Scope of the Job
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley seeks new faculty to help with its mission to transform the region, the Americas, and the world through an innovative and accessible educational environment that promotes student success, research, creative works, health and well-being, community engagement, and sustainable development https://www.utrgv.edu/strategic-plan/). In support of this mission, The School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences (SEEMS; https://www.utrgv.edu/seems/index.htm) aims to recruit two tenure-track (assistant professor) positions and one open rank (assistant, associate, or full professor) position who can contribute to the research, teaching, and community engagement efforts across our unit. In particular, we seek faculty that can help increase the representation of historically underrepresented faculty in the environmental sciences, including underrepresented minority and women faculty. We value applicants who can understand and have overcome race, gender-based, and ability-based barriers, and who can bring with them the wealth of worldview, perspective, and experience that is critical to an innovative and accessible educational environment. As a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution, UTRGV and SEEMS is committed to inspiring and preparing its students to succeed, excel, and lead in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world, and seeks new faculty committed to help in this goal.
The successful applicants will teach and conduct research in at least one of the following five broadly defined areas: (1) Environmental Justice, (2) Systems Modeling of coupled human-natural systems, (3) Sustainable Energy, (4) Natural Resource Economics, and (5) Environmental Data Science. We seek applicants with disciplinary depth who can apply their expertise in a cross-disciplinary or multidisciplinary approach, and can contribute across the multiple degrees offered in SEEMS: BS in Environmental Science, BS in Marine Biology, BS in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, MS in Agricultural, Environmental, and Sustainability Sciences, MS in Ocean, Coastal, and Earth Science. Faculty are also expected to contribute to future doctoral programs currently in development. SEEMS has a particular need for a social scientist (e.g., geographer, political scientist, sociologist) capable of instructing a graduate course in ecosystem-based management and an undergraduate course in environment & society. In addition to teaching, the candidates will be expected to mentor students, to develop and maintain an active research program with student and community engagement, and to provide service to SEEMS, UTRGV, the profession, and the community.
Relevant areas of environmental justice expertise include, but are not limited to, tribal fishery and water rights, racial disparities in the siting of environmental amenities and disamenities in urban settings, the conservation of global biodiversity in locations with indigenous and First Nation communities, food justice and food sovereignty, and climate justice.
Relevant areas for research associated with the modeling of coupled natural-human systems include empirical quantitative modeling; simulation-based modeling; agent-based modeling/multi-agent systems; complexity science; neural networks; social network analysis; visualization; spatial social science; developing quantitative, predictive and computational modeling of food-water-energy systems that increase decision support capability for critical systems; or using data and mathematical models for analysis of the ecosystem services of interconnected food, water and/or energy systems in affecting human well-being.
Relevant areas of sustainable energy expertise include renewable energy (i.e., solar, geothermal, hydro, wind, biomass); ways in which non-renewable resources can be used more effectively, by minimizing environmental impacts; technologies and policies for enabling sustainable energy development and use (e.g., smart grids, net metering, clean energy financing, automobile efficiency standards); and domestic and international sustainable energy and climate policy and treaties.
Relevant areas of natural resource economics include, but are not limited to, environmental valuation (including environmental accounting and contingent valuation) in forest, marine, and coastal settings, and agricultural economics.
Relevant areas of environmental data science include those that involve investigating how individual and collective behavior affects biodiversity outcomes and vice versa. The candidate should have strong quantitative skills in one or more of the following areas: econometrics, causal data analysis, integration and analysis of large datasets, social and behavioral field experiments, spatial statistics, and other commensurate approaches.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) is in the middle of one of the fastest growing areas in the nation, the southern tip of Texas known as the Rio Grande Valley. Located along the US-Mexico Border, the region is a vibrant, bicultural and bilingual area, well known for its unusual biological diversity and as a state epicenter for agricultural production. The RGV is dotted with several growing metro areas that are centers for international trade, culture, tourism and agriculture. This subtropical region includes the vibrant cities of McAllen and Brownsville, recently ranked #3 and #4 among US cities for the best places to live for quality of life.
With a total enrollment of over 32,000, UTRGV is one of the largest institutions of higher education in Texas and the second largest Hispanic-serving institution in the nation, with an emphasis on educating 21st century leaders and professionals who are culturally fluent and have a deep understanding of the perspectives, languages, and values of different cultures. UTRGV is an energetic and progressive institution, seeking faculty who are committed to making a difference and leading innovation. UTRGV became home to a new medical school in fall 2016 and is developing cross disciplinary initiatives to become a premier research institution in South Texas. The College of Sciences recently inaugurated a new buildings and spaces for SEEMS faculty, which includes state-of-the-art lab spaces and a core facility for instrumentation across our main campuses in Edinburg and Brownsville, and at the Coastal Studies Labs in South Padre Island and in Port Isabel. SEEMS also manages research and teaching gardens, a 5-acre farm, and work closely with local area partners (local farms, local city and federal agencies) on collaborative opportunities for research and teaching. As part of the University of Texas System, UTRGV has access to UT System resources, such as the Texas Advanced Computing Center (https://www.tacc.utexas.edu/). The university offers a start-up package and reduced teaching load for incoming faculty. Highly qualified candidates may also be eligible for the University of Texas System Rising Star Award to enhance start-up packages. Applicants should submit the following documents, with statements written in the context of being a professor at a minority serving institution.
1. Cover letter
2. Statement of research
3. Statement of teaching philosophy
4. Statement of commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the sciences (1 page)
6. Unofficial Transcripts
7. List of 3 or more references