Program Assistant

Apply now Job no: 507536
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 191000 - Geosystems Research Institute
Location: Main Campus - Starkville, MS
Categories: Support Staff
Position Open Date:

Position Function:

We seek a highly skilled and motivated Program Assistant with expertise in entomology, forestry practices, and statistical analysis to join our research team. The ideal candidate possesses hands-on experience in laboratory and field research, and proficiency in data analysis.

Salary Grade:  09

Please see Staff Compensation Structure for salary ranges.  

Department Profile:

Established in 2000, the Geosystems Research Institute is a collaborative of academic scientists, engineers, and government and industry stakeholders active in conducting research to advance knowledge and practice in earth and it's systems to improve policy and public awareness. The Geosystems Research Institute's approach to research provides an avenue for Mississippi State University to build strong relationships with local, regional, and national agencies and businesses to do work aimed at solving some of today's most pressing environmental issues. In helping carry out Mississippi State University's mission of service and outreach, the Geosystems Research Institute offers a variety of educational opportunities and services to assist researchers, state and federal entities, and the public in utilizing geospatial technologies and data.

Anticipated Appointment Date:

May 16, 2024

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Insect Identification and Curation:
o Assist with identifying Coleoptera (identify scolytinae, cerambycidae),, and other forest insects.
o Collect, prepare, and curate insect specimens, ensuring meticulous labeling and organization.

Field and Laboratory Research:
o Conduct fieldwork in diverse forest terrains, potentially in hot climates
o Navigate landscapes while carrying field equipment (up to 50 lbs.)
o Assist with the collection of precise scientific data on insect populations, forest health, and ecological variables.
o Assist with research projects in forest entomology, invasion biology, and landscape ecology.

Laboratory Maintenance:
o Assist in laboratory upkeep, maintaining equipment, and ensuring a safe and organized workspace.

Minimum Qualifications:

High School diploma; 1 year experience in entomology and/or basic landscape ecology laboratories.

Preferred Qualifications:

* Undergraduate degree in Entomology or closely related field required.
* Experience in entomology and/or landscape ecology laboratories.
* Experience with biological control of insect pests is a plus.
* Experience in collecting and analyzing scientific data.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

* Excellent attention to detail and meticulous record-keeping.
* Strong physical fitness and ability to work in challenging outdoor environments.
* Effective communication skills, both written and verbal.
* Basic knowledge of geographic information systems (GIS) and geospatial technology. * Ability to identify Coleoptera (scolytinae, cerambycidae, others), and other forest insects to species level.

Instructions for Applying:

Apply online by submitting a cover letter, resume, and a copy of your transcript(s). Any social security numbers included on requested transcripts should be redacted prior to submitting online.

We will accept applications only from persons with indefinite employment authorization in the U.S., and will not sponsor for nonimmigrant or immigrant status for this position.

Restricted Clause:

Position is contingent upon continued availability of funding.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. veteran, and/or any other status protected by applicable law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.

What do I do if I need an accommodation?

In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with Mississippi State University, please contact the Department of Human Resources Management at tel: (662) 325-3713 or

If you have any questions regarding this policy, contact the Department of Human Resources Management at (662) 325-3713 or Upon request, sections of this job listing are available in large print, and readers are available to assist the visually impaired.

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