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Post-Doctoral Associate - Soil health and water management

Company: University of Minnesota
Location: Minneapolis
Posted on: January 27, 2023

Job Description:

Apply for JobJob ID353447

LocationTwin Cities

Job FamilyAcademic

Full/Part TimeFull-Time


Job Code9546

Employee ClassAcad Prof and Admin

Add to Favorite JobsEmail this JobAbout the Job

Position Summary:
We are seeking a researcher in soil health and agricultural water management to work with on-farm sites in a friendly and Extension-oriented research program. The incumbent will primarily focus on managing an ongoing research project combining continuous soil moisture sensors at farms with and without conservation practices with soil health metrics. These sites in Minnesota and Wisconsin provide opportunities to perform more in-depth hydrological or biological soil assessments on working farms, as well as interact with the farmers.

Both PIs do extensive field research in Minnesota's agricultural systems and lead successful Extension programs. The research is in collaboration with the Sand County Foundation, an NGO focused on private lands conservation which is leading the EPA-funded project. Other research in the Cates Soil Health Lab includes assessments of planting soybeans green in the Red River Valley, measuring erosion in agroecosystems, and evaluating soil response to rain. The research in Sharma lab focuses on agricultural water management, specifically the interaction effect of irrigation and nutrient management on water quality and quantity, soil water dynamics under different cropping systems, irrigation scheduling and soil moisture sensors. If interested, the incumbent will also have the opportunity to engage with Extension programming, including presentations at irrigation and cover crops workshops, planning conferences and field days, and assisting growers.

We have funding for two years with a possibility of extension, expect the primary project to yield 1-2 publications, and will work with the incumbent to develop other projects along the way. Start date: any time in the winter/spring of 2023, ideally by April to prepare for field season. Anticipated Initial Appointment Period: April 2023 to March 2025

Note: These are not positions to which permanent residency can be granted for international appointees.

Job Duties:
* Data collection from the field sites. (20%)
* Soil and water data analysis, statistical analysis; data interpretation. (30%)
* Writing and publishing results in scientific journals. (30%)
* Presenting research results at scientific meetings and extension events. (5%)
* Participating in professional development activities including DEI efforts and proposal
writing. (5%)
* Participating in regular meetings with supervisors and collaborative team. (5%)
* Professional development activities (5%)


Required Qualifications:
* Ph.D. in soil science, crop science, agronomy, environmental science, and related areas.
* Excellent written and oral communication skills.
* Strong quantitative analysis skills.
* Experience working with statistical tools such as R software.
* Evidence of ability to work independently and in teams.
* Commitment to a collegial and inclusive workplace.

Individual may be immediate post-degree or returning for additional training, updating, and/or retooling. Limited to fields for which post-degree training is necessary for career entry.

Preferred Qualifications:
* Documented experience managing research projects and statistically analyzing
agricultural data.
* Proven writing skills.
* An interest in investigating cutting edge questions in soil ecology, hydrology, and agro
ecology in applied settings.
* Travel to field sites across Minnesota during the 2023 growing season is required.

About the Department

The mission of the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate is to advance the understanding of Earth system processes and the interaction among land, atmosphere, and water. Through research, teaching, and outreach we seek to:

  • improve and protect the quality of soil, air, and water resources in natural and managed ecosystems;
  • enhance agricultural and forest productivity and sustainability;
  • predict and mitigate impacts of environmental and climate change on ecosystems and society; and
  • provide science based knowledge for improved decision making and a better informed citizenry.


    Working at the UniversityAt the University of Minnesota, you'll find a flexible work environment and supportive colleagues who are interested in lifelong learning. We prioritize work-life balance, allowing you to invest in the future of your career and in your life outside of work.The University also offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes:
    • Competitive wages, paid holidays, and generous time off
    • Continuous learning opportunities through professional training and degree-seeking programs supported by the Regents Scholarship
    • Low-cost medical, dental, and pharmacy plans
    • Healthcare and dependent care flexible spending accounts
    • University HSA contributions
    • Disability and employer-paid life insurance
    • Employee wellbeing program
    • Excellent retirement plans with employer contribution
    • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) opportunity
    • Financial counseling services
    • Employee Assistance Program with eight sessions of counseling at no costPlease visit the Office of Human Resources website for more information regarding benefits.

      How To Apply

      Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please click the Apply button and follow the instructions. You will be given 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.To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail employ@umn.edu or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).For more information about the posotion contact:
      Anna Cates, cates@umn.edu
      Vasudha Sharma, vasudha@umn.edu
      Heidi Peterson, hpeterson@sandcountyfoundation.org


      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.

      Please note: All employees at the University of Minnesota are required to comply with the University's Administrative Policy: COVID-19 Vaccination and Safety Protocol by either providing proof of being fully vaccinated on their first day of employment, or complete a request for an exemption for medical exemption or religious reasons. To learn more please visit: https://safe-campus.umn.edu/return-campus/get-the-vax

      About the U of M

      The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC)The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC), is among the largest public research universities in the country, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Located at the heart of one of the nation's most vibrant, diverse metropolitan communities, students on the campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul benefit from extensive partnerships with world-renowned health centers, international corporations, government agencies, and arts, nonprofit, and public service organizations.

Keywords: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis , Post-Doctoral Associate - Soil health and water management, Executive , Minneapolis, Minnesota

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