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Visiting Scientific Specialist, Field Scientist

Expiration Date: 

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.

INHS is seeking Field Scientists (up to 6, depending on funding on programmatic need) to monitor, assess, and promote the Conservation Reserved Enhanced Program (CREP) across the State of Illinois. These positions will be located in various sites throughout the State of Illinois.

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

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

Conduct, develop, and participate in research and outreach activities of the Survey.

Provide responsive project management for landowners in the efficient and effective processing of the complex conservation easement process, including coordinating the initial application, technical, and field review with IDNR.

Participate in the stewardship and monitoring of the growing portfolio of CREP conservation easements in CREP eligible watersheds. Participate in the development of conservation plans.

Conduct monitoring visits.

Develop and coordinate conservation plans for new and renewed CREP easements.

Interact with landowners to compile data on best management practices and to gather landowner’s perceptions on conservation, freshwater species, and stream health.

Provide outreach and education to landowners eligible for Federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contract and state CREP conservation easements. Develop and administer training content and coordinate training plans with IDNR CREP easement staff.

Provide proper communication about training content to include? program details and procedures, use and purpose of CREP conservation easements, and best practices for conservation easement management. Perform other duties as needed in order to further the mission and goals of the Survey, PRI, and the University of Illinois.

Keep abreast of developments in this discipline.

Required Qualifications:

Bachelor in agricultural sciences, natural resources, environmental sciences, biology, or related field. Alternate degree fields will be considered depending on the nature and depth of experience as it relates to this position. Field experience. Experience with database management and with commonly-employed software and databases. Valid Driver’s License.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

General ecology/biology of grassland, forests, wetlands, and wildlife; biodiversity, soil, and water resource conservation in agricultural settings. 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.

Preferred Qualifications:

Experience communicating with the public in rural areas.

Environmental Demands:

Will require working in adverse field conditions (heat, humidity, biting insects, etc.), travel (including driving to and from research sites) throughout the state of Illinois working irregular hours and overnights. Overnight travel may be necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of this position. The successful candidate must take proper safety precautions, anticipate unsafe circumstances, and act accordingly to prevent accidents.

Proposed Start Date: Negotiable

Salary: The minimum salary for this position is $38,000

Appointment Status: This is a visiting full-time academic professional appointment, renewable annually based upon satisfactory progress in the position, and continued funding. Position may become a regular position at a later date depending on funding and a programmatic need.

To Apply: Please complete your candidate profile at and upload a cover letter, CV/resume, and the contact information for three professional references by October 12, 2020. 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 conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit “Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.