Burke Center Associate Director – Inland Lakes

Northland College

The Burke Center at Northland College is seeking a research scientist to serve as the center’s Associate Director – Inland Lakes, who will be responsible for leading the center into the future by collaborating with other center staff to develop and implement scientific strategic priorities for the inland lakes region of Northwest Wisconsin. The anticipated start date is January 3, 2022.

Northland College is a private, liberal arts college with a progressive focus on the environment, sustainability, and social justice. Adjacent to the Apostle Islands and nearly a million acres of national forest, Northland has an unparalleled living laboratory and natural playground just beyond our doors. The College was named first in sustainable curriculum by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and is featured as one of Sierra Club’s Cool Schools for its environmental curriculum and sustainability achievements.

The Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation (Burke Center) at Northland College promotes the health and sustainable use of the world’s freshwater resources, one of the greatest global challenges of our time. The Burke Center integrates scientific research, applied resource management, environmental communications and policy, education, and thought leadership on freshwater issues in northwest Wisconsin, the Great Lakes, and beyond.

The Associate Director

Inland Lakes position will include oversight and direction of the center’s inland lakes science initiatives, the Burke Center analytical lab, and strategic planning for other inland lake field-based analytical facilities. Duties will include hiring and supervising of Burke Center staff (both student and non-student employees.) In addition, the Associate Director – Inland Lakes will participate in center-wide strategic planning, assist with implementation of the Burke Center undergraduate student research program, manage budgets at the project-scale, and collaborate with the Burke Center Director, Associate Director – Great Lakes, and Operations Manager on the development and vision of the overall center budget. Budget responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, prudent and strategic spending of Burke Center endowment revenue, grant and contract funds, gifts to the center, and other program revenue. The Associate Director – Inland Lakes is also expected to serve as Principal Investigator on research grants and to work directly with grant administrators at the College to manage and execute grant-funded programs.


  •  Coordinate Burke Center science initiatives, with a focus on the Inland Lake Research Program (50%)
    • Develop long-term research agenda to address current and future challenges in inland lake management
  •  Develop and implement annual goals for inland lake freshwater research, monitoring and assessment.
    • Provide technical support for regional water resource management initiatives, with a focus on inland lakes.
    • Conduct and supervise field work to characterize the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of inland lakes, and associated streams, rivers, and wetlands.
    • Conduct data analysis, interpretation and presentation, and report writing.
    • Conduct annual QA/QC audits to ensure quality field and laboratory data.
    • Assist with strategic planning for the student research program, including annual student work plans, and appropriate student staffing needs.
    • Help recruit, interview and hire undergraduate student workers.
    • Provide leadership, training and technical direction to student workers for applied learning projects, experiential field work, and lab sample analysis.
    • Train and supervise students in the collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation of data.
  • Coordinate and oversee the Burke Center Laboratory (20%)
    • Raise funds to support lab operations via grants, contracts, and/or gifts.
    • Hire and supervise student and non-student staff to operate the Burke Center analytical lab.
    • Provide laboratory support for the center’s research initiatives.
    • Oversee sample analysis and equipment calibration/maintenance.
    • Maintain laboratory equipment and desired certifications.
  • Coordinate grant writing and reporting to support programmatic goals (20%)
    • Seek external funding to support scientific research and student opportunities.
    • Create and administer project budgets.
    • Coordinate interim and final project completion reporting.
    • Ensure completion of contract deliverables and fiscal compliance.
  • Serve as a key member of the Burke Center management team (10%)
    • Participate in meetings with internal staff, affiliated faculty, partners, and undergraduate students.
    • Support recruitment and retention of undergraduate students at Northland College through collaborative partnerships.
    • Fulfill Burke Center endowment obligations through research, education and outreach efforts.
    • Help implement the center’s Strategic Plan.
    • Collaborate to produce technical reports, publications, white papers and videos that feature Burke Center research or other center activities.
    • Work with other Northland College faculty and staff to facilitate experiences that support the Northland College curriculum.
    • Help ensure prudent and strategic spending of Burke Center endowment revenue, grant and contract funds, gifts to the Center, and other program revenue through development, oversight, and tracking of budgeting and expenditures.
  • Other duties as assigned. May include the option to assist with, teach and/or develop new undergraduate courses.


  • Doctoral degree in a field related to freshwater science, with a focus on inland lakes preferred, or Master’s degree and at least five years of experience in a freshwater science related discipline.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and operate an environmental analytical laboratory, preferably with experience related to obtaining and maintaining state and federal laboratory certifications.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaboratively organize and coordinate the work of others in conducting field and laboratory research projects.
  • Familiarity with a variety of field sampling techniques and equipment, particularly those used in inland lakes (e.g., water quality sampling, sonde profile measurement, aquatic plant surveys).
  • Demonstrated ability with data management, analysis, reporting, and presentation.
  • Demonstrated success in acquiring project funding through the development of grants and contracts.
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with Northland College faculty and staff, governmental agencies, indigenous communities, homeowner or lake associations, volunteer groups, the general public, and other stakeholders.
  • Working knowledge of nonpoint source pollution management, water resource monitoring program design, limnology and stream ecology, watershed restoration and best management practices.
  • Commitment to the Burke Center’s collaborative multidisciplinary culture, including an adept understanding of the important role that communication can play in translating the center’s applied scientific research into nonpartisan policy outcomes.
  • Acknowledgement that much of the Burke Center’s field research takes place on the ceded territory of the Anishinaabe people.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a highly collaborative close-knit team atmosphere.
  • Excellent ability to swim and operate various watercraft.

How to Apply

Please apply online here and upload a resume/CV, cover letter, and three professional references.

To apply for this job please visit www.northland.edu.