JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ASSISTANT WITH THE APPALACHIAN OHIO FOREST RESEARCH GROUP AT OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY, 20-30 HOURS/WEEK (VARIABLE), ONE-YEAR COMMITMENT
The Appalachian Ohio Forest Research Group (AOFRG) studies the return of forests in Appalachian Ohio. We are interested in the combination of social, economic, and ecological factors that have contributed to the recovery of forests across the region. Appalachian Ohiois an ideal place to study this process, because the region’s forests were devastated in the 19th and early 20th centuries; a hundred years later, the region is covered by mature forests. While some elements of this process were predictable, many aspects of the story are surprising, including the continued economic importance of resource-reliant industries (e.g. timber, coal, oil and gas) and a dense rural population with a long tradition of private landownership. Focusing on a subset of counties (Perry, Athens, Hocking, Vinton, and Ross), our goal is to understand how forests have come back in this dynamic and diverse place, and how rural residents are shaping what that forest looks like, how it functions, and who benefits from it. The project’s results are intended to inform forest and rural development policy in the state, and to contribute to broader debates about forest recovery world-wide.
AOFRG is a collaborative project of the Ohio State University, Ohio University, and the US Forest Service’s Northeastern Research Station in Delaware, Ohio. This position is associated with OhioStateUniversity. More information on the project can be found here: http://aofrg.osu.edu.
Position: We are looking for a highly motivated, independent person to conduct supervised research in the study region on people’s attitudes toward forests and their actions in forests. The employee will do fieldwork to identify (1) different people’s visions and goals for forests, (2) how people work with or against each other to achieve their goals, and (3) how these visions, alliances, and antagonisms translate into actions on the land.
Job duties will include: interviewing a range of public and private stakeholders (e.g. county officials, landowners, activists), attending public meetings and events (including some that may be in the evening and on weekends), making site visits, and collecting data in archives and other public repositories. Research products will include taped and transcribed interviews, field notes, regular research reports, photographs, and Excel spreadsheets. The employee will be provided with a laptop computer, camera, and data recorder. While the costs of transportation will be reimbursed, the employee must provide their own transportation.
The position does not require relocation to Columbus. The ideal applicant would live in the study region (we welcome applications from current residents), and come to Columbus weekly for in-person meetings with the research team. If located away from Columbus, the employee must provide their own internet access.
The position will start in June or July 2012. We expect the position to last for one year with possibility of extension. We expect the employee to work 20-30 hours per week; the precise hours will vary week to week. It may be possible to increase this to 40 hours a week in the future.
The hourly wage is $12.00-$16.00 per hour, depending on experience. The position includes a range of benefits, such as health, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance (the employee must contribute a portion of the cost of insurance premiums).
Necessary experience and background: (1) Applicants should have experience and demonstrated interest in issues related to the environment or sustainability issues more broadly, such as land use planning, rural development, forest ecology, forest use, or community organizing around these issues. Detailed knowledge of the study area is highly desirable. (2) Applicants must be able to work well in a group project setting and they must be able to follow direction. At the same time, applicants also must be able to work independently, staying on task while being creative and flexible in the face of challenges and opportunities while doing research. (3) Applicants must have good social skills. Prior experience with fieldwork, community engagement, journalism, or other social involvement is highly desirable. (4) A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree is preferred, but we will consider individuals with an equivalent combination of education and experience.
To build a diverse workforce, Ohio State encourages applications from individuals with disabilities, minorities, veterans, and women.
To apply: Send a resume and cover letter to Dr. Becky Mansfield by email to email@example.com (preferred) or by mail to 1036 Derby Hall, 154 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210. Your cover letter must explain why you are interested in this position, and must outline your experience in the area and/or with the substantive issues related to this position.