Assistant Extension Specialist

Job description          

The High Plains Irrigation/Water Management Assistant Extension Specialist is an 11-month, non-tenure track faculty position with an extension (75%) and research (25%) appointment in either the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences or the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering depending upon qualifications. The successful candidate will develop an externally funded, regionally and nationally recognized, integrated research and extension program focused on sustaining the viability of agriculture in the High Plains region of Oklahoma. Collaborative research and extension activities with county educators, area specialists, OPREC staff, and faculty in the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (DASNR) is expected. Opportunities to collaborate with Oklahoma Panhandle State University faculty, USDA-ARS scientists, and agricultural industry partners are plentiful.

OPREC: The Oklahoma Panhandle Research and Extension Center consists of 550 acres of irrigated, limited-irrigated, and dryland research. The McCaull Research and Demonstration Farm located approximately 45 miles north of OPREC consists of 480 acres of center pivot irrigation and 520 acres of dryland currently under established grass. Located in the semi-arid zone of the Oklahoma Panhandle, research and extension activities at OPREC focus on improving the sustainability and profitability of wheat, corn, grain sorghum, sunflower, canola, cotton, and bermudagrass in the High Plains region. The Oklahoma Panhandle contains 1.5 million acres of cropland, with 217,000 acres being irrigated. These cropland resources along with the extensive animal feeding complex produce $1.5 billion in agricultural sales annually, which represents 22% of Oklahoma agricultural sales. However, this production complex is vulnerable to environmental and human caused stresses due to variability in rainfall and a declining irrigation water resource in the Ogallala Aquafer.

EXTENSION/RESEARCH AREAS OF EMPHASIS: Extension activities will include demonstrations on the OPREC, the McCaull Research and Demonstration Farm, and local producers fields that are consistent with informational needs of farmers, ranchers, industry, and other clientele in the Panhandle region. Building and maintaining good working relationships with farmers, ranchers, industry, and other clientele in the Panhandle area is essential. Extension outreach and educational programs will emphasize increasing the sustainability and profitability of the agroecosystem in the region and will be a collaborative effort with county extension educators in the panhandle, OPREC staff, area specialists and campus based faculty. The Extension plan of work should be based on expected impacts in the region. Attendance and participation in local, regional, and national professional meetings is expected.

Research programs should emphasize a systems based approach to addressing challenges to the High Plains agroecosystem. As such it is expected that the individual provide a unique contribution to collaborative efforts with DASNR faculty to develop multi-disciplinary projects aimed at advancing the water productivity of the region. This individual is expected to provide specific leadership in advancing management strategies to improve water productivity through improvements in irrigation management and dryland cropping systems utilizing precision technology. Potential areas of emphasis include but are not limited to crop models, soil and plant sensors, and remote sensing technologies. Scholarly activity, including publication of research findings and generation of extension materials, is expected.

ADMINISTRATION AND PROGRAM ACCOUNTABILITY: This position is directly accountable to the Department Head with input from the Assistant Directors of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station. The Department Head is responsible for the annual appraisal of the High Plains Agroecosystems Extension Specialist.

Minimum qualifications include:
*M.S. in crop science, soil science, weed science, biological and agricultural engineering, or a closely related field and knowledge of agricultural systems related to the High Plains region
*Experience in sensor-based research, crop management, and irrigated cropping systems
*Ability to effectively and proficiently deliver technical information to a non-technical audience in an Extension capacity
*The successful candidate must be, or will become, proficient and properly licensed to legally operate all the vehicles and equipment located on the OPREC. In addition, the individual must have or will obtain within three months of employment a Certified Pesticide Applicator license in categories IA and 10, through the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
Preferred qualifications include:
*Ph.D. in one of the above mentioned fields.
*A farm background or farm experience in High Plains Agriculture is highly desirable
*Experience in and knowledge of GIS applications in production agriculture and precision agriculture technologies is desired. Knowledge and experience with center-pivot, lateral-move, and subsurface drip irrigation systems is desirable.
Competitive and commensurate with education and experience. Hiring contingent upon available funding.

This is an 11-month non tenure track faculty position. The position will be filled January 1, 2020, or as soon thereafter as an acceptable applicant is available. While applications will be accepted until a successful candidate has been identified, interested parties are encouraged to submit their information by October 25th, 2019.

For more information about this position, contact Dr. Randy Taylor, Assistant Director, OCES at 405.744.5398, randy.taylor@okstate.edu or Dr. Kevin Wagner, Search and Screen Committee Chair, at 405.744.5616, kevin.wagner@okstate.edu.

Submit application materials to: https://jobs.okstate.edu (Search by keyword/requisition requisition ID 7228).
*A letter of application that includes qualifications, associated research and extension activities, and vision for the position.
*A separate statement of research interests and philosophy
*A separate extension philosophy statement.
*A copy of transcripts
*A listing of three names, with telephone number and e-mail address, for those whom may be contacted for additional information.

“Oklahoma State University, as an equal opportunity employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. Oklahoma State University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate based on race, religion, age, sex, color, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, or veteran status with regard to employment, educational programs and activities, and/or admissions. For more information, visit https:///eeo.okstate.edu.”
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