Field Operations Manager – Domain 1 - Northeast
Friday, June 22, 2012 08:21 AM

The National Ecological Observatory Network, Inc. (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, relocatable, 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 cyberinfrastructure 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.


The NEON Field Operations Manager will be responsible for managing all personnel and activities coordinated from the field office.  Field office activities include preventative and corrective maintenance of scientific instrumentation, field observations, specimen collection, handling, preparation and shipment according to NEON scientific protocols.  The Field Operations Manager reports to the Director of Field Operations at NEON headquarters.


The Domain 1 Field Operations Manager’s primary work location is near Petersham, MA.  This position supports sites in the Northeast Domain.  Northeast candidate sites are located in Massachusetts at Harvard Forest (LTER) near Petersham, MA, Bartlett Experimental Forest near Bartlett, NH, and in Burlington, MA.  The Northeast Domain includes parts of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Supervises all regular and seasonal field personnel supporting field office, lab and collection sites.
  • Performs and oversees the recruitment and training of regular and seasonal field personnel.
  • Coordinates logistics and schedules, within NEON scientific parameters, for all maintenance, repair and field activities.  Performs and oversees maintenance, repair and field activities according to NEON scientific protocols.
  • Responsible for assuring that NEON EHS policies, procedures, and practices are followed within their area of authority.  Field Operations Managers are expected to reinforce positive attitudes toward safety and set the example for their staff by enabling compliance with safety requirements.
  • Administers the operation of the office and laboratory.  Oversees maintenance of office and lab areas including lab equipment and coordinates necessary repair or replacement.
  • Acts as liaison between regional stakeholders, including educational and research organizations, local property owners and the general public and NEON, Inc.  Communicates NEON status and activities, local activities and partnerships, and regional issues and concerns to appropriate regional stakeholders and NEON staff.  Works with regional stakeholders to resolve issues or concerns.
  • Accountable for enforcing and following NEON, Inc. policy and procedure including administrative, safety, and financial requirements for field station operations.
  • Prepares annual operating budget for assigned office, lab and collection sites in collaboration with the Director of Field Operations.  Ensures NEON funds are used appropriately and within budget.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Graduate study in biology, ecology, environmental science or related field preferred.

Required Experience

  • 3+ years experience supervising at least 5 personnel including hiring, evaluating performance, implementing performance improvement plans and terminating employees.
  • 3+ years experience in management including budgeting, monthly status reporting.
  • 3+ years developing complex work or task schedules (e.g. 24x7 operations with full-time, part-time, and seasonal staff).
  • Previous experience performing ecology related lab and field activities and/or maintaining scientific instrumentation (e.g. meteorological and aquatic sensors).
  • Previous experience communicating with external stakeholders such as customers, funding agencies, regulatory agencies, etc.

Preferred Experience

  • Previous experience managing a technical field operations services group.
  • Previous experience leading or participating in outdoor activities in remote areas.
  • Familiarity with federal and state employment and safety regulations.

Skills and Abilities:

  • Able to set goals and fulfill them in the absence of close supervision.  Ability to independently organize and execute multiple activities and priorities.
  • Strong leadership skills and the ability to motivate others.
  • Excellent problem solving skills and the ability to determine and act on changing priorities in a fast paced dynamic environment.
  • Displays good judgment in ensuring safety and operational standards are met.
  • Able to send communications effectively so they are thoroughly understood; choosing the medium in accordance with the nature of the inquiry, task, and timeframe; and proactively gathering and utilizing feedback
  • Comfortable with the technologies needed to communicate and coordinate over distance.  Willing to adopt new technologies as needed.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office programs.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license.
  • Ability to travel frequently within the local domain and occasional travel domestically.

Physical Abilities:

  • Ability to lift up to 40 lbs.
  • Ability to hike long distances and stand for extended periods of time.
  • Willingness to work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult or hazardous terrain.
  • Ability to ascend and descend multiple flights of stairs on instrument towers.
  • Willingness to perform work on an open, elevated platform ranging in height from 25’ to 300’.
  • Ability to perform work requiring reaching, bending, kneeling, stooping, lifting, finger dexterity, grasping, feeling, repetitive motions, talking and hearing.
  • The employee may be exposed to fumes, dust, and noise.

NOTE:  We will interview/hire this position now for an anticipated start date of November 2012.

Apply to:

NEON Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, Minorities, Veterans and Disabled Persons are encouraged to apply.

Senior LTER Field Technician
Thursday, June 07, 2012 06:38 AM

TITLE: Senior Research Assistant, Requisition #0600506
SALARY:  $36,000.  Continued employment is contingent upon federal funding.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS: A Bachelor's degree in Biology, Soil Science. Environmental Sciences or field of research applicable to the position and three years of related experience. Must have a Valid Driver's License.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:  The selected individual will be self-motivated, flexible, possess strong supervisory and organizational abilities, enjoy working under desert field conditions with high heat and sun exposure (as this is primarily a desert field position), work reliably both independently and as part of a team, establish and maintain effective working relationships with associates and principle investigators, be comfortable working safely with moderately hazardous materials, recognize the extreme accuracy and consistency essential to long term research, follow detailed oral and/or written instructions precisely, communicate well both verbally and in writing, and be able to coordinate needs with other agencies/groups. Acute attention to small details, enthusiasm, and the ability to get along well with co-workers, supervisors, and principle investigators are musts.

Ideally, the successful candidate will have field experience in plant identification and the use of dichotomous keys, experience working in a lab environment, good working knowledge of Microsoft Office products, be
comfortable using hand and power tools, and have field experience in research related to the research areas addressed by this LTER program as well as demonstrated skills in training and directing work of assigned

RESPONSIBILITIES:  Work is based out of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM.  Individual will participate in the on-going and multi-disciplinary Jornada Basin Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program on desertification in the Chihuahuan Desert. Research disciplines include plant ecology (~35%), aeolian studies (~25%), hydrology (~10%), animal ecology (<5%), soils (~9%), and climatology
(~5%). Approximately 80% of the time will be spent outdoors collecting data, with the remaining 20% of the time spent in the lab processing samples, cleaning equipment, checking data, and maintaining appropriate
documentation.  Although the position is usually 40 hours a week, additional hours may occasionally be required both during the week and on weekends.

Specific field responsibilities include plant measurements and identification (~200 species); soil moisture measurements using a neutron probe; collection of aeolian dust and hydrology samples; handling and identification of small mammals (~20 species); and maintenance of field instruments, equipment, and infrastructure. The
position will entail manual labor such as routine carrying of heavy instruments in the field for extended periods and that related to infrastructure maintenance.  General responsibilities include collecting and recording moderately complex data in both field and laboratory environments in accordance with established protocols; data entry; maintaining organizational and historical data for each study; aiding principle investigators with data collection; design, testing, and/or modification of experimental equipment and procedures; and the installation of experimental apparatus.

The Senior Research Assistant also supervises and coordinates the collection, recording, and error checking of research data; assists with scheduling and evaluation of assigned staff; assists with establishing and documenting protocols; maintains experimental data, organizational data, and other records; assists with and/or supervises the setting up of experimental apparatus, instruments, and other equipment; manages a small laboratory according to federal and university regulations; maintains accurate inventory records; acts as a liason for principle investigators; provides support for visiting scientists; and performs related work as required. Information about the Jornada Basin LTER program:

BENEFITS:  Group medical and hospital insurance, group life insurance, state education retirement, worker's compensation, sick leave, and unemployment compensation.

Review of APPLICATIONS:  Review of applications will begin June 20th and close June 27th. Submit letter of interest, resume or CV, copy of unofficial transcripts, and 3 letters of reference with contact

REPLY TO: For a complete job description or to apply for this position, visit, Requisition #0600506. Questions about the position may be directed to John Anderson, Jornada LTER Site Manager,
Voice: 505-646-5818; Email: [email protected].
Note to applicants:  The NMSU electronic application is the "official" document that will be used to qualify applicants.  Letter of Interest and Resume will only be used as a screening tool for the hiring
department.  Paper/email documents will not be accepted. Required documents must be attached to the online electronic application. The other attachment option is being made available to facilitate attaching transcripts.

50 year Anniversary of Gobabeb Station
Thursday, April 26, 2012 06:36 AM

From a humble beginning in 1962, Gobabeb has established itself over 50 years as proud centre of research and education – making valuable contributions to Namibia’s national knowledge base as well as to the international scientific community.

Gobabeb is synonymous with the Namib Desert, a unique environment that encompasses vast panoramas of majestic landscapes in a striking range of diverse, fascinating plant and animal life, distinct in its beauty and aesthetic charm.  Gobabeb lies in the middle of this pristine environment, 160 km inland from the nearest coastal harbor town of Walvis Bay, in a 100 year long conservation area – the Namib Naukluft Nature Park.   It is an outstanding example of the well researched geological, geomorphologic, ecological and biological desert landscape processes.

For the past fifty years since its inception the centre’s key aim is to facilitate and promote field oriented research taking advantage of the unique characteristics of the Namib Desert.  The centre is also taking part in a leading role for the sustainable practices through natural resource management in arid environments throughout Namibia, the SADC region and internationally.   For the future the intention is to strengthen the centre by continuing to expand knowledge and understanding of the local, national and global environment, and to enhance its capacity to contribute towards a sustainable desert environment.

By: Inge A. Henschel (Gobabeb Research and Training Centre, Librarian)

For more information please contact us at [email protected] and


Field Station and Marine Lab Emerging Intiative Survey
Friday, March 16, 2012 12:16 PM

Dear OBFS and NAML Members,

On March 14 you should have received a link to a survey produced by the Field Stations and Marine Laboratories Emerging Initiative Project.

A key goal of this NSF funded project (DBI-1126161) is to gather information that will help facilitate strategic planning for place-based research stations.  This survey will help us collect a representative picture of the variation in site types, which is dependent on a high response rate.  Please help us develop a good description of the place-based research stations and what their needs are by responding to this survey

We have worked hard to keep the survey response time to 20 minutes as we know your time is valuable.  We will not be collecting detailed site information, but rather developing a general understanding of what the landscape looks like for institutions.

If for some reason you did not receive an email with a link to the survey, or know of someone who should receive this survey, please use this link to add a site:  You can also email us information.

If you have questions feel free to contact me.

Ian Billick Executive Director, RMBL

Chair in Freshwater Science, Univ. Of Mississippi
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 06:29 AM

Doherty Chair in Freshwater Science
Department of Biology and Center for Water and Wetland Resources

The University of Mississippi’s Department of Biology and Center for Water and Wetland Resources (CWWR) seeks an exceptional individual to expand their programs in freshwater science. The successful candidate will hold the title of Doherty Chair, with office and laboratory space at the CWWR located at the UM Field Station.

We seek a model mentor, teacher and researcher with an established, extramurally funded research program who is qualified to hold the position of tenured professor in the Department of Biology. The Doherty Chair will be expected to 1) ensure excellence in scholarship, teaching and service; 2) increase the level and scope of extramural funding that supports academic and research initiatives in the Department of Biology and the CWWR; 3) provide leadership in developing a national reputation for the university’s freshwater science programs; and 4) enhance outreach efforts in the community and the region. It is expected that the Chair’s research will be conducted at least in part at the CWWR.  Teaching will be commensurate with the Chair’s research commitment and interests.  Graduate assistantships are associated with the position.

The Center for Water and Wetland Resources is a specialized research unit located at the 740-acre UM Field Station, approximately 12 miles from the main campus, which includes natural and constructed wetlands, more than 200 experimental ponds from 0.1 to 2 acres, and several springs and small streams. More information concerning the CWWR and field station is available at

To apply, please visit our Online Employment Service for full job description at Applications should include: (1) cover letter outlining interest and suitability for the position, (2) curriculum vitae, (3) statement of research interests, (4) reprints of up to five recent publications, and (5) a list of three references.  Letters of nomination should be addressed to Dr. Marjorie M. Holland, Chair, Search Committee for Doherty Chair in Freshwater Science, Department of Biology, University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677.  
Consideration of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

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