Assistant Professor - Vegetable Horticulturist

Apply now Job no: 524807
Work type: Tenure-Track Faculty
Location: Dade
Categories: Agricultural Sciences
Department:60790000 - AG-TREC-HOMESTEAD

Classification Title:

Ast Prof

Job Description:

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is committed to creating an environment of inclusive excellence that affirms diversity across a variety of dimensions, including ability, class, ethnicity/race, gender identity and expression. Inclusive excellence is the active process of including and respecting everyone as we strive for excellence and equitable outcomes in all we do at the University of Florida. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service. We strongly encourage historically underrepresented groups to apply.

If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352-392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at 800-955-8771 (TDD) or visit Accessibility at UF .

This is a 12-month tenure-accruing position that will be 40% research (Florida Agricultural Experiment Station) and 60% Extension (Florida Cooperative Extension Service), available at the Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC), Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), University of Florida (UF). This assignment may change in accordance with the needs of the unit.

Tenure will accrue in the Horticultural Sciences Department. The vegetable industry in south Florida is in transition from conventional cultural practices to more sustainable practices; and from large acreages of traditional vegetable crops to emerging high value ethnic crops that meet the increasing demands of consumers of Asian-, Caribbean-, and Latin-American origins.

Demographics of the producer community is shifting from older to younger farmers, expanding to new ethnic groups (e.g., Asian- and Hispanic- Americans) and to interest in alternative and more diverse cropping systems. The research and extension program must be developed to meet the needs of the subtropical and tropical vegetable horticulture industry in south Florida in cooperation with other faculty in the Horticultural Sciences Department and UF/IFAS Extension located at the main campus in Gainesville and at other locations throughout the state. Duties will include providing innovative leadership and expertise in the development of interdisciplinary research and extension projects in collaboration with other faculty in areas such as breeding and genetics, entomology and nematology, plant pathology, soil and water sciences, agricultural engineering, hydrology, food and resource economics, and precision agriculture. The extension and research programs shall support commercial (including commercial urban and protected) vegetable production in the region while investigating innovative production systems that lead to increased diversification of alternative and emerging crops and adoption of precision crop production practices, which will assure sustainability, climate resilience, and profitability for vegetable crop farms. The development of vegetable crop production systems that assist growers to compete in the local, regional, national, and global economy and reduce adverseimpacts of agricultural activities in the south Florida environment is an imperative. Research outcomes will be integrated into a strong extension program to support county and state extension faculty, vegetable farmers, and allied industry representatives statewide.

Major goals for this position include the development of an extension program that reaches underserved minority groups (e.g., African-, Asian-, Hispanic- American producers, novice/new growers) and development of effective field production strategies for enhancing yield and quality of vegetables in a manner consistent with good stewardship of the land and natural resources. Approaches could relate to study of cultural practices to promote sustainable conventional, regenerative, and organic production and optimization of current and innovative production practices. Interaction with the South Florida Water Management District, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, USDA/Agricultural Research Service, USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and other local, state, and federal agencies is important to this position.

The faculty member will be expected to participate actively in graduate education by chairing and serving on graduate committees, supervising thesis and dissertation research, and publishing the results with their graduate students. The faculty member is expected to actively seek robust and diverse external grant funding to support their program. The faculty member will engage in Extension activities in their program area, including demonstration of alternative crops and innovative and sustainable vegetable production systems. Other Extension activities will include providing training, resource materials, and technical assistance to Extension Agents, collaborating with them on Extension and technical publications and grants, and conducting workshops/trainings for the vegetable industry and other stakeholders in partnership with Extension faculty.

All IFAS faculty members are expected to be supportive of the land-grant mission and engaged in all three mission areas: Research, Teaching and Extension, regardless of the formal assignment specified in the position description.

The Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead is a branch of UF/IFAS. TREC is a 160-acre center with office, laboratory, greenhouse, teaching, and field plot facilities. Currently, there are 17 faculty members located at the center. TREC is located in Miami-Dade County about 30 miles south of metropolitan Miami. The demographics of the region is very diverse. The area has a marine-warm-subtropical climate and is demographically diverse.

Employment Conditions

This position is available May 31, 2023, and will be filled as soon thereafter as an acceptable applicant is available.  Compensation is commensurate with the education, experience, and qualifications of the selected applicant.

Expected Salary:

Commensurate with Experience and Education

Minimum Requirements:

A doctorate (foreign equivalent acceptable) in horticulture, plant science, or a closely related field of study with expertise and experience in horticultural crop production by the time of appointment is required. Candidates must have a strong understanding of basic processes in vegetable production. A knowledge of soil, water, and nutrient processes is helpful. Candidates should have demonstrated skills in verbal and written communication, interpersonal relationships, and procurement of extramural funding. Candidates must have a commitment to IFAS core values of excellence, diversity, global involvement, and accountability.

Preferred Qualifications:

Postdoctoral experience is required; multi-lingual capability (especially Español, Mandarin Chinese) and extension programming experience is desirable.

Special Instructions to Applicants:

For full consideration, candidates should apply and submit materials by January 31, 2023.  The position will remain open until a viable applicant pool is determined.

Nominations

Nominations are welcome.  Nominations need to include the complete name and address of the nominee. This information should be sent to:

 

Please refer to Requisition # 524807

Dr. Shouan Zhang

Chair, Search and Screen Committee

University of Florida

Tropical Research and Education Center

18905 S.W. 280th Street

Homestead, FL 33031

 

Telephone:      (786) 217-9233

Facsimile:       (305) 246-7003

Electronic Mail:            szhang0007@ufl.edu

 

Application Information

Individuals wishing to apply should go online to Careers at UF and submit:

  • Cover letter that states applicant’s interest in the position and qualifications relative to the credentials listed above
  • How their scholarship may contribute to diverse communities
  • Research and extension statements
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Contact information (including email addresses) for 4 individuals willing to provide letters of recommendation
  • Unofficial transcripts

Selected candidate will be required to provide an official transcript to the hiring department upon hire. A transcript will not be considered “official” if a designation of “Issued to Student” is visible.  Degrees earned from an education institution outside of the United States are required to be evaluated by a professional credentialing service provider approved by National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US. The University of Florida is a public institution and subject to all requirements under Florida Sunshine and Public Record laws.

The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff. The University and greater Gainesville community enjoy a diversity of cultural events, restaurants, year-round outdoor recreational activities, and social opportunities.

Health Assessment Required: No

 

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close:

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