Natural Areas Coordinator
Tuesday, July 19, 2016 12:45 PM

The INHS ( and the Committee on Natural Areas ( is seeking a Natural Areas Coordinator to manage and protect the integrity of the natural communities and the research that occurs on the University of Illinois’ Natural Areas research sites.  The Committee on Natural Areas (CNA) is a standing committee appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Research and is responsible for maintaining and managing the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign owned properties which have been acquired to enhance environmental/ecological research and education. The role of the CNA is to provide and facilitate long-term research and teaching opportunities on the University-owned Natural Areas. Sites are managed to protect both the integrity of the ecological systems and the biological research that takes place on them. Twelve University areas are currently under the direct supervision of the Committee on Natural Areas: Brownfield Woods, CCDC Collins Woods, Funk Forest, Nanney Research Area, Nettie Hart Woods, Phillips Tract, Edgar and Sophia Richter Research Area, Rutan Research Area, Trelease Woods, Trelease Prairie, First and Windsor Pond, and the Vermilion River Observatory. Together they compromise about 1010 acres (409 ha.). They are composed of nine woodlands, a reconstructed prairie and a multi-use former farm. The sites also provide direct access to stretches of the Embarras River, Timber Creek, Sangamon River, Saline Ditch, and the Salt Fork River. 

Primary Position Function/Summary: Coordinate and manage the University of Illinois’ Natural Areas and protect the integrity of the research that occurs on the sites. 

Major Duties and Responsibilities: Manage 12 natural area sites (approximately 1010 acres) in Champaign, McLean and Vermilion counties, IL, involving the following tasks: Protect, maintain, and enhance the natural ecological processes characteristic to each site using scientifically sound management practices including prescribed burning, identification and removal of invasive species, and creation of microhabitats. Manage the use of the sites to enhance scientific research while minimizing human disturbance. Provide unique services and information to users of the sites that enhance the efficiency and quality of research and teaching activities. Manage the annual budget and finances including any special funding. Oversee and regulate all research and teaching access/usage on the sites and broadly oversee all individuals’ activities on the sites. Maintain the Natural Areas office, including communications, budget records, historical information, usage records, site information, and a bibliography of site generated scientific literature. Produce annual reports and budget reports as requested. Serve as liaison to the Committee on Natural Areas (standing committee appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Research); committee currently consists of eight faculty/staff members and is responsible for the policy and long-term decision making for the UIUC Natural Areas. Communicate regularly with Chairperson and provide scientific assessment and reports to the full committee as needed. Conduct original research on the Natural Areas sites that will result in publication or enhance the general knowledge of natural area site ecology. Provide technical and personal assistance as necessary to researchers and instructors. Provide instructional support and teaching duties for class usage of the Natural Areas sites as time allows. Lead occasional tours or give informational presentations on the Natural Areas to outside organizations. Identify and pursue land acquisitions that will protect current holdings, expand site resources, and anticipate future needs. Maintain working relationships with adjacent private landowners and other interested public organizations and governmental agencies. Coordinate with other campus units on common goals related to the Natural Areas. Identify and respond to campus, local municipality, and county/state issues that may affect the long-term usage of the Natural Areas. Mentor, train, evaluate, and assign tasks for assigned employees (e.g., a biologist and student hourlies) Maintain site buildings, fencing, roadways and other infrastructure. Implement procedures that restrict public access to the sites and maintain a secure and safe environment for users. 



Position Requirements and Qualifications:

Education: Required: Master’s degree or PhD in ecology, biology or related field. Alternate degree fields will be considered/accepted depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position. 

Experience: Required: A minimum of two years professional experience in biological or ecological field research or site management. Extensive experience with the ecology of central Illinois with an emphasis on forest and grassland ecology. Experience with land management under research- or preservation-oriented guidelines. Preferred: Experience across a variety of ecological/biological fields. Project management. 

Training, Licenses or Certifications: Required: Possess or be able to obtain a State of Illinois Certified Prescribed Burn Manager certification. Possess or obtain a State of Illinois Public Pesticide Applicator’s license. Possession of a valid driver’s license. 

Knowledge Requirements: Required: Must have excellent communication skills and be able to translate scientific information to the public. Basic knowledge in the use and maintenance of small tractors, vehicles, and a broad array of land management tools and resources. Demonstrated knowledge of a related basic and specialty area and desire to keep abreast of developments in discipline. Demonstrated ability to work effectively as both a team member/leader and independently with minimal supervision, with a strong record of completion of complex tasks/projects. Proficiency with computer applications. Demonstrated skills with preparing and presenting publications and technical reports. Physical ability to work in the field under a variety of weather conditions. Flexibility to work more than 40 hours as needed, dependent on conditions. Preferred: A strong scientific publication, technical report, and presentation record. 

Salary: $58,000 to $62,000 per year commensurate with experience and education.  This is a regular, academic professional, full-time 12-month position located on the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus.  The estimated starting date is September 1, 2016.  

Benefits: Generous vacation and sick leave.  State Universities Retirement System.  Group health, dental, vision and life insurance. 

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

Applications must be received by July 31, 2016. To apply, all candidates must submit an online profile through by the close of the posting period. Qualified candidates must upload a letter of which details qualifications noted above, curriculum vitae, working e-mail address, and the names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of three professional references.  All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered. Incomplete information will not be reviewed. Applications may be reviewed prior to closing.  For further information please contact Erica Hanson, Human Resources Associate, Illinois Natural History Survey, 217-333-6897 or [email protected].  For technical questions, please contact Steve Buck at [email protected] 

Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran,  status as a qualified individual with a disability, or criminal conviction history. Illinois welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. (