Research Specialist (Extended Temporary) (Maricopa, AZ)

Position Details

Position Information

Title Research Specialist (Extended Temporary) (Maricopa, AZ)
Department School of Plant Sciences-Res (2425)
Location Outside of Tucson
Position Summary

The School of Plant Sciences is hiring a Research Specialist. The research specialist will provide assistance to a research project that will develop tractor-mounted sensors to measure corn root system traits, soil carbon and nutrients, and soil surface greenhouse gases. The tractor-mounted sensor system will be used in field experiments to identify genetic variation in corn root traits and their effect on soil carbon and greenhouse gases. Corn inbreds will be grown under full and limted irrigation and scanned with various tractor-mounted sensors. A more detailed description of the project can be found at

The principal duties of the research specialist will be to “ground-truth” the measurements obtained by the tractor-mounted sensors. These ground-truthing measurements may include but are not limited to 1) physical measurement of plant height, leaf area, and plant biomass, 2) use of hand-held sensors to assess plant growth, leaf temperature, and crop color, 3) measuring rooting characteristics such as root mass and root angle, and 4) sampling soil to submit to a lab for chemical analysis.

The research specialist will prepare seed for planting and coordinate harvest. The research specialist will also be responsible for monitoring the crop for irrigation and fertilizer requirements and weed and insect control needs during the season. The research specialist will collect, enter, and summarize data.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state retirement plan; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

The University of Arizona has been listed by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers in the United States and WorldatWork and the Arizona Department of Health Services have recognized us for our innovative work-life programs. For more information about working at the University of Arizona, please click here.

This is an Extended Temporary Employment (ETE) position. For further details on this type of position at the University of Arizona, please click here.

Duties & Responsibilities

• Measure plant characteristic such as height, biomass, leaf area, and root growth
• Sample soil and prepare samples for submission to a lab.
• Prepare seed for planting and coordinate harvest.
• Monitor the corn crop for irrigation, fertilizer, and pest control needs.
• Collect, enter, and summarized data.
• Other relevant duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

• Knowledge of data collection and data entry techniques.
• Experience with agriculture and/or agricultural research.
• Knowledge of mechanical and electronic equipment.
• Ability to work outside under adverse conditions.

Minimum Qualifications

Please see Arizona Board of Regents Minimum Qualifications below.

Arizona Board of Regents Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in a field appropriate to the area of assignment AND two years related research experience; OR, Six years research experience appropriate to the area of assignment; OR, Any equivalent combination of experience, training and/or education.

Preferred Qualifications

• BS in Plant Sciences, Agricultural Engineering or related field
• Experience collecting and recording research data
• Knowledge of agricultural practices

Full Time/Part Time Full Time
Number of Hours Worked per Week 40
Job Category Research
Benefits Eligible Yes - Full Benefits
FLSA Exempt
Posted Rate of Pay $40,000 Annually
Type of criminal background check required: Name-based criminal background check (non-security sensitive)

Posting Detail Information

Posting Number S24479
Number of Vacancies One
Desired Start Date
Position End Date (if temporary)
Limited to Current UA Employees No
Contact Information for Candidates

Contact Michael Ottman, at

Open Date 01/19/2018
Review Start Date 02/19/2018
Close Date
Open Until Filled Yes
Special Instructions to Applicant
Quick Link for Internal Postings
Diversity Statement

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. We translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we encourage diverse candidates to apply, including people of color, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Where did you first learn about this position?
    • Arizona Daily Star
    • Arizona Republic
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
    • Department of Economic Security (DES)
    • Diverse Issues in Higher Education
    • Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education
    • Jobing.Com
    • LinkedIn
    • Local Job Banks
    • Pima County One-Stop
    • Professional Conference
    • Professional journal/publication
    • Referred by UA Employee
    • Invited by Dept to Apply
    • UA Website
    • Other
  2. * Do you have a bachelor’s degree in a field appropriate to the area of assignment AND two years related research experience; OR, Six years research experience appropriate to the area of assignment; OR, Any equivalent combination of experience, training and/or education?
    • Yes
    • No

Documents Needed to Apply

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
Optional Documents