Michigan State University Extension is committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive organization, which requires all staff to contribute towards a vision for success. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to our work, regardless of title or position within the organization. This means that all staff at MSU Extension are dedicated to the following:
We work together to ensure that programming is delivered to diverse audiences, produces equitable impacts for all participants, and demonstrates partnership and inclusion for all groups.
We embrace that it is everyone’s job to create a culture that promotes diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
We ensure that every team member is prepared with the skills and resources to contribute to our welcoming and inclusive culture.
We foster inclusion by recognizing and valuing diverse perspectives, skills, experiences, and work to create equal access to programming for communities.
We commit to continuous learning for diversity, equity, and cultural competency, in order to achieve inclusive excellence.
We understand that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential elements to our work and are vital to the organizational culture and programmatic success of MSU Extension.
We embrace a culture of understanding, coaching and feedback towards achieving a vision of success for the entire organization and its staff.
Together we will achieve success and we commit to these goals in our work, continued education, and ongoing efforts.
Assists in overseeing and coordinating laboratory and/or field operations, assists in planning and designing experiments, conducts experiments and analyzes resultant data in order to participate in conducting research projects.
As part of MSU Extension, the Community, Food and Environment Institute, and the Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI), the zoology technician will work as part of MNFI’s Science Team to implement field research, monitoring, and inventory projects in cooperation with project principal investigators (PIs). The mission of the Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) is to guide the conservation of Michigan’s biodiversity by providing the highest quality scientific expertise and information. MNFI’s vision is to be the authoritative source of information on biodiversity that is widely used to conserve Michigan’s unique natural heritage for current and future generations. This position has statewide responsibilities.
The Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) maintains the statewide Natural Heritage database documenting the occurrences and status of rare species and exemplary natural communities. This core function is an essential component of many MNFI projects. The database is required by partner agencies who perform legally mandated regulatory functions, allowing them to complete tasks, perform regulatory reviews, produce products, and meet deadlines. This ongoing research is used by federal, state, and local agencies and private organizations to guide land management, development, and conservation decisions. The database forms the foundation for providing information to decision makers. MNFI utilizes the Biotics 5 platform, which is an integrated, web-enabled system for tabular and spatial data management for the Heritage Network.
In this position, you will be responsible for data management using Biotics 5 and the full suite of Esri GIS products. You will routinely conduct field sampling for an array of rare and declining species, such as birds, herptiles, mammals, and insects, using a variety of techniques. In collaboration with staff scientists, you will assist with data management, analysis, and report writing. You will also work with the Geographic Information System (GIS)/Information Technology (IT) Team to enter and maintain information in the MNFI Natural Heritage Database.
This position will be housed at the MNFI office in Lansing, Michigan, within a secure State of Michigan building.
This is a full-time, end-dated appointment, renewable annually based upon continued funding.
Assists in coordinating research and/or field operations for the Natural Heritage database system.
Performs experimental tests and assays and records and analyzes results to provide conclusive data for research projects.
Consults with research supervisor to assist in planning and designing experiments.
Compiles and summarizes results and participates in preparing reports, manuscripts, and articles for publication.
Acts as a resource person to internal and external individuals regarding research projects and experiments.
Performs all field work in order to run experiments.
Oversees the compliance to laboratory and field safety regulations and procedures.
Reviews the work of other research technicians and student employees.
Oversees laboratory/field needs and orders materials, supplies, and equipment.
Operates, calibrates, and maintains laboratory/field instruments and equipment to ensure proper functioning, accuracy, and compliance with written specifications.
Researches literature to maintain current knowledge of field and laboratory research methods and terminology.
Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills
Knowledge equivalent to that which would normally be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in zoology, ecology, fisheries and wildlife, natural resources management, or closely related science field.
One to three years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in standard laboratory procedures and safety requirements.
Performing analytical and research techniques in an area related to research being performed.
Ability to independently conduct long days of strenuous fieldwork under adverse conditions for prolonged periods of time throughout the State of Michigan.
Ability to navigate in remote areas, including experience using a compass, maps, and GPS technology.
Requires software specific to the area of research.
Or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
Other skills and/or physical abilities required to perform duties of the position.
This position requires or will require, prior to completion of the probationary period: knowledge of basic personal computer terminology and operations, and the ability to use e-mail and the Internet.
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in zoology, ecology, fisheries and wildlife, natural resources management, or related field, earned by date of hire.
Familiarity with the fauna and flora of the Great Lakes region.
Experience conducting field research and implementing survey protocols for animal surveys and habitat characterization.
Demonstrated ability to identify birds (by sight and sound), herptiles, mammals, and/or insects.
Ability to follow prescribed sampling protocols, accurately record data, conduct quality assurance reviews, and manage information according to appropriate data standards.
Demonstrated experience with Esri GIS software products, such as ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, and/or Survey123.
Knowledge of Natural Heritage methodology and data management.
Familiarity with statistical data analyses and software.
Proficiency in use of technology (e.g., web research, Microsoft Office Suite, including use of word processors and spreadsheets, Adobe products, email/calendaring, distance technology, etc.) for day-to-day work, record keeping, reporting, team-based communications, and overall management.
Familiarity with topographic maps and a general knowledge of flora and fauna of the Upper Great Lakes region.
Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication, and organizational skills.
Demonstrated drive and initiative, with proven ability to manage multiple responsibilities and tasks simultaneously.
Self-motivated with the demonstrated ability to work independently and complete tasks in a deadline driven environment.
Actively participate in a variety of professional development opportunities to retain existing skills, and ability to quickly learn new skills and procedures.
Thoroughness and attention to detail.
Ability to work effectively with multidisciplinary teams in an office or virtual environment, including the ability to serve in both leadership and contributory roles.
Demonstrated success in program development and delivery to diverse audiences/communities, and proven ability in establishing and working with a diverse network of constituents and community members across race, color, gender, national origin, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, veteran status, socioeconomic class, and other differences.
Ability to demonstrate sensitivity, knowledge, and use of appropriate approaches, skills, and techniques, which reflect an understanding and awareness of social, cultural, and economic diversity of the target population served.
Commitment to natural resource conservation, respect for property ownership, scientific credibility, reliable data, and fiscal accountability.
Prior experience performing work in support of external contract and/or grant requirements.
Ability to lift and carry research materials and equipment, etc. up to 25 lbs.
Ability to travel in local and surrounding communities and long distances.
Transportation is the responsibility of the employee.
Other skills and/or physical abilities required to perform duties of this position.
Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.
Required Application Materials
Four (4) professional references including two (2) current or previous supervisors.
The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at: https://msu.edu/together-we-will/
Generally 40 hours Monday through Friday with some nights and weekends.
Description of End Date
This is an off-dated position funded for one year from date of hire, with possible extension contingent upon funding renewal.
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