Full-Time Soil Microbiologist


The USDA Agricultural Research Service is seeking a permanent, full-time Soil Microbiologist to lead research focused on relationships between cropping system management and the soil microbial ecosystem. The position is based at the Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney, MT. As a member of a team of soil scientists and agronomists, the successful applicant will lead a collaborative effort to determine the impacts of soil and crop management practices on microbial community structure and soil health within the framework of multi-year cropping systems studies.

There will also be opportunities to collaborate with ARS scientists at the location researching low agricultural-input rangeland systems impacted by resource extraction activities and invasive plants, as well as with crop production scientists at nearby land grant university research centers administered by Montana State University (Eastern Agricultural Research Extension Center, Sidney, MT) and North Dakota State University (Williston Research Extension Center, Williston, ND). Cropping systems in the northern Great Plains are typically spring wheat-based (dryland) or sugar beet-based (irrigated). Other crops of interest are pulses, oil seeds, corn, soybean, alfalfa and various minor crops. Crop producers in the region utilize a variety of crop rotation, tillage and irrigation practices that may impact soil microbial communities.

The candidate must have strong publication, collaboration and stakeholder-interaction skills. The mission of the laboratory is to develop and implement ecologically-based strategies, technologies, and products for the sustainable management of insects, pests, and weeds in crops and rangeland. Our location houses a team of highly-collaborative and enthusiastic scientists and support staff working in the fields of agronomy, soil science, ecology, botany, entomology, pollinator resources and population genetics. The position is advertised at the GS-12 or 13 level ($74K or $88K starting salary), includes full government benefits, has promotion potential to GS-15, and is open to all U.S. Citizens and Nationals. Please apply through the USAJobs website (Control Number: 547073400).

Job advertisement opens Sept. 27 and closes on Oct. 11, 2019. Please contact Dr. Bart Stevens with questions.