The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) is currently seeking highly qualified applicants for a Human Dimensions Specialist position. This position will be housed in the AGFC's Research, Evaluation and Compliance Division. This division is a highly specialized unit which supports the AGFC and its divisions through exploration, evaluation and monitoring of best available science. We seek team-oriented applicants with ability and experience to engage in collaborative research and work across various departments, agencies, and disciplines. This position will apply theories, concepts, and methods from the social and behavioral sciences to natural resource management (i.e., fisheries and wildlife management, conservation, and/or outdoor recreation) issues and policies to inform management actions of the AGFC. We seek applicants with research expertise in applied psychology, sociology, or related fields who investigate human interactions with natural resources and the environment. That focus should include the role of human behaviors, attitudes, social norms, etc. as they apply to evolving practices and policies in natural resource management and conservation. The Human Dimensions Specialist will manage a research program that applies social science theory and methods to natural resource management. The position will employ rigorous scientific and analytical methods to conduct stakeholder assessments and program evaluations. The position will engage in science communication and public outreach. The position serves as AGFC’s expert in both the quantitative and qualitative methods of social science research projects (questionnaire design, survey implementation, data management, and statistical techniques). The position is expected to disseminate information relevant to scientific and land management audiences via technical scientific reports, policy briefs, peer-reviewed publication, and popular-press articles. Applicants should have experience with science communication, public outreach and engagement, and/or social marketing. This includes experience conducting integrated research and outreach with diverse stakeholder groups.
JOB DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
This position is responsible for developing, coordinating, implementing, communicating and evaluating AGFC’s social science research program and integrating that into natural resource management and policy to enhance the mission of AGFC. As such, this position will provide expert guidance and technical support to AGFC and its Commissioners on the human dimensions of conservation/management issues. This position will represent AGFC at professional meetings related to human dimensions. This position serves as AGFC’s expert in social science research and sampling methodology, coordinating with AGFC staff to develop and implement surveys, focus groups, interviews, data analyses, and other human dimensions techniques that help AGFC staff understand public behaviors, preferences, and trends related to conservation and management. This position leads research projects related to the AGFC’s recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R-3) efforts to increase participation in outdoor recreation. The position facilitates the incorporation of social science information into program policy decisions, operation planning and program evaluation, and ensures social science research priorities are consistent with agency needs. This position will use valid scientific methods to examine knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and other variables that affect human behaviors related to natural resource management, managers, research, and regulations. Specific duties and responsibilities include:
• Aid in the development of effective communication strategies to help build understanding and support for program objectives and scientific evidence-based management decisions.
• Use valid scientific methods to assess the efficacy of outreach programs and help develop future outreach strategies.
• Use valid scientific methods to access perceptions of natural resource management, managers, research and regulations
• Aid in the agency’s goal of recruiting, retaining, and reactivating individuals into the arena of conservation
• Coordinate and lead R-3 research initiatives.
• Develop a range of communication materials that inform AGFC staff and commissioners, as well as the public, on the human dimensions aspect of fisheries, wildlife, and natural resource management.
• Guide and facilitate citizen and staff engagement processes and meetings to address high priority issues.
• Create and conduct scientific studies such that the resulting human dimensions data and findings will be incorporated into natural resource management decisions.
• Implement or create methodologies to assess, track, and evaluate social response to implemented regulations and identify areas of impact and success within the state.
• Utilize and manage the agency’s constituent registry to enhance communication, input/feedback, and interaction with Arkansans to aid in the decision making process.
• Coordinate with AGFC divisions to assist in the development of curricula for training staff on human dimensions principles, social science techniques, and/or public engagement.
The formal education equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in biology, zoology, botany, or a related field; plus three years of experience in biology, wildlife management, or a related field. Additional requirements determined by the agency for recruiting purposes require review and approval by the Human Resources Chief.
PREFERRED EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE:
The formal education equivalent of a master’s degree in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Conservation Social Science, Fisheries or Wildlife Management, or related area. Candidate must have relevant experience with social science research, specifically, survey research methods and other techniques used for evaluation of program success. The formal education equivalent of a doctorate degree in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Conservation Social Science, Fisheries or Wildlife Management, or related field is highly preferred.
Applications must include complete work history and references. Applicants may apply online at https://jobs.agfc.com. Applications must be submitted by midnight on April 20, 2018.