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Director of Administration and Facilities  |  Postdoctoral Position: Land-use and Land protection  

Note: Bullard Fellowship applications open on Oct. 1.

Director of Administration and Facilities

Duties & Responsibilities

Reporting to the Director of the Harvard Forest, with a dotted line to the Administrative Dean for Science, the Director of Administration assists in the management of Harvard Forest and the application of its resources, funding and personnel to the advancement of its mission of research, education, and outreach. Together with the Faculty Director, leads the Forest in the development and implementation of best practices in all departmental operations and is responsible for all department functions including: budget and business operations, human resources, research policy and compliance, sponsored research administration, research operations, long-range planning, informational technology and environmental health and safety.  

Responsible for all building and grounds, including maintenance, renovations, and major projects; coordination of Forest Operations safety. Project manager on facilities, IT and/or research site projects needing coordination between facilities crew, IT staff, Harvard University and financial resource teams. Responsible for creating systems and policies to enhance coordination and communication among Director, Senior Scientists, other staff and many parts of Harvard University.  Analyzes and synthesizes information and produces reports and recommendations on behalf of the Forest for internal and external constituents. Contributes to committees and working groups at School and University level as needed. Together with the Director, serves as liaison to the Cambridge Campus including other departments and partner organizations and with all collaborators and the local communities and attend relevant meetings and events. Participates in planning efforts that affect the academic, quality of life and scientific mission of the Forest. 

Builds, develops and manages a highly effective, innovative and diverse team consisting of 11 direct reports and providing HR support and guidance to 25+ additional HF staff and scholars. Facilitate hiring including recruitment, interviewing, and onboarding of new staff. Leads, communicates and monitors performance expectations and manages performance improvement and disciplinary actions, including terminations. Provides staff development and mentorship.

Oversees the financial management of the Forest including: financial reporting and long-term planning, the annual budget process, implementation of policies and procedures, stewardship of restricted resources, and implementation of new financial and administrative systems. Establish policies and charges for housing, board, office, equipment, and lab use. 

Sponsored Research 
Assist as needed with all aspects of proposal preparation and post award oversight. Research and identify opportunities and draft proposals for physical plant funding and major projects to submit on behalf of Department.  

Senior manager for the Harvard Forest physical plant including 4000 acres of land; 40 miles of woods roads; 19 residential units including 3 dorms with 49 beds (45,000 sf); 55,000 sf of administrative, lab, museum, library/archive space plus mechanical facilities; fleet of 17 vehicles and heavy equipment; saw mill; and multi-spurred primary electrical line running 1.5 miles into the woods to support experiments and facilities operations. 

Chief Safety Officer 
Ensure compliance with University, federal, state, and local policies and regulations including environmental protection, workplace safety, emergency evacuation, state building code, public water operations testing schedule and standard compliance, landlord/tenant relations, and food permitting.  

Property Manager  
Ensure buildings, grounds and residences are maintained and in exemplary order as reflects the institutional mission.  Oversee acquisition and distribution of furniture, fixtures and equipment.  Assist in long-term planning  regarding facilities, grounds, and properties

Basic Qualifications

Must possess at least eight years of progressively responsible administrative management experience, including staff supervision, financial management experience in an academic or research environment.

Additional Qualifications

• Master’s degree strongly preferred

• Demonstrated experience in Financial Management including Sponsored Research Administration

• Project Management and Operations Experience including involvement with building repairs or renovations 

• Strong quantitative, analytical and supervisory capability

• Effective interpersonal and written communication skills

•Ability to work with all constituents with tact and discretion 

• Ability to balance shifting priorities and to work independently. 

• Experience with Harvard’s financial and human resource systems

• Interest in the research, educational, and conservation mission of Harvard Forest.

•Knowledge of experimental and safety procedures for environment containing dangerous mechanical equipment, and potentially hazardous chemical, biological, and radioactive materials

Learn more and/or apply for the Director of Adminstration and Facilities job


Postdoctoral Research Associate Position: Land use and land protection in New England

The Harvard Forest invites applications for a post-doctoral research position to contribute to a multi-institutional study of land-use and land protection in New England. The successful candidate will be a member of Jonathan Thompson’s Landscape Ecology Lab at the Harvest Forest and will work in close collaboration with Spencer Meyer a Senior Conservationist at the Highstead Foundation and Kate Sims an Associate Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at Amherst College.  We are seeking a natural or social scientist with experience conducting regional-scale socio-ecological research. The candidate should be interested in using rigorous statistical techniques to analyze observational data toward the overarching goal of understanding how land use—including conservation, forestry, land conversion and agriculture—affect the coupled natural and human systems in New England.  The analyses will utilize a variety of existing databases that document the changing landscape condition, including several that have been developed at Harvard Forest and Highstead.   

Work Environment: The post-doc will be based at Harvard Forest in Petersham, Massachusetts. The Lab strives to foster a team environment but the actual research conducted by this post-doc will require substantial independence.  Please learn more about our Lab here.

Required Qualifications: Ph.D. (awarded by start date) in ecology, economics, geography or a related field. Evidence of strong scholarship, including peer-reviewed publications.  Proven ability to plan and conduct independent research projects from beginning to end. Interest in translating and communication research for land-use decisions.

Preferred Experience: Conducting complex spatial analyses (e.g., GIS, remote sensing, spatial statistics); quasi-experimental methods (e.g., matching, counter-factual), analysis of large datasets (e.g., PADUS, FIA, Census, NWOS); skilled at scripting within the R and/or Python programming languages. Candidates without these types of experience should clearly demonstrate how their skillset would benefit the lab. For example, an applicant with relevant experience in decision science or natural resource sociology should be explicit about how they envision their skills contributing to an analysis of land-use and land protection outcomes.

Appointment: We will begin reviewing applications on Sept 15th, 2018. There is some flexibility around the start date, but winter 2018/2019 would be ideal. Initial appointment of one year is renewable based on funding and performance.  

Diversity and Inclusion: Harvard University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law. Harvard is committed to enriching its educational experience and its culture through the diversity of its faculty, administration and staff. Please see the Harvard Forest Diversity and Inclusion Statement.

Salary and benefits: Commensurate with experience and includes health insurance benefits through Harvard University.  Outreach/career development opportunities will include funding for local and national meetings.  

To apply: Send Cover letter, CV, PDFs of relevant publications, and the names and contact info for three references to Jonathan Thompson:  

Harvard Forest, a department of Harvard University, is an internationally recognized center for basic and applied research in ecology and conservation, with 40 full-time staff. It is one of 26 Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites across the country sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The Forest includes a research and administrative complex, 4000 acres of land, and residential buildings. The Forest is located in Petersham, a rural, north-central Massachusetts town of 1,200 residents. Petersham is 1 ½ hour drive west of Cambridge.

Highstead is a regional non-profit conservation organization dedicated to working with regional partners and the best available science to conserve the New England landscape towards the Wildlands and Woodlands vision. Its principal programs include catalyzing the land protection activities through Regional Conservation Partnerships, conservation finance, ecological research, policy analysis, and land stewardship.


Harvard Forest Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Harvard Forest is committed to establishing and maintaining a diverse and inclusive community that collectively supports and implements our mission: the investigation, understanding, and communication of the ways in which physical, biological, and human systems interact to change our Earth.  All should feel that they are critical members of the Harvard Forest community—whatever their identities—while working, studying, visiting, or living here.  We will welcome, recruit, develop, and advance talented staff, students, and visitors from diverse backgrounds, and strive to ensure that all are included in our mission.

Learn more about our work in diversity and inclusion.