Post-doctoral researcher in water quality related to perennial cropping systems
University of Minnesota
Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Type: Full Time
Preferred Education: Doctorate
Internal Number: 343972
The Sustainable Cropping Systems Lab is hiring a post-doctoral researcher to work at the University of Minnesota in the Dept. of Agronomy and Plant Genetics to study the effects of perennial crops on water quality. This is a 1.0 FTE term position with funding for two years. The position requires regular field and laboratory work at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus.
Background: The researcher will evaluate soil moisture dynamics, nitrate leaching potential, and yield of perennial cropping systems that include intermediate wheatgrass managed for grain (Kernza®), alfalfa, and native prairie. The post-doc will oversee two funded projects on this topic, analyze data, write peer-reviewed papers, and contribute to the design and development of new projects related to the agronomy and agroecology of Kernza® production systems.
The researcher will work closely with PIs, graduate students, and field technicians in the Sustainable Cropping Systems lab (PI Dr. Jacob Jungers) and the Gutknecht Lab (PI Dr. Jessica Gutknecht) to track nutrient and water movement through the soil profile. Research includes measuring nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations over time in soil and soil water, recording soil moisture at various soil depths, collecting soil water samples using lysimeters, and measuring grain and biomass yields from perennial crops. The project includes replicated field experiments and instrumented on-farm production sites. The project is highly collaborative and offers the opportunity to work with partners from local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, farmers, non-profit organizations, and supply chain and commercialization teams.
Specific tasks include:
Data management and analysis (50%) – Manage and analyze data for grant reporting, peer-reviewed publications, outreach products, and presentations.
Fieldwork management (25%) - Oversee field tasks related to research goals of measuring water quality benefits from perennial crops. Duties include scheduling and participating in the collection of soil samples, soil water samples from lysimeters, and grain and biomass samples for crop yields. Travel to the field trials and on-farm demonstration fields is required throughout the growing season.
Lab activities (15%) – Process soil and water samples in the Gutknecht lab.
Research dissemination (5%) – Prepare virtual and in-person presentations for professional society conferences, state agency briefings, project update meetings, field days, and Forever Green Initiative outreach events.
Professional development (5%). Activities will vary depending on the researcher’s career goals. Opportunities exist to mentor students, teach graduate and/or undergraduate classes, develop outreach materials for project partners, participate in efforts to enhance diversity, equity, and racial justice, and contribute to future research through grant writing.
Commitment to Justice: We believe that our work is made more creative, novel, and impactful through having a diverse team. PIs are committed to providing opportunities for students of color and other underrepresented individuals in science to become future leaders in the field. The University of Minnesota, as well, is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, or sexual orientation. In that spirit, we encourage all qualified individuals to apply.
Applicants must have a PhD in soil science, hydrology, agronomy, or a related field upon beginning the position. Experience in cropping systems field research is necessary. Applicants should have have strong quantitative skills and demonstrated writing abilities through the publication of research.
Land Grant University located in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. It is an institution committed to hiring a diverse faculty and staff, and actively encourages candidates from historically underrepresented groups to apply.