Utah State University

Professional Practice Extension Assistant Professor, Insect Diagnostician

City Logan Campus
Posted Date 1 month ago(2/17/2023 10:41 AM)
Requisition ID
# of Openings
Job Locations
Category (Portal Searching)
Position Type
Benefited Full-Time
Job Classification
Percent of Time or Hours per Week
College of Science
Advertised Salary
Salary range $48,000 - $51,000 commensurate with qualifications and experience, plus excellent benefits
Telework Eligible


Utah State University seeks an accomplished and collaborative insect diagnostician and pest management specialist to join the Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab (UPPDL) in the Department of Biology, USU Logan campus. The successful candidate will have a solid background in insect and arthropod identification and pest management, and a demonstrated ability to work effectively in Extension. The composition of the position is 95% Extension and 5% service.

This is a non-tenure track, faculty appointment at the Professional Practice Extension Assistant Professor rank with opportunity for promotion. Review of applicants will begin in late March 2023 and will continue until the position is filled, with a tentative start of June 1, 2023. This position is not eligible for remote work.


Annual reappointment of this position is contingent upon annual review and availability of funding. (This position has been continuously funded for many years and we anticipate this to continue in the future.) The successful candidate has the option to secure an additional 0.15 FTE salary from external funding such as grant awards.


This position will oversee all aspects of the UPPDL including managing budgets, lab operations, communication with state agencies, and all insect identification and interaction with clients (agriculture, green industry, commercial businesses, homeowners, and more). In addition to directing the UPPDL, the candidate will grow to be a leader in a pest management-related area as determined by a needs assessment. The candidate will develop and implement Extension programming, outreach, and evaluation, and achieve scholarship (such as published papers, professional presentations, grants, etc.) for promotion.


Some day trips and overnight travel will be required. Some operating funds are available to support diagnostic and pest management activities; however, garnering internal and external operating funds is expected.


Benefits of working at USU

  • Excellent benefits package with generous retirement contribution
  • Belong to a large, nationally-recognized University while living in the beautiful Cache Valley; Utah State University is one of Utah’s ten largest employers
  • Professional development support
  • Employee Wellness program
  • Increase your knowledge with tuition waivers or class auditing

Contact the search committee chair, Marion Murray, at marion.murray@usu.edu or 435-797-0776 with any questions.


  • Receive all diagnostic samples (including plant diseases); identify arthropod samples and prepare timely responses to clientele. Maintain records and databases. Respond to email and phone inquiries about arthropod identification.
  • Interact frequently with members of the general public, state and federal agencies, Department of Biology faculty, pesticide applicators, and various plant production industries in Utah (landscape, nursery, agriculture).
  • Hire and supervise a student diagnostician assistant where funds allow.
  • Maintain the UPPDL website and oversee quarterly delivery of Utah Pests News newsletter.
  • Maintain the UPPDL lab safety requirements and safety standard operating procedures.
  • Manage the budget for the UPPDL and prepare annual reports.
  • Work collaboratively with members of the USU Extension pest management team and organize periodic group meetings. Lead in-service training (such as an annual workshop, monthly webinars) for county Extension faculty.
  • Generate funding via grant-writing or other means for additional scholarly projects.
  • Develop and evaluate a successful Extension outreach program that shows positive impacts. This could be an expertise in advanced diagnostics (such as molecular) and/or a pest management topic that is not already covered by the current Extension pest management team, such as urban pests.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • An earned Master of Science degree in a biological science with completion of at least two graduate courses in entomology.
  • Subject area expertise in management and identification of insect pests of one or more of the following: agricultural crops, ornamentals, turf, buildings/structures, food storage, nuisance, or related.
  • Demonstration of strong oral communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to communicate with state agricultural leaders, industry professionals, and the general public about pests and pest management information.
  • Evidence of excellent technical writing and editing skills.
  • Ability to work with a team, yet also exhibit self-motivation, organization, and independence.
  • Strong desire to be a part of USU Extension.
  • Valid U.S. driver’s license and ability to travel overnight.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • At least two years of experience with insect and plant-pest diagnostics in a client-based, clinical setting.
  • Knowledge of website editing, image editing, and computer software such as MS Office, Adobe Creative Suite, and database management.

Required Documents

Along with the online application, please include the following:

  1. A curriculum vita to be uploaded at the beginning of your application in Candidate Profile under "Resume/CV"
  2. Contact information for three professional references (email and phone number) to be provided at the beginning of your application in Candidate Profile under “Documents 1-10”
  3. A cover letter that addresses the minimum and preferred qualifications and subject area expertise, to be uploaded at the beginning of your application in the Candidate Profile under “Documents 1-10”
  4. A copy of your transcripts from college and graduate school(s) (unofficial), to be uploaded at the beginning of your application in the Candidate Profile under “Documents 1-10”
  5. An example of your writing that illustrates your ability to extend technical knowledge of a chosen entomology topic to the general public. Upload this at the beginning of your application in the Candidate Profile under “Documents 1-10.”

Advertised Salary

Salary range $48,000 - $51,000 commensurate with qualifications and experience, plus excellent benefits


Employees typically work indoors and are protected from weather and/or contaminants, but not, necessarily, occasional temperature changes.  

University Highlights

Utah State University (USU) was founded in 1888 and is Utah’s land-grant and space-grant university. USU is one of only 146 research institutions in the U.S. classified as R1 “very high research activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. As one of the two premier research institutions in Utah, USU provides a high-quality education at an affordable price. With its main campus in Logan, the university serves approximately 27,500 students, including 24,255 undergraduates and 3,171 graduate students. USU Online has served students from all 50 states and 55 countries for 25 years.


USU’s statewide system features three residential campuses, 30 total campus locations, and 23 Extension education centers. The university employs 903 full-time faculty members, 124 executive administrators, and 1,649 full-time support staff. USU offers 115 undergraduate majors, as well as 91 master’s and 42 doctoral degrees. Learn more about USU.


A core characteristic of USU is engagement with communities and people in economic development, improvements to quality of life, and human capital. Through the practical application of knowledge, the University and its faculty engage and share expertise with the state, nation, and world, preserving the historical land-grant tradition of partnering with communities to address critical societal issues in the interest of the public good.


The USU main campus is located in beautiful Logan, Utah, a city of about 50,000 situated in a picturesque mountain valley about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City. Outstanding recreational opportunities abound in the nearby mountains and proximate region.


USU is sensitive to the needs of dual career couples and provides a Dual Career Assistance program to support careers for partners who are also seeking employment.


USU endeavors to provide reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access in all aspects of employment to qualified persons with disabilities. To request a reasonable accommodation for a disability, please contact the university’s ADA Coordinator in the Human Resource office at 435-797-0122 or submit a request at hr@usu.edu.


USU Land Acknowledgment

Please visit our website to learn about Utah State’s land acknowledgment of the eight tribes of Utah.


Notice of Non-discrimination

In its programs and activities, including in admissions and employment, Utah State University does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by University policy, Title IX, or any other federal, state, or local law.

The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the application of Title IX and its implementing regulations and/or USU’s non-discrimination policies:


Executive Director of the Office of Equity Matthew Pinner, discrimination@usu.edu, Distance Education Rm. 401, 435-797-1266

Title IX Coordinator Matthew Pinner, titleix@usu.edu, Distance Education Rm. 404, 435-797-1266

Mailing address: 5100 Old Main Hill, Logan, Ut 84322

For further information regarding non-discrimination, please visit https://equity.usu.edu/, or contact:

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 800-421-3481, OCR@ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education, Denver Regional Office, 303-844-5695, OCR.Denver@ed.gov


*updated 11/2022


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