The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a $430 million dollar observatory project dedicated to understanding how changes in climate, land use and invasive species impact ecology. For the next three decades NEON will collect a comprehensive range of ecological data on a continental scale across 20 eco-climatic domains representing US ecosystems. NEON will use cutting edge technology including an airborne observation platform that will capture images of regional landscapes and vegetation; mobile, re-locatable, and fixed data collection sites with automated ground sensors to monitor soil and atmosphere; and trained field crews who will observe and sample populations of diverse organisms and collect soil and water data. A leading edge cyber-infrastructure will calibrate, store and publish this information. The Observatory will grow to 300+ personnel and will be the first of its kind designed to detect and enable forecasting of ecological change at continental scales.
Reporting to the Project Scientist and in collaboration with several science team leaders, the incumbent serves as a scientific and technical resource within the Project Science Office to support active engagement between the Observatory and the broader science community and promote scientific advancements in continental-scale ecology relevant to the observatory mission. Areas of work cut across NEON science teams and require proactive coordination and collaboration across these teams as well as Education and Public Outreach and External Affairs.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Specific duties and responsibilities in supporting the Project Science Office include but are not limited to the following:
• Work with NEON’s Science teams and the external user community to promote the use and scientific impact of NEON data, data products and infrastructure assets – e.g., via science symposia, workshops, technical working group meetings and formation of external science teams.
• Further develop and refine plans and policies regarding access to and use of NEON infrastructure assets – e.g., instrumented towers, airborne platforms and mobile deployment platforms -- that are available to the community for PI driven research activities.
• Assist in developing strategies and protocols for integrating new and emerging methods and technologies into observatory operations.
• Further develop and refine policies and procedures designed to promote and manage research coordination and collaboration at NEON sites, locally, regionally and nationally.
• Support development and implementation of plans for verification and validation of the scientific output of the Observatory – i.e., science validation and commissioning.
• Organize technical working groups (internally and externally) to address a variety of cross-cutting science issues (e.g., scaling and statistical issues, modeling and forecasting, quality assurance planning).
• Work with NEON’s Science and Permitting teams in resolving NEON site selection issues.
• Develop and deliver seminars (by self and staff) at a variety of universities, field stations and other venues as appropriate; represent NEON on matters of science in these venues in full coordination with science team leads.
• Create and make presentations at professional meetings, and reports.
• Travel to meetings and or national conferences.
• Follow NEON policy and procedures.
Required Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills:
• PhD in Ecology, Biology, Natural Resources or related field.
• Six (6) or more years’ experience in ecological research, natural resources management or related field.
• Demonstrated expert-level communication skills to ensure candidate will effectively explain Observatory mission requirements, present solutions to internal issues, and influence management or external sponsors in areas of expertise relevant to NEON.
• Demonstrated interpersonal skills with the ability to interact effectively with a wide range of scientific, technical, and management staff, students, stakeholders, educators and the public.
• Solid analytical and creative problem solving skills – demonstrated ability to successfully apply experience and judgment to both short- and long-term challenges.
• Ability to work independently and as part of an active science team.
• Scientific writing and review skills as proven by a strong publication record and record of review of peer reviewed publications in a science field. Editorial experience a plus.
Preferred Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills:
• Ten (10) or more years’ experience in ecological research, natural resources management or related field.
• Broadly trained in field-based ecology and related sciences relevant to NEON.
• Experience addressing science questions at broad geographic scales; preferably at the regional to continental scale.
• Experience with statistical and modeling experience in large scale ecology.
• History of active engagement with the ecological and natural resources management communities.
• Experience in developing and communicating science policy and plans.
• Familiarity with development and commissioning of large-scale science projects with distributed sites and management.
• Experience in implementing or managing inventory and monitoring programs.
• History of good communication experience among multiple partners -- academic, government, nonprofit and private.
• Knowledge of field-based biology protocols and best practices.
• Direct experience working with field crews and field stations.
• Experience working in a collaborative scientific enterprise or project.
• Ability to coach, mentor and counsel junior scientists with a wide range of experience, skills and interests.
• Self-starter, who can create new opportunities, use novel methods, analyses and approaches to enable continental-scale research.
This is a term position with work scheduled until end of construction, which is anticipated to be September 30, 2017.
Must have permanent authorization for US employment.
NEON Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, Minorities, Veterans and Disabled Persons are encouraged to apply.