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Climate Change Forest Research Assistant / Research Assistant I

Michigan State University

Job detailsJob TypeFull-timeLocation648 N. Shaw Lane, Room 368, East Lansing, MI 48824+ Leaflet | OpenStreetMap contributorsBenefitsPulled from the full job descriptionUnion benefitsFull Job Description

Position description: The Department of Forestry at Michigan State University invites applications for a full-time, Climate Change, Forest Carbon and Geospatial MRV Research Assistant who will assist with research projects within the Global Observatory for Ecosystem Services (GOES). This is an end-dated, grant-funded, benefits-eligible, union position, with funding for one year from date of hire, with extension possible depending on continued funding availability.
Duties: The successful candidate will assist in coordination and performing research and geospatial laboratory operations and analysis; supporting field work and operations to meet goals of research projects; assist in the design and implementation of computer software models, data handling systems and tools development using applicable computer programming languages, scripts and IDEs. The position performs professional and technical duties within defined parameters involving analysis, development, preparation, implementation and maintenance of geospatial dataset and computer programs. This research will involve integration of geospatial information systems, such as databases, GIS and remote sensing (satellite) imagery with online information systems in a Web browser; will support the development of machine learning models that use UNet CNN code and models to analyze images for trees as objects; will build database backed web applications as well as machine learning; demonstrable proficiency working with UNet Convolutional Neural Networks, Jupyter Notebooks, R, Python, Django, Windows Web-server environments, and relational databases; will work in a team environment and lead lower-level support and student staff on assigned projects of limited scope and complexity or on small components of larger projects; will also consult with key stakeholders to perform needs assessments, which are then are converted into computer programs that satisfy those needs while conforming to prescribed designs and specifications. The position supports back- and front-end development of cloud-based, Web-enabled applications in support of an international research project on climate change and forests; and will support developing machine learning tools and models to analyze satellite imagery.
Global Observatory for Ecosystem Services: The GOES team uses interdisciplinary methods to understand the role of forest and ecosystem change at the global scale. We work in tropical systems in forests, woodlands and trees outside of forests. Our work is nested in actionable science to support climate change policy frameworks and the intersection of environment and development. Our research and observing systems are applied to climate change mitigation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The aim is to provide knowledge and technical capacity building for low carbon management in the forestry and agriculture sectors. We have projects around the world, working with international partners to conserve forests and mitigate climate change through new models of low carbon sustainable forest management. We emphasize models for reducing deforestation and forest degradation, and forest landscape restoration. Find out more at our web site at
Location: The position is based at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, USA. Formally established in 1902, Michigan States Department of Forestry was among the first undergraduate forestry programs in the U.S. and is accredited by the Society of American Foresters. The Department is a vibrant, growing, internationally recognized unit committed to interdisciplinary education, research, and extension to understand and resolve environmental and natural resource issues.
Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills
Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in the specific field of research employment or other related science fields; one to three years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in standard laboratory procedures and safety requirements and performing analytical and research techniques in an area related to research being performed; may require software specific to the area of research; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. The position may require special licensing or certification in the field related to the area of employment.
Desired Qualifications
A desirable set of qualifications includes geography, environmental sciences, computer science, engineering, data science, geospatial information systems, or data science and analytics. Ability to perform technical system analysis and to write and maintain effective Web-based mapping programs and spatial models in an independent, entrepreneurial, focused, self-driven manner; experience directing software development projects; knowledge of applicable computer programming languages, scripts and IDEs; experience building database backed web applications as well as machine learning; demonstrable proficiency working with UNet Convolutional Neural Networks, Jupyter Notebooks, R, Python, Django, Windows Web-server environments, and relational databases; ability to relate with diverse stakeholders and clients, and convert their requirements into computer programs that enables them to achieve their goals; excellent communication, planning, organizational and leadership skills to successfully accomplish goals; ArcGIS and ArcGIS Server; GeoDjango; ASP.NET framework; Postgres; MySQL and other databases; GUI programming.
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
Upload the following required documents: a) letter of interest that details your qualifications for the position; b) current curriculum vitae; and c) contact information for three professional references.
Together-we-will Statement

The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at:

Special Instructions
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Work Hours
Description of End Date
This is an off dated position funded for one year from the date of hire with possible extension contingent upon funding renewal.
Remote Work Statement
MSU strives to provide a flexible work environment and this position has been designated as remote-friendly. Remote-friendly means some or all of the duties can be performed remotely as mutually agreed upon.
Bidding eligibility ends on 2/7/2023 at 11:55 PM
Hiring InsightsJob activityPosted 22 days ago

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