The University of Connecticut (UConn) is pleased to invite applications for an Assistant Professor of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture (PSLA) in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR). This is a full-time, 9-month, tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor with a 50% Research and 50% Teaching appointment. This position is part of a cluster hire in CAHNR to collectively advance CEA within Connecticut and the region. The successful candidate is expected to support the departmental teaching mission; establish an internationally recognized research program; secure competitive grants; recruit and advise students; fulfill committee assignments supporting the mission of the Department, College, and University; and provide leadership to professional societies and industry committee/taskforce initiatives.
In this position, we seek a collaborative, collegial, and solution-driven research scholar with expertise on advance sensing and climate control, automation, crop modeling, novel structural design, use of sensors, or climate-smart technologies. The successful candidate will be expected to lead collaborative and integrated research projects focused on advancing CEA. Examples of research include, but are not limited to, integrating and/or developing climate smart technologies to reduce emissions, enhance resiliency, and increase plant productivity; advancing emerging markets for food, ornamental, and Cannabis plant production; expanding CEA applications for urban or vertical farming, year-round production, or extreme environments; advancing digital farming technologies through automation, remote sensing, modeling, and data analysis.
A 50% teaching appointment would come with the expectation to teach two to three courses per year that meet the needs of the undergraduate and graduate programs within PSLA. Existing course responsibilities include the Greenhouse Technology and Operations lecture and laboratory. The successful candidate will develop additional courses in the area of their expertise and meet the needs of the Department. Other duties include advising undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers, and contributing to departmental, College, and University service activities.
Priority consideration will be given to exceptional candidates with evidence of their ability to conduct and publish high-impact research, ability to acquire external research funding, excellence in teaching, and strong interest and skills in advising and mentoring undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral scientists. An ability to engage professionally with a diverse population of industry, faculty, staff, and students across the University is required.
The Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture (PSLA) is one of nine academic units within the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources (CAHNR). PSLA is a program that proudly serves the needs of Connecticut through graduate and undergraduate education, outstanding public-outreach programs associated with formal Extension and engaged scholarship, and nationally competitive research programs.
We offer programs leading to B.S. in Sustainable Plant and Soil Systems, a nationally accredited B.S. in Landscape Architecture, M.S. in Landscape Architecture, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Plant and Soil Sciences, including Agronomy, Horticulture, Plant Breeding, Plant Environment, Soil Science, and Soil Chemistry. The Plant Science program in the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree with concentrations in ornamental horticulture, turfgrass management, or sustainable crop production.
The research and teaching infrastructure of the Department includes wet laboratories, greenhouses, growth chambers, a design studio, access to the college compost facility, and a 153-acre farm. The Department is home to the Home & Garden Education Center, the Plant Diagnostics Clinic, Turfgrass Disease Diagnostic Center, the Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory, the Plant Transformation Facility, and the Waxman Conifer Collection. These resources facilitate and support extension and outreach to educators, homeowners, green industries, and commercial agriculture. Additionally, UConn’s Center for Open Research Resources & Equipment (https://core.uconn.edu/about) provides faculty access to a wide array of state-of-the-art core research and computational facilities. PSLA is headquartered on UConn’s main Storrs Campus, well placed between New York, Boston, Providence, and Hartford. For further information, please visit our website (www.psla.uconn.edu).
CAHNR has developed and implemented a Strategic Vision to guide the development and focus of our teaching, research and Extension programs in the years 2020-2025. Faculty hired for this position will be expected to make significant contributions in their area of expertise, contributing to the advancement of one or more of the CAHNR’s five strategic priorities.
- Ensuring a vibrant agricultural industry and sustainable food supply
- Enhancing health and well-being locally, nationally, and globally
- Fostering sustainable landscapes across urban-rural interfaces
- Advancing resilience and adaptation in a changing climate
- Dismantling structural racism and fostering environments that advance racial equity, inclusion, and belonging by advocating for anti-racist policies, practices, and norms
The CAHNR Strategic Vision (https://cahnr.uconn.edu/visionandvalues/) provides additional information on the strategic initiatives and their related areas of emphasis.
The University prioritizes scholarship in areas that include health and environmental sustainability, and offers significant opportunity for cross-disciplinary, collaborative scholarship in a number of areas including healthy and active communities, shoreline and community resilience, storm water management and green infrastructure, sustainable cities, landscape ecology, multi-modal transportation, and digital visualization and spatial analytics. UConn has been recognized as one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly campuses by a national publication of Sierra magazine.
Founded in 1881, UConn is a Land Grant and Sea Grant institution and member of the Space Grant Consortium. It is the state’s flagship institution of higher education and includes a main campus in Storrs, CT, four regional campuses throughout the state, and 13 Schools and Colleges, including a Law School in Hartford, and Medical and Dental Schools at the UConn Health campus in Farmington. The University has approximately 10,000 faculty and staff and 32,000 students, including nearly 24,000 undergraduates and over 8,000 graduate and professional students. UConn is a Carnegie Foundation R1 (highest research activity) institution, among the top 25 public universities in the nation. Through research, teaching, service, and outreach, UConn embraces diversity and cultivates leadership, integrity, and engaged citizenship in its students, faculty, staff, and alumni. UConn promotes the health and well-being of citizens by enhancing the social, economic, cultural, and natural environments of the state and beyond. The University serves as a beacon of academic and research excellence as well as a center for innovation and social service to communities. UConn is a leader in many scholarly, research, and innovation areas. Today, the path forward includes exciting opportunities and notable challenges. Record numbers of undergraduate applications and support for student success have enabled the University to become extraordinarily selective.
- Ph.D. in plant science, horticulture, agricultural engineering, biosystems engineering, or a closely related discipline completed by the start of employment.
- Demonstrated track record of published research in scientific peer-review journals.
- Exceptional oral and written communication skills, as demonstrated by presentations to professional societies and scientific communities.
- Demonstrated ability or clearly articulated vision to develop research in CEA that is high impact and externally funded complementary to department needs.
- Track record of successful grantsmanship commensurate with the applicant’s career level.
- Evidence of leadership in professional organizations and/or collaborative research.
- Experience teaching undergraduate or graduate courses as the instructor of record.
- Mentoring students or postdoctoral research scientists.
- Demonstrated commitment to and/or record of efforts to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion.
This is a full-time, 9-month, tenure-track position with an anticipated start date of August 23, 2023. The successful candidate’s academic appointment will be at the Storrs campus. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
Employment of the successful candidate is contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check.
Please apply online to Academic Jobs Online https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/24204 and submit the following application materials:
- Cover letter (up to two pages; that addresses how the applicant meets the minimum and preferred qualifications, why the applicant is the best fit for the position, and how your work at UConn will contribute to one or more of CAHNR strategic priorities);
- Curriculum vitae;
- Research and scholarship statement (one page; scholar goals for the next five-to-ten years, innovative concepts that will form the basis of academic career, experience in proposal development and grant acquisition, publication rate and quality, mentorship of graduate students, etc.);
- Teaching statement (one page; including teaching philosophy, teaching experience, commitment to effective learning, concepts for new course development, etc.);
- Commitment to diversity statement (one page; including broadening participation, integrating multicultural experiences in instruction and research and pedagogical techniques to meet the needs of diverse learning styles, etc.);
- Selected peer-review journal articles (no more than three); and
- Names and contact information for three references.
The review of applications will begin on March 15, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. Inquiries about the position should be directed to: Dr. Rosa Raudales (firstname.lastname@example.org).
At the University of Connecticut, our commitment to excellence is complemented by our commitment to building a culturally diverse community.
This position will be filled subject the budgetary approval.
All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics which may be found at http://www.ct.gov/ethics/site/default.asp.
The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and institutes serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.