Senior Scientific Specialist or Assistant Research Scientist, Wetland Soils
Illinois Natural History Survey
Prairie Research Institute
The Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) investigates and documents the biological resources of Illinois and other areas and acquires and provides natural history information that can be used to promote the common understanding, conservation, and management of these resources. INHS is part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis.
The Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking a Wetland Soils Scientist at either the Senior Scientific Specialist or Assistant Research Scientist Level. The Wetland Soils Scientist will administer research activities of the Survey by developing, planning, directing, and conducting basic and applied research with an emphasis on the coordination and participation in wetland determinations, assessments, and monitoring. This position will be based in Champaign, Illinois.
Senior Scientific Specialist Duties & Responsibilities
- Conduct on-site wetland determinations, wetland monitoring, and assess potential sites for wetland mitigation, including interpretation of soil and hydrologic characteristics.
- Collect soil samples using a push-style soil probe with significant force in materials with up to 580psi of penetration resistance.
- Delineate wetlands by analyzing soils and hydrology in project areas.
- Participate in long-term wetland mitigation projects, including locating and evaluating potential mitigation sites, assisting with site design, designing, and implementing monitoring programs, and providing management recommendations.
- Prepare scientific reports for funding agencies and for publication in professional journals.
- Seek external funding for research projects and contribute to externally funded projects with colleagues at the Surveys, PRI, and outside agencies.
- Participate in Survey, PRI, and outside scientific organizations.
- Provide technical expertise to funding agencies, governmental entities, and the public regarding wetland issues.
- Participate in outreach and education events that further the mission of the Survey, PRI, and the University of Illinois.
- Perform other duties as needed to further the mission and goals of the Survey, PRI, and the University of Illinois.
- Keep abreast of developments in this discipline.
Assistant Research Scientist Duties & Responsibilities
- All duties listed under the Senior Scientific Specialist level plus,
- Assist with mentoring and training of junior staff members as it pertains to soil evaluation, wetland delineation and monitoring procedures, as well as database use and report writing.
- Perform other administrative duties within the Wetland Science Program.
Additional Physical Demands
Fieldwork will occur in both rural and urban settings, some of which may be under adverse conditions (e.g. inclement weather, remoteness, working near highly trafficked roadways and railroads), and may include overnight travel for up to one work week at a time. Lifting and manipulating field equipment and other items weighing up to 50 pounds over uneven terrain may be required. Significant physical effort is often needed to take soil samples, including the ability to both insert and remove a probe in soil materials with up to 580psi of penetration resistance. Employee must be able to safely drive work-provided vehicles, including large SUVs, in a variety of weather conditions and work environments.
Senior Scientific Specialist Minimum Qualifications
Bachelor’s degree in Soils, Restoration Ecology, Hydrology, Natural Resources and Environmental Science or related field. Alternate degree fields will be considered depending on the nature and depth of experience as it relates to this position. A minimum of 2 years of experience conducting on-site field surveys, including classifying, and mapping soil, identifying hydric soil units, interpreting soil survey reports, and interpreting wetland hydrology. Experience can include a combination of coursework, undergraduate work, volunteer work, and professional work. Requires demonstrated experience and ability using a push-style probe to collect samples of various soil materials with up to 580psi of penetration resistance. Valid driver’s license.
Senior Scientific Specialist Preferred Qualifications
Experience conducting wetland delineations according to the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) method. Formal training in ACOE method of wetland determination and delineation.
Assistant Research Scientist Minimum Qualifications
Master’s degree in Soils, Restoration Ecology, Hydrology, Natural Resources and Environmental Science or related field. Alternate degree fields will be considered depending on the nature and depth of experience as it relates to this position. A minimum of 3 years of experience conducting on-site field surveys, including classifying, and mapping soil, identifying hydric soil units, interpreting soil survey reports, and interpreting wetland hydrology. Requires demonstrated experience and ability using a push-style probe to collect samples of various soil materials with up to 580psi of penetration resistance. Valid driver’s license.
Assistant Research Scientist Preferred Qualifications
Coursework concerning wetlands and/or the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) wetland delineation method. Experience conducting wetland delineations according to the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) method. Formal training in ACOE method of wetland determination and delineation.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Knowledge of current federal and state wetland delineation requirements. Ability to identify and describe soil profiles and knowledge of prairie soil types. 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 judgement, and strong conflict resolution skills are required. Proficiency in commonly employed software and databases. Familiarity with ArcGIS software.
This is a 100% full-time Academic Professional position, appointed on a 12-month basis, renewable annually based upon satisfactory progress in the position and continuation of funding. The start date is negotiable, and the salary range is $50,000 - $65,000, commensurate with education, experience, skills, and level of hire.
Application Procedures & Deadline Information
Applications must be received by June 2, 2023. Apply for this position at https://illinois.csod.com/ux/ats/careersite/1/home/requisition/3806?c=illinois by selecting Apply Now at the top or bottom of the posting. Applications not submitted through this website will not be considered. Application materials must include a 1) cover letter that clearly outlines your qualifications and experience as it relates to this position, 2) a CV or resume, and 3) names and contact information (including email addresses) for three professional references. Incomplete applications will not be considered. For further information about this specific position, please contact Scott Wiesbrook at email@example.com. For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.
The University of Illinois System is an equal opportunity employer, including but not limited to disability and/or veteran status, and complies with all applicable state and federal employment mandates. Please visit Required Employment Notices and Posters to view our non-discrimination statement and find additional information about required background checks, sexual harassment/misconduct disclosures, COVID-19 vaccination requirement, and employment eligibility review through E-Verify.
Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to apply and may request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (2008) to complete the application and/or interview process. Requests may be submitted through the reasonable accommodations portal, or by contacting the Accessibility & Accommodations Division of the Office for Access and Equity at 217-333-0885, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.