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 Positions Open: Senior Ecologist | Research Assistant


Research Assistant

(posted November 9, 2021)

The Research Assistant will be a part of team collecting and analyzing data to understand the multi-century dynamics and ecological memory in a regional distribution of 20+ old-growth forests. Our team consisting of senior scientists, a post doc, and undergraduate research assistants.

There are 33 months of funds available for this position, ideally starting in late-Winter or very early Spring 2022. All dates and plans dependent on COVID conditions and protocol. This is a 35 hour per week position with occasional longer days for field work and travel. It is a union position, paid hourly, classified as salary grade 52.

Relocation costs are available for the successful candidate to move to the Petersham, MA region.

Project Team Philosophy:

We conduct science with both humility and intellectual rigor. We respect all people and will combat institutional racism and gender bias at every opportunity. We are committed to diversity and inclusion and to fostering a welcoming and stimulating environment so that project participants can develop, grow, and achieve their personal goals.

Job-Specific Responsibilities:

  • Co-lead vegetation sampling
  • sample preparation, measurement, cross-dating, and analysis of tree-ring samples
  • data analysis, data interpretation, table and figure preparation, literature research, and manuscript and presentation preparation
  • statistical analyses of ring-width data using the programming language R or similar.
  • Co-mentor undergraduate research assistants during summer
  • The research assistant will have the opportunity (and funding) to present data at scientific conferences alongside other team members
  • Schedule: 35 hours with occasional longer days for field work and travel

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in Ecology, Geography, Earth Sciences or related
  • One year of research experience (could be concurrent with bachelor's studies)

Physical Requirements:

We will hike 1-5 km over uneven terrain carrying a 5-20 kg backpack during field work. The field team will core 60+ trees a day, often hardwood trees.

Working Conditions:

  • This position requires multiple field trips in each of the first two years for sampling, with a possibility of an additional travel in the third year.
  • Field work requires spending time hiking and working in forests and other remote regions in prevailing weather conditions with rocky and/or steep vegetative terrain. Field conditions include potential biting insects and ticks. While days will be spent in the field, camping and lodging will be in local motels/hotels.
  • Half of the non-field work time is spent in the laboratory, and half in an office setting. The Research Assistant will spend significant time doing microscopic work during the first two years.
  • For more details and how to apply, please visit this link or copy into your browser:


Harvard requires COVID vaccination for all Harvard community members who have any on-campus presence. Information about this requirement and exceptions:

Additional Information:

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 parts of the Harvard Forest community—whatever their identity groups—while working, studying, visiting, or living here. We will welcome, recruit, develop, and advance talented staff, students, and visiting scholars from diverse backgrounds, and strive to ensure that all are included in our mission.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Harvard is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Applications from women and minority candidates are strongly encouraged. 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.


Senior Ecologist at Harvard Forest

(posted July 9, 2021)

Harvard Forest seeks a colleague with a successful research, publication, and funding record to join our senior research staff. The disciplinary area is open but should augment and enhance existing programs at the Harvard Forest and leverage established archival, land, and research infrastructure developed over more than a century of study. The researcher will join a collaborative group of senior scientists who design, fund, conduct, and publish research relating to forested landscapes of New England; advance engagement with relevant policy- and decision-makers; and collaborate with a wide network of external researchers. Senior researchers’ salaries are department-funded, and scientists are expected to develop an externally funded research program.  Senior Scientists mentor undergraduates—from Harvard and elsewhere—in Harvard Forest summer/winter internships and co-curricular programs. They may also advise graduate students and post-doctoral fellows as part of their research program and contribute to our renowned LTER Schoolyard K-12 education program.

Basic Qualifications:  PhD required. Post-doctoral or similar experience including a history of collaborative research, publication, student mentorship, engagement with broader audiences, and external funding.

For further details on this position and how to apply, go to:

We encourage applicants from all career stages. Application review will begin September 15; the position will remain open until it is filled.