office (Excel, Word, Access), ArcGIS, and statistical software packages (R, SAS, etc.). Possess appropriate field and laboratory skills as well as physical skills necessary to carry out work. Must possess strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively with other scientists, researchers, staff, and clients. Ability to swim is required. Ability to oversee staff including scheduling, task assignment, performance, and other related issues.
This is a 100% full-time Academic Professional position, appointed on a 12-month basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible on or after October 1, 2022. The salary for this position is $52,000 - $58,000, depending on qualifications and experience.