Research Assistant

South Dakota State University

Brookings, SD, US

Position Information

Research Assistant  
Researcher l (OT Elig)  
South Dakota State University  
3WLFU1-Natural Resource Management  
External (includes Internal)  
12 months  
Commensurate with qualifications.  
Open Until Filled
The Department of Natural Resource Management at South Dakota State University (SDSU) is offering an exciting opportunity as a Research Assistant. The job duties of the candidate are to expand and enhance the digital mapping data that contribute to the overall mapping objectives of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wetlands Inventory. This is a 12-month, full-time position. This position is supervised by Michele R. Dudash.

– Planning and conducting field work to preview photography prior to interpretation, and to check accuracy of interpretation. Includes accurate identification of wetland vegetation;
– Compile field trip site reports, write field trip daily notes and summary reports, and compile and write user notes for 1:100:000 quadrants;
– Write area-specific user reports to be included in metadata files for new and updated digital wetland data;
– Organize and file aerial photography and topographic maps, maintain facilities and equipment;
– Produce or update wetland data using digital GIS research procedures for current and future research projects.

– Bachelor of Sciences degree in a Natural Resource discipline or a closely related field completed by date of application;
– Experience utilizing ESRI ArcGIS software and other software utilities;
– Ability to interpret color aerial imagery;
– Ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences;
– Excellent oral and written communication skills;
– Demonstrated organizational and time management skills;
– Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work as a contributing team member;
– Valid driver’s license or ability to obtain one within 30 days of hire, and willingness to travel.

– Identify wetland and terrestrial vegetation in the field;
– Ability to interpret and classify wetlands from high altitude photographic data;
– Ability to utilize the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soil survey database;
– Understand the standards defined in the Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States;
– Previous National Wetlands Inventory experience;
– Experience in producing technical materials and peer-reviewed journal articles;
– Ability to assist in developing funding proposals to support new and/or enhanced programming.

For questions on the position, contact Dr. Michael Brown, Search Chair, at [email protected] or (605) 688-5599.  

The Morrill Act land-grant university of South Dakota, South Dakota State University is the state’s largest and most comprehensive teaching and research institution. Classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a high-research activity university with more than $70 million in annual research expenditures, the university enrolls approximately 12,500 students from all states and 62 countries in six degree-granting colleges and the graduate school. Students select from 70 undergraduate majors, 12 Ph.D. programs, two professional doctoral degrees, and 29 master’s degree programs. The university also offers courses at off-campus sites, as well as undergraduate and graduate courses and programs online through the Office of Continuing and Extended Education.

The NRM Department is composed of three major research foci: Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Rangeland Ecology and Management, and Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. The department is also the home of the USGS South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

The university’s main campus is located in Brookings (population 22,056), the state’s fourth-largest city. Brookings, located on Interstate 29 near the Minnesota border, is home to a broad economic base that includes national and international manufacturers. The city offers many parks and recreational venues, the Children’s Museum of South Dakota, the annual Brookings Summer Arts Festival in July, and the Brookings Marathon each May. The public school district serves more than 2,900 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The commercial airport at Sioux Falls, a metropolitan area of more than 200,000 people, is a 45-minute drive south on Interstate 29. The Twin Cities and Omaha are within a four-hour drive of Brookings. Mount Rushmore and the scenic Black Hills recreational area, popular tourist destinations, are located on the western side of the state.  

This system will guide you through the electronic application form. This employment site will also require the attachment of a cover letter, which should specifically address how the candidate meets the qualifications as outlined in the advertisement; resume; and a reference page with the contact information for three professional references. Email applications will not be accepted. Please contact SDSU Human Resources at (605) 688-4128 if you require assistance with this process.

SDSU actively seeks to increase social and intellectual diversity among its faculty and staff. Women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

Any offer of employment is contingent on the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to, a criminal background check.