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Assistant Professor in Ag Safety & Health - University of Florida

Agricultural & Biological Engineering, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), Gainesville, Florida

 
Title:    Assistant Professor in Agricultural Safety & Health
Location:    Agricultural & Biological Engineering, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), Gainesville, Florida
Salary:    Commensurate with Qualifications and Experience

Review Date:    For full consideration, candidates should apply and submit additional materials by December 3, 2017.  The position will open until a viable applicant pool is determined.

Duties and Responsibilities
This is a 12-month, tenure track position (70% extension 30% research) in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department (ABE), Institute of Food and Sciences (IFAS) with affiliation in Family Youth and Community Sciences at the University of Florida. This position will work closely with the university’s newly established Southern Coastal Center for Agricultural Safety and Health. This assignment may change in accordance with the needs of the unit.  

The faculty member in this position will be responsible for building a program in safety and health challenges that will address the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries (AFF) system in Florida, starting with jobs in the field (planting, maintenance, harvesting, etc.) and ending with postharvest activities (packing, processing, shipping and handling, etc.). This position will develop partnerships with growers, farm worker groups, processors, equipment manufacturers, and various agencies to assist the AFF industry in maintaining safe and healthy working environments and practices. An interest/background and close collaboration in the social sciences is necessary to address interactions with industry on sensitive safety and health issues, the public health component, understanding adoption, etc. As such it is expected that this faculty member will maintain an active affiliate faculty status with the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, including participating in projects, meetings and graduate supervisory committees. The applied research part of this position may be in the development of decision support systems and/or development of technologies, tools and/or sensors that can increase effectiveness and efficiency of detection and implementation of safety measures and safety related decisions.

The Extension part of this position will include building an interdisciplinary program in worker safety and health in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries systems (e.g., heat illness and agrochemicals exposure), technology and equipment assessment for safety and health hazards mitigation, and safety of existing and newly developed mechanized systems and operations. The candidate is expected to  bring a systems approach to agricultural safety and health including leadership in the development of a web portal with extension tools addressing safely, risk and health in agriculture, forestry and fisheries.  

The successful candidate will be expected to collaborate with other state and county extension faculty who offer existing programs in agricultural safety and health, as well as conduct in-service trainings and participate in field days and other client-focused Extension programs, workshops and events. In addition, the candidate will create/develop new decision support tools and/or sensors to support these programs. This position is also expected to work closely with Faculty in Family, Youth and Community Sciences (FYCS), Animal Science, Agronomy, Entomology, Horticulture as well as collaborate with the UF Health Center to coordinate and enhance various safety and health-related outreach activities and identify needs for research in this area. Key clientele groups will include growers and their associations such as the Florida Farm Bureau, Florida Fertilizer and Agricultural Chemicals Association, equipment manufacturers and dealers, farm labor groups as well as Florida food processing and manufacturing companies and their associations. A participation in the national agricultural safety group and familiarity with the National Agriculture Safety Database (nasdonline.org) are required as a part of this position. The successful candidate is expected to create an innovative research program in the development of computer-based decision support systems/tools and/or sensors that can improve agricultural safety of Florida farm workers. A strong nationally and internationally recognized research program supported by a research group including a strong graduate program and extramural funding from state and federal agency is expected. The candidate is expected to promote his/her research activity and leadership in professional societies, supported by sustained publication activity in top scientific journals. The candidate will have the opportunity to collaborate with other faculty and research partners, creating synergy both inside and outside of the University of Florida. The candidate will be also expected to participate in all activities of departmental academic life such as research groups, mentorship of undergraduate and graduate students, and academic service activities; and work closely with other faculty in IFAS, the College of Engineering, the Emerging Pathogens Institute, the UF Water Institute and Florida Climate Institute.

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

Qualifications

Required:
At least one degree must be in Engineering and the candidate must have a Ph.D. (foreign equivalent acceptable).  The candidate is required to have an understanding of sociocultural and behavioral processes that relate to the adoption of technology. The candidate must have the ability to conduct applied research and extension education programs related to safety and health, and the ability and willingness to disseminate results to clientele. Candidates should have demonstrated skills in verbal and written communication, interpersonal relationships, and procurement of extramural funding.  Candidates must also have a commitment to IFAS core values of excellence, diversity, global involvement and accountability.

Preferred:
Expertise in safety, risk analysis and management, logistics, agricultural systems, postharvest handling, and other aspects of the food chain and its safety is preferred.  Postdoctoral experience and a clearly established publication record in areas related to this position, which could include agricultural safety and engineering based extension education is desirable.

Background Information:
The Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department is a unit in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) at the University of Florida and has diverse teaching, research and extension education programs. The Department is comprised of 29 faculty members located on the Gainesville campus, 5 faculty located across the state at research and education centers, 10 courtesy faculty and 20 support personnel (see website http://abe.ufl.edu), and consistently ranks in the top 5 Agricultural and Biological Engineering programs nationwide. Instilling excellence in research, leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship are ABE's highest priorities. At ABE, the candidate will join a dynamic, cross-disciplinary group of researchers, and will enjoy broad opportunities for collaborations with existing teams, including those studying biofilm systems and biosensors, biofuels, coupled natural and human ecosystems, nanotechnology and nanomaterials, climate variability and change, crop modeling, hydrology and water quality.

The University of Florida (http://www.ufl.edu) is a Land-Grant, Sea-Grant, and Space-Grant institution, encompassing virtually all academic and professional disciplines, with an enrollment of more than 53,000 students.  UF is a member of The Association of American Universities.  The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (http://ifas.ufl.edu) includes the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (http://cals.ufl.edu), the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (http://research.ifas.ufl.edu), the Florida Cooperative Extension Service (http://extension.ifas.ufl.edu), the College of Veterinary Medicine (http://www.vetmed.ufl.edu), the Florida Sea Grant program (http://www.flseagrant.org/), and encompasses 16 on-campus academic departments and schools, 12 Research and Educational Centers (REC) located throughout the state, 6 Research sites/demonstration units administered by RECs or academic departments, and Florida Cooperative Extension Service offices in all 67 counties (counties operate and maintain).  The School of Natural Resources and Environment is an interdisciplinary unit housed in IFAS and managed by several colleges on campus.  IFAS employs over 2500 people, which includes approximately 900 faculty and 1200 support personnel located in Gainesville and throughout the state.  IFAS, one of the nation’s largest agricultural and natural resources research and education organizations, is administered by a Senior Vice President and four deans: the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Dean for Extension and Director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, the Dean for Research and Director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Dean for the College of Veterinary Medicine.  UF/IFAS also engages in cooperative work with Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

Employment Conditions
This position is available December 30, 2017, 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.

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 # 505281
Gregory A. Kiker
Chair, Search and Screen Committee
University of Florida
Agricultural & Biological Engineering
P.O. Box 110570
Gainesville, FL 32611
Telephone: 352-392-1864 extension 291
Facsimile:  352-392-4092
Electronic Mail:

Application Information

Individuals wishing to apply should go online to http://explore.jobs.ufl.edu/cw/en-us/job/505281 and submit:

  • Application
  • Cover letter that states applicant’s interest in the position and qualifications relative to the credentials listed above
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Contact information (including email addresses) for 4 individuals willing to write letters of recommendation
  • Unofficial transcripts

Final candidate will be required to provide 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), which can be found at http://www.naces.org/ .


The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff.  The selection process will be conducted in accord with the provisions of Florida’s ‘Government in the Sunshine’ and Public Records Laws.  Persons with disabilities have the right to request and receive reasonable accommodation.