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Post-Doctoral Research Associate for Agroecosystem Research

TITLE: Post-Doctoral Research Associate for Agroecosystem Research

DEPARTMENT: School of Agriculture, Communities, and Environment

REPORTS TO: Principal Investigator

CLASSIFICATION: Staff-12 months


STANDARD WORK HOURS: 37.5 hours per week




The Postdoctoral Research Associate will serve as a lead support person to assist the PI, staff, and students in performing research in the Long-Term Agroecosystems Research (LTAR) at the College of Agriculture, Community, and the Sciences (CACS). The person would also support PI’s research and education activities to enhance environmental, soil, water quality, microclimate monitoring, Geographic Information System (GIS), and remote sensing research programs as part of the PI’s recently funded Evans Allen, NextGen, and other research and education grants. This position also assists in mentoring undergraduate and graduate research to enhance environmental science, GIS, and remote sensing programs. This position will be supported by Evans Allen and other grant funding for 3 years. Continued funding after that time is subject to funding availability and performance evaluation.

The post-doctoral research associate will be a key member of the Center of Geospatial Intelligence and Environmental Security research team and will be involved in ecological and agroecosystem change research, including such topics as microclimate, watershed management and modeling, sediment analysis, soil formation, water scarcity and security, geomorphology, land cover change, application of remote sensing and Geoscience in agricultural and environmental studies.

  • Assist the PI, implement Evans Allen, and externally funded research and education projects.
  • Assist the PI and other supporting staff in designing experiments and mentoring graduate thesis and capstone research.
  • Develop collaborative or independent research in applying geospatial technology in agriculture and the environment.
  • Manage research sites in the Appalachia region for periodic field data collection and summer camps of undergraduate and high school students.
  • Assist the PI in developing, mentoring, and conducting undergraduate research and experiential learning projects.
  • Lead in collecting and managing geospatial, vegetation, biomass, soil, water, and other field and secondary data to use for research and publication.
  • Develop and submit peer-reviewed manuscripts, give professional presentations, and engage in developing competitive grant proposals for external funding.
  • Assist the PI in managing the GIS lab, geospatial data, and implementing the data management plan of multiple research grants
  • Assist the PI’s research team in procuring and utilizing cutting-edge research equipment.
  • Participate in college and school-level seminars, workshops, student recruitment fairs, high school visits, and meetings.
  • Other related duties as required.
  • Practical experience in research methodology in agroecosystem, soil, biomass, and watershed studies.
  • Experience measuring water quality dynamics and training students on the topic.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team with excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Commitment to working successfully with a diverse student population.
  • Specialized or moderate skills in spatial statistics, data analytics, pixel and object-based image analysis and feature extraction, SWAT, Google Earth Engine, ERDAS IMAGINE, ENVI, R, and/or Python.
  • Analytical ability to include geospatial mapping and data analytics skills using ArcGIS Pro.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, along with problem-solving expertise
  • Must be able to manage multiple projects and set priorities.
  • Experience publishing in peer-reviewed journals and developing competitive grants.
  • Possess the ability to perform miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.
  • May assist in the supervision of students and staff as requested.
  • Overnight travel to research sites for field samplings that may require multiple days.
  • Handling and caring for heavy equipment, UAV drones, soil and water probes, and multispectral and Lidar cameras.
  • Occasionally, it requires heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling of objects over 50 pounds.
  • The work environment involves some exposure to inclement weather, hot or cold conditions, hazards, or physical risks, which require some basic safety precautions.
  • Additional duties to be performed as assigned
  • Minimum of a Ph.D. in Geography, Natural Resources, or related field and concentration on GIS, Remote Sensing, digital agriculture, or a closely related field.
  • Demonstrated or potential ability for developing competitive grants and publication in peer-reviewed journals.
Licensing and Certifications:
  • None are required, but UAV-Drone Pilot and GISP are encouraged.
Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the United States. At this time, Kentucky State University is unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of an employment visa.

Internal Candidates are Encouraged to Apply.


I have received, reviewed and fully understand the job description for ____________________. I further understand that I am responsible for the satisfactory execution of the essential functions described therein, under any and all conditions as described. 

Employee Name __________________________________________ Date _____________________
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Employee Signature _________________________________________________

KENTUCKY STATE UNIVERSITY is an Equal Opportunity Employer

The functions, qualifications, knowledge/skills, and physical requirements listed in this job description represent the essential duties of the job, which the incumbent must be able to perform either with or without reasonable accommodation. The Job Functions listed do not necessarily include all activities that the individual may perform.

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