Job Listings

Ecologist (Little Rock, AR)

Austin Peay State University
Job Location:
Clarksville, 37044
Laboratory and Research
Position Summary

Grassland loss is the single greatest conservation issue currently facing eastern North American biodiversity. Our precious Southern grasslands are nearly extinct and the species that depend on them are fading fast. Many of our Southern grasslands that managed to persist through the past 200 years have disappeared in the past quarter-century. What will the next 25 years bring? As a conservation community we are only now realizing how extensive our grasslands used to be. If we want to reverse the tide of grassland biodiversity loss, our response must be rapid as well as unparalleled in its magnitude. This is an immensely complex and ambitious challenge that will take some of the brightest and most creative minds in American conservation and philanthropy to solve. The Southeastern Grasslands Institute formed in 2017 to provide leadership in grassland biodiversity conservation across a 24-state region of the eastern U.S. Are you ready to join the SGI's team?

Austin Peay State University's (APSU) Southeastern Grasslands Institute (SGI) invites applications for a full-time Ecologist position located in or near Little Rock, Arkansas. This is a USDA-FSA grant-funded position with three years of funding available and future funding opportunities possible. This position will be responsible for documenting, classifying and mapping examples of known grassland habitats of various types for a variety of projects across the SGI focal region. The Ecologist will focus on habitats as a whole for each grassland project site, and work with a team consisting of a Biologist and Field Technician. The Ecologist is expected to spend 30%- 90% (varies seasonally) of their time in the field to conduct project activities. Frequent travel will be required to reach the different project areas with overnight stays and travel expenses being covered through grant funds. Working from home will be possible for a few, specific desk-based tasks. This position will report to SGI's Chief Conservation Officer.

SGI, affiliated with the Center of Excellence for Field Biology at Austin Peay State University, is a dynamic organization where we celebrate, support and strive to promote diversity, equality and inclusion, and are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity or Veteran status.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities
  • Document, classify and map examples of known grassland habitats of various types for a variety of projects across the SGI focal region.
  • Plan weekly fieldwork activities with the Chief Conservation Officer and field team.
  • Assist in GIS mapping exercises.
  • Compile and maintain data.
  • Provide written, photographic, and GIS content for each project location.
  • Collect and prepare herbarium and other specimens from project sites.
  • Communicate project updates and needs with the field team and the Chief Conservation Officer.
  • Read relevant materials and protocols.
  • Participate in regular team meetings and SGI staff meetings.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
  • Knowledge of the different grassland natural community types of the Southeastern United States.
  • Knowledge of plant and pollinator species of the Southeastern United States.
  • Ability to accurately use a GPS device and use GIS software.
  • Ability to learn quickly and adapt to challenges.
  • Ability to work as part of a team.
Required Minimum Qualifications
  • Minimum of a B.S. in Biology, Botany, Ecology, Natural Resources or related field plus three (3) years of professional experience or a M.S. in one of these fields and a minimum of one year of professional experience. The successful candidate should have a strong emphasis in plant-related academic training and/or field experience.
  • Proficient in identifying eastern North American grassland, wetland, and woodland plants.
  • Proficient in the natural history, ecology, and vegetation of eastern North America.
  • Proficient with GIS software and GPS.
  • Must have excellent communication skills. This includes writing clearly and concisely, responding to emails and phone calls in a timely manner, and being comfortable in giving oral presentations to a variety of audiences.
  • Knowledge of and prior experience in restoration activities is preferred.
  • Excellent organizational and task-management skills including maintaining accurate and detailed data records.
  • Must have excellent interpersonal skills and ability to communicate and work effectively within a dynamic team and a wide variety of people.
  • Comes prepared with a good attitude and willingness to learn.
  • Strong commitment to ensuring that diversity and inclusion are considered throughout all aspects of the program.
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