Postdoctoral Associate: Informing Waterfowl Management and Conservation using eBird Data

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Ithaca, New York. Remote work negotiable.
Job Category
Post Doctoral Appointments
$55,341 - $65,000, dependent upon experience and includes benefits.
Last Date to Apply
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply. About us: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is the world's leading resource for conservation, research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. The Lab is a unit within Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), where full-time faculty and other renowned professionals direct twelve world-class, mission-driven programs. The Center for Avian Population Studies (CAPS) is one of the major programmatic units at the Lab, collecting and disseminating biodiversity data to enhance the information and decision-making tools available to conservationists and scientific researchers. We achieve this by producing scientific, computational, and big data resources that transform how we understand and protect the world around us. The Cornell Lab is home to a vibrant community of several dozen postdoctoral associates working across all twelve programs. We strive to provide a supportive and collaborative environment for this community that fosters personal growth and career advancement. As a university founded to be a place where “…any person can find instruction in any study,” diversity and inclusion are at the core of our values and mission. We strive to be a welcoming, caring, healthy, and equitable community where students, faculty, and staff with different backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn, innovate, and work in an environment of respect, and feel empowered to engage in any community conversation. As a member of the Cornell University community, it is important to recognize our shared responsibility to each other to cultivate a culture of inclusion for all. Cornell Core values Job description: We seek a Postdoctoral Associate interested in statistical modeling, natural resource decision-making, conservation, and management. The incumbent will explore using eBird Status and Trends (S&T) products and eBird raw data to inform waterfowl conservation and management planning in support of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP). This project is a partnership with researchers at the Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University, Ducks Unlimited, Forbes Biological Field Station, Louisiana State University, and the NAWMP Science Support Team. The postdoctoral associate will be advised by Dr. Orin Robinson. Project objectives include: Assessing the level of agreement between professionally collected data and eBird or eBird S&T products across multiple geographies, spatial and temporal scales, and species. Evaluating the use of eBird and/or eBird S&T in bioenergetics models that inform regional waterfowl conservation planning, such as those employed by migratory bird joint ventures. We will compare model output to those run with traditionally collected data to determine how management decisions may change depending on the data set. Investigating differences in the information provided by each data set, using lessons learned to integrate the data in distribution, population density, and bioenergetics models for waterfowl. Examining how current eBird S&T models perform on species that form large aggregations (e.g., waterfowl, shorebirds) during the annual cycle and testing alternative models that may provide more accurate predictions than the current eBird S&T modeled product. Exploring methods for integrating eBird S&T and/or estimates from newer models developed under objective 4 with independent data sources for analyses to inform conservation action. In addition to outside partners the postdoctoral associate will be working closely with scientists in the Information Science and Technology, Bird Population Studies, and Conservation Science programs within CAPS. We encourage postdoctoral associates to explore related research questions and collaborate on projects conducted in the Lab and with partners. Duties and responsibilities: Develop methods for and applications of eBird, eBird Status and Trends, and professionally collected survey data to meet project goals (50%). Present results at professional meetings, conferences, and popular seminars. Prepare peer reviewed papers and other research products, including reports and relevant information to partners. (20%) Research and engaging with funders. (10%) Engage in ongoing academic and intellectual life within the Conservation Science and Information Science Programs at the Lab of Ornithology and at Cornell University, Ducks Unlimited, Forbes Biological Field Station, Louisiana State University, and NAWMP Science Support Team. (10%) Participate in general project management and working directly with internal and external project collaborators. (5%) Perform related projects and special duties as assigned. Establish and maintain a safe, productive, and respectful working environment that fosters a culture of inclusivity and teamwork. Create and promote an environment that fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion in all endeavors. (5%)
Required qualifications: PhD in quantitative ecology, applied statistics, or a related field with strong background in statistics and model development. Experience with R and other statistical languages. Ability to apply quantitative methods to answer ecological questions or hypotheses. Record of success conducting research and scholarly activities, including publication in peer-reviewed journals. Preferred qualifications: Experience related to using wildlife survey data, experience with citizen science data is preferred but not required. Experience in ornithology is a bonus, but not required.
Contact Person
Dr. Orin Robinson (
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