Quantitative / Spatial Ecology Post-Doc: California

Point Blue Conservation Science
Petaluma or Sacramento [region], California (negotiable)
Job Category
Full time Positions
$55,000-60,000/year, depending on education and experience; plus benefits
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Job Summary
The Quantitative/Spatial Ecology Post-Doc (QSP), while working for Point Blue will collaborate with U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), The Nature Conservancy, and the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative (CA LCC) to develop ecological forecasting models for water and wildlife in California’s Central Valley. These models will be designed to inform a decision support system that can guide the optimal allocation of water to meet biodiversity and ecosystem services targets.

Specifically the project objectives are to:
1. Provide multi-annual, within-year forecasts and updates of the spatial and temporal availability of wetland habitats, the distribution of wetland and open water dependent species, connectivity, and groundwater recharge.
2. Generate long term projections (50 year) of flooded cropland and wetland habitat in order to forecast wetland and open water dependent species, connectivity, and groundwater recharge under multiple scenarios.
3. Prioritize and strategically create an integrated network of wetland habitat on the landscape as part of large-scale coordinated conservation to optimize focal wetland-dependent species and habitats, biodiversity, spatio-temporal habitat connectivity, and groundwater recharge in the Central Valley both in the near-term (within year) and over the long-term (50 years).

Essential Duties
• Lead development of complex distribution and forecast models as part of the broader water optimization project.
• Develop spatial models and distribution layers of water and wetlands.
• Apply forecast models to develop spatial projections.
• Work with USGS to ensure all covariates are developed and prepared for species and ecosystem services distribution models.
• Work closely with Point Blue’s informatics team to link modeling code and covariate data with an automated surface water tracking system (http://data.pointblue.org/apps/autowater/).
• Conduct reproducible research, fully documenting data sources and analysis code so the work can be reproduced with any new data for future updates.
• Organize and lead meetings with partners and stakeholders as needed.
• Produce publications and peer-reviewed quality reports.
• Communicate the research to key science collaborators.

Point Blue Conservation Science’s Mission and Vision
Point Blue advances conservation of birds, other wildlife and ecosystems through innovative research, restoration, outreach and extensive partnerships. Our highest priority is to reduce the impacts of habitat loss, climate change and other threats to wildlife and people, while promoting adaptation to the changes ahead. Point Blue will achieve this by conducting further research on ecological processes and by developing and disseminating science-based solutions to mitigate the negative impacts of these changes. Because of our work today, healthy ecosystems will continue to support thriving wildlife and human communities in California and beyond, on land and at sea.
• PhD in Ecology or related field with extensive focus and experience with quantitative and spatial ecology, statistics, predictive models, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and remote sensing.
• Experience with modeling and spatial analysis in R, ArcMap and GIS software, remote sensing, and Google Earth Engine.
• Well-developed understanding of wetland ecology and management, the ecosystem services of wetlands, and the climate change impacts to these ecosystems and associated human communities.
• Self-directed and highly motivated team player, with very strong interpersonal skills.
• Must have passion for rigorous conservation science and application of innovative data-driven approaches to conservation decision-making.
• Demonstrated commitment to excellence and integrity in all aspects of work.
• Track record of peer-reviewed publications on using state-of-the-art predictive/forecasting models and quantitative techniques with ecological applications.
• 3+ years of effective project management experience working with a variety of partners.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including demonstrated success in clearly and concisely translating science to diverse audiences.
• Desirable: Web programming languages (eg, Python, Php, HTML, CSS, Javascript), interactive web mapping applications (using OpenLayers or Mapbox), server-side R deployment (using R-Serve); experience writing R to run unattended.

How to Apply
Please email cover letter explaining your interest and qualifications, resume and three references with emails and phone numbers to mreiter@pointblue.org with the subject line “Quantitative/Spatial Ecology.” Position will remain open until filled though we are looking for someone who can start no later than June 1, 2017. This is a 1-2 year position pending funding.
Contact Person
Matthew Reiter
Contact Phone
Contact eMail
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