Assistant Scientist, Large River Fisheries Ecology

  • Illinois Natural History Survey
  • Champaign, IL, USA
  • Aug 01, 2019
Full time Biology - Ecology Fisheries - Marine Science - Aquatic Biology Research

Job Description

The Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) is seeking an Assistant Scientist, Large River Fisheries Ecology (up to three, depending on applicant pool and programmatic need) to develop, direct, and conduct research activities focused on issues surrounding the impact, control, and management of bigheaded carp and other potential nuisance or invasive species throughout the Upper Mississippi River. This position is located in Havana, IL. However, this position will often work from a satellite office in Hancock County, IL. 

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conduct biological research on Upper Mississippi River using multiple types of fishing gear. (PDC electrofishing, netting, telemetry)
  • Collect fish population monitoring data and use the information to develop research projects.
  • Coordinate field sampling schedules including; identifying sampling locations, completion of equipment inventory for each trip, and safety inspection of marine craft and electrofishing gear, Supervise students and hourlies including task assignment, explain required sampling techniques to staff, informing staff of required field data collection necessary to complete project, and ensuring marine safety protocols are followed.
  • Manage, analyze, and translate research and monitoring data into scientific findings and provide management recommendations to funding agencies, collaborators, and other interested parties.
  • Provide recommendations to funding agencies, collaborators, and other interested parties.
  • Translate scientific data into reports, peer-reviewed publications, and presentation to be delivered at conferences and professional meetings.
  • Work with lay community to engender positive feedback regarding scientific research.
  • Coordinate and cooperate with the Survey, PRI, University of Illinois, and other groups
  • Attend local, regional, national, and international conferences.
  • Represent the Survey, PRI, the University, and other state and federal agencies on professional and interagency committees associated with river ecology and fisheries.
  • Represent the Survey, PRI, and UIUC committees.
  • Ensure facilities are equipment are properly maintained, grant and contract obligations are fulfilled, and data quality assurance standards are met.
  • Perform other duties as needed in order to further the mission and goals of PRI.
  • Keep abreast of developments in this discipline. 

Required Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Aquatic Ecology, Fisheries, or related field. Alternate degree fields will be considered depending on the nature and depth of the experience at it relates to this position. Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 5 years of experience or Master’s degree with a minimum of 3 years of experience in standard fish sampling and other sampling techniques important to large river ecology research. Experience with pulsed-DC, fyke and hoop netting, trawling, and other sampling techniques important to large river ecology research. Experience with writing and presenting scientific reports and scientific journal articles that include standard fisheries statistical analyses. Valid driver’s license. Effective communication, personal relations, collaboration, organizational, teamwork, and leadership skills. Demonstrated ability to perform effectively in a diverse and fast-paced work environment consisting of multiple and changing priorities with stringent deadlines, under minimal supervision. Attention to detail, sound judgment, and strong conflict resolution skills. Proficiency in commonly employed software and databases, including Microsoft Office, MS Access, ArcGIS and statistical software packages (R, SAS, etc.).  Possess appropriate field and laboratory skills as well as physical skills necessary to carry out work. Must possess strong interpersonal skills and ability to work collaboratively with other scientists, researchers, staff, and clients. Ability to swim is required. 

Preferred Qualifications:

Master’s degree in Biology, Aquatic Ecology, Fisheries, or related field. Alternate degree fields will be considered depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position. Experience driving 4WD trucks and trailering boats. Experience working on large river systems by boat. Proficiency using common statistical and georeferencing software such as SAS, R, and ArcGIS. Boater’s Safety, MOCC training, First-Aid and CPR training, AFS Certified Fisheries Professional. Red Cross or other swim certification.  

Environmental Demands:

Overnight travel may be necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of this position. Will require working in adverse field conditions (heat, humidity, biting insects, cold, etc.), travel (including driving to and from research sites);  lift and carry equipment weighing up to 50 pounds. The work of this position also takes place in an office setting. The work is sedentary and involves remaining in a stationary position for extended periods of time working at a computer, using a keyboard and mouse, and using repetitive hand motions. 

Proposed Start Date: Negotiable 

Salary: Competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. 

Appointment Status: This is a regular full-time 12-month academic professional appointment, renewable annually based upon satisfactory progress in the position and continued funding. Position is eligible for full University benefits package as well as generous vacation and sick leave packages. 

To Apply: Applications must be received by August 21, 2019.  Interviews may take place prior to the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after that date. Please visit to complete an online profile and to upload 1) a cover letter that clearly articulates how your qualifications and experience make you a viable candidate for this position and should address the qualifications listed above, 2) a résumé/CV, and 3) the names and contact information (including e-mail addresses) of three professional references. All requested information/documentation must be submitted for applications to be considered.  Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. 

For further information, please contact Amber Hall, Human Resources, Prairie Research Institute at or 217-300-4080. 

For technical inquiries regarding this position, please contact Dr. James Lamer at

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

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Salary: Competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.