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Geographic Info System Research Asst. - Research Assistant I

Company: Inside Higher Ed
Location: East Lansing
Posted on: February 24, 2021

Job Description:

Job no: 691629Work type: Extension, Support StaffPay Grade: 11Major Administrative Unit / College: Michigan State University ExtensionDepartment: Extension Community Food And Environment 10058942Sub Area: AP- ProfessionalsSalary: 45498.00Location: LansingCategories: Full Time (90-100%), Administrative Professionals- AP, Advising/Counseling, Agriculture, Education/Training, Research/Scientific, UnionWorking/Functional TitleGeographic Info System Research Asst.Position SummaryAssists 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 (MSUE), the Community, Food and Environment Institute (CFEI), and the Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI), this position will work closely with the Geographic Information System (GIS)/Information Technology (IT) team to facilitate and maintain all aspects of the MNFI Natural Heritage Database and the spatial data that supports MNFI research projects. This position will have statewide responsibilities and will be housed at the MNFI office in Lansing, Michigan.The Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) maintains the statewide Natural Heritage database system documenting the occurrences and status of rare species and exemplary natural communities. This core MNFI function is an essential component of many MNFI projects. The database is required by partner agencies who perform legally mandated regulatory functions. It allows them to complete tasks, perform these regulatory functions, produce products, and meet deadlines. Proper and efficient execution of duties is essential to maintaining and developing MNFI reputation and client base. 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. Database availability, accuracy and completeness are essential.MNFI utilizes the Biotics 5 platform. Biotics 5 is an integrated, web-enabled system for tabular and spatial data management for the Heritage Network. The GIS Research Assistant is responsible for data management that includes the use of Biotics 5, along with the use and knowledge of the full suite of Esri GIS products. These platforms are used to conduct field research, ensure data quality, design specialized database queries and reports, assist with GIS modeling projects, update and map original data, interface with MNFI staff and partner agencies, and respond to internal and external requests for information from the database. You may also perform field research, website maintenance or formatting, and construction of information products and reports, depending on skills and program needs. All work will be conducted through a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) lens, and you will be committed to developing core competencies that support a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture. Diversity, equity and inclusion are essential elements vital to the culture MSU Extension endeavors to cultivate.Characteristic Duties/Responsibilities

  • Assists in coordinating research and data management and/or field operations for the Natural Heritage database system.
  • Perform experimental tests and assays and records and analyzes results in order to provide conclusive data for research projects.
  • Consults with research supervisor in order 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 safety regulations and procedures.
  • Reviews the work of research technicians and student employees.
  • Oversees laboratory/field needs and orders materials, supplies and equipment.
  • Operates, calibrates and maintains laboratory/field instruments and equipment in order to ensure proper functioning, accuracy and compliance with written specifications.
  • Researches literature in order to maintain current knowledge of 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 geography, ecology, botany, zoology, computer science or equivalent degree in 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.
  • Requires software specific to the area of research.
  • Or an equivalent combination of education and experience.Desired Qualifications
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in geography, ecology, botany, zoology, computer science, or related field, earned by date of hire.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of relational database management systems.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform database queries using SQL.
  • Demonstrated experience with Esri GIS software products, including ArcGIS Online.
  • Additional experience creating GIS models, preferably with Esri ArcGIS software.
  • Demonstrated experience writing programs or database queries using Python programming language.
  • Knowledge of Natural Heritage methodology and data management.
  • Demonstrated skills and professional development from the last five years related to cultural competency and inclusive excellence.
  • Understanding of and ability to implement Civil Rights principles and compliance standards.
  • 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 skills.
  • Effective 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.
  • Proven ability in establishing and working with a diverse network of constituents 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 to assist with project development and outreach.
  • 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.
  • Must be able to work with and assist individuals with varying degrees of experience using databases and GIS software.
  • 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 StatementAll 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
  • Current resume/CV.
  • Cover letter.
  • Four (4) professional references including at least two (2) prior or current supervisors.Special InstructionsThis is an off dated position funded for one year from the date of hire with possible extension contingent upon funding renewal.Work HoursGenerally 40 hours Monday through Friday, with some nights and weekends needed.Description of End DateThis is an off dated position funded for one year from the date of hire with possible extension contingent upon funding renewal.Bidding Eligibility ends 2/16/2021 at 11:55 PMAdvertised: Feb 10, 2021 Eastern Standard TimeApplications close: Feb 23, 2021 Eastern Standard Time

Keywords: Inside Higher Ed, East Lansing , Geographic Info System Research Asst. - Research Assistant I, Other , East Lansing, Michigan

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