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Visiting Senior Scientific Specialist, Geophysics

Illinois State Geological Survey
Champaign, Illinois
Closing date
Apr 28, 2023

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Near Surface Geophysics
Career Level
Early Career (up to 10 years past degree)
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

Job Details

Visiting Senior Scientific Specialist, Geophysics
Illinois State Geological Survey
Prairie Research Institute                                                                                                                                        
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) is a premier state geological survey serving the needs of the public, government, and industry with earth science information and research relevant to natural resources, environmental quality, economic vitality, and public safety. ISGS is part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis.  Learn more at

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status. For more information, visit

ISGS is seeking to hire a Visiting Senior Scientific Specialist, Geophysics to conduct and manage field investigations and deliverables associated with geophysical research.  Position is based in Champaign, Illinois.

Duties & Responsibilities:

Assist with processing, digitizing, and visualizing geophysical data across platforms.
Analyze and process 1-D and 2-D geophysical data.
Compile the results of field data and contribute to reports, deliverables, and presentations.
Meet with colleagues in order to develop project needs and requirements.
Plan, implement, and lead field activities and data collection of 1-D and 2-D geophysical data.
Manage field crew of hourly and student employees.
Ensure the safety of staff and equipment.
Respond to requests for information and provide technical expertise to PRI staff, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, academia, industry, and the general public.
Attend, participate in, and contribute to meetings.
Keep abreast of developments in this discipline.
Perform other duties as needed in order to further the mission and goals of the Survey, PRI and University.

Minimum Qualifications: Master’s degree in geophysics, geology, geography, civil engineering, environmental engineering, natural resources and environmental science, or related discipline. Alternate degree fields will be considered/accepted depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position.  Experience with collecting field data and collaborating with a team of field scientists.   Valid driver's license.    Preferred Qualifications: Background in geophysics and experience with geophysics processing software.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Ability to effectively manage fieldwork planning and logistics and advise/coordinate field staff. Must have an understanding of basic fieldwork best practices and safety. Effective communication and interpersonal, collaborative, organizational, teamwork, and leadership skills. Demonstrated ability to perform effectively in a diverse and fast-paced work environment characterized by multiple and changing priorities, stringent deadlines, and minimal supervision. Attention to detail, sound judgment, and conflict resolution skills. Affinity for cooperative or interdisciplinary research with scientists at the Survey, professionals at other Surveys or other academic units, and governmental and other academic institutions.  Proficiency in commonly employed software and databases. 

Work Environment: This position will involve working in office and field settings.  Fieldwork will require working in adverse conditions (inclement weather, biting insects, remoteness, sites with security concerns, heavy traffic) and traveling up to 50% of the time (including driving to and from research sites) throughout the state of Illinois in both rural and urban settings. Will require overnight travel for up to one work week at a time. Will require operating, lifting, and manipulating field equipment and other items over uneven terrain weighing up to 40 pounds.

Appointment Information: This is a full-time visiting academic professional appointment renewable annually based on satisfactory progress in the position and continued funding.  Position may become a regular, non-visiting position at a later date depending on funding and programmatic need. The starting date is negotiable and the salary is commensurate with experience.

Application Procedure and Deadline Information:  Applications must be received by 6:00 p.m. CST on April 21, 2023.   Applicants may be interviewed before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after this date.  To apply, please use the Apply Now button. Applications not submitted through will not be considered.  Application materials must include a 1) a cover letter that clearly articulates how your qualifications and experience make you a viable candidate for this position and should address the qualifications listed above, 2) a CV or resume, and 3) the names and contact information including e-mail addresses of three professional (not personal) references. All requested information and documentation must be submitted for applications to be considered.  Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

For further information please contact Lori Walston-Vonderharr, Human Resources, Prairie Research Institute, at or 217-244-2401.  For questions regarding the application process, including technical issues, please contact 217-333-2137.

The University of Illinois System is an equal opportunity employer, including but not limited to disability and/or veteran status, and complies with all applicable state and federal employment mandates. Please visit Required Employment Notices and Posters to view our non-discrimination statement and find additional information about required background checks, sexual harassment/misconduct disclosures, COVID-19 vaccination requirement, and employment eligibility review through E-Verify.

Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to apply and may request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (2008) to complete the application and/or interview process. Requests may be submitted through the reasonable accommodations portal, or by contacting the Accessibility & Accommodations Division of the Office for Access and Equity at 217-333-0885, or by emailing


The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) is part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. PRI houses five large scientific surveys covering a wide range of expertise including biology, water resources, climate, geology, sustainable technology and archaeology. The ISGS is a premier state geological survey, with over 200 scientists and technical support staff, serving the needs of the public, government, and industry with earth science information and research relevant to natural resources, environmental quality, economic vitality, and public safety. The University is a land-grant institution that provides access to world-class laboratory and academic facilities, Big Ten athletic events, and internationally acclaimed cultural opportunities.
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