Research Assistant II – Forest Carbon and Climate Program

Hiring Organization: Forest Carbon and Climate Program, Department of Forestry
Employment type: Full-Time
Application Deadline: July 6, 2022

Position description

The Department of Forestry at Michigan State University invites applications for a full-time, Research Assistant focused on forests, carbon, and climate change.  This position is in support of multiple external grants which will initially provide 12 months of full-time employment with benefits.  The successful candidate will assist with the management of the department’s Forest Carbon and Climate Program research efforts, with a special focus on forest management expertise and adult education. The mission of the Forest Carbon and Climate Program (FCCP) is to contribute research, synthesis, and training to meet the knowledge needs of professionals and the public on forest carbon and its relationship to mitigating climate change.  The position will consist of research management (40%), educational content development (25%), communication and outreach (20%), leadership and administration activities (10%), and other duties as assigned by the supervisor. This is an end-dated, grant-funded, union position, with funding for one year from date of hire, with extension possible depending on continued funding availability and satisfactory performance.

This role is a unique opportunity to shape an important and timely disciplinary intersection of forest management, conservation, forest products, and global climate change. The Research Assistant will: support research including collection and analysis of data; contribute to a research agenda; track science and policy in forest carbon and climate topics; develop and implement training and educational material for professionals; present at influential events and professional gatherings; design and lead workshop sessions; support relationships with partners; contribute to proposal development and pursue funding for specific projects; monitor and report on sponsored activities; support policymakers and natural resource decisionmakers; and complete administrative tasks related to educational programming offered by the FCCP, including the Graduate Certificate in Forest Carbon Science, Policy, and Management.  Specific duties are available by viewing position number 725455 at

Required Qualifications

Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in the specific field of research employment or related science field; three to five years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in overseeing research projects and laboratory operations, operating and maintaining a variety of laboratory equipment, performing specialized and difficult analytical and research techniques, and designing research experiments in an area related to research being performed; may require software specific to the area of research; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. The position may require special licensing or certification in the field related to the area of employment. 

Desired Qualifications

Master’s degree in forestry, natural resource management, environmental economics, environmental policy, or a related field. At least 3 to 5 years of progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in research, science communication (e.g., conservation), program or project management, or environmental education. Strong written and verbal communication (including public speaking), a familiarity with environmental science methods and outputs, and a willingness to learn new information. The ideal candidate will have the ability to interpret research findings and translate to various audiences, data visualization skills, and display willingness to learn new skills, including software. Experience or background in grant writing, publishing in academic journals and opinion pieces, community engagement, adult education, and/ or teaching at the college level. Knowledge of or experience in forest carbon project development, forest carbon baseline modeling, risk assessments, and/or monitoring, reporting, and verification.


The position will be based at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, USA.  Formally established in 1902, Michigan State’s Department of Forestry was among the first undergraduate forestry programs in the U.S. and is accredited by the Society of American Foresters. The Department is a vibrant, growing, internationally recognized unit committed to interdisciplinary education, research, and extension to understand and resolve environmental and natural resource issues.

MSU enjoys a park-like campus with outlying research facilities and natural areas. The campus is located in the city of East Lansing, adjacent to Michigan’s capital city of Lansing. The Lansing metropolitan area has a diverse population of approximately 450,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The University is proactive about its obligations under the ADA and provides individual accessibility plans to students and employees with disabilities. Information about WorkLife at MSU can be found at The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at Michigan State University is committed to achieving excellence by creating and sustaining an accessible and inclusive culture that values cultural and academic diversity. We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. The CANR is particularly interested in candidates of all backgrounds who are committed to the principle that academic excellence is achieved through open access and proactive inclusion.

To Apply

For consideration, submit your application online at to position number 725455. Upload the following required documents: a) letter of interest that details your qualifications for the position, how you have supported diversity in past employment and how you will contribute to our goals of inclusive excellence; b) current curriculum vitae; c) contact information for three professional references.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application deadline

The search committee will begin reviewing applications on June 29, 2022 and continue until a suitable candidate is selected. Questions regarding this position can be addressed to the Search Committee Chair: Lauren Cooper, Department of Forestry, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA, email:


MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. We actively encourage applications from, and nominations of, women, persons of color, veterans, persons with disabilities and other individuals who can contribute to the intellectual diversity and cultural richness at Michigan State University. MSU is committed to providing a work environment that supports employees’ work and personal life.