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.
For full consideration, candidates should apply and submit additional materials by January 31, 2018. The position will be open until a viable applicant pool is determined.
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.
Additional Salary Information: Commensurate with Education and Experience