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Precision Agriculture Specialist
Post Date: 09/23/2019
Close Date: 10/25/2019
North Dakota State University

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$70,000 and above

Carrington, ND

Job Description:
The precision agriculture (PA) specialist position is a joint appointment with 60% research and 40% extension responsibilities. Research responsibilities include being the lead investigator for developing, implementing, and reporting the outcomes of projects focused on the precision agriculture research program at the Center. Extension responsibilities include developing an innovative Extension program that provides needs assessment, educational program planning and development, delivery of precision agriculture educational material, and program evaluation. The scope of projects addressed within the precision agricultural program remain flexible to allow one to respond to the changes in technologies that are occurring in this discipline. The precision agriculture program will involve investigations that include unmanned aerial systems, soil and crop variability mapping to support variable rate application technologies, and the development of decision support aids. The specialist actively participates in the development and implementation of research projects that investigate this scope of work and then provides educational outreach. Current or recent projects include: detection of crop response to fertilizers and other crop production inputs; development of crop and pest management aids based on aerial images; validation of data collected by aerial sensors with established ground-based information; mapping soil fertility and crop variability using both UAS and geographic information systems (GIS); applications of UAS and GIS technology that address utilization of livestock wastes and environmental stewardship; development of procedures to extrapolate large UAS imagery data to useful decision aids; and identification of future applications of UAS that will benefit producers and the agricultural industry. The department’s research agronomists, soil scientist, plant pathologist, animal scientist and Extension specialists provide inherent opportunities for collaborations to enhance program impact.

This position includes, but is not limited to, the following responsibilities.
• Provide leadership for the development and implementation of research projects and Extension programs that address precision agriculture practices.
• Be a member of a statewide Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources team responsible for providing leadership to create and deliver innovative learning experiences that empower North Dakotans to improve their lives and communities.
• Coordinate and collaborate with other NDSU, regional and national project leaders on joint research projects appropriate for the Center.
• Prepare proposals for submission to national, state, and industry RFPs to compete successfully for extramural funding to assist in maintaining program focus.
• Provide analysis, interpretation and report upon outcomes of research program.
• Develop and disseminate current research-based educational materials and programming that focus on precision agriculture.
• Interact closely with producers, Extension agents and specialists, regulatory agencies, crop commodity organizations, and livestock organizations.
• Develop and report upon the department’s federal project (CRIS) for precision agriculture.

Research Expectations:
• Develop and participate in the implementation of field experiments related to precision agriculture technologies.
• Obtain certification to operate Unmanned Aerial Systems, use software packages and tools to analyze and interpret imagery.
• Collaborate with department research leaders to extend opportunities to advance practical applications for precision agriculture practices.

Extension Expectations:
• Participate as a resource for field tours, workshops, and preparations of outreach materials for department reports, website, blogs, etc.
• Assist with organization and delivery of outreach meetings and events as needed.
• Serve as a resource when constituents contact the department for assistance related to precision agriculture.
• Collaborate with county ANR agents and related specialists in providing educational programs.
• Provide program plans, program activities, program evaluation and program updates via PEARS (Program Evaluation and Reporting System).

The Carrington Research Extension Center:
The Carrington Research Extension Center (CREC) is one of seven NDSU Research Extension Centers and is located approximately 140 miles from the North Dakota State University campus at Fargo. The CREC has five scientists and four area extension specialist positions in the areas of agronomy, plant pathology, nutrient management, soil science and animal science. A professional and technical staff of 16 supports the CREC and NDSU based programs. The general responsibilities of the CREC include research and extension projects that address dryland and irrigated crop production, plant pathology, the soil resource, cropping/tillage systems, crop pest management, beef nutrition and beef production systems, nutrient/livestock management, crop and livestock integration, fruit/berry production and foundation seedstocks production. The Carrington Research Extension Center is located in the drift prairie region of North Dakota and conducts research and educational programs for a significant part of North Dakota.

The Community:
This position is located at the Carrington Research Extension Center near Carrington, North Dakota. Carrington is a thriving rural community of approximately 2,500 people in a widely diversified agricultural production region of east central North Dakota. Carrington is centrally located between the four major metropolitan areas of North Dakota allowing for convenient access to statewide activities. Carrington has progressive schools (K-12), modern medical services (clinic and hospital), and many recreation opportunities.
Three professional letters of reference should be sent to the Search Committee Chair:

Mike Ostlie
Carrington Research Extension Center
PO Box 219
Carrington ND 58421

An email with reference letter(s) attached as PDF documents is acceptable. Emails may be sent to Mike.Ostlie@ndsu.edu. It is the responsibility of the applicant to validate the email was received. Applicants may call 701-652-2951 to confirm reference letters were received.
Screening will begin 10/25/19
North Dakota State University is an Equal Opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, gender expression/identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, participation in lawful off-campus activity, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, public assistance status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, spousal relationship to current employee, or veteran status, as applicable

Minimum Requirements:
• An earned Ph.D. in precision agriculture, agronomy, soil science, bio-systems engineering or closely related field by start date.
• Vision and ability to lead a diverse, relevant and productive precision agriculture research and educational program.
• Demonstrated ability to foster and maintain strong collaborations with other project leaders and discipline-related groups or agencies.
• Working knowledge of crop production systems, field crops and agricultural equipment.
• Documented experience in experimental design and statistical analysis.
• Strong interpersonal and effective oral and written communication skills with ability to deliver via modern media technologies.
Preferred Requirements:
• Experience with use and analysis of geospatial and remote sensing data using ArcGIS, PIX4D, and other similar GIS software packages.
• Experience and/or certification to operate Unmanned Aerial Systems.
• Experience with field research and the operation of research equipment.
• Experience with field crops and production systems of the Great Plains.
• Experience and understanding of Extension and outreach programming.
• Documented experience preparing research proposals and obtaining extramural funding.

Contact Information:
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