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The Morton Arboretum-Research Coordinator, Experimental Prairie-Fri, 06/26/2020 - 1:16pm

Research Coordinator, Experimental Prairie


The Morton Arboretum
4100 Illinois Route 53
Lisle , IL 60532

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Job Description 

Position Summary:
Coordinate laboratory and field operations with staff, students, postdocs and external collaborators for an experimental prairie restoration experiment at The Morton Arboretum as part of a National Science Foundation grant, “Impacts of plants and communities on soil microbial composition and function across phylogenetic scales.” Funding for this position is temporary with an expected duration through May 2024.

Duties & Responsibilities 

Essential Functions:
Conduct and coordinate research activities in the laboratory and field in order to meet assigned research goals, including coordinating field sampling weeks with external collaborators. Plan and implement research methods and procedures, and adapt and update as necessary to meet project objectives and deadlines.
Perform assigned research activities. Conduct all experiment maintenance, including weeding, supplemental planting, and seasonal maintenance of the site.
Collect root and soil samples from the experimental prairie and restored prairies.
Conduct root trait analyses and soil biological, chemical, and physical analyses in the laboratory.
Collaborate with PI and other collaborating scientists in collecting coverage (vegetation) data at least twice during the growing season.
Collect biomass on plug plots and, if time allows, seed plots at the end of the growing season.
Provide training and supervision to seasonal employees, students, interns, and/or volunteers in assisting with site maintenance and sampling activities, and communicate with external collaborators.
Organize data for analysis, and as time allows, collaborate in analysis.
Other duties as assigned.

Education and Experience 

Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree or comparable experience in botany, ecology, or restoration required, Master’s degree preferred. 2+ years of field experience in botanical or soils-based field work required, with strong experience in plant identification, herbaceous root trait characterization, and/or soil analysis. Familiarity with handling structured data (e.g., spreadsheets, databases, statistical data structures) required. Must possess a valid driver’s license, which is subject to insurability and an annual Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) report.

Success Factors: Organizational and collaboration skills are needed to work with researchers to learn methods and execute projects efficiently. Good written and oral communication skills. Self-motivated learner and ability to solve problems with minimal supervision. Ability to work indoors and outdoors under occasional strenuous conditions. Ability to travel independently via car for field work and lab work. Ability to work independently. Ability to embrace and operate in line with our employee core values to take ownership, work together, keep learning and make the Arboretum exceptional.

Physical Demands and Work Environment: The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.
Physical Demands: Requires significant physical activity: limited lifting and carrying (up to 30 lbs.), bending, pushing, pulling, walking over varied terrain, some local and regional travel.
Work Environment: Work is performed in both indoor and outdoor settings, in all weather conditions.
Equipment: Horticulture hand and power tools, wheelbarrow, Arboretum van or truck, utility vehicle, two-way radio, general office equipment.

Application Instructions 

For full consideration, please include resume and cover letter with application.

The Morton Arboretum is a champion of diversity, supporting a culture of inclusion that attracts, inspires, and engages people to achieve success. The Arboretum is committed to hire and develop employees based on job-related qualifications irrespective of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status. To increase diversity in professions related to the public garden realm, we encourage applications from underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.

The Morton Arboretum is dedicated to complying with our obligations as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All applicants are guaranteed equal consideration for employment.

Full Name 
Colleen Emrick