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Staff Scientist- Insect Ecologist

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Terrestrial / Aquatic Ecology & Conservation
Location Colorado - America North
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Company Name NEON, Inc.
Contact Name Laura Reynolds
Telephone 720-746-4930
Website Further Details / Applications
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IMPORTANT:  This Advertiser has requested that applicants MUST be National Residents / Valid Work Permit-holders.  Other applicants need not apply.


Staff Scientist- Insect Ecologist

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.

The Insect Ecologist develops, tests, and evaluates documents associated with the Ground Beetle Abundance and Diversity, and Mosquito Abundance, Diversity, and Phenology sampling designs. Primary responsibilities include refining field and lab protocols, writing documents that describe data processing algorithms, generating datasets suitable for testing data processing algorithm functionality, supporting the development of analytical contracts, and resolving sampling issues encountered by Field Operations staff. The Insect Ecologist will also participate in some field work associated with collecting baseline data at several (<10) sites.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
• Lead refinements to sampling designs and protocols to track abundance, diversity, phenology, and population dynamics of ground-dwelling beetles and mosquitoes.
• Lead and refine the NEON invertebrate identification design, including DNA barcode libraries for selected taxa.
• Develop and test algorithms used in data processing, and produce documents defining the theoretical basis for those algorithms.
• Work with other NEON scientists to develop appropriate data formats for effective, user-friendly data access.
• Develop, test, and evaluate QA/QC protocols for field sampling and data processing.
• Work with the NEON Audit lab to develop appropriate workflows for beetle and mosquito data quality control and quality assurance.
• Document the methods and results for all baseline data collection efforts related to ground beetles and mosquitos.
• Assist in the development of training material and field manuals for ground beetle and mosquito field and lab procedures.
• Assist with the identification of and interface with external facilities for identification and analyses.
• Develop data products and quality check data from field crews and external labs.
• Assist with the data management between outsourced analytical facilities and NEON Cyberinfrastructure team.
• In coordination with other team members and the Assistant Director for Terrestrial Ecology, contribute to other team deliverables. .
• Coordinate information sharing with relevant external and or internal communities via informal (e.g. email) and formal (e.g. presentations) communications. Work with collaborating laboratories and NEON scientists to facilitate publication of results, and collaborate with other NEON scientists to prepare reports and develop recommendations for best practices, future analyses and data processing.
• Travel to field site and conduct work in a variety of weather conditions.
• Follow NEON and site specific, environmental protection requirements, policy and procedures.

Required Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills:
• PhD in ecology, evolution, or related field.
• Five (5) years research experience (may include PhD research) in insect ecology, specifically related to ground-dwelling beetles or mosquitoes.
• Ability and experience with scientific writing and review.
• Proficiency with data analysis.
• Effective communication and interpersonal skills in order to communicate with and develop relationships with internal staff and external entities (e.g., outsourced facilities, science community).
• The candidate may be exposed to conditions in the field, and therefore must be able and willing to traverse uneven ground such as dirt banks, stream beds, and steep slopes carrying, moving, and lifting equipment and materials up to 40 lbs.

Preferred Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills:
• Five (5) years field experience (including PhD research), familiarity with pitfall trapping methods, mosquito trapping methods, insect identification, bioarchive collections, and/or DNA barcoding.
• Proficiency with R, including scripting to automate data QA/QC tasks.
• Proficiency with relational databases (PostreSQL, Access).

Must have permanent authorization for US employment.

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

- See more at: http://www.neoninc.org/jobs/InsectEcologist2014#sthash.sOlOf95b.dpuf
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