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Everglades Wetland Research Park

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Postdoc/Research Associate Position
Wetland Biogeochemistry

Everglades Wetland Research Park, Florida Gulf Coast University

 located at the Kapnick Center, Naples Botanical Garden, Naples, FL

First year appointment: July 1, 2013 through July 31, 2014 (13 months)

Availability: Immediate (prefer to be filled before July 31, 2013)

A post doctoral research position is available for wetland biogeochemistry research in the Greater Everglades of south Florida is available at the Everglades Wetland Research Park in Naples Florida. The research park is part of Florida Gulf Coast University, the newest state university in Florida. The entire university had as its original theme the protection of a sustainable environment. 

A courtesy faculty position is possible in the Department of Marine and Ecological Sciences at FGCU for applicants with good publication and extramural support records.

Position Description

Seventy percent of the position involves research sponsored by the South Florida Water Management District to assess the phosphorus removal efficacy of six wetlands plant communities with a series of 18 experimental 1 m x 6 m mesocosms in south Florida.  Research will involve taking plant, soil, and water samples for submittal to laboratories for analysis on a periodic schedule and sampling. Knowledge of microbial analysis of enzymes as indicators of organic matter decomposition and stable isotope sampling of water, soil, and litter and interpretation of results is desirable but not required. 

This research project is based near West Palm Beach, about 2.5 hour drive from the research home in Naples Florida. Travel to and from the mesocosm site from Naples will be required (2-day trips each week from mid-June through November 2013), after which the mesocosm vegetation will be harvested and the sampling part of the project will end. 

Thirty percent of the position involves sampling, analysis of methane emissions from two or more wetland areas in SW Florida: a created flow-through freshwater wetland on Florida Gulf Coast University’s campus in Ft. Myers, Florida and two tidal mangrove creeks (one to be restored, the second as a reference) on Naples Bay in Naples, Florida. 

Other lab personnel (Ph.D. and MS students, staff, undergraduate researchers) will also be involved in these projects.

General Qualifications

A Ph.D. is required in wetland ecology/biogeochemistry/water quality or related field; experience conducting ecological field work; strong interpersonal and communication skills and ability to work effectively with a diverse team; demonstrated ability to conduct statistical analyses and produce publications. Must have car and ability to drive from Naples laboratory to field sites at FGCU campus and mesocosm experiments in West Palm Beach.

Experience in communicating research results to the scientific community via journal article publications, conference presentations and seminars is required. Researcher will also advise and interact with graduate and undergraduate students as needed in their field and laboratory work.

Start Date and Salary

The preferred start date is June 15, 2013.  Funding is available for 1+ years, with opportunities to assist with seeking additional long-term support. Salary depends on experience but will be generous and competitive and will include full fringe benefits if Ph.D. is completed.

Laboratory Location and Description

The Everglades Wetland Research Park (EWRP), a research and teaching center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), is housed in a new 10,000 square ft Kapnick Education and Research Center on the campus of the Naples Botanical Garden in Naples, FL, approximately 35 miles south of the main FGCU campus in Ft. Myers. The EWRP provides teaching, research, and service related to wetland, river, coastal science and ecological engineering. The Kapnick building includes 6 offices for FGCU researchers (including this position), a 1725 sq ft wetland biogeochemistry lab, a 230 sq ft soil/vegetation processing room (mud room), and a 50 sq ft walk-in cooler.  Major lab equipment in the newly furnished laboratories includes an auto sampler and block digester for nutrient analyses, a total organic carbon analyzer for soil and water analyses of carbon and nitrogen, a gas chromatograph-mass spectrophotometer, two gas chromatograph with auto-samplers for greenhouse gas analyses, and a germanium detector for carbon sequestration studies.  Current details about the EWRP teaching and research programs are at http://fgcu.edu/swamp

The EWRP is adjacent to some of the most extensive mangrove wetlands in the world, Naples Bay and the Gulf of Mexico coastline a mile to the south and west, and the vast freshwater Florida Everglades freshwater marshes and cypress swamps a short distance to the east including Rookery Bay Estuarine Research Reserve, Ten Thousand Islands, Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Fakahatchee Strand, and the Florida Everglades National Park.

Apply by submitting 1) a cover letter that describes your interest and qualifications for the position, 2) a curriculum vitae that indicates when your Ph.D. was awarded (or is anticipated), and 3) email contact addresses for at least three references. 

Send the material to Dr. Bill Mitsch, Director, Everglades Wetland Research Park, Florida Gulf Coast University, 4940 Bayshore Drive, Naples FL 34112 via wmitsch@fgcu.edu  Call 614 946 6715 (cell phone) for more information.

Review of applications will begin June 5, 2013 and continue until the position is filled.