Cornell University, Animal Science

Position ID:Cornell-Animal Science-RA [#23642, WDR-34317]
Position Title: Research Associate - Geospatial Data Analytics, Department of Animal Science; Ithaca, New York
Position Type:Other
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14853, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Areas: Agronomy
Computer Science
Agricultural Engineering
Starting Date:2023/01/06
Appl Deadline:2022/12/15 11:59PMhelp popup* finished (2022/11/15, finished 2022/12/19)
Position Description:   URMs  

*** this position has been closed and new applications are no longer accepted. ***

Research Associate – Geospatial Data Analytics
Department of Animal Science
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS)
Cornell University 
Ithaca, New York

Position Function

This individual will be a Research Associate for the Cornell Nutrient Management Spear Program (NMSP; in the Department of Animal Science. Specific focus will be on (1) evaluating the use of technology (Aerial imagery, elevation maps, crop scans, EC/EM mapping, statistical analyses, etc.) for estimating yield and determining yield stability, as well as delineation of soil management zones (soil biological buffer capacity-based zones); (2) analyzing remotely sensed data (aerial images from drone and satellites) and other sensors, such as yield monitors, EC sensors for yield model development and on-farm research, (3) working with big data analytics with past year yield data on a farm scale to develop yield models, and (4) developing machine learning and deep learning models with the sensor data to predict yield and yield stability zones. This position is expected to coordinate with NMSP leadership to document project results in the form of peer-reviewed journal articles, extension bulletins, and factsheets, as well as other extension materials and tools to assist in applied (field) research within the NMSP when needed. This individual will function as part of a multidisciplinary team with additional collaborators at the Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Buffalo, as well as the Statistical and Data Sciences Department at Cornell in the existing projects at NMSP and organize regular meetings with the collaborators.

This is a full time (100% FTE) position and will be located in Ithaca, New York. This is a three-year appointment with possible extension depending on available work, funding and performance.

Anticipated Division of Time

Data processing and reporting: 40%
  • Analyze yield monitor data and use as ground truth to develop predictive models for yield estimation.
  • Conduct literature searches, summarize data, and prepare reports, scientific articles, and visual aids.
  • Evaluate clean yield data and it use for on-farm research evaluation and crop yield prediction.
  • Evaluate sensor data for yield estimation and development of on-farm research approaches for use by farmers and farm advisors.
  • Analyze on-farm testing approaches (spatial statistical analyses) using various data layers, including past yield, soil, and elevation.
  • Analyze and evaluate sensor data (multispectral images from Unmanned Aircraft Systems - UAS and satellites) for yield model development and on-farm research.

Data collection and management: 30%
  • Collect data from different sources, such as yield monitors, remotely sensed images, GPS devices, and other available sources.
  • Gather all data sources, overlay, and compile them into a big dataset.
  • Extract information from all the data layers to make it suitable for further processing.
  • Manage all the data sources and document the process.

Mentoring students: 20%
  • Mentor undergraduate students from agricultural sciences, statistics, and computer science to extract and analyze data.
  • Guide them in developing automated workflows in Python and R.
  • Train students on presentations, coding, data management, and documentation.

Personal and Professional Development: 10%
  • Seek out and attend educational seminars and workshops as required by Supervisor.
  • Continuously maintain all required educational/position qualifications to fulfill job requirements.
  • Maintain good communications with supervisor, technical staff, postdoctoral associates, graduate students, temporary staff, and other collaborators within Cornell and at other institutions.
  • Present research findings in conferences and extension meetings.

  • Ph.D. in agronomy, agricultural engineering, computer science, and statistics with a focus on the integration of disciplines and systems analyses
  • Expertise in computer software applications for database management, spreadsheets, word processing, and statistical analyses.
  • Ability to program in Python and R and handle big datasets.
  • Experience working with Geographic information system (GIS) and ability to develop automated pipelines for geospatial data layers.
  • 3+ years of experience working in agricultural production and demonstrated understanding of applied soil fertility and/or nutrient management of forages for dairies, and analyses of on-farm research data.
  • Must have excellent communication and leadership skills with the ability to prioritize multiple projects.
  • Proven ability to work independently in collecting and summarizing data.
  • Work independently and in collaboration with faculty/staff in the Department of Animal Science, School of Integrated Plant Science, and PRODAIRY, New York stakeholders, producers, and their advisors.
  • Must be able to meet the travel requirements of the position and have reliable transportation, as well as have and maintain a valid and unrestricted New York State driver’s license.
  • Familiarity with forage production systems and dairy farming preferred.

To Apply:

Please apply via Academic Jobs Online (

Qualified candidates should submit a short cover letter, curriculum vitae, contact information for three references, and a statement of contribution to diversity, equity and inclusion via the website. 

Applications will be reviewed as received, continuing until a suitable applicant is identified.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Life. Changing.

Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations.

Familiarize yourself with Cornell’s COVID-19 workplace guidance as well as the university’s COVID-19 services and information

Employment Assistance:

For specific questions about the position or application process, please contact the Recruiter listed in the job posting or for general questions email

If you require an accommodation for a disability in order to complete an employment application or to participate in the recruiting process, you are encouraged to contact Cornell University's Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX at voice (607) 255-2242, or email at

Applicants that do not have internet access are encouraged to visit your local library, or local Department of Labor. You may also request an appointment to use a dedicated workstation in the Office of Talent Attraction and Recruitment, at the Ithaca campus, by emailing

Please read the required Notice to Applicants statement by clicking here. This notice contains important information about applying for a position at Cornell as well as some of your rights and responsibilities as an applicant.

EEO Statement:

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, and we do not tolerate discrimination based on any protected characteristic, including race, ethnic or national origin, citizenship and immigration status, color, sex/gender, pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, age, creed, religion, actual or perceived disability (including persons associated with such a person), arrest and/or conviction record, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender expression and/or identity, an individual’s genetic information, domestic violence victim status, familial status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations in accordance with applicable law. 

Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff to all identities and backgrounds. We encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

Pay Ranges:

The hiring rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined considering the following criteria:

  • Prior relevant work or industry experience.
  • Education level to the extent education is relevant to the position.
  • Academic Discipline (faculty pay ranges reflects 9-month annual salary)
  • Unique applicable skills.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
Cornell University
Department of Animal Science
149 Morrison Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853