Assistant Research Professor: Chesapeake Bay Watershed Science Adviser

The WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design (DCANRD) (http://www.davis.wvu.edu/) in collaboration with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) (https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/wv/home/) and WVU Institute of Water Security and Science (IWSS) (http://iwss.wvu.edu/) invites applications for the position of Chesapeake Bay Science Advisor. The position is twelve-month, non-tenure track appointment for a period of five- years (with possible extension). West Virginia University is the State’s comprehensive Land Grant University with an enrollment of nearly 33,000 students and a Carnegie Research-One (R1) Classification. The Davis College has over 120 faculty and over 150 full-time staff, enrolls over 2000 undergraduate and over 300 graduate students across a full spectrum of degree programs (28) housed in five academic units. NRCS delivers technical and financial assistance programs to all jurisdictions in the Chesapeake Bay watershed with staff including planners, engineers, technicians, scientists, and volunteers. NRCS employees work with land users to conserve natural resources on private lands. The WVU IWSS is an organizational body that builds upon the collective resources and expertise that the University has to offer in the broad field(s) of water resources. With more than 100 faculty and staff currently engaged in research and projects related to water resources stewardship and security on the WVU campus, the Institute channels advancements in understanding of how climate, land management, biogeochemistry and the development of natural resources affect water resources and security in West Virginia, the United States and around the world.

RESPONSIBILITIES: The position will provide expert scientific and technical guidance related to reducing non-point source loading of nutrients and sediment to the waters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This is a non-tenure track position with rank of Research Assistant Professor (RAP) with full benefits including joint appointment in the Davis College of Natural Resources and Design and the Institute of Water Security and Science. The primary responsibilities of the position are to:

  • Support NRCS efforts to adaptively manage programs supporting voluntary agricultural conservation to more effectively address water quality challenges and restoration goals for the Chesapeake Bay
  • Review, synthesize, and coordinate current data and research to assist in characterizing successes, challenges, and opportunities encountered in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, particularly examining Conservation Innovation Grant and other Federally or State-sponsored technologies that focus on reducing nutrient and sediment
  • Identify and coordinate implementation of needed outcome-based science, such as findings from the Conservation Effects Assessment Project, necessary to quantify the impacts of conservation, including the establishment of baseline conditions and reference data, and guide future program delivery in the Chesapeake Bay
  • Support ongoing efforts to interpret and publish existing and emerging research to increase the effectiveness of assistance in addressing water quality concerns in the Chesapeake Bay
  • Support the development of publications for the general public describing current and emerging science about the impact of conservation systems on water quality in the Chesapeake Bay
  • Provide technical assistance to coordinate conservation delivery including opportunities to educate within context of responsibilities, with the WVU IWSS; WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural

Resources and Design; USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; and those of other agencies to benefit working farms and forests and to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

  • Work with NRCS and other partner organizations active in the Chesapeake Bay to provide spatial planning and decision support GIS data layers that inform agencies’ where to best implement conservation throughout the Chesapeake Bay
  • Provide scientific and technical support for NRCS collaboration with Environmental Protection Agency, regional and Chesapeake Bay Program offices, United States Geological Survey, state and local government agencies, and other partners relating to issues of inventory and modeling the impact of voluntary agricultural practices in the Chesapeake Bay
  • Coordinate research to document short- and long-term success of NRCS to manage adaptively and increase accountability for programs and
  • Work with the appropriate federal (NRCS) staff and field officers, and others, to advise on efforts to quantify water quality impacts of agriculture conservation

QUALIFICATIONS: A Ph.D. is required with evidence of scholarly and leadership capabilities in interdisciplinary water science (e.g. land use, agronomic, agricultural best management approaches, physical hydrology, surface water/groundwater interactions, biogeochemistry, climate science, groundwater modeling etc.), as well as a demonstrated ability to collaborate and create relationships with relevant stakeholders across complex systems. Excellent written and verbal communication skills, collaborative and service oriented leadership style, established capacity to secure external funding, a broad network of water resources experts and scholars, and a record of successful project management and research and development outputs are required. Applicants must possess strong communication skills, as evidenced by publication history and participation on interdisciplinary teams, and the ability to communicate technical information to scientific and lay communities. Chesapeake Bay Program area knowledge and experience is strongly desired.

COMMUNITY: This position is located in Morgantown, West Virginia, which is ranked as a most preferred small city in America. The immediate region has a diverse population of about 350,000 residents. The community lies within a high technology corridor that includes several federal research facilities, as well as resource based industries. The city is readily accessible to Pittsburgh, PA and Washington, DC. For more information on WVU and Morgantown, see http://www.wvu.edu and http://www.morgantown.com.

APPLICATIONS: Candidates should submit electronically a letter of application that includes statement of teaching, research, service and collaborative leadership accomplishments and philosophy, and interest and experience in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, full curriculum vita, and the names of references (to be contacted after conferring with candidates of interest), merged into a single PDF document (or as otherwise directed) to the West Virginia University Jobs application system. Requests for other information about this position can also be made to the search committee chair Jason.Hubbart@mail.wvu.edu. The review of applications will begin by March 1, 2017 and will continue until the position is filled. Preferred starting date will be spring or summer 2018.

West Virginia University is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. The University attempts to be responsive to dual career couples.

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