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Forest and Grasslands Ecosystem Carbon Project Field Assistant

Woodwell Climate Research Center
Falmouth, Massachusetts, US
Closing date
May 30, 2022

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Job Description
SUMMARY: We seek applicants for a temporary (3-6 months) full-time field assistant position in forest and soils ecosystem and biodiversity research. The Research Assistant will conduct field work on a project that connects ecosystem structure and plant species composition with carbon storage in soils and vegetation in the unique coastal forest, grassland and shrubland ecosystems of the island of Martha's Vineyard. Field work will involve surveying forests and other ecosystems for plant species composition, inventorying trees to calculate carbon stocks, and collecting soils for laboratory analysis. The successful applicant will work as part of a multi-disciplinary team and gain experience through field and laboratory work across fields including botany, soils, and ecosystem climate change science.

  • Participate in field and laboratory measurements of plant species and soils.
  • Process and analyze project data.
  • Assist in coordinating schedules across multiple projects.
  • Field sampling at in dense vegetation and away from roads.
  • Travel to multiple field sites in cars.

Desired Qualifications and Experience:
  • Must have relevant coursework in Environmental Science, Ecology, Botany, Biology, Chemistry.
  • At least one-year field experience in a related field, including basic techniques and instrumentation used in ecology.
  • Requires attention to detail, strong organizational skills, the ability to work as a member of a team, and the ability to communicate positively with the public.
  • Ability to work independently as well as productively as part of a team.
  • Familiarity with best practices for field safety.
  • Strong skills in identifying plants or willingness to learn.
  • Basic proficiency with word processing, data management and presentation software (e.g., Word, Excel, and PowerPoint or equivalent programs) is required.
  • Must possess a valid US driver license for the last two years and qualify to drive Woodwell Climate Science Center vehicles.
  • Work might require occasional overnight stays at field station facilities.
  • Expected to be resident in close proximity to Woodwell Climate Science Center at other times.

Preferred Qualifications:
  • B.A./B.S. in Environmental Science, Ecology, Botany, Biology, Chemistry, Ecology, Marine Biology or Natural Resources.
  • Ability to operate small boats or willingness to take safety course to become certified.
  • Demonstrated skills in data organization, analysis, and report writing.
  • Data skills including moderate experience with R programming language (or equivalent) for data analysis, graphing, and statistical analysis.
  • Use of a car to occasionally travel to field sites.

Physical requirements:
  • This role requires work in the field, including rigorous outdoor activities (lifting approx. forty pounds, bending, carrying heavy equipment, and walking through uneven terrain, waist-high waters and marsh.)
  • Working in the field in Massachusetts requires a willingness to endure exposure to insects, ticks, and poison ivy.

Application review will be ongoing

Desired Start Date: April 15, 2022

Classification and Compensation: This temporary research assistant position is for approximately six months with the possibility to extend dependent upon performance and the availability of funding. You must have flexibility in the specific hours and days you can work and be able to accommodate a variable schedule, including working evenings and weekends as needed to accomplish sampling objectives. The hourly range is $19 per hour. Woodwell offers a generous benefits package and work life balance.

Location: Falmouth, Massachusetts

Application Instructions: To apply, please send your cover letter addressing your experience and qualifications in relation to the responsibilities of this position, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references as a single PDF to our careers portal. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Please type FGEFAon all correspondence.

Please visit Woodwell's website to learn more about Woodwell's work.

Located on a 10-acre campus near the village of Woods Hole, the Woodwell Climate Research Center (Woodwell) is a private, non-profit research center. Woodwell is a leading source of climate science that drives the urgent action needed to solve climate change. Woodwell has 80+ staff members and is excited to welcome new employees to this work.

Woodwell is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, mental, or physical disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, familial status, veteran status, or genetic information. Woodwell is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation for all individuals in employment practices, services, programs, and activities.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Woodwell


Climate change is the greatest challenge of our lifetimes. Woodwell Climate Research Center (Woodwell) understands that the climate crisis-from causes to consequences-is inextricably linked with persistent social injustice. Effectively addressing either requires addressing both. The climate crisis demands that we bring to bear all of the knowledge, expertise, innovation, and creativity that we can collectively muster, and those who have been marginalized and disproportionately impacted must be heard.

The work Woodwell does-the questions we ask, the ways we seek answers, and the strategies we put forward-is stronger when shaped by a diversity of knowledge, perspectives, and experiences. We strive to welcome, respect, and amplify differing voices. We value individuals as they are, with all their differences in race, age, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, language, and mental and physical abilities.

Woodwell acknowledges that our organization, and the scientific community more broadly, have a long way to go in living up to these ideals. We approach the work of improving our organization with the same ambition and commitment to systemic change that we bring to addressing climate change.

We will inevitably make mistakes, but we will continue to listen, learn, and do this critical work. We understand that this work requires an ongoing commitment from each and every one of us. We are actively engaged in building and sustaining an equitable and inclusive culture within our organization, and in fostering greater diversity in climate science.
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