Postdoctoral Associate

Apply now Job no: 499850
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 080300 - FWRC-Wildlife,Fisheries&Aquaculture
Location: Main Campus - Starkville, MS
Categories: Professional
Position Open Date:

Position Function:

The successful candidate will be responsible for developing guidelines and estimating wildlife monitoring bias of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

Salary Grade:  UC

Please see Staff Compensation Structure or Skilled Crafts and Service Maintenance Compensation Schedule for salary ranges.  For salary grade UC, these positions are "Unclassified" and salary ranges are determined by the hiring department.

Department Profile:


Area of Specialization:

Wildlife monitoring, technology development, Wildlife ecology, hazard mitigation

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

The successful candidate will work closely with MSU faculty, Federal Aviation Administration personnel, USDA Wildlife Services National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) research staff, and USDA Wildlife Services Airport Wildlife Hazards Program staff to develop standard processes and procedures for wildlife monitoring in airport environments with small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Primary duties will include developing selection criteria of available equipment including UAS platforms and sensors for on- and near-airport environments, wildlife species of interest, and survey conditions; designing and conducting controlled experiments to evaluate estimator bias among survey platforms, survey conditions, and wildlife species; developing monitoring procedures for accurate assessment of wildlife hazards on common airport landcover; conducting associated analyses and data management including the development of data management and processing guidelines for end-users; and effectively communicating and collaborating with a diverse team of stakeholders and interest groups. Avian hazards to aircraft are the primary focus of this effort but the incumbent may be involved with investigations of UAS for monitoring mammal species and evaluating landscape characteristics. Secondary duties may include but are not limited to preprocessing imagery using commercially available photogrammetry tools, developing image processing algorithms, informing strike risk model development, leading additional research efforts related to FAA and USDA interests, interacting with civil and military personnel including but not limited to airport wildlife biologists and military BASH team members, presenting research results at scientific meetings, and developing peer-reviewed manuscripts. In summary, early-career researchers interested in advancing the current use of UAS for wildlife monitoring and directly informing UAS associated policy are encouraged to apply.

Minimum Qualifications:

Ph.D. in wildlife science, ecology, wildlife damage management, natural resource management, conservation biology or at least one degree in an above discipline or similar discipline and Ph.D. in a technology-related field.

Preferred Qualifications:

Ph.D. in the aforementioned field and experience with UAS technologies, preferably regarding wildlife or other natural resource monitoring. Demonstrated abilities in designing and managing field research projects, managing and analyzing data, creative thinking, publication development, and/or effective communication among multiple stakeholder groups are preferred. Preference will also be given to candidates with a background in wildlife damage management (i.e., human-wildlife conflict mitigation) or thorough knowledge thereof, demonstrated data management abilities among multiple software and coding language platforms including image processing, and demonstrated success working closely with government and non-government stakeholders on applied questions in wildlife conservation or wildlife monitoring technology development. Applicants should be self-motivated, fit well in a multidisciplinary team environment, exhibit excellent oral and written communication skills, and demonstrate the ability to publish in the peer-reviewed literature.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Knowledge of and demonstrated skills in UAS technologies including platforms, sensors, flight software, and post-flight data processing. Familiarity with common wildlife monitoring techniques, aircraft-wildlife strike mitigation, analysis of distance sampling data, wildlife monitoring with UAS, and FAA. Demonstrated ability to multi-task among competing priorities.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

Ability to perform routine office duties and field work conditions, interact with fellow researchers and stakeholders, participate in call or web conferences, and a willingness to travel out of state to meet with project collaborators or present results at meetings.

Instructions for Applying:

Interested applicants must apply online at by submitting a cover letter, vitae, statement of research interests, copy of your transcripts, and the complete contact information for three references. Applicant should redact their social security number if it appears on their academic transcript prior to submitting it online. For additional information, please e-mail Dr. Ray B. Iglay at (Subject: “UAS Postdoc”) or call 662-325-5933 and leave a detailed message.

Restricted Clause:

Position is contingent upon continued availability of funding.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. veteran, and/or any other status protected by applicable 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.

Advertised: Central Standard Time
Applications close:

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