Assistant Professor, Soil Fertility and Precision Nutrient Management

Posted: 11/15/2016

Job Opening ID: 314135

About the Job: 

The Department of Soil, Water, and Climate at the University of Minnesota (UofM) seeks a dynamic and innovative researcher and teacher in the area of soil fertility with a focus on precision nutrient management. Precision agriculture had its beginnings during the 1980's in Minnesota and the Center for Precision Agriculture at the UofM (established in 1995) was the first of its kind in the world ( The Department of Soil, Water, and Climate is one of 12 academic departments within the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). There are currently 19 departmental faculty located on the St. Paul Campus and three located at Research and Outreach stations as well as five USDA-ARS scientists with adjunct appointments. The Department provides undergraduate and graduate teaching, conducts extensive research, and has significant extension and outreach responsibilities.

Appointment and Position Description:

This is a nine-month tenure-track appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor with duties divided between Research (50%) and Teaching (50%). The position is in the Department of Soil, Water and Climate, on the flagship Twin Cities campus of the UofM. The appointee will be expected to develop a locally, nationally and internationally recognized research program related to the study of soil fertility and precision nutrient management. The focus of this position is to conduct research in the area of soil nutrient testing and nutrient management in the context of precision farming. Emphasis areas are expected to include but not be limited to: soil nutrient cycling, spatial and temporal variability and crop uptake, as well as aerial remote sensing for crop scouting, crop performance monitoring, and diagnosis of crop stressors. The successful candidate will be expected to develop research in areas that support Minnesota agriculture and natural resources. The appointee is expected to collaborate in research with UofM faculty conducting research and outreach in Precision Farming both in CFANS and the College of Science and Engineering, and develop research networks outside the UofM, including industry and commodity groups. In addition, the appointee will be expected to secure extramural research funding from state and national competitive grant programs; recruit and advise undergraduate and graduate students; participate in faculty governance; participate in, and as appropriate, provide leadership to outreach activities of the Department and College statewide and nationally. Finally, the appointee is initially expected to serve as Associate Director for the Precision Agriculture Center, and take leadership as the Director of the Center after receiving tenure and promotion. The appointee will assume teaching responsibilities for an undergraduate soil fertility course that will be offered one semester each year. Additional teaching responsibilities will include developing an annual or biannual graduate level course in soil fertility for the Land and Atmospheric Science graduate program (LAAS), and potentially a course offered in the undergraduate Environmental Science, Policy and Management (ESPM) major.

Salary and Benefits: 

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications.  Benefits include: University retirement; group life, medical, and dental insurance plans; and sabbatical and semester leave opportunities. The position is available March 1, 2017.  Detailed benefits information is available at:  



  • A Ph.D. in soil science, environmental science, crop science or closely related discipline.
  • A strong potential for excellence in soil fertility and precision nutrient management research.
  • Demonstrated excellence in written communication skills.
  • Clear potential or demonstrated success in securing extramural research funding.
  • A strong potential for excellence in soil fertility and precision nutrient management teaching.


  • A track record of publishing on soil and crop nutrient management and/or precision farming in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • Experience working effectively in interdisciplinary teams.
  • Commitment to serving traditionally underrepresented and culturally diverse groups.
  • Experience in use of experiential and distance learning techniques.
  • Demonstrated excellence in oral communication and presentation skills.
  • Post-doctoral or industry experience in nutrient management as related to crop production and precision agriculture.
  • Experience in conducting research on spatial and temporal variability in soil and crop nutrients
  • Experience in conducting research on remote sensing for crop nutrient stress

How to Apply: 

Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, go to and search for Job ID 314135. You will have the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a cover letter, resume, and additional documents.

Applicants will be selected for interview based on an application packet that must include a cover letter, a curriculum vitae with list of publications, statements of research and teaching interests, and names and contact information for at least three referees.

Review of applications will begin January 17, 2017 and continue until the position is filled.

To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).


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Background Check Information

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.