Greenhouse Research Technician, WI

Prescribed fire effects on seedbanks of pine barrens

Department of Forestry, Michigan State University

and USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station

Position description: The Department of Forestry at Michigan State University, in collaboration with USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station, is seeking a highly motivated seasonal research technician for Summer 2017 to assist with a project investigating soil heating processes and the effects of soil heating on soil carbon, nutrients, seedbanks and hardwood regeneration in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The technician will be primarily responsible for maintaining the field-collected soil samples in a seed bank germination greenhouse study near Rhinelander, WI, U.S.A. The technician will have opportunity to also participate in field activities. The technician will be co-supervised by a Project Manager and Research Scientist.  The technician will be trained on the job and responsible for following safety and study protocols. In addition, opportunity exists for technician to pursue mentored independent research related to the overall project goals. The abstract for the project is available here: 0%20%0A

Qualifications: The successful applicants will have the following knowledge, skills and abilities: 1) previous greenhouse experience as a technician; 2) strong organization and communication skills; 3) demonstrated ability to work well independently and in a team environment; 4) demonstrated commitment to completing work with a high level of initiative, skill and professionalism; 5) a high aptitude for adverse environmental conditions; and 6) possession of a valid US driver’s license. We desire the technician to have experience in plant identification in the upper Lake States region, specifically northern dry forests and pine barrens.

Working conditions: This position will be largely greenhouse-based. In the greenhouse, the technician is responsible for providing own gear, including supportive, closed-toe shoes, to accommodate long periods of standing and the warm, humid conditions of a greenhouse.  For occasional field work, the conditions may include exposure to inclement weather, full sun, biting insects, and poison ivy and walking over uneven terrain; lifting and carrying field packs weighing up to 40 lb.; bending, squatting, kneeling, sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time; operating measurement or sampling equipment with a strong level of fine motor skills; and performing repetitive tasks with a high level of precision and accuracy. Personal protective equipment necessary for performing the position will be provided. The technician will be responsible for providing their own personal field gear (appropriate field clothing, footwear, daypack, etc.).

Salary: Hourly wage commensurate with experience, for 40 hours/week starting approximately June 5, 2017 and continuing for approximately 4.5 months. We may be able to accommodate earlier or later start & end dates with advance notification (please specify any start/end date requests in your cover letter).

Location: The position is located near Rhinelander, WI. Occasional overnight travel may be required to perform field measurements in Ashland, WI.

Housing: Housing is not provided.  Reasonable dormitory accommodations are available at a University of Wisconsin field station 20 minutes north of the office location.

To Apply: Applicants should email as a single PDF: 1) a letter of interest detailing your qualifications for the position and the dates of your availability, 2) resume/CV with list of relevant coursework, and 3) a list of three professional references with contact information (institution, email address, phone number), to Dr. Christel Kern at<> . Please name your file as: LastnameFirstname_Application_YYYYMMDD.

Application deadline: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis beginning February 15, 2017 so you are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

For more information: Contact Dr. Christel Kern at or Dr. Jessica Miesel at