Assistant Professor-Soil Health Scientist, tenure track

Lincoln, Nebraska
Commensurate with education and experience
Nov 01, 2021
Dec 31, 2021
Soil ecology
Organization Type

The Soil Health Scientist is a member of a cohort of scientists working on soil health related research and education in cropping and grassland ecosystems. This tenure-track assistant professor position has 60% extension duties and 40% teaching duties.

In the Extension appointment (0.60 FTE) the incumbent leads statewide collaborative efforts on soil health within Nebraska Extension, including support for training stakeholders on soil health science within and outside the university, collaborating with specialists, extension educators, and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) personnel engaged in related IANR Extension programs. Using a systems approach, the incumbent develops, evaluates, and communicates the impact of management practices on soil ecosystem services, developing and recommending tools to assess improvement in soil ecosystem services across land management practices; providing leadership on soil health technology policies to soil conservationists for planning, developing, and implementing a soil health program dedicated to soil health conservation requirements. The incumbent also represents Nebraska Extension to foster interactions among government and non-government entities to encourage cooperative efforts and continuity of messages in addressing soil health issues. 

In the Teaching appointment (0.40 FTE) the incumbent’s contributions to teaching support holistic land management that connects soil health and environmental quality, and contributes to Agronomy-Horticulture, School of Natural Resources, and other degree programs. The incumbent provides leadership in teaching and/or team-teaching to deliver courses and experiences related to soil resources management, soil ecology and biodiversity, including plant-microbe interactions and soil processes governing soil carbon storage and greenhouse gas emissions. These courses should be applicable across a broad range of ecosystems with focus on agronomic, rangeland, and grassland systems, and may also include forest, horticultural, turfgrass, and urban landscapes. Additionally, the incumbent contributes to recruiting, advising, and mentoring graduate and under-graduate students. Specific course assignments may change according to program needs.

In the area of work covered by the position, the incumbent seeks and establishes effective disciplinary and multi-disciplinary collaborations including integration with local stakeholders, complementary research groups, extension teams, educational programs, and other partners. The incumbent accepts committee assignments, reporting responsibilities, and other special ad hoc assignments as requested at the administrative unit, college/division, institute, and/or university levels.

Required qualifications:

  • A Ph.D. in soil science or directly related field at time of appointment.
  • Expertise in soil health and management and thorough knowledge of soil ecology, soil biogeochemistry, and/or agronomy.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Ability to engage in scientific teamwork with natural resource scientists and agronomists to address major issues related to soil health. 
  • Experience and demonstrated commitment to excellence in teaching. 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with emphasis on communication with a variety of stakeholders.
  • Experience in course design, development, and management.
  • Experience working with resource management organizations (e.g., local, state, federal).
  • Evidence of work with diverse or underrepresented communities or groups.

Recognizing that diversity within a context of inclusivity enhances creativity, innovation, impact, and a sense of belonging, the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR), Agronomy and Horticulture, and the School of Natural Resources are committed to creating learning, research, Extension programming, and work environments that are inclusive of all forms of human diversity. We actively encourage applications from and nominations of qualified individuals from underrepresented groups including racial and ethnic minorities, women, sexual minorities, persons living with disabilities, and veterans.

Review of applications will begin December 1, 2021 and continue until the position is filled or the search is closed. To view details of the position and create an application, go to, requisition F_210121. Click “Apply to this Job” and complete the information form. Attach 1) a letter of interest that describes your qualifications for the job, anticipated contributions, and the value you place on diversity and your anticipated contributions to creating inclusive environments in which every person and every interaction matters (3 page maximum; see for guidance in writing this statement); 2) your curriculum vitae; and 3) contact information for three professional references. 

As an EO/AA employer, qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. See