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Postdoctoral Scientist
Company: Conservation Science Partners, Inc.
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Employment Type: Full Time
Date Posted: 07/02/2020
Expire Date: 09/02/2020
Job Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, & Fishing, Science, Natural Resources
Job Description
Postdoctoral Scientist
Conservation Science Partners (CSP) seeks a Postdoctoral Scientist who will co-lead a diverse working group to synthesize the science around transformational ecological impacts from novel manifestations of droughts under a changing climate, and connect the synthesis to resource management decisions. This working group will stem from the project “A co-produced science synthesis for transformational drought” funded by the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC), in partnership with each of the eight Regional CASCs. The mission of the CASCs is to deliver science to help fish, wildlife, water, land, and people adapt to a changing climate, and the CASC network covers the entire continental U.S., Hawai'i, Alaska, the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands, and the U.S. Caribbean.
Globally, ecosystems are increasingly threatened by climate change, extreme weather events, and more intense megadisturbances such as drought, wildfire, diseases, and insect outbreaks, and these stressors are increasingly likely to drive ecosystems to change ecological states (from forest to grassland, for example). Droughts are an emerging trigger of ecological transformation and managing “transformational drought” needs strong scientific support. The transformational drought working group will provide a management-guided synthesis of the complex and interdisciplinary science around where, when, and how drought might trigger a persistent transformation in ecosystems, to support natural resource management decisions across the CASC network. The work will be rooted in the decision context of stakeholders and will seek to build a community of practice around linking important drought science to effective natural resource management. The working group itself will be highly diverse, with collective skillsets of climate change and drought, community ecology, ecological disturbance, landscape ecology, systems ecology, hydrology, etc., and will be led by an ecologist (Dr. Shelley Crausbay, CSP) and a climatologist (Dr. Imtiaz Rangwala, University of Colorado).
The work requires highly creative, quantitative thinking to craft a synthesis of interdisciplinary work around complex natural phenomena in a way that meets stakeholder needs. The emphasis of this project is on synthesizing relevant science, and is not on collecting new data. Specifically, the position will work within the group to 1) synthesize, analyze, visualize, and communicate available research on the ecological effects of drought, 2) design, conceptualize, and communicate these syntheses that connect to natural resource management decisions, 3) conduct new analyses to understand transformational drought in at least one regional case, and 4) co-organize and help to facilitate working group meetings and products. Successful applicants will also interact with directors and staff of the eight Regional CASCs and entities involved in a group of Federal land management agencies grappling with how to navigate ecological transformation. In addition, this position offers opportunities to work with scientists at the North Central CASC and Earth Lab at the University of Colorado through Dr. Rangwala.
Qualifications & Requirements
Core responsibilities: This position focuses on science synthesis through a working group, and involves strong stakeholder guidance. Core responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:
● Co-organize a diverse working group of scientists and foster interdisciplinary dialogue about ecological impacts of drought (survey working group members, help determine content of meetings and methods for making virtual meetings successful, facilitate progress, foster regular communication, etc.)
● Contribute to the design and development of science synthesis to target management needs and specific management decisions
● Conduct science synthesis and where possible, meta-analyses of various aspects of transformational drought
● Take an analytical deep dive into at least one regional case study of transformational drought (within a Regional CASC) to support climate adaptation planning or actions
● Translate and communicate science synthesis to the resource management community
● Contribute to a culture of inclusivity, creativity, innovation, and experimentation at CSP and in the working group
● Deliver products including, but not limited to, peer-reviewed publication(s), public-facing synthesis documents, etc.

Skillsets: We desire at least one of the following skillsets. We welcome more than one, but we do not expect candidates to bring all of the following. We also welcome broader complements of knowledges and skills that stem from applicants’ professional and life experiences.
● Grounding in community or population ecology with a focus on, for example, demographic changes with climate variability (mortality, recruitment), community assembly dynamics, species turnover, vegetation-type conversion, state change, regime shift, or ecological transformation
● Experience researching ecological responses to climate variability and the role of, for example, interacting disturbance and megadisturbance, extreme weather and climate events, hydrologic refugia, invasive species, functional types, etc.
● Grounding in climatology or hydrology with a focus on, for example, synoptic climatology, land surface processes, climate and hydrological modeling, or drought dynamics and categorization.
● Interest in and familiarity with engaging in co-production, co-creation, human-centered design, etc., to make science useful to natural resource management decisions
● Demonstrated ability to review, synthesize and analyze large amounts of scientific literature and complex information/data, and perform statistical meta-analyses where appropriate
● Strong communication and interpersonal skills, organizational skills, and ability to take initiative and work independently as well as part of a large team
● Familiarity with using workflows and tools enabling reproducibility (e.g., Git, Google Earth Engine, Python, R, etc.) and commitment to open science principles
● Familiarity with climate vulnerability assessments, and/or climate adaptation planning

Required qualifications: PhD (MSc in combination with 5+ years directly relevant experience will also be considered) in ecology, hydrology, climatology, geography, conservation biology or a related field.
Contact Information
Contact Name: Shelley Crausbay, PhD
Company Name: Conservation Science Partners, Inc.
Contact Email: hiring@csp-inc.org
Website: https://www.csp-inc.org/public/CSP_...
Company Description:
Conservation Science Partners is a nonprofit collective whose mission is to apply human ingenuity to the preservation of species, populations, and ecosystems using scientific principles, innovative approaches, and lasting partnerships with conservation practitioners. We work to connect the best minds in conservation science to meet our mission. With this in mind, we recognize that people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences can only enrich our community and are essential to meeting our conservation mission and goals. As part of our intentional efforts to ensure a welcome and open environment for people of all backgrounds and life experiences, especially those from underrepresented groups in conservation, we are committed to working toward equity and creating a culture of inclusion, safety, and acceptance. Our core staff includes full-time scientists whose skills are complemented by a well distributed, connected network of professionals. CSP seeks to develop strategic, coherent solutions to the large-scale problems that affect our society and environment. We believe that innovation is essential to this process.
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