Job Listings

Visiting Scientific Specialist, Wetlands Geology - Illinois State Geological Survey (164841)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Job Location:
Urbana, Illinois
Laboratory and Research

Visiting Scientific Specialist, Wetlands Geology

Illinois State Geological Survey

Prairie Research Institute

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) is a premier state geological survey serving the needs of the public, government, and industry with earth science information and research relevant to natural resources, environmental quality, economic vitality, and public safety. ISGS 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

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

ISGS is seeking to hire a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Wetlands Geology (up to two, depending on applicant pool and programmatic need) to participate in specialized assessment and monitoring of the hydrogeology and geochemistry of wetlands, streams, bioswales, and other related environments. This position is for a specialist dedicated to field data collection and analysis to support Illinois state agencies under their environmental programs, including the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, and Illinois Tollway. This position will support the analysis and reporting for compliance with various federal (e.g., Clean Water Act) and state regulatory programs. While based in Champaign, fieldwork will require travel throughout Illinois up to 60 percent of the time.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conduct field operations. Fieldwork will occur in both rural and urban settings, some of which may be under adverse conditions (e.g., inclement weather, remoteness, and moderate physical exertion). Fieldwork may require overnight travel for up to one work week at a time. Position involves operating, lifting, and manipulating field equipment and other items weighing up to 50 pounds.
  • Collect water samples, water-quality parameters, and water level data.
  • Secure field datasets and water samples according to data handling protocols.
  • Install and survey wells, stream gauges, and other field monitoring equipment.
  • Assist in the development of field monitoring plans, making boreholes, and describing sediments.
  • Ensure the safety of staff and equipment.
  • Add to Survey and PRI databases and knowledge through production, storage, and analysis of contract-produced data.
  • Perform quality assurance/quality control through reviewing data and reports.
  • Periodically evaluate standards and methodology and recommend program improvements.
  • Assist in the evaluation of design of water-quality best management practices (BMPs), wetland restoration and creation sites, and other related issues.
  • Contribute to reports for site screening, characterization, and long-term monitoring of wetland mitigation sites and other natural areas.
  • Communicate results of investigations primarily to contract sponsors, but also to stakeholders and other scientists.
  • Attend scientific conferences and training courses and present papers and results.
  • Represent the Survey and PRI at meetings and other venues in areas of expertise.
  • Keep abreast of developments in this discipline.
  • Perform other duties, as needed, to further the mission and goals of PRI.

Required Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in geology, physical geography, or related discipline. Alternate degree fields will be considered/accepted depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position. Experience conducting onsite field surveys. Experience collecting data in a field setting. Experience translating technical information into written reports or presentations. Must be able to effectively communicate and collaborate with co-workers. Ability to develop and maintain working relationships and teamwork skills. Ability to describe geologic materials. Familiarity with reading and interpreting aerial photographs and geologic and topographic maps. Must have scientific knowledge and skills necessary to collect and analyze field data for the completion of hydrogeologic and geochemical studies. Strong verbal and written communication skills with the ability to communicate research findings to co-workers, supervisors, contract sponsors, and other scientists and stakeholders. Ability to apply analytical/scientific thinking to define and solve problems. Ability to execute field and office tasks and operate independently at times, specifically in field settings. Proficiency in commonly employed software and databases. Valid driver's license.

Preferred Qualifications: Master's degree in geology, physical geography, or related discipline. Alternate degree fields will be considered/accepted depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position.

This is a full-time visiting academic professional appointment renewable annually based on satisfactory progress in the position and continued funding. Position may become a regular, non-visiting position at a later date depending on funding and programmatic need. The starting date is negotiable and the salary is commensurate with experience.

Applications must be received by June 10, 2022. Interviews and hiring may be conducted before the closing date due to this being a multi-hire search. To apply, please visit to complete an online profile and to upload 1) a cover letter that clearly articulates how your qualifications and experience make you a viable candidate for this position and should address the qualifications listed above, 2) a rsum/CV, and 3) the names and contact information (including e-mail addresses) of three professional (not personal) references. All requested information/documentation must be submitted for applications to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

For further information please contact Lori Walston-Vonderharr, Human Resources, Prairie Research Institute, at or 217-244-2401.

University of Illinois faculty, staff and students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are not able to receive the vaccine for medical or religious reasons, you may seek approval for an exemption in accordance with applicable University processes.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Convictions are not a bar to employment. 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

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