Property Operations Assistant

Updated: about 2 months ago


Faculty of Arts and Sciences


Job Summary

Harvard Forest, located in Petersham, MA, is seeking an outdoor Property Operations Assistant to join our Facilities/Woods Crew. The Crew assists with all aspects of Forest facility operations, including maintaining 4,000 acres of forest, 40 miles of woods roads, 19 residential units including 3 dorms with 49 beds (45,000 sf); 55,000 sf of administrative, lab, museum, library/archive space plus mechanical facilities.

Position Description

  • Assist with logging operations including operating chain saw, skidder, logging tractor, knuckle boom loader, and dump truck.
  • Safely and effectively engage in chainsaw felling operations using best safety practices.
  • Obtain and maintain DOT certificate, Timber Harvesters License, Hoisters license, pesticide license, tower rescue climbing training, and other licenses and training as needed.
  • Assist with snow removal including shoveling, snow blower, and operate plow truck and sander through winter including nights and weekends as needed
  • Participate in biomass/wood boiler system feeding.
  • Maintain and follow established safety protocols for all aspects of the position.
  • Diagnose and appropriately handle plumbing, heating, and electrical issues.
  • Perform basic carpentry and building maintenance tasks.
  • Learning building operation systems such as fire alarms, public drinking water supply systems etc. over time to be able to handle issues with these systems while on call for emergencies.
  • Must accommodate business demands and, when necessary, accept over-time for snow removal, maintenance emergencies, special projects, and peak season hours.
  • Must be available for 24-hour emergency on-call service on a rotational basis.
  • Other duties as needed.

Basic Qualifications

  • High School diploma or equivalent required

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Valid MA driver’s license and safe driving record
  • General carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and painting skills desired. Licensing in any of these areas a plus.
  • Experience and interest in forestry, timber harvesting, land clearing, and operation of cable skidder as well as other large equipment.
  • Ability to work cooperatively with office staff, faculty, scientists, and students.
  • Problem solving and communication skills.
  • Ability to maintain positive attitude, work effectively on teams, and support the unit.
  • Customer service attitude and ability to maintain a high level of affiliate and tenant satisfaction..

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to pass the DOT medical exam.
  • Physically strenuous work requires the ability to repetitively lift 70 lbs. 

Working Conditions

Position requires working outdoors for extended periods in adverse weather conditions.

Additional Information

The Harvard Forest Community

Harvard Forest is committed to establishing and maintaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. We have a Code of Conduct  that clearly outlines expected conduct for members of our community, unacceptable conduct, and pathways for support for those who experience or witness misconduct. We have initiated an ongoing series of staff-wide trainings and formed a standing committee to build competence in DEIB in our workplace, improved physical and digital accessibility of our campus resources, and re-examined and replaced harmful artwork. We are working toward including Indigenous knowledge and communities in our research and education, land use, and public programs, improving field safety for at-risk populations, and diversifying our team of investigators and educators. The aim of this work is to collectively support and implement our mission: the investigation, understanding, and communication of the ways in which physical, biological, and human systems interact to change our Earth, while ensuring that all participants should feel that they are critical parts of the Harvard Forest community—whatever their identity groups. We welcome, recruit, develop, and advance talented staff, students, and visiting scholars from diverse backgrounds, and strive to ensure that all are included in our mission. Harvard Forest is also committed to supporting the work-life balance of its staff.

We particularly encourage applications from members of groups that have been historically underrepresented in the sciences (Black, Indigenous, and people of color, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members) and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.

Harvard strongly encourages all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

We regret that Harvard University is unable to provide work authorization and/or visa sponsorship for this position.

All formal written offers will be made by FAS Human Resources.


We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Petersham

Job Code

402065 Property Operations Assistant


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Pre-Employment Screening

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Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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