Responsibilities and Expectations: The successful candidate will develop a nationally recognized research and Extension program in precision agriculture technologies and data management, complementing current research programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech. The individual will apply knowledge and expertise in data analytics, data mining, and data visualization to translate and interpret large and complex agricultural-related data sets. The Extension program will develop guidance and precision agriculture training for Virginia’s agricultural producers, industry and researchers to better manage and optimize crop production efficiencies in a sustainable manner. Integration of research and Extension programs will enhance development, adoption and utilization of precision agriculture applications and technologies to increase agricultural productivity and efficiency. Examples of applications and technologies include, but are not limited to, remote sensing, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), precision irrigation systems, smart sensor design, computer vision, robotic automation or mechanization, GPS/GIS data for site specific management, and/or wireless sensor networks in agronomic/specialty cropping systems. The successful candidate will develop and/or identify precision agriculture applications and increase utilization of some of these technologies. The overall goal is to help producers, industry and researchers better manage and optimize crop production efficiencies in a sustainable manner.
The successful individual is expected to secure extramural funds to support an integrated Extension and research program. Strong communication and interpersonal skills are required, and the candidate is expected to establish and maintain close working relationships with industry, commodity groups, state agencies, county extension agents, regional extension specialists, and other organizations as appropriate. The development of a focused and cohesive research and Extension precision agriculture program that addresses the needs of producers in Virginia and the region and supports the publication of peer-reviewed extension materials, popular press articles, and refereed scientific articles to support this program is required. The successful candidate is also expected to contribute to graduate education.
The individual selected for this position will work in an interdisciplinary environment consisting of faculty in Biological Systems Engineering, Entomology, and the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences. This position aligns with the Global Systems Science as well as the Data and Decisions Destination areas of Virginia Tech and the Agricultural profitability and environmental sustainability, and the green industry priority areas of CALS. Linkages with colleges and departments outside of CALS are highly encouraged.