San Luis Valley Research Center Potato Breeding & Selection Program Research Associate

Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
05 Mar 2018
End of advertisement period
02 Apr 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Description of Work Unit

The San Luis Valley Research Center is part of a network of 7 research centers (9 sites) throughout the state. The first San Luis Valley Research Center was established in 1888 (the same year the main station at Fort Collins was established) on 200 acres of state land near the Rio Grande River, seven miles east of Del Norte. The research center has a continuing commitment to the people of the San Luis Valley (SLV) and the State of Colorado to provide research information, conduct extension education and seed certification programs. Beginning in 1940, the principal research activity was focused on selecting potato varieties adaptable to the region. In 1979 a potato breeding program was initiated to complement the selection activity. Current research and extension programs include potato pathology, crop management and field physiology, postharvest physiology, and seed certification. In the early 1920s, the Colorado Certified Seed Potato Growers’ Association initiated a seed certification program located on the Colorado State University main campus which was co located at the SLVRC in 1964.

Position Summary

This position assists the program lead and the assistant program lead of the Potato Breeding and Selection program in various aspects, including greenhouse, field and laboratory tasks related to the development of new potato cultivars. This position reports to and is evaluated by the program lead and the assistant program lead. Travel expenses for interviews will be limited to a maximum of $350 per candidate.

Required Job Qualifications

  • B.S./B.A. degree
  • RA I positions are entry-level positions for individuals with less than 3 years of professional experience.
  • Degree/educational emphasis in horticulture, agronomy, or highly related field
  • Demonstrated communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs daily during harvest season.
  • Ability to work evening and weekend hours during peak season

Preferred Job Qualifications

  • Formal plant science training including research methods, computer applications (word processing, databases, spreadsheets), greenhouse management, and physiology
  • Training/ experience in plant breeding is highly desirable
  • Supervisory experience desired with hourly, temporary, and seasonal workers
  • Ability to complete requirements for a commercial pesticide applicators license

Diversity Statement

  • Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Research-Greenhouse Duty/Responsibility

  • Perform cross-pollinations. Plant, maintain and harvest greenhouse seed stocks for research and for the San Luis Valley Research Center potato seed production. Organize and inventory greenhouse seed stocks in preparation of cold storage. Extract and inventory true potato seed. Maintain a clean and organized work space. Assist in pest control.

Percentage Of Time 30 Job Duty Category Research-Field Duty/Responsibility

  • Mark off, plant and harvest field research yield plots. Plant, rogue, maintain, and harvest field generational seed stocks. Collect and compile field notes. Assist in the grading of yield plots.

Percentage Of Time 20 Job Duty Category Research-Post Harvest Duty/Responsibility

  • Evaluate clones for specific gravity, blackspot bruise, enzymatic browning, dormancy, weight loss, red color retention, chipping and fry quality. Cooperate with other projects to conduct research and evaluations on selections for attributes related to disease resistance, nutrition and health, cultural and storage management, sensory and culinary qualities, and marketing or other special projects as directed.

Percentage Of Time 20 Job Duty Category Supervision Duty/Responsibility

  • Train and supervise seasonal employees and student interns.

Percentage Of Time 10 Job Duty Category Outreach Duty/Responsibility

  • Provide outreach needs of the project such as giving greenhouse tours, interacting with growers at meetings and on-farm visits.

Percentage Of Time 10 Job Duty Category Computer and Data Management Duty/Responsibility

  • Enter, compile and edit data for reports. Create data collection forms. Update and maintain website content. Evaluate new and/or existing software to facilitate improved methods to collect and manage data.

Percentage Of Time 10

Special Instructions to Applicants

Read full job description and apply online by March 25, 2018 for full consideration. We also accept nominations and confidential inquiries. Please upload the following materials online: cover letter addressing the required and preferred qualifications, curriculum vitae or resume, and copies of unofficial transcripts. You will also be asked to provide contact information for three professional references who may be contacted for a recommendation if requested by the Search Committee. References will not be contacted without prior notification to the applicant. Travel expenses for interviews will be limited to a maximum of $350 per candidate.

Questions regarding the search process may be addressed to Sharon Yust, San Luis Valley Research Center, 0249 East Road 9 North, Center, CO 81125 (Phone: 719-754-3594 × 17; Email: Questions regarding the position may be directed to Dr. David G. Holm, Search Committee Chair, San Luis Valley Research Center, 0249 East Road 9 North, Center, CO 81125 [(Email (preferred):; Phone: 719-754-3594×14)].

Conditions of Employment

Pre-employment Criminal Background Check (required for new hires)

Search Contact Sharon Yust -

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 Associate Vice President for Human Capital, 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.