Postdoctoral position on multi-trophic responses to grassland restoration – Kansas

Agency
Wichita State University
Location
Wichita, Kansas
Job Category
Post Doctoral Appointments
Salary
$37,600
Start Date
01/15/2018
Last Date to Apply
10/06/2017
Website
https://jobs.wichita.edu/postings/11462
Description
Description: We seek a postdoctoral research associate who will examine trophic responses to restoration of grasslands through the Conservation Reserve Program across Kansas. This is a collaborative project among labs at Wichita State (Greg Houseman and Mary Liz Jameson) and Emporia State (Bill Jensen) universities representing plants, insects, and birds (respectively). The position requires both project management and analytical skills. Funding is available for two years. The research associate (“postdoc” hereafter) will be responsible for managing 6 field crews across 108 sites in Kansas sampling plants, insects, and birds on privately-owned fields restored from cropland to grasslands under USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The study involves investigating trophic responses (plants, insects, birds) to cattle grazing (done in 2017 only) and seed diversity (high, low) of CRP fields across the state’s steep precipitation gradient. The successful applicant will supervise field research in Kansas grassland habitats, supervise field crews, conduct data analyses, prepare reports and manuscripts for publication, maintain lab, and organize equipment. Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills are necessary for managing field crews and interacting with landowners. The field season runs from mid-May to the end of July each year. Field crews consist of graduate (MS) and undergraduate students who work in demanding conditions (such as hot, sunny weather; early mornings; long hours; much hiking) and live in close quarters at field stations. In addition to monitoring sampling schedules, activities, and data management of field crews, the postdoc must have excellent interpersonal skills to address any landowner concerns. The ability to find solutions to logistical challenges that arise suddenly is essential. The postdoc must be proficient in field navigation using GPS or ability to learn, have experience working in demanding field conditions (hot, sunny, much hiking), and have a valid driver’s license and experience with driving vehicles on unimproved roads. Much travel is required across the state before and during field seasons to monitor crews and transport plant and insect biomass and miscellaneous supplies and equipment. Temporary housing is provided at several field stations as well as a rental vehicle. The postdoc should have at least basic familiarity with sampling plant biomass and community composition, insect sampling (pitfall and sweep-net samples), and bird surveys (line-transect surveys, nest monitoring). The postdoc will play a pivotal role in the analytical dimensions of the project. A key approach will be to use Structural Equation Modeling to integrate the plant, insect and bird responses to grassland management and precipitation. Additional modeling or analytical expertise such as ArcGIS, multivariate analyses, and proficiency in R are highly desirable. Preferred Qualifications: 1) Graduate degree in ecology, agroecology, soil science, ecology, environmental science, entomology, avian ecology, or a related field; 2) ability to manage field technicians; 3) demonstrated skill in statistical analysis, particularly with Structural Equation Modeling or related modeling; 4) excellent writing skills as evidenced by publications, thesis, or dissertation; 5) valid driver’s license; 6) the ability to work well independently and collaboratively; 7) demonstrated ability to successfully initiate, manage, and complete professional projects; 8) ability to multi-task and will give careful attention to detail; 9) strong work ethic and professionalism. Special Requirements: Must be able to successfully pass the background check process. Benefits/Opportunities: The postdoc will interact with multiple labs and departments where they will gain additional training in community ecology. The research includes both basic and applied aspects, and interactions with scientists, government employees, land managers, and the public. Other benefits include travel to meetings and health insurance. Salary $37,600. Location: The successful candidate will based at Wichita State University in the lab of Dr. Greg Houseman (Wichita State University, http://webs.wichita.edu/?u=bioscience&p=/people/faculty/ghouseman/indextest/). Our institution has active plant researchers and faculty in ecology and evolutionary biology. Wichita is the largest city in Kansas with a metropolitan population of approximately 750,000 people with a very low cost of living. To Apply: Apply online at https://jobs.wichita.edu/postings/11462. Provide the following documents: 1) a letter of interest detailing qualifications for the position, 2) curriculum vitae, 3) a list of three professional references with contact information (institution, email address, phone number), and 4) three samples of professional writing. Application deadline: Applications review will begin 09/22/2017 and will continue until the position is filled. Desired start date is early January 2017, but earlier or later start dates may be possible. Questions about the position should be directed to Dr. Greg Houseman (Greg.Houseman[at]Wichita.edu).
Qualifications
Preferred Qualifications: 1) Graduate degree in ecology, agroecology, soil science, ecology, environmental science, entomology, avian ecology, or a related field; 2) ability to manage field technicians; 3) demonstrated skill in statistical analysis, particularly with Structural Equation Modeling or related modeling; 4) excellent writing skills as evidenced by publications, thesis, or dissertation; 5) valid driver’s license; 6) the ability to work well independently and collaboratively; 7) demonstrated ability to successfully initiate, manage, and complete professional projects; 8) ability to multi-task and will give careful attention to detail; 9) strong work ethic and professionalism. Special Requirements: Must be able to successfully pass the background check process.
Contact Person
Gregory Houseman
Contact Phone
3162188237
Contact eMail
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