Visiting Scientific Specialist (Watershed Science)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

East Peoria, IL, USA 🇺🇸


The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) is seeking to hire a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Watershed Science to manage watershed field data collection campaigns and assist with the reduction and dissemination of collected data. Perform field data collection, deploy and maintain field instrumentation.

This position is based at the ISWS office located in East Peoria, Illinois.

ISWS is part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. Our research and service programs provide citizens, industries, and government agencies at all levels with timely, science-based information and analyses necessary to manage our water resources wisely for economic development and a sustainable environment.   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

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop and monitor field sample data collection schedule/deadlines based on overall project deliverables in a timely and accurate manner to collect high quality data.
  • Operate and maintain stream and/or water quality monitoring instrumentation.
  • Conduct manual collection of water samples and stream discharge measurements. Data/sample collection is often required during and/or after storm events when stream levels are high and may involve working from a boat under all river conditions.
  • Coordinate delivery, storage, and documentation of all data and samples.
  • Support the fabrication of required deployment equipment.
  • Contribute to scientific or compliance reports; this includes compiling, processing, and performing data analysis of collected field data.
  • Deploy and monitor research field instruments, dataloggers, sensors, etc. under supervision of senior scientists/field coordinators.
  • Perform other duties in order to further the mission and goals of the Water Survey, PRI, and the University of Illinois.
  • Keep abreast of developments in this discipline.

Required Qualifications:

Education:  B.S. degree or higher in physical sciences, including but not limited to, engineering, water resources, geology, biology, or physical geography                        

Experience: Demonstrated experience (professional or academic) in any of the following diverse areas: electronics, compiling field-collected environmental data in spreadsheets, and working outdoors for extended periods of time under all weather conditions.

Valid Driver’s License

Knowledge requirements: Demonstrated ability to follow and/or develop field sample data collection schedule/deadlines based on overall project deliverables. The discipline to closely and consistently follow accepted data collection and data management procedures. Effective communication,  successful professional relationships, organizational, and leadership skills. Ability to consistently produce an organized and detail-oriented work product in a diverse and fast-paced work environment consisting of multiple and changing priorities. Ability to operate and maintain electronic/digital instrumentation. Working knowledge of commonly-employed office software (Word, Excel) with demonstrated ability to learn and adapt new software/applications. Sound judgment and strong decision-making skills. An attention to detail and work independently.

Preferred:  Familiarity/experience with collecting water quality samples (manual or remote samplers), operation and maintenance of stream gaging stations, detailed record keeping and/or electronics with wireless remote connection capabilities. Boating, surveying, and/or machining/welding experience. 

Environmental Demands:

Will require working in adverse field conditions (heat, humidity, biting insects, etc.), travel (including driving to and from research sites) throughout the state of Illinois working irregular hours and overnights; lift and carry equipment weighing up to 25 pounds.


This is a visiting full-time academic professional appointment, renewable annually based upon satisfactory progress in the position and continued funding. Position may become a regular position at a later date depending on funding and a programmatic need.  The starting date is negotiable, and salary is commensurate with experience and skills.


Please complete your candidate profile at and upload a cover letter, CV/resume, and the contact information for three professional references must be received by May 8, 2022.  Interviews may be conducted before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after that date.  All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered. 

For further information regarding application procedures, you may contact Jon Freiman at [email protected] or 217-244-2687.

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.

University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Convictions are not a bar to employment. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility. 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.

College Name or Administrative Unit: NP
Category: Research
Title: Visiting Scientific Specialist, Watershed Science (162762)
Open Date: 03/30/2022
Close Date: 05/08/2022
Organization Name: IL State Water Survey