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Illinois Natural History Survey Seeks Visiting Aquatic Invasive Species Engagement Specialist

January 21, 2022

Position Title   
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Visiting Assistant Research Scientist, Aquatic Invasive Species Engagement
 
 
Position Summary
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) is searching for an AIS specialist to work with the Illinois Natural History Survey to develop, direct, and assess the effectiveness of outreach and engagement activities for various stakeholders needing scientific information on Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) affecting Lake Michigan and the inland waters of Illinois and Indiana, as well as conduct social science research to help guide outreach efforts.
 
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. Learn more at go.illinois.edu/PRIjobs.
 
INHS is seeking a Visiting Aquatic Invasive Species Engagement Specialist to develop, plant, direct, and assess the effectiveness of outreach and engagement activities for various stakeholders needing scientific information on Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) affecting Lake Michigan and the inland waters of Illinois and Indiana; develop, plan, direct, and conduct social and possibly biological research to help guide outreach efforts. This position will be operating out of the Champaign or Chicago, Illinois areas.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

Outreach
- Contribute in the area of outreach and engagement in the service of INHS (Illinois Natural History Survey), PRI (Prairie Research Institute), IISG (Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant), the University, and the states of Illinois and Indiana.
- Seek and secure external funding to maintain a robust outreach and research program.
- Provide strategic leadership and oversight of the AIS outreach program.
- Develop and deliver a variety of science-based outreach tools regarding aquatic invasive species (AIS) to address the needs of a wide range of stakeholders in Illinois, Indiana, and the wider Great Lakes region.
- Ensure that programming addresses the diversity of stakeholders
- Present outreach findings and activities in peer-reviewed literature and at conferences and meetings.
- Maintain strong working relationships within Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG).
- Develop new and maintain existing partnerships throughout the Great Lakes region.
- Represent the Survey, PRI, IISG, and the University of Illinois on committees by serving on local, state, regional, and federal committees.

Research
- Conduct social science research that informs programmatic outreach activities.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the AIS program’s outreach activities.
- Develop research collaborations with partners from agencies, non-government organizations, and academic institutions.
- Present research findings and activities in peer-reviewed literature as well as via conferences and meetings.
 
Administration and Mentoring
- Supervise and lead staff to achieve success and foster a culture of innovation and high-level performance at both individual and organizational levels. This includes task assignment, scheduling, and ongoing performance management with coaching and feedback, and travel approval.
- Oversee administration of grants including budgeting, reporting, and other principal investigator duties.
- Advise, supervise, and mentor undergraduate and graduate students as time permits.
- Serve on graduate advisory committees as time permits.
- Prepare internal reports, reports to sponsoring agencies, and scientific reports for distribution to stakeholders.
 
Other
- Perform other duties as needed in order to further the mission and goals of INHS, PRI, IISG, and the University of Illinois.
- Keep abreast of developments in this discipline.

Required Qualifications:
Master’s degree in Aquatic Ecology, Social Sciences, Natural Resource, or related field. Alternate degree fields will be considered depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position. Master's degree with a minimum of 3 years of relevant experience including environmental research, outreach, familiarity with grants and grant budgeting, and supervision of staff. Relevant experience is considered broadly and can include seasonal positions, graduate assistantships, or other student non full-time positions, on a prorated basis. Valid Driver’s License.

Preferred Qualifications:
Ph.D. in Aquatic Ecology, Social Sciences, Natural Resource, or related field. Alternate degree fields will be considered depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position. Ph.D. with relevant experience including environmental research, outreach, familiarity with grants and grant budgeting, and supervision of staff. Relevant experience is considered broadly and can include seasonal positions, graduate assistantships, or other student non-full-time positions, on a prorated basis.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Ability to interpret findings of scientific research into outreach communications. Familiarity with efforts to exclude and control aquatic invasive species. Demonstrated ability for leadership and planning, public speaking, writing, and scientific analysis. 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 commonly employed software and databases.
 
Environmental Demands:
Position may require travel (including to and from meeting sites) throughout the state of Illinois and Indiana. May also require the ability to lift and carry equipment weighing up to 25 pounds. Overnight travel may be necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of this position. The majority of work for this position takes place in an office setting. The work is sedentary and involves sitting for extended periods of time working at a computer, using a keyboard and mouse, and using repetitive hand motions.
 
Proposed Start Date: Negotiable

Salary: The starting salary for this position is $60,000

Appointment Status:
This is a full-time, visiting academic professional, grant-supported, 12-month position subject to the continued availability of funding and programmatic need. Position may become a regular, non-visiting position at a later date depending on funding and programmatic need.

To Apply: Please complete your candidate profile at http://jobs.illinois.edu and upload a cover letter, CV/resume,
and the contact information for three professional references by January 28, 2022. Interviews may be conducted
before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after that date. All requested information must
be submitted for your application to be considered.
 

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified
candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin,
disability, or veteran status. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO.

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