Research - Laboratory/Non-Laboratory, Staff/Administrative
This is a full-time temporary position with an expected duration of one year. We have two positions available for this job opening.
The Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota seeks two full-time, one-year Data Science Research Specialists to focus on advancing our environmental impact modeling with an emphasis on ecosystem service assessments. This position will be on the Knowledge Initiatives (KI) team, which leads the portfolio of interdisciplinary sustainability research and scholarly activity within IonE and is a core member of the Natural Capital Project (NatCap).
The position will contribute to improving our collective ability to map sustainability across scales and contexts, from a parcel of land owned by a single individual to a county or watershed or larger. The research focuses on evaluating the consequences of land use management decisions on the value nature provides people and partitioning those costs and benefits to different stakeholders and decision makers.
Specific responsibilities include: i) improving the ability of existing and developing ecosystem services models to include distributional assessments across socio-economic groups in urban and agriculturally-dominated environments, working closely with model developers; ii) managing the application of these tools and required data to conduct ecosystem services assessments in pilot locations and in the U.S., MN and/or elsewhere; and iii) maintaining and expanding our academic network to collaborate with leading groups in the field of Nature-Based solutions in either urban and agricultural systems.
Research experience in geospatial data science or a similar field is a requirement to start this position. Work experience related to ecology, ecological economics, natural resource management, agricultural economics, sustainability and/or environmental science, while not required, would be highly desirable. Overall, the researcher is expected to balance multiple tasks and manage time efficiently to ensure project activities are completed in an organized and efficient manner.
This may be a hybrid of teleworking and in-person work, with the exact work location mix dependent on the person and job responsibilities thus preference is given to incumbents who will be located within reasonable driving distance from the UMN St. Paul campus. The person will be expected to fully participate in IonE, including engaging in person or via web-conferencing with the team, attending important IonE events in person at least once every few months, and developing working relationships with other IonE staff.
Application review will be rolling until filled, with the first review on June 28, 2021. To apply, please submit a cover letter that describes your qualifications and includes a brief diversity statement, CV or resume, and contact information for at least 2 references (i.e., name, title, organization; URL to biographical sketch or similar; address, phone number, and email address; and relationship to the candidate). References would not be contacted until final candidates have been identified; candidates would be notified prior to contacting references.
Principal Duties and Responsibilities
40% Model application
Collect and synthesize data needed to run InVEST and other ecosystem services assessment models in a diverse set of contexts.
Assess outcomes of ecosystem service models at different scales using land ownership data or other boundaries
Run ecosystem services assessments or optimization models to support site-scale, regional- and national-level spatial planning.
Analyze economic and environmental trends to support novel ecosystem service valuations.
Responsible for developing, integrating, supporting, and maintaining information systems, and applications as needed, including programming, analysis, quality control, and maintaining software development best practices
Developing code from specifications, enhancing/customizing existing or purchased programs or systems through code and developing additional functionality, and developing system integration plans
Work closely with existing environmental scientists on data and modeling of environmental impacts, translating the excel based models and data acquisition to python when possible.
20% Data Management
Includes understanding existing databases and building/maintaining these databases as needed
Consulting with team members on data and database needs
Assisting with data management structures
15% Writing & Communication
Contribute to scientific publications through data analysis, writing, creating figures or other support.
Write general-interest communications or blog posts on project outcomes.
Present results at meetings and conferences and assist with stakeholder workshops.
15% Team Collaboration and Training
Communicate effectively with team members regarding technical and functional requirements.
Provide recommendations to improve application usability
Working closely with the IonE Research Software Team to follow best data and modeling practices
Other duties as assigned
Seek professional development opportunities related to the position and to support future career development goals
Participation in IonE community activities
Enhance science communication and leadership skills
Working Conditions This position may be structured to either be in-person or partially/fully remote with preference for in-person. Applicants should expect to work with a virtual team, using tools including Basecamp, Zoom, and the Google suite of applications. Part of the work may be done on an independent schedule, upon approval, with regular meetings during core team collaboration hours (M-Th 10-4 CT). The position may involve some occasional travel for workshops, conferences, and meetings as dictated by individual projects.
Master’s degree and two years of related experience or BS/BA degree and four years of related experience
Experience in data science relevant to the position description
Proficient in Python (preferred), matlab or similar programming language
Proficient with ArcGIS, QGIS or other geospatial modeling
Both self-directed and team-oriented
Ability to successfully multitask and organize workflow; manage multiple projects and schedules; and handle interruptions during scheduled work hours
Experience in environmental or sustainability science
Experience in peer-to-peer mentoring or teaching
Strong communication skills
Experience working on collaborative teams
Ability to communicate technology concepts effectively with technically proficient and non-technically proficient individuals
Ability to work in-person on the St. Paul campus.
Internal Number: 341117
About University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.