Seasonal Soil Ecology Research Intern at The Morton Arboretum

Position Summary

The Morton Arboretum is recruiting a fixed-term, full-time Soil Ecology Research Intern to aid in assessing the effects of prescribed burning and overstory thinning on soils in oak ecosystems throughout the Chicago Wilderness (N Indiana, NE Illinois, and SE Wisconsin). This position is funded under a Center for Tree Science grant, and the position has an expected duration of 4 months.

**This is an ideal position for a graduating senior or masters student seeking field and lab experience in soil and ecosystem ecology.**

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Essential Functions:

Provide support to a scientist for the implementation of research and related projects.
Assist with data and sample collection, sample processing, data analysis, and record keeping on research and related projects.
Operate and maintain laboratory equipment, and perform routine lab maintenance by keeping laboratory and field equipment in good working order.
Other duties as assigned.


Applicants should have a strong background in ecosystem ecology, and/or soil science with both lab and field experience. A Bachelor’s degree in Ecology, Natural Resources, or a related field is required. Ability to conduct field and laboratory research is required. Proficiency with database, spreadsheet, and statistical/graphics computer programs, Gmail, and other Google applications beneficial. Must possess a valid driver’s license, which is subject to insurability and an annual Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) report. Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and Gmail and other Google applications beneficial.

Success Factors:

Must be well organized, communicate clearly, solve problems, be able to work without close supervision (after training), quickly learn new skills, and have strong attention to detail and meticulous record keeping. The applicant must demonstrate curiosity, an ability to multi- task, and an enthusiasm for ecosystem restoration and soils research.
Work will include a mixture of office, laboratory, and field work. Good written and oral communication skills. Clear thought, visual acuity, and manual dexterity needed.

Physical Demands and Work Environment:

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

Physical Demands: Requires physical activity: walking over varied terrain, bending, limited lifting and carrying (up to 50 lbs. assisted).
Use of chemicals may be necessary. Some travel required.
Work Environment: Office environment and Arboretum grounds. Work is performed indoors and outdoors, in a variety of weather conditions.
Equipment: General office equipment, field and laboratory equipment, including specialized equipment relating to particular field of research, hand tools, Arboretum pick-up truck and/or utility vehicle.

Apply here: