[ECOLOG-L] Two Research Positions – Long Term Agroecosystem Research Network

Two Research Positions Available: Archbold Biological Station-University of
Florida Range Cattle Research Center, Long Term Agriculture Research

Archbold Biological Station and its partner site University of Florida Range
Cattle Research Center (UF RCREC) are part of the Long-term Agroecosystem
Research Network (LTAR http://ift.tt/1t5Tf2b ), a network of 18
agroecosystems across the United States that seek to address the grand
challenge of maintaining multiple ecosystem services in food production systems.

The Archbold—UF RCREC sites (www.maerc.org; rcrec-ona.ifas.ufl.edu) have a
>70-year history of research, conservation, and education programs focused
on enhancing agricultural production and preserving natural resources
associated with subtropical humid grassland and shrub landscapes in Florida.
Interdisciplinary research at the Archbold—UF RCREC address the complex
functioning of agricultural and natural lands within the region.
Educational programs provide science-based information that supports
decision-making strategies to maintain the sustainability of agroecosystems
in this region. Climate is characterized by subtropical conditions with an
average annual precipitation of ~ 1650 mm (> 65% occurring from June to
October) and average minimum and maximum daily temperatures ranging from
16.9 to 28.2o C.

The Archbold—UF RCREC consists of three research sites dispersed across
agricultural and conservation lands throughout south central Florida,
totaling nearly 9,000 ha. Land use includes ~ 6,500-ha sown and semi-native
pastures and native rangelands, and ~2,500-ha of globally-threatened Florida
scrub ecosystem of the Lake Wales Ridge. The sites are strategically located
in an ecologically-sensitive region, including the headwaters of the
Everglades. Encompassing 3 working ranches with 4,800 cattle, they serve as
living laboratories to understand the impacts of agriculture on water and
soil resources, and biodiversity. From the production perspective, sites
reside in the heart of Florida’s grazing lands, with nearly 80% of Florida’s
cow-calf production found within 240 km, as well as surrounding lands
dedicated to citrus and row crops. Additionally, because of the strong
educational and outreach components of the Archbold—UF RCREC mission there
is a close relationship with a diverse clientele. Archbold—UF RCREC work
closely with ranchers, conservationists, and policy makers. Research-based
information is disseminated widely to rural and urban stakeholders. Partners
include federal, state and local government agencies, trade organizations
(e.g., Florida Cattlemen’s Association) conservation groups (e.g. The Nature
Conservancy) and other academic institutions.

We are in search of two motivated individuals to fulfill two research
assistant positions. The positions will be renewable contingent upon
continued funding and the expectation is that these positions will remain in
place for multiple years.

The Archbold-UF LTAR Research Assistant will collect data in support of LTAR
activities. In 2016, the main goal is to collect baseline data to
characterize three landuse types.

General Tasks:
• Responsible for collection and processing of plant, soil, and greenhouse
gas samples.
• Responsible for plant aboveground and belowground biomass data collection
on a monthly schedule.
• Responsible for drying, sorting (live and dead biomass), and weighing
biomass and entering data into excel spreadsheets in an organized manner.
• Responsible for assisting with plant diversity and composition data within
different grazing land types: improved pasture, semi-native pasture, and
native rangeland.
• Prepares samples and documentation for shipping samples and ships to the
analytical laboratory,
• Responsible for assisting and/or performing laboratory analysis of soil,
plant, and gas samples
• Maintains excellent records of all activities and data files.
• Performs other reasonable duties in cooperation with the LTAR Research
Scientists, as needed.

It is expected that the research assistant will be able to perform most
tasks independently as needed after initial training in tasks has been
acquired. The research assistant will be willing to collect data in the
field, drive field trucks between data collection sites, organize data into
required formats, and perform all task in a highly professional manner.
Travel between the cooperating sites is expected.

Selected tasks for 2016 (not limited to):

Task 1. Soil Microbial Diversity, September
Task 2. Fall Plant Diversity (Aug-Sep-Oct) following LTAR-NEON plant
diversity protocol.
Task 3. Conducting GHG measurements. After training, should be able to
independently conduct GHG sampling and deliver samples to lab for analyses.
Task 4. Undertake wetland species composition surveys if time permits.
Task 5. Assist team to collect biomass and forage measurements.
Task 6. Assist team to undertake controlled burns of pasture and rangeland sites
Minimum Requirements:
1. A bachelor degree in science, biology, agro-ecology, agriculture or
equivalent.
2. A valid driver license
3. Willingness to work long hours in the field in sub-tropical Florida
environment
4. Must have authorization for US employment.

Start-Date: Sometime in August 2016

To apply send cover letter, a resume or CV and names, phone numbers or
emails for three references to Bethany Wight at bwight@ufl.edu

Competitive salary with full benefits. Equal Opportunity Employer. Women,
Minorities, Veterans and Disabled Persons are encouraged to apply.
Applications due by July 27, 2016. Interviews will be conducted Aug 1-Aug 5.

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