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Job ID: 92536

Assistant Professor of Precision Agriculture Technology
University of Idaho

  • May 10, 2017
  • Assistant Professor of Precision Agriculture Technology
  • Soil and Water Systems
  • University of Idaho
    Moscow, ID
    United States
  • Jun. 4, 2017
  • Aug. 14, 2017
  • Assistant Professor
  • Land & Water Resource Engineering
    Biosystems Engineering
    Agricultural - General
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The newly formed University of Idaho Department of Soil & Water Systems seeks an innovative and motivated research and teaching faculty member in the field of precision agriculture technology. This research professor will join our active, multi-disciplinary team of scientists with complementary expertise in soil science, environmental chemistry, agronomy, soil physics, hydrology, microbial ecology, and agricultural engineering on the Moscow campus. The position is a 9-month tenure track position; 80% research and 20% teaching; salary commensurate with qualifications/experience.

The faculty member will work with the existing team of scientists and two additional new faculty hires to develop a nationally recognized research program in precision agriculture. We welcome original and creative approaches to help us develop our research goal of developing and evaluating state-of-the-art precision agricultural strategies and technology to improve overall profitability, environmental sustainability, and resilience of agricultural production across the state of Idaho and surrounding regions. Specific areas of research focus may include the development and application of smart proximal/remote sensing techniques, unmanned aerial systems, wireless sensor networks, integration of real-time data flows to online crop modeling/decision support tools, on-the-fly mapping technologies using cloud-based data sources/streams, and big data synthesis and analysis. The primary objective of the research is to improve the management of water, fertilizer, pesticides, seed, and other inputs to allow for site-specific management in agricultural systems. Research will be interdisciplinary, and will contribute to the sustainable development of the agricultural production industry under the constraints of specific food-energy-water reliant systems.

Applicants having a strong background in soil science, agronomy, hydrology, agriculture technology/ engineering, plant sciences, or having experience in commercial agricultural production industry are particularly encouraged to apply. The candidate is expected to maintain an active, externally-funded research program, teach one undergraduate upper-level precision agriculture technology course per year, advise undergraduate and graduate students, and participate in professional activities. It will be important that the candidate have good collaborative and communication skills with the agriculture industry and other off-campus research faculty in the state. The candidate is also expected to contribute to shared departmental responsibilities, including learning outcome assessment, seminar, and strategic planning.


Teaching and Advising: The faculty member in this position will teach two alternate year upper level courses. One of the courses will be an advanced precision agriculture class that focuses on hardware and advanced analysis. The goal of this course is to build off the existing introductory course and expose students to more advanced techniques particularly related to data communications, sensors, and controls on agricultural machinery. Depending upon the experience of the faculty the primary focus may include automated electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic controls, smart sensing, mapping technologies, and big data communication and management. This will be a three credit class with two lectures and a three hour lab. The second class will be an upper level electrical power systems for agriculture course or an agricultural machinery management course. The specific course assigned to the faculty will be based on the strengths of the new faculty. The faculty member is expected to recruit and mentor graduate students and mentor undergraduate researchers.

Scholarship and Creative Activities: The faculty member is expected to lead a nationally recognized research program in the area of precision agriculture technology. Program research areas may include the development of technologies to improve the application efficiency of fertilizers, pesticides, and seed, development and incorporation of real-time plant stress sensors to optimize fertilizer application while minimizing nitrogen losses, improving prescription and yield mapping technologies for complex terrain, development of decision support tools based on satellite/UAS derived imagery and/or site-specific crop modeling, soil mapping with proximal sensing, and smart sensors application in the ag processing industry. The Precision Agriculture faculty is expected to conduct research supported by external grant funding, present findings at professional conferences, and publish in peer reviewed scientific journals. The incumbent will recruit, lead and mentor students in research activities. This person will cooperate with internal and external extension and research colleagues as well as local agricultural industry to identify research priorities, conduct collaborative projects, and disseminate results. This person will be expected to provide service for university functions and professional organizations.

University Service and Leadership: The faculty member will support the Soil and Water Science department and Water Resources graduate program by actively participating in faculty meetings and serve on departmental, college and university level committees as needed.

Minimum Qualifications: Earned Ph.D. at the time of hire in soil science, crop science, environmental science, agricultural or related engineering, computer science, or closely related field, with an emphasis in agricultural technology. Demonstrated record of publishing peer-reviewed research commensurate with career level, and ability to teach advanced agricultural technology classes. Must possess excellent written and verbal communication skills. Demonstrated experience with grant writing.

Preferred Qualifications: Record of competitive grant success commensurate with career level.
Demonstrated ability to work in interdisciplinary teams to conduct transdisciplinary research and outreach. Demonstrated leadership ability in research. A track record of publishing on precision agricultural related articles in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals. Demonstrated knowledge of the application of research techniques applied to agricultural technology. Post-doctoral or industry experience in crop production and precision agriculture. Demonstrated experience in student mentoring and teaching.

Special Instructions to Applicants: Along with your on-line application, write a letter of application addressing your interest in the position and how you meet all minimum and any preferred qualifications listed. Please also submit online a one-to two-page research statement (upload under "Other Document 1) and a one-page teaching philosophy (upload under "Other Document 2"). In addition, your application materials must include a CV, names and contact information for at least three (3) professional references, and transcripts.

Applicants who are selected as final possible candidates must be able to pass a criminal background check.

  • The University of Idaho is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or any other reason prohibited under Federal, State, or local laws. EOE AA/M/F/D/V

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Contact Information

  • Dr. Erin Brooks
    Soil and Water Systems
    University of Idaho
    875 Perimeter Drive MS2060
    Moscow, ID 83844-2060
  • 208-885-6562


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