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  • National Institute on Scientific Teaching

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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The Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) investigates and documents the biological resources of Illinois and other areas, and acquires and provides natural history information that can be used to promote the common understanding, conservation, and management of these resources. INHS is part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. Learn more at

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit

The Stephen A. Forbes Biological Station, established in 1894, is located along the Illinois River on Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge near Havana, Illinois. It is the oldest inland field station in North America and one of nine field stations of the Illinois Natural History Survey. The Frank C. Bellrose Waterfowl Research Center is housed at the Forbes Biological Station. Staff of the Bellrose Waterfowl Research Center conduct research on a variety of topics relevant to wetland ecosystems, with a specific focus on the ecology and management of wetlands, waterfowl, and other waterbirds. Our research efforts focus on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers and the wetlands throughout the State.

INHS is seeking an Assistant Scientist, Waterbird Ecology to develop, direct, and conduct research and monitoring activities in the area of Wetland Bird, Wetland Ecology, or related natural resources fields to address the goals and objectives of the Survey. This position is located at the Forbes Biological Station in Havana, Illinois.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conduct research activities related to waterfowl, wading birds, marshbirds, shorebirds, passerines etc. as well as in the area of wetland ecology and other natural resource fields.

  • Collect, manage, and analyze scientific data.

  • Conduct field and laboratory work.

  • Manage, analyze, and translate research and monitoring data into scientific findings and provide management recommendations to funding agencies, collaborators, and other interested parties.

  • Translate scientific data into reports, peer-reviewed publications, and presentations to be delivered at conference and professional meetings.

  • Provide outreach and service to the public, the INHS, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, PRI, UIUC, and other professional organizations.

  • Communicate and interact with recipients of services and provide technical assistance.

  • Work with lay community to engender positive feedback regarding scientific research.

  • Coordinate and cooperate with the Survey, PRI, University of Illinois, and other groups.

  • Represent the Survey, PRI, University of Illinois and other agencies on committees.

  • Supervise, mentor, and lead hourly staff to achieve success and foster a culture of innovation and high-level performance at both individual and organizational levels. This includes task assignment, scheduling, and ongoing performance management with coaching and feedback and travel approval.

  • Perform other duties as needed in order to further the mission and goals of the Survey, PRI, and the University of Illinois.

  • Keep abreast of developments in this discipline

Required Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in natural resources management, wildlife biology, ecology or related field. Alternate degree fields will be considered depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position. Bachelors with a minimum of 5 years of experience or Masters with a minimum of 3 years of experience related to wetland birds. Experience identifying wetland birds (one or more of waterfowl, marshbird, wading birds, shorebirds), plants, and invertebrates. Experience using common software packages for data recording and analysis, reporting, and processing, including but not limited to ArcGIS and R. This position requires experience and training in wildlife capturing/handling, specifically waterfowl and other wetland birds. Experience working with boats, and ATVs. Must be able to swim. Effective communication, personal relations, collaboration, organizational, teamwork, and leadership skills. Demonstrated ability to perform effectively in a diverse and fast-paced work environment consisting of multiple and changing priorities with stringent deadlines, under minimal supervision. Attention to detail, sound judgment, and strong conflict resolution skills. Proficiency in commonly-employed software and databases. Demonstrated ability to communicate well in writing (reports and/or papers) and in oral presentations. Demonstrated leadership skills for the purpose of supervising, planning and monitoring research activities, and documenting progress. Valid Driver’s License

Preferred Qualifications:

Master’s degree in natural resources management, wildlife biology, ecology or related field. Alternate degree fields will be considered depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position.

Environmental Demands:

Will require working in adverse field conditions (heat, humidity, biting insects, etc.), travel throughout the State of Illinois working irregular hours. Must be able to physically carry out wetland bird survey field work, including being able to swim, walk through water and on uneven terrain. Overnight travel may be necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of this position.

Proposed Start Date: Estimated start date is August 16, 2019.

Salary: Competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Appointment Status: This is a regular full-time 12-month academic professional appointment, renewable annually based upon satisfactory progress in the position and continued funding. Eligible for full University benefits package as well as generous vacation and sick leave packages.

To Apply: Applications must be received by July 31, 2019. Interviews may take place prior to the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after that date. Please visit to complete an online profile and to upload 1) a cover letter that clearly articulates how your qualifications and experience make you a viable candidate for this position and should address the qualifications listed above, 2) a résumé/CV, and 3) the names and contact information (including e-mail addresses) of three professional references. All requested information/documentation must be submitted for applications to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

For technical inquiries regarding this position, please contact Auriel Fournier, Director, Forbes Biological Station at or 217-300-8698.

For further information, please contact Amber Hall, Human Resources, Prairie Research Institute at or 217-300-4080.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

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