The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Aquaculture has ~30 faculty, ~60 graduate students, and 7 administrative support staff (excluding extension and research support personnel). The Department has extensive extension, research, education and service programs in wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture. The Center for Resolving Human-Wildlife Conflicts is housed within the Department and conducts research, extension, and education programs in invasive and exotic species, damage mitigation, and other aspects of human-wildlife conflict resolution. For additional information see www.humanwildlifeconflicts.msstate.edu, msucares.com/wildfish/index.html and www.cfr.msstate.edu/wildlife/index.asp
Area of Specialization:
At-risk species modeling, large-scale conservation planning
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
The Post-Doctoral Associate will work closely with Mississippi State University co-investigators, and scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and southeastern state wildlife agencies to carry out the project. The successful candidate for this position will compile distribution data for At-risk Species from various sources (e.g., State Heritage Programs, NatureServe, iNaturalist), develop a HUC12 distribution map for species and species-guilds on the Service’s At-risk Species list for the Southeast, and use this information to modify the existing Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy Blueprint map incorporating weighting for habitat quality based on known species presence. This information will also inform an assessment of species sustainability in HUC12 watersheds basted on habitat condition, species presence, and future potential system stressors (e.g., urbanization). The successful candidate will also be responsible for developing and communicating with a project steering committee representing U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, State Wildlife Diversity coordinators, State Heritage Program coordinators and database managers, and other key conservation partners. The candidate will also be required to publish 2 or more peer-reviewed publications from this work.
The 1-year term limited position will be funded from 2 January 2018 through 31 December 2018. Salary will be $43,000 per year, including a full benefits package, with the possibility of extension pending acquisition of additional extramural funding. The Post-Doctoral Associate will be based out of the Quantitative Ecology and Spatial Technologies Lab in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi.
The Postdoctoral Associate must hold a Ph.D. in wildlife and fisheries science, natural resource management, biological science, environmental science/management, or other related fields. The candidate must have some combination of the following skills: spatially explicit species distribution modeling, landscape conservation, and computer programming. Expertise with geographic information systems (GIS) and other related software applications and technologies is also required, and a general background in quantitative ecology and biostatistics will be viewed favorably. The candidate must also have excellent oral and written communication skills, be self-motivated, and be able to work effectively both independently and as part of a cross-agency team.
The preferred candidate will also have experience compiling and conducting QA/QC on state-level wildlife and fisheries datasets, working with sensitive species data (T&E species or Species at Risk), developing large-scale species and ecosystem models, and extrapolating models to watershed-level spatial datasets. The preferred candidate will have an understanding of the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service At-Risk Species efforts, state wildlife diversity programs, and state natural heritage programs. Additional expertise in other species modeling (e.g., Maxent), conservation planning (e.g., Marxan, GFlow, Zonation), urbanization and climate change predictive modeling, and GIS software applications (e.g., ERDAS Imagine, ENVI, GRASS, QGIS, etc.) is considered a valuable asset for this position.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Knowledge of and experience in species modeling and large-scale conservation planning, as well as GIS, computer programming, data management, statistical analyses, and scientific writing.
Working Conditions and Physical Effort:
Ability to perform routine office work and travel to collaborator meetings and/or regional/national conferences may be required.
Time-limited position to end on December 31, 2018.
Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:
MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, disability status, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.