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Assistant Professor, Biology, Plant Ecology

Apply now Job no: 517705
Work type: Instructional Faculty – Tenured/Tenure-Track
Location: San Francisco
Categories: Unit 3 - CFA - California Faculty Association, Tenured/Tenure-Track, Full Time, Faculty - Agriculture
Position Description

San Francisco State University, Department of Biology invites applicants for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Plant Ecology / Biology to begin August 2023 or Jan 2024. As a diverse, comprehensive, biology department we are interested in candidates who will engage students with diverse backgrounds, through their research, teaching, and service. We seek applicants conducting research in all areas of Plant Ecology, broadly defined. Specific areas of expertise may include but are not limited to: effects of climate change on terrestrial or aquatic plant communities; interactions with animals, fungi, microbes, or viruses; habitat restoration; fire ecology; food insecurity; ethnobotany and Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Scientists in other areas of interdisciplinary plant ecology research
including issues of social justice within the context of natural or urban plant communities are also encouraged to apply. We are especially interested in applicants whose teaching and research will engage students from diverse backgrounds and improve their academic success and whose teaching and research will incorporate use of our core facilities. These core facilities include a greenhouse and associated permanent plant collection (800 species, 163 families) with dedicated research bays, an extensive herbarium (~ 220,000 specimens), the Sierra Nevada Field Campus, and the Estuary & Ocean Science Center. Applicants must be committed to developing an externally funded research program and contributing to the training of both undergraduate and graduate students through mentorship of
student research.
The Department of Biology is home to over 1800 undergraduates, 200 master’s students, and 40 tenure/tenure-track faculty. The department places a strong emphasis on actively engaging students from diverse backgrounds in the process of scientific discovery. For more information about our department, please visit http://biology/ Applicants must be committed to undergraduate and
graduate master’s-level training through teaching, mentorship of student research, and student advising.
San Francisco State University has numerous facilities and resources that are available to all faculty and students to support their teaching and research programs ( The SFSU greenhouse includes a research bay dedicated to the successful candidate's research and teaching and is home to a permanent plant collection with 800 species, from 163 plant families including ~150 rare or otherwise endangered plant species. The Sierra Nevada Field Station is a full-service field station located
in the northern Sierra Nevada mountains that is available for education and research. The Estuary & Ocean Science Center (EOS, in Tiburon, CA) is a marine and estuarine science center with a focus on environmental problem-solving along shores and with coastal communities. Additionally, the university has multiple core facilities in support of research and training in genomics, and imaging: a Cell and Molecular Imaging Center (CMIC), a Genomics Transcriptomics Analysis Core (GTAC), and an Electron Microscopy facility. In support of improving our educational success, we have a new campus-wide hub to support climate action (SFSU Climate HQ), a resource center that supports development and training in novel approaches to teaching (Science Education Partnership & Assessment Laboratory, SEPAL), and our Health & Equity Research laboratory supports community-engaged, transdisciplinary research within and outside of the department. Many of our undergraduate and graduate students are supported by externally-funded training grants through our Student Enrichment Opportunities (SEO) office. Students in our department benefit from data science and coding training through the PINC (Promoting Inclusivity in Computing), GOLD (Graduate Opportunities for Learning Data Science), and SCIP (Science Coding Immersion Program) programs. Additionally, San Francisco State University is partnered with the California Academy of Sciences, a premier natural history collection and research institute located in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Our department is also home to fellows of the California Academy of Science, recognized for their outstanding contributions to their field.
The mission of San Francisco State University is to create and maintain an environment for learning that promotes respect for and appreciation of scholarship, freedom, human diversity, and the cultural mosaic of the City of San Francisco and the Bay Area; to promote excellence in instruction and intellectual accomplishment; and to provide broadly accessible higher education for residents of the
region and state, as well as the nation and world. To fulfill its mission, the University is committed to the following goals:
• Attracting, retaining and graduating a highly diverse student body.
• Providing disciplinary and interdisciplinary liberal arts and professional education that is academically rigorous, intellectually challenging, and benefits society.
• Providing curricula that reflect all dimensions of human diversity, and that encourage critical thinking and a commitment to social justice.
• Recruiting, retaining and supporting a diverse faculty whose teaching demonstrates an active engagement with their individual fields of study and whose creative and scholarly work is an extension of the classroom or laboratory.
• Employing a staff and administration reflecting the diversity of our student community and the values of the campus.
• Fostering a collegial and cooperative intellectual environment that includes recognition and appreciation of differing viewpoints and promotes academic freedom within the University community, and
• Serving the communities with which its students and faculty are engaged.
The position requires both graduate and undergraduate teaching in biology. Curricular contributions could include general education courses as well as lower and upper division biology major courses such as Introductory Biology, Plant Ecology, Evolution & Diversity of Plants, Field Methods in Ecology and Evolution, or courses (including graduate level) within the candidate’s specific area of research at the undergraduate and graduate level. In addition, the successful candidate will be required to engage, mentor and advise undergraduate and master’s students in directed research. The successful candidate is also expected to continue an active, externally-funded research program in their area of expertise, and to participate in committee and service assignments at the department and university level, as well as to their professional community.
  • Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree and post-doctoral experience in a biology or biology-related field are required
  • Record of scientific and mentorship accomplishments in plant ecology/biology
  • Evidence of working and communicating effectively with colleagues and students
As our department is committed to broadening access to STEM careers, a goal that aligns with the department, college, and university missions for equity and inclusion, we seek candidates with the following qualifications:
  • Demonstrated ability to teach courses in Biology and the candidate’s disciplinary specialty
  • Because San Francisco State University has one of the most diverse student bodies in the U.S., we seek candidates with experience in teaching and mentoring of PEERs (Persons Excluded because of their Ethnicity or Race) students in STEM
  • Demonstrated record of research related to their specialty area and evidence of external support or the potential for external funding of these activities
  • Demonstrated record of incorporating or plan to incorporate diversity, inclusion, and social justice in their courses and scholarship/creative works
  • Experiences in teaching and working closely with students from historically under-represented communities
  • Demonstrated record of contributing to supportive and collaborative work environments
Rank and salary
This position will be filled at the Assistant Professor level, tenure track. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. The California State University (CSU) provides generous health, retirement, and other benefits, and San Francisco State University offers a wide range of faculty training programs in advance of the university’s mission (for more information, visit
To apply, please upload the following materials:
1) a letter of intent relating your experience to the required qualifications,
2) a current CV (please feel free to address the impact of COVID-19 on your productivity),
3) a statement of teaching experience and philosophy (1 – 3 pages),
4) a statement of current research and future research plans (up to 4 pages),
5) a statement of equity, inclusion, and diversity (1 - 3 pages) that describes your experience and plans to address diversity through teaching, research and service in support of SF State’s diverse student and community populations, including how you would create an affirming and anti-racist environment for all students,
6) representative samples of 3-5 published papers,
7) names and contact information of three references willing to provide letters of recommendation upon request.
Submit all materials online by September 28, 2022. Review of applications will commence on September 29, 2022, and will continue until the position is filled. 
Please direct all questions about the position to the chair of the Plant Ecology / Biology Committee, Dr. Kevin Simonin,

San Francisco State is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, religion, color, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, medical
condition, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, covered veteran status, or any other protected status. We strongly encourage the application of individuals from historically underrepresented groups. Reasonable accommodations will be provided for qualified
applicants with disabilities who self-disclose by contacting the Senior Human Resources Manager.

Additional information on the requirements for new employees may be found at the Human Resources web page (
CSU is a state entity whose business operations reside within the State of California, and prohibits hiring employees to perform CSU-related work outside of California, with very limited exception. While this position may be eligible for occasional telework, all work is expected to be performed in the state of California, and this position is assigned to on-campus operations.
CSU requires faculty, staff, and students who are accessing campus facilities to be immunized against COVID-19 or declare a medical or religious exemption from doing so. Any candidates advanced in a currently open search process should be prepared to comply with this
requirement. The systemwide policy can be found at questions may be sent

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