Montana State University

Professional Position
Vacancy Announcement
May 30, 2014

Pulse Crop Laboratory Diagnostician
Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology

Search Number     14-800
Start Date Upon successful completion of search process
Appointment Full-time (1.0 FTE) fiscal year Montana University System contract; subject to annual renewal

$50,000 - $65,000 annually, commensurate with experience, education and qualifications.

Benefits Eligible
Montana State University values diverse perspectives and is committed to continually supporting, promoting and building an inclusive and culturally diverse campus environment. MSU recognizes the importance of work-life integration and strives to be responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

Founded in 1893 as a Land Grant University, Montana State University (MSU) is composed of nine academic colleges and a graduate school and boasts a friendly, supportive faculty and campus environment. Currently, the University hosts an enrollment of over 15,000 students, including approximately 2,000 graduate students. MSU is classified as one of 108 U.S. Research Universities (very high research activity) by the Carnegie Foundation.

MSU is located in Bozeman, Montana, an extended community of about 70,000 nestled in the Rocky Mountains in Southwest Montana. In addition to providing access to an extraordinary ecosystem for teaching and research programs, Bozeman is renowned for year-round recreational and cultural opportunities to include access to world class ski areas, multiple blue ribbon trout streams and the Gallatin National Forest. The Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport is served by several major airlines and is the busiest airport in the state.

Named an All American City, Bozeman boasts high-quality medical facilities, a very low crime rate, many fine restaurants, acclaimed public and private schools, a symphony orchestra and choir, an annual opera, and nationally known events such as the Sweet Pea Festival of the Arts held in early August of each year. Bozeman is listed as one of National Geographic's "World's 25 Best Ski Towns." ranked Bozeman #2 on the list of American Dreamtowns - small towns that offer the best quality of life without metropolitan hassles. The K-12 educational system, growing reputation of Montana State University, and pristine natural environment of the area combine to make Bozeman one of America's most desirable university towns. Bozeman is located in the beautiful Gallatin Valley, 90 miles north of Yellowstone National Park.


This is a full-time professional position to coordinate with industry groups, state and federal regulators, university researchers, breeders, extension personnel, agricultural professionals and farmers to identify diseases of pulse crops and conduct plant disease diagnostics for the pulse industry.

Duties and

This position will manage a diagnostic and research laboratory, coordinate and conduct diagnostics for survey efforts in multiple states, and conduct and develop accredited methods for detection of diseases of pulse crops (dry pea, lentil, and chickpea). This is a new regional diagnostic laboratory that will serve as a clearinghouse for the diagnosis of routine pests and pests of regulatory significance for pulse crops. This position will run the pulse diagnostic lab in a collaborative effort with the Montana State Seed Laboratory, coordinate sample submission by several states (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska), and conduct testing for diseases of phytosanitary concern including Ditylenchus dipsaci, aster yellows phytoplasma, and Pea enation mosaic virus, among others. The successful candidate will engage stakeholder groups including the US Dry Pea and Lentil Association, the Northern Pulse Growers Association, State Plant Regulatory Officials, State Plant Health Directors, state seed grower organizations, the American Seed Trade Association, and the Association of Official Seed Certification Agencies, among others. The candidate will work with the National Seed Health System and the National Plant Diagnostic Network’s STAR-D program to develop and conduct accredited methods for pathogen detection. The successful candidate will provide management recommendations, perform public outreach including presentations, publications, and media appearances, websites, fact sheets, manuscripts and grants as appropriate. Job renewal is possible depending on funding and work performance. Specific responsibilities include coordination of multi-state pulse crop disease diagnostics, conducting tests for the issuance of phytosanitary certificates by state and federal regulators, marketing of lab services, visual identification of diseases and abiotic disorders, use of molecular and immunological detection techniques for pathogen identification, standardized detection methodology development including ELISA, solid phase immunoassays, PCR, dsRNA analysis, etc. as appropriate to the pathogen. Other responsibilities include quality assurance for the laboratory and coordination with accreditation organizations as well as participation in appropriate professional meetings. This position will involve significant outreach responsibilities to establish the laboratory as a service for the pulse industry.

1.   PhD in Plant Pathology, Plant Sciences, or related fields.
2.   Ability to translate technical information into easily understandable materials using a wide variety of communication methods.
3.   Experience with plant disease identification including standard microbiological skills and identify fungi using taxonomic keys.
4.   Experience with immunological and molecular detection methods for plant pathogens.
1.   Experience with quality assurance and/or laboratory accreditation.
2.   Knowledge of detection methods for fungi, bacteria, viruses, and nematodes.
3.   Experience successfully supervising employees.
4.   Experience coordinating workshops or similar group activities.
5.   Experience writing fact sheets or other outreach publications and good oral presentation skills.
The Successful
Candidate Will

The successful candidate will be an energetic, enthusiastic team member who possesses a breadth of knowledge and has excellent written, oral, and interpersonal communications skills and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively with co-workers, constituents on and off campus and multiple stakeholder groups. Also, the successful candidate will have excellent organizational skills and will be a critical thinker who can effectively manage several projects at once while maintaining a high degree of accuracy.

1.   In accordance with MSU policy, hiring will be conditional upon successful completion of a pre-employment background check.

Montana State University is pleased to inform you that this position has been identified as part of our pilot program for the new online applicant tracking system.

For this position, you will be directed to the new system where you will have the opportunity to apply. In order to apply, you will need to create a profile (instructions are located in the announcement). Once completed, you will have a permanent profile which allows you to apply for additional positions at MSU through the online applicant tracking stystem. Please be sure to record your log on and password information in a secure location for future use. To apply, please click the following link

Posted 05/30/14 tw