Human Resources

Assistant Research Scientist - Ecologist

Apply now Job No: 20144
Department: Michigan Tech Rsrch Institute(MTRI)
Work Type: Staff Full-time
Location: Michigan Tech Research Institute (Ann Arbor, MI)
Full Time / Part Time: Full Time
Categories: Research

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

Job Description Summary

The Assistant Research Scientist will work to support and build a variety of scientific and research programs focused on the development and applications of remote sensing and geospatial analysis to solve governmental and societal needs through sponsored research. Knowledge of remote sensing analysis, as well as training in field data collection in terrestrial and wetland ecosystems to use in geospatial data analysis is required. A strong background in science and application of geospatial data and experience in the use of synthetic aperture radar image data for environmental science is required. The applicant will be expected to support geospatial research projects with remote sensing as a major component, and to apply their knowledge of ecology and ecosystem dynamics to research projects. The ability to process and analyze satellite remote sensing data through custom coding and analysis will be important. Examples of current research areas include Great Lakes invasive species mapping, wetlands assessment, tropical peatland monitoring and Arctic landscape change mapping. The position is based at MTRI in Ann Arbor, MI (

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

1. Support Institute Principal Investigators with sponsored research related to ecosystem science, landcover and wetlands mapping, and invasive species studies.
2. Conduct field studies of invasive species, including conducting plant eradication measures (herbicide application) and post-eradication assessment.
3. Develop data analysis work flows for efficient remote sensing and geospatial data exploitation.
4. Assist in developing research programs related to remote sensing of wetlands and other terrestrial ecosystems.
5. Contribute to the writing of reports, research articles, sponsor briefings, and similar project output materials.
6. Assist in proposal writing and development of research projects in a team environment.
7. Support data management for remote sensing projects through the design and maintenance of scientific databases.
8. Continue to improve performance by being aware of new technologies and data analysis products, participating in educational opportunities, reading professional publications, and participating in professional organizations.
9. Accept ownership of, and responsibility for responding to new and varied requests.
10. Apply safety-related knowledge, skills, and practices to everyday work.
11. Commit to learning about continuous improvement strategies and applying them to everyday work. Actively engage in University continuous improvement initiatives.
12. Other duties as assigned.

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements)

  • Master’s degree in Ecology and Environmental Informatics.

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

• One year of experience in sponsored program research support for remote sensing ecosystem science.
• One year of experience in spatial data analysis and image processing.
• Experience with ArcGIS, SNAP, R.
• Experience in plant identification.
• Experience in invasive species control.
• Experience in and qualification for herbicide application.

Desirable Education and/or Experience

• Experience in native plant restoration.
• Experience in scripting and coding.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities (minimum requirements)

• Ability to obtain a U.S. Department of Defense security clearance, which requires United States citizenship. May not possess dual citizenship.
• Knowledge of synthetic aperture radar data processing and application to wetland mapping and monitoring.
• Knowledge of herbicide application for ecosystem restoration.
• Excellent written/oral communication skills.
• Demonstrated organizational ability and attention to detail.
• Ability to take direction, but work without continuous oversight.
• Ability to exercise discretion and independent judgment with respect to significant matters related to job duties.
• Demonstrated commitment to contribute to a safe work environment.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities

• Development of web-based applications for environmental science and education.

Required Training and Other Conditions of Employment

Every employee at Michigan Technological University will receive the following 3 required trainings; additional training may be required by the department.

Required University Training:

  • Employee Safety Overview

  • Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation Training

  • Annual Data Security Training 

Background Check:

Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) % (1=100%)


FLSA Status


Appointment Term

12 months

Pay Rate/Salary

No Less Than $44,000

Title of Position Supervisor

Senior Research Scientist I

Posting Type

Internal & External

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures* (minimum requirements)

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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