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Assistant Professor in Environmental Soil Physics


The successful candidate is expected to develop an innovative research program that will advance the mission of research and education in environmental and soil sciences at the University of Tennessee. The program will be nationally and internationally recognized, will produce important scholarly output, and will attract extramural funding. The candidate will complement existing departmental and campus-wide faculty working on areas related to soil science, water resources, and hydrology. The research should complement current departmental focus areas, including measuring and modeling vadose zone biophysical processes, conservation management practices employing no-tillage/reduced tillage, cover cropping, diversified cropping rotation, and soil health. New ideas and expertise that will spark novel collaborative projects in new directions are welcomed. However, the research program is expected to provide novel biophysical interpretations and opportunities in understanding and managing soil fertility, biogeochemical elemental cycling, fate and transport of emerging environmental pollutants, advanced soil sensing, climate adaptability through soil-water-plant regulations, and climate mitigation through soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emission reduction. Candidates should have broad conceptual and methodological knowledge of soil physical principles, and have demonstrated such knowledge and experience in some of the areas listed above.

Teaching responsibilities include instruction of two undergraduate-level courses in environmental and soil sciences annually. Collaboration with departmental research and Extension colleagues, both on- and off-campus, is expected. The successful candidate is also expected to mentor graduate students and postdoctoral research scholars and to provide service to the department, university, and professional societies or organizations.

About the department: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) is one of two land-grant institutions in the state, and is the state’s public flagship university. The Biosystems Engineering & Soil Science Department is responsible to a broad range of constituents, contributes to the development of an educated workforce, and anticipates and recognizes opportunities and solves problems in biological, environmental, ecological, and agricultural systems. The Department meets these needs with a faculty that brings broad engineering and scientific expertise in the areas of biosystems engineering, environmental & soil sciences, and construction science & management.

Knoxville is the third largest city in the state with a metropolitan area population of over 869,000 people. This is one of the most beautiful areas of the country, with easy access to miles of inland waterways, pristine state and national parks, diverse cultural opportunities, and a blend of convenient urban and rural living settings. Downtown Knoxville is adjacent to campus, and is a thriving area filled with restaurants, shops, and indoor and outdoor entertainment venues. UTK is also located within easy driving distance to Asheville, Nashville, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and the Great Smoky Mountains. In addition, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is nearby and the University of Tennessee Oak Ridge Innovation Institute provides many opportunities for collaboration and career development.


The successful candidate must hold a Ph.D. in soil science with a focus in soil physics or a closely related field by the time of appointment. The candidate must also show, commensurate with career level: (1) demonstrated potential of success in teaching and collaborative research; (2) evidence of scholarship through scientific presentations and publications; (3) demonstrated skills in written communication, data management, and scientific writing; and (4) effective oral communication with diverse audiences including faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and peers. It is desirable that successful candidates demonstrate an ability to secure extramural funding based on stage of career. Evidence of these qualifications must be presented in the application materials. In addition, candidates must have the ability to contribute meaningfully to the diversity and intercultural goals of the University, especially through experience working with diverse students and the ability to contribute to fostering a welcoming work environment for all.

Application Instructions

Interested individuals should submit an application to Interfolio ( consisting of (1) cover letter articulating the applicant’s interest in and qualifications for this position; (2) curriculum vitae; (3) statements describing experience, philosophy, and plans for research; (4) statements describing experience, philosophy, and plans for teaching; and (5) names and contact information for at least three professional references. In addition to addressing qualifications for the position, candidates may describe how they would help promote students’ access to and inclusion in their teaching and research/scholarship/creative activities. For additional information, contact the chair of the search committee, Dr. Michael Essington (

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and admission without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, and parental status, or any other characteristic protected by federal or state law. In accordance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the University of Tennessee affirmatively states that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or disability in its education programs and activities, and this policy extends to employment by the university. Requests for accommodations of a disability should be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Accessibility, 1840 Melrose Avenue Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-3560 or or (865)974-2498. Inquiries and charges of violation of Title VI (race, color and national origin), Title IX (sex), Section 504 (disability), the ADA (disability), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age), sexual orientation, or veteran status should be directed to the Office of Investigation & Resolution 216 Business Incubator Building 2450 EJ. Chapman Drive Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 or (865)974-0717 or .

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