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Visiting Scientific Specialist - Wetlands Geology

Visiting Scientific Specialist - Wetlands Geology

Visiting Scientific Specialist, Wetlands Geology

 Illinois State Geological Survey

 Prairie Research Institute

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) is a premier state geological survey serving the needs of the public, government, and industry with earth science information and research relevant to natural resources, environmental quality, economic vitality, and public safety. ISGS is part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis.  Learn more at  


The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit


ISGS is seeking to hire a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Wetlands Geology (up to three, depending on applicant pool and programmatic need) to perform sponsored research on the hydrogeology and geochemistry of wetlands. 60 percent of this position will involve conducting field work and data collection.  Position is based in Champaign, Illinois.


Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conduct and direct field operations, which includes preparing testing plans, making boreholes, describing sediments, collecting water samples and water quality field data, and installing and surveying wells, stream gauges, and other hydrologic monitoring equipment.
  • Ensure the safety of staff and equipment.
  • Perform quality assurance/quality control through reviewing data and reports.
  • Evaluate standards and methodology and recommend program improvements.
  • Evaluate the design of water-quality best management practices (BMPs), wetland restoration and creation sites and other related issues.
  • Contribute to reports for site evaluation, assessment, hydrogeologic characterization and water-quality monitoring and respond to other reporting needs.
  • Communicate results of investigations to a wide variety of audiences in a variety of venues.
  • Add to Survey and PRI databases and knowledge through production, storage, and analysis of contract-produced data.
  • Attend scientific conferences and training courses and presents papers and results.
  • Provide technical expertise to staff, government agencies, academia, industry, and the general public.
  • Represent the Survey and PRI at meetings and other venues in areas of expertise.
  • Keep abreast of developments in this discipline.
  • Perform other duties as needed in order to further the mission and goals of PRI.


Required Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in geology, physical geography, or related discipline. Alternate degree fields will be considered/accepted depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position. Experience conducting onsite field surveys. Experience translating technical information into written reports or presentations. Ability to describe and map geologic materials. Familiarity with reading and interpreting aerial photographs and geologic and topographic maps. Must have scientific knowledge and skills necessary to collect and analyze field data for the completion of wetland studies. Strong verbal and written communication skills to translate surveys and research findings into appropriate management recommendations, reports, and presentations to co-workers, supervisory staff, and scientific and lay communities. Ability to apply analytical/scientific thinking to define and solve problems. Ability to execute field and office tasks and operate independently at times, specifically in field settings. Effective communication, collaboration, personal relations, and teamwork skills. Proficiency in commonly employed software and databases. Fieldwork will occur in both rural and urban settings, some of which may be under adverse conditions (e.g., inclement weather, remoteness, and moderate physical exertion), will include overnight travel for up to one work week at a time. Position involves lifting and manipulating field equipment and other items weighing up to 50 pounds.  Valid driver’s license.


Preferred Qualifications: Master's degree in geology, physical geography, or related discipline. Alternate degree fields will be considered/accepted depending on the nature and depth of   the experience as it relates to this position.


This is a full-time, visiting academic professional, grant supported, 12-month position subject to the continued availability of funding and programmatic need. Position may become a regular, non-visiting position at a later date depending on funding and programmatic need. The starting date is negotiable and the salary is commensurate with experience.


Applications must be received by December 2, 2021. Interviews and hiring may be conducted before the closing date due to this being a multi-hire search. To apply, please visit to complete an online profile and to upload 1) a cover letter that clearly articulates how your qualifications and experience make you a viable candidate for this position and should address the qualifications listed above, 2) a résumé/CV, and 3) the names and contact information (including e-mail addresses) of three professional (not personal) references. All requested information/documentation must be submitted for applications to be considered.  Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.


For further information please contact Lori Walston-Vonderharr, Human Resources, Prairie Research Institute, at or 217-244-2401.


University of Illinois faculty, staff and students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are not able to receive the vaccine for medical or religious reasons, you may seek approval for an exemption in accordance with applicable University processes.


The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Convictions are not a bar to employment.  The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment.  As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility 


Office of Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation
Visiting Scientific Specialist, Wetlands Geology - Illinois State Geological Survey (142345)

Additional Info

Job Type : Full-Time, Contract

Education Level : Bachelors Degree, Masters

Experience Level : Entry Level

Job Function : General

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