Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
21 Oct 2017
End of advertisement period
18 Nov 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

Description of Work Unit

This position will be based at the Western Colorado Research Center (WCRC) Orchard Mesa Research Station (OMRS) and will include working with faculty and staff at all three stations that comprise the WCRC.

WCRC is part of a network of 7 research centers (9 sites) throughout the state. WCRC includes the OMRS located 7 miles southeast of Grand Junction. Site elevation is approximately 4750 feet with an average growing season of 182 frost-free days. Research conducted at this site includes tree fruits, wine grape production and ornamental horticulture. OM is also the primary site utilized by the Community Alliance for Education and Hunger Relief, an initiative that engages the broader western Colorado community and provides fruit and produce free to local hunger relief agencies.

The Fruita Research Station (FRS) is located 15 miles northwest of Grand Junction. With an average growing season of 175 days at an elevation of 4500 ft, the reasonably deep loam soils at this location have been the home of the bulk of agronomic research conducted at the WCRC. FRS focuses on the efficient use of water in a variety of agronomic crops.

The Rogers Mesa Research Station (RMRS) is located at 30624 Hwy 92, Hotchkiss, CO at an elevation of 5800 ft and focuses on certified organic production of tree fruit and other horticultural crops.

Position Summary

Primary responsibilities are to assist WCRC faculty, WCRC research scientists, Extension personnel, main campus researchers, non-CSU research cooperators, and cooperator growers in the planning, execution and evaluation of research conducted on-site as well as off-station grower cooperator sites.

Required Job Qualifications

  • B.S. degree in horticulture or closely related agricultural science plus 5 years of related experience OR Master’s degree in horticulture or closely related agricultural science plus 2 years of related experience.
  • Ability to operate farming equipment such as orchard and vineyard tractors, wind machines and other implements and tools associated with orchard and vineyard management.
  • Demonstrated research project organizational skills and ability to understand experimental procedures.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with others and as a team member.
  • Self-starter with the ability to prioritize time and resources across a number of different activities.
  • Knowledge and experience with both MS Office and scientific software applications.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in inclement weather with the physical endurance to perform strenuous and repetitive field tasks and lift 50 pounds.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license or the ability to obtain a driver’s license or access to a licensed driver by the employment start date.
  • Current Qualified Pesticide Applicator’s License or ability to obtain within one year of hire.

Preferred Job Qualifications

  • Advanced degree(s) in horticulture or a closely related agricultural science is/are highly preferred.

Experience and/or training in the following areas is also preferred:

  • Organic horticulture production systems,
  • IPM and the identification of plant diseases and agriculturally relevant insects,
  • Commercial horticultural cropping systems and operations relevant to western Colorado,
  • Computer programs and scientific equipment that monitor outdoor environments such as weather stations and soil moisture sensors,
  • Greenhouse operations,
  • Maintenance and repair of tractors and field equipment,
  • Maintenance of high quality and accurate records and other data management, and
  • Irrigation in arid environments.

The highly desired candidate will also have demonstrated skills and knowledge or willingness to develop skills and knowledge in the following areas:

  • Outreach with commercial growers to convey the results of research at the station,
  • Outreach with a diverse group of stakeholders including seniors, K-12 school groups and community college students,
  • Oversight of horticultural demonstration facilities in an educational and evaluation context.

Diversity Statement

Ability to advance the department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion through research, teaching and outreach with relevant programs, goals and activities.

Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Research and Operations Duty/Responsibility

Orchard and field management with direct support of faculty research. Assists faculty and research scientists in executing experimental design and research protocols. Conducts field and research activities including land preparation, planting, establishing training systems, fertilization, applying agri-chemicals, irrigation, pruning, managing cover crops and harvesting of horticultural and agronomic crops.
In carrying out research protocols, monitors and appraises plantings in relation to growth, nutrition, heat tolerance and cold hardiness, water stress, pest and weed populations, crop protection chemical applications and other factors important to the conduct of the research study. Assists with laboratory work including preparation of soil samples, comparative evaluation of leaf and fruit samples, culture preparation, perform disease, bacteria and fungi assessment tests, and other similar laboratory procedures as may be assigned. Maintains greenhouse operations (irrigation, lighting, weed control, temperature management, etc.) to ensure the facility is in a state of production readiness at all times. Executes greenhouse research study protocols as needed.

Perform literature and other searches for researchers using the Internet. Convert data to graphs and other forms for interpretation and analysis. Prepare spreadsheets or provide data for research project management software. Provides data collection including organizing data/samples, performing statistical calculations, distributing/disseminating data analyzed, and digital photography associated with administrative, research, and/or outreach activities. Other duties may be assigned.

Percentage Of Time 60 Job Duty Category Maintenance and Administration Duty/Responsibility

Performs repairs and maintenance of field equipment. Operates and collects data from weather stations, Sensaphone, irrigation and other monitoring devices. Operates critical temperature alarm system to determine frost protection strategies. Monitors insect traps to track insect development to help determine control measures. Takes soil and tissue samples for analysis, submits samples for processing and uses results and recommendations to adjust water and fertilizer applications, including foliar applications.

Percentage Of Time 20 Job Duty Category Outreach Duty/Responsibility

Provides information sought by clientele; assists with outreach activities such as field days and workshops; provides tours upon request, and serves on various committees.

Percentage Of Time 15 Job Duty Category Supervision Duty/Responsibility

Supervises part time seasonal hourly employees as necessary and works closely with interns, students, and volunteers affiliated with our education and outreach programs.

Percentage Of Time 5

Application Details

Special Instructions to Applicants

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but for full consideration, all materials should be received by Tuesday, October 24th, 2017. Applicants should upload the following: (1) A cover letter addressing your qualifications; (2) resume or CV; (3) unofficial transcripts; and (4) contact information of three professional references, one of who is/was an immediate supervisor, who has firsthand knowledge of an applicant’s professional abilities. References will not be contacted without prior notification of candidates. For inquiries about the position, contact Search Chair greg.litus@colostate.edu. For additional information about Colorado State University, consult the university’s website at www.colostate.edu.

Conditions of Employment

Pre-employment Criminal Background Check (required for new hires), Valid Driver’s License, Special Requirements/Other - Obtain a Qualified Pesticide Applicators license within one year of hire.

Search Contact Greg Litus, greg.litus@colostate.edu

EEO Statement

Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

The Title IX Coordinator is the Executive Director of the Office of Support and Safety Assessment, 123 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523 -2026, (970) 491-7407.

The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Executive Director of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836.

Background Check Policy Statement

Colorado State University (CSU) strives to provide a safe study, work, and living environment for its faculty, staff, volunteers and students. To support this environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations, CSU conducts background checks. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to, criminal (felony and misdemeanor) history, sex offender registry, motor vehicle history, financial history, and/or education verification. Background checks will be conducted when required by law or contract and when, in the discretion of the university, it is reasonable and prudent to do so.