Research Specialist

Missouri State University

Republic , Missouri


Missouri State University partners with the National Park Service’s Heartland and Inventory Monitoring Network to provide science based information on natural resources to 15 parks in the Midwest. We are currently offering a Research Specialist position to serve as a Botany Technician assisting the Network’s terrestrial monitoring programs.  The successful candidate will assist the terrestrial team with long-term monitoring protocols (plant community, bird habitat, fire ecology, invasive plants, and wildlife surveys) including but not limited to field sampling, botanical training, plant specimen curation, data entry, and contributions to report development. This is an excellent position for someone who has strong field botany skills, but enjoys a diversity of ecological applications. The monitoring teams travel to National Parks throughout the region and work closely with a variety of ecologists and park staff. More information on the HTLN program can be found at: This position is a full time and carries full time benefits including vacation and holidays, retirement, and health insurance through Missouri State University. Being part of this unique partnership provides numerous unique opportunities for training, learning, and contributing to a better understanding of National Park resources.

Location: Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Republic, MO.

Starting Salary: $15.00-18.00/hour plus benefits.

This is a funding dependent position, but current funding is available until July 31, 2019. Extension is contingent upon funding availability.


The Research Specialist will be responsible for learning the flora of network national parks. The successful candidate will work to update botanical training materials and field resources, assist with vegetation field sampling and collect and curate specimens as needed. Additional project duties may also include fire effects and deer monitoring. Data entry using a variety of databases is another important function of the position. Successful candidates may also be asked to summarize data and contribute to report writing. There may be opportunities to investigate an area of interest that enhances the current monitoring efforts. Other work, e.g., equipment maintenance, and other duties, will be assigned as needed.

The successful candidate will assist with the collection of high quality field data contributing to the basic natural or cultural resources inventory of a park or a monitoring program to assess status and trends of resources conditions.  They will identify species, measure abundance or condition, environmental parameters, etc., using technical instruments, manuals, protocols, and knowledge of the resources. 


A bachelor’s degree and additional experience or advanced degree in natural sciences will best qualify the successful candidate to have a good working knowledge of natural resources, principles, and concepts. Demonstrated ability to accurately and efficiently collect field data both independently and in a team setting is required. Demonstrated ability to work with teams is essential. Candidates must be able to travel for work. Ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions and carry a heavy pack over uneven ground are essential. Our field work also requires hiking over uneven ground.  Additional requirements include effective organizational, interpersonal and communication skills; ability to work effectively with collaborators and National Park staff. Proficiency with basic spreadsheet, graphics, and word processing software is required.

Preferences include a good understanding of the scientific process; knowledge of grassland ecology and/or fire ecology; ability to work with personnel in multiple agencies. Position may have opportunities to supervise interns or other seasonal staff.

To apply:

Submit a resume, cover letter, transcripts, and names and contact information for two references, to the Missouri State University job tracker.

Preferred Start Date : November 15, 2017 or before

Application Deadline : September 15, 2017

Position End Date: open as long as funding is available

Contact Person : Sherry Leis

Phone Number : (417)732-6438 ext. 270