The University of Vermont is seeking a Research Assistant to join a collaborative team working on the "Sustainability Metrics for Consumer-Facing Farms" project led by Principal Investigator Dr. David Conner funded by the USDA ARS Food Systems Research Center Sustainability Metrics program at the University of Vermont. The project aims to understand the interaction of economic, environmental, social, production, and human sustainability dimensions in consumer-facing agriculture (CFA) farms in Vermont. This position reports to Dr. Gillian Galford and focuses on environmental sustainability as part of this interdisciplinary project. The Research Assistant will play a crucial role in data collection, analysis, and site visits to farms, collaborating with a diverse team of researchers and community partners.
The Research Assistant will be an integral part of the research team, contributing to the understanding of sustainability metrics for small- and mid-sized farms. The position offers valuable research experience and the chance to work in a collaborative and dynamic environment, alongside community partners actively involved in Vermont's agricultural industry. We anticipate hiring in the mid-range of the pay band. Apply online at: https://www.uvmjobs.com/postings/64993
Function 1. (25%)
* Independently utilize GIS and remote sensing data, software and approaches for analyses with Supervisor Galford
* Preform data wrangling to obtain GIS and remote sensing data from various sources
* Process GIS and remote sensing data as needed prior to analyses, such as mosaics, subsets, imputation, calculation, and georeferencing.
* Maintain data back-up and utilize processing on the Vermont Advanced Computing Cluster
Function 2. (20%)
* Work with Supervisor Galford and research project team to develop metrics for assessing environmental sustainability indicators on Vermont farms
* Test potential metrics of environmental sustainability derived from GIS, remote sensing and field visits, such as riparian buffers, forested area or other natural features.
* Preform validation of metrics through various methods including field visits, existing data sources, and high resolution imagery.
Function 3. (15%)
* Develop reporting on which metrics work well on all farms, some farms or have limited applicability.
* Report on metric scores for farms analyzed in written and visual formats, including papers and presentations.
* Contribute to a sustainability scorecard (environmental sustainability dimension), with Supervisor Galford and in consultation with the project team, community partners and stakeholders.
Function 4 (15%)
* Conduct field work as needed with Supervisor Galford or project team
* Identify environmental features in the field that can be mapped with GIS and remote sensing
* Collect field data for validating the GIS and remote sensing analyses
* Participate in participatory mapping or walking tours and interviews with farmers along with project partners and Supervisor Galford.
Function 5 (10%)
* Collaborate with the research team as well as with other FSRC and external research projects on sustainability to analyze and synthesize social science and GIS results.
* Participate in regular project team meetings.
* Contribute to publications and outreach materials
Function 6 (10%)
* Other data and project tasks as needed, such as data archiving and literature reviews.
Supervise or train undergraduate student employee on mapping and field tasks
1. Bachelor's degree in environmental science, geography, or a related field.
2. Proficiency in environmental GIS and remote sensing. Familiarity with ArcGIS Pro and Google Earth Engine API Code Editor is preferred.
3. Experience with academic research, team-based projects and/or communication of technical materials (e.g., community partnerships, teaching, publications).
4. Ability to work independently on research tasks.
5. Willingness to travel to farms and participate in fieldwork.
The University of Vermont is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any category legally protected by federal or state law.