The Research Forester reports directly to the North Central Research and Outreach Center (NCROC) Forester and has responsibility for conducting and implementing both system-wide and site-level research and outreach activities. These activities address new and sustainable forest management opportunities directly associated with the land grant mission of the University. NCROC is located in the heart of the forested land base of Minnesota, with the State (counties and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources) managing more public forest lands than any state other than Alaska. The position provides research expertise recognizing many complexities of forests as large systems that provide multiple benefits. Work integrates detailed ecological and economic objectives. Research ranges from, important site-level tests in the Center’s forest to statewide resource assessments involving multiple ownerships, multiple timber markets, wildlife habitat and mixed-species stands. Much of the work is interdisciplinary, requiring teambuilding with diverse research teams and practicing foresters from both the public and private sector. Technical skills in geographic information systems are required. The position will also lead NCROC outreach activities in forestry, coordinate forest activities with neighboring community college forestry program, and involve formal teaching in forestry through the U of MN Department of Forest Resources. Occasional overnight travel is required.
Nature of Appointment:
This is a 100% time, full-time civil service continuing appointment with a one-year probationary period. Salary is commensurate with experience and achievement. The position has three components described below.
1. Provide modeling for NCROC forestry research integrating economic and ecological objectives across large landscapes (60%)
Apply complex modeling systems to integrate understanding of forest management problems into specialized model solution processes for large optimization problems. Interpret model results and identify important follow-up model formulations helpful for improving the understanding of the forest management situation and trade-offs associated with alternative management options.
Develop and test new computer programming strategies to apply large and complex forest management scheduling models.
Implement forest growth and yield models to describe and project forest management options available for the forest stand types in Minnesota.
Provide modeling expertise for detailed model applications important to stakeholders and to the University of Minnesota’s Interagency Information Cooperative for Forest Resources.
Research options to improve forest planning models and their applications to better address spatial arrangement of the forest, especially for improving forest wildlife habitat.
Examine opportunities to expand complex forest planning models to better address uncertainty in forest planning important for addressing threats from invasive species
Coordinate interdisciplinary research team efforts to synthesize additional facets of the forest management situation into new and novel forest management scheduling model formulations
Conduct literature reviews to keep abreast of new methodologies for forest management planning and harvest scheduling
Lead in writing research reports and collaborate in writing research publications
Interact with the forestry community of northern Minnesota to help better understand the complex and interdependent facets of specific forest management situations.
Lead a variety of grant writing efforts ranging from broad research efforts at improving forest management in northern Minnesota to site-specific efforts seeking funds for enhancing the capability and use of the Center’s forest.
2. Develop and implement field-based forestry activities at NCROC (20%)
Plan, design, implement, monitor, and analyze site-level research activities on the Center’s forest in collaboration with U of MN researchers and Center staff.
Design, layout and administer Center’s timber sales. Oversee tree planting, timber stand improvement, and other forestation management work as needed.
Lead all forest inventory efforts for the Center’s forest, maintaining centralized record system of short- and long-term research and management.
Lead in developing ageographic information system (GIS) for the Center’s forest.
Coordinate Center’s forestry field activities with natural resources program of neighboring Itasca Community College (ICC) that utilizes the Center’s forest regularly.
Provide leadership to increase use of the NCROC forest for research and teaching by University of Minnesota, Twin Cities based faculty and graduate students.
3. Public engagement, outreach, collaboration and education (20%)
Serve as a liaison with community partners to facilitate communications on planning, access and educational use of Center’s forest.
Oversee development and maintenance of Center’s forest hiking trails including coordination with the National North Country Trail which passes directly through the Center’s forest.
Conduct tours, speak to service groups, attend civic meetings and promote good relations on behalf of the Center as needed.
Explore new opportunities to recruit potential CFANS undergraduate students, including collaborations with local high schools and potential ICC transfers students.
Develop areas of the Center’s forest for public access and educational programs.
Oversee all forestry aspects of NCROC visitor days held annually, including prior planning, leading forestry tours and developing forestry displays.
Provide guest lectures and develop detailed homework assignments as part of NCROC’s undergraduate teaching responsibilities in forest management through the U of MN Department of Forest Resources.
Lead in effectively making information about the Center’s forest available.