Research

Job Opening: Biogeochemical Ecologist

Compensation: GS-13 ($103,690 per year plus federal benefits)

Location: Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, Maryland

Open Application Period: 7/15-8/12/2021

To apply: Apply through USAJOBS Vacancy Announcements: 
For non-federal applicants: 21R-SJ-306365-DEU-SERC 
For Federal applicants: 21R-SJ-306365-MPA-SERC
Applications directly to SERC will not be accepted. However, we request that you please send an email to SERC-BiogeochemicalEcology@si.edu notifying us that your USAJobs application has been submitted.

Tips for how to navigate the USAJOBS system are available here. For this position, please make sure to upload your full CV and graduate and undergraduate transcripts (unofficial is fine). Your CV should clearly state the start and end dates of each job you have held, and the number of hours a week worked in each job. Your CV must specifically show that you have the specialized experience required for this job, listed below. 

Position Description:
The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) invites applications for a Research Ecologist with expertise in ecosystem biogeochemistry, broadly defined to include biogeochemical and hydrologic dynamics across multiple scales. This position reports to the Associate Director for Research, serves as a principal investigator at SERC and leads a research program at SERC. The SERC community seeks to fill this key position with a person capable of working well with a diverse community of staff, students, volunteers and visitors to develop a strong research program. This position will be hired in parallel with a new Landscape Ecologist. This is a permanent full-time federal position with associated benefits. 

We are looking for a new colleague to:
•    Develop and lead an innovative research program in the candidate’s area of expertise. 
•    Extend one or more established research themes at SERC that include: watershed- and ecosystem-scale carbon, nutrient, and trace metal dynamics; landscape, plant, microbial and disease ecology; land-sea interactions; biodiversity-ecosystem function; invasive species; and human impacts on coastal ecosystems. 
•    Conduct collaborative research, engage public, policy, and other audiences, mentor researchers at various career stages and contribute to the scientific community.

We are interested in candidates with expertise in any of these areas, including but not limited to: 
•    Watershed science and hydrology 
•    Research across multiple spatial, temporal, and/or ecological scales
•    Large-scale and long-term field studies and experiments
•    Quantitative modeling
•    Restoration, conservation, and/or ecosystem management
•    Urban ecology and land use
•    Research to support public policy

Requirements for this position include:
•   Degree: biology, or a related field of science underlying ecological research that included at least 30 semester hours in basic and applied biological sciences. These hours must have included at least 9 semester hours in ecology, and 12 semester hours in physical and mathematical sciences.
•    You qualify for this position if you possess one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 level in the federal service or comparable pay band system (be sure to list the duration of this experience in months and years, as well as the number of hours per week you worked, or your application may be rejected).
•    Specialized experience (your application must describe your experience in each of the following): 
o    Research investigating biogeochemical ecology such as environmental science, geography, biology, or other related subject.
o    Obtaining research funding from competitive internal and/or extramural funding sources 
o    Publishing data-rich papers with regional and/or national application and significance 
o    Presenting research results to scientific and other audiences 
o    Leading or managing coordination of research projects and teams
 

Values & Opportunities:
SERC is a research institute of the Smithsonian Institution dedicated to environmental research and education. SERC’s 2,650-acre campus is a living laboratory for long-term ecosystem research on forests, farmland, wetlands, shorelines and estuaries. SERC is strategically located in a rural landscape with immediate proximity to the Baltimore-Washington DC-Annapolis urban system on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay and central to the Bay’s large watershed. Our vibrant community of 150 staff includes principal investigators, educators, technicians, postdocs, and graduate and undergraduate researchers, who annually engage and collaborate with interns, 500+ volunteers, and 15,000 public visitors. 

Research and education at SERC address grand challenges in environmental science by working across ecological scales, conducting long-term studies, and engaging in comparative, synthetic studies. Our scientists collaborate across the Smithsonian Institution and with federal and state agencies, universities and international organizations. We value public engagement and have strong programs in citizen science, science education and science communication.

The successful applicant will have access to and the opportunity to build upon considerable field, lab, and data resources available at SERC. These include over four decades of watershed research on weir-equipped experimental watersheds with near-continuous hydrological and biogeochemical records, automated sensor networks capturing hydrologic dynamics, and a watershed-scale stream restoration experiment. SERC is also home to the Global Change Research Wetland (GCReW) dedicated to in situ experiments designed to unravel biogeochemical processes in coastal wetlands responding to CO2 enrichment, warming, and other global changes. SERC hosts a National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) site, a ForestGEO forest dynamics plot, and a large tree biodiversity-ecosystem function experiment (BiodiversiTree). The successful applicant will be expected to conduct research at the SERC study site as part of their research program, and will be expected to develop a research program that is primarily grant-funded. 

The SERC community recognizes the value of diversity in promoting innovative science and creative solutions, and we strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply. We recognize that each applicant for this role will bring unique skills, knowledge, experiences and background to this position. The Smithsonian Institution is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity, national origin, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital/parental/caregiver status and disability. You must be a United States citizen to apply for this position.

Please address questions about the position to SERC-BiogeochemicalEcology@si.edu.