The University of Saskatchewan values diversity, and Aboriginal engagement is a strategic priority.

Research Technician

Department: Soil Science, College of Agriculture and Bioresources

FTE: 1.0

Status: Three year appointment as follows:

  • March 15, 2017 through October 31, 2017 – full time (1.0 FTE) appointment
  • November 1, 2017 – continues as a half-time (0.5 FTE) appointment, with potential for ongoing full-time employment subject to availability of additional funds.

Competition No.: RS1707

Salary Information: Salary range offered is $42,000 to $54,000 per annum (prorated at 1.0 FTE).

Project Title: Understanding Resilience in Agroecosystems: Landscapes in Transition

Primary Purpose: The Department of Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan is seeking a full-time Research Technician to support a research project investigating soil ecosystem services within agricultural landscapes in the Canadian Prairies. The goal is to quantify key soil ecosystem services and their resilience to change at multiple scales (micro- to landscape) and use this information to propose management approaches that maximize food security and sustainability under a changing climate.

Specific objectives are to:

  1. identify functional landscape management (FLM) zones using remote sensing and in-field soil surveys
  2. identify the field- to micro-scale influence of landscape and land use (cropland, grassland, forest, riparian zones) on soil properties and functions – both under a given land use and at the edges between select land uses
  3. using the variability of biophysical properties and processes within and among FLM zones, quantify and value the services provided within each FLM zone

A range of techniques will be used to meet the research objectives including aerial imaging and GIS mapping, novel soil quality measurements (e.g., using synchrotron spectroscopy), root growth dynamics using minirhizotrons, and molecular assessment of soil microbial composition and function (e.g. PLFA, enzyme assays, NGS approaches and functional metagenomic microarrays). 

Nature of Work: 

  • Work closely with the team of researchers to plan and implement field sampling designs
  • Coordinate field sampling schedules across multiple graduate student projects to maximize efficient use of resources
  • Provide logistical support to graduate students, particularly in the implementation of soil and plant sample collection, processing, and laboratory analyses
  • Support drone aerial image collection and analysis
  • Support in-situ root image collection and analysis using a mini-rhizotron system
  • Travel to field locations off-campus and perform physical labour in cropped fields and adjacent grassland and forested sites
  • Supervise undergraduate research assistants
  • Ensure compliance with safety regulations in the field and laboratory
  • Maintain equipment and arrange for servicing when necessary

Qualifications 

Education:  A MSc in soil science, resource management, environmental science or related field with experience in field-based research or BSc with at least two years of relevant work experience

Experience:  Experience and skills in field data collection (soil and vegetation) and data management

Skills: 

  • Proficient in routine soil chemical, physical, and biological laboratory analyses
  • Team player with strong initiative who can work with minimal supervision and anticipate team needs
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability and willingness to travel and work evenings and weekends, if necessary, to complete soil and vegetation sampling during the field season
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Digital image processing and GIS experience an asset

Please apply no later than February 21, 2017 at 4:30pm.

Interested candidates should submit a CV and contact information for three references to:

Dr. Angela Bedard-Haughn

University of Saskatchewan

angela.bedard-haughn@usask.ca

For more information, please contact Dr. Bedard-Haughn.

Review of applications will begin on February 21, 2017 and continue until the job is filled. 

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The University of Saskatchewan is strongly committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that empowers all employees to reach their full potential. All members of the university community share a responsibility for developing and maintaining an environment in which differences are valued and inclusiveness is practiced. The university welcomes applications from those who will contribute to the diversity of our community. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.

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