Careers at UMass Amherst

Research Fellow - Timber Products Output Survey

Apply now Job no: 518186
Work type: Senior/Research Fellow (Amherst Only)
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Environmental Conservation
Union: Non-Unit Exempt
Categories: Research, College of Natural Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Description

The University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Environmental Conservation is seeking a full-time Research Fellow to aid in the implementation of the Timber Products Output Survey (TPO; The TPO is the USDA Forest Service's official survey of primary wood processing mills and a critical source of information on the number, size, and types of mills in a state, and the volume of roundwood received by product, species and geographic origin. This survey also quantifies the volume, type and disposition of wood residues generated during primary processing. The Research Fellow will work as part of a team of UMass and Forest Service researchers with extensive experience implementing surveys of mills and private landowners through the Family Forest Research Center.

The Research Fellow will aid in all stages of data collection and processing, with a focus on survey implementation, data editing, and data processing. The successful candidate will send surveys to mills, in addition to conducting phone surveys when needed. Data editing and processing will also be a focus of the position. Reporting and analysis responsibilities may include spatial analyses, nonresponse assessments, and traditional parametric and non-parametric statistical analyses and associated writing.

Some travel visiting mills in the Northern region is possible along with the possibility of attending relevant regional professional meetings.

In addition to these core responsibilities, the Research Fellow will have the opportunity to engage in the research process in collaboration with other members of the UMass team and the Forest Service TPO groups.

UMass Amherst is an affirmative action / equal opportunity institution. The University is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment. To that end, we strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to apply.


Essential Functions

  • Engage in data collection from primary wood processing mills across the Northern Region of the U.S.
  • Edit data, which entails mill follow-up to ensure completion of surveys and logic checks within the data.
  • Process data, assist in creating data tables and maps.
  • Travel to mills is a possibility.


Other Functions

  • Develop analytic procedures for working with TPO data, including spatial and statistical analysis, to aid in research.
  • Conduct research on mills, using TPO data, independently or in collaboration.
  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness. 
  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • High School Diploma.
  • Experience with mills and the wood products industry. Ability to converse easily with mills about their processes, including inputs, products, equipment, and residue.
  • Experience with data management, including Adobe fillable PDFs and R.
  • Experience working with a team, collaborating on data collection, editing, and processing.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelors Degree.
  • Experience with GIS techniques and software, including scripting.
  • Advanced degree (Masters) or equivalent experience.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Visiting mills may require some physical demands above working in an office setting.


Work Schedule

  • Flexible work hours, 40 hours a week.


Salary Information

  • $50,000 per year plus benefits, including medical/dental insurance, paid time off.


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume, letter of application and contact information for three (3) professional references.  The search will remain open until filled.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. (


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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