Integrated Statistics is looking for a postdoctoral researcher to support the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC).
NEFSC's Protected Species Branch mission includes assessing the population status of protected species (cetaceans, sea turtles, seabirds, and seals) within U.S. waters, and evaluating threats to species and populations due to anthropogenic activities. Detailed assessments of species distributions and abundances are essential to understand broad scale spatial and temporal movements and behaviors. For risk assessment and mitigation of impacts, information on seasonal and inter-annual variability in distribution, ecology, and behavior at smaller spatial scales is used to estimate potential impacts on protected species due to localized activities (e.g., fishery bycatch, military exercises, energy exploration, shipping traffic, etc.).
The Postdoctoral Researcher will assist with the statistical analysis needs of the Large Whale Program, focusing primarily on population assessment of North Atlantic right whales. The postdoc will work on the population viability assessment (PVA) for North Atlantic right whales. The PVA work has two major components: retrospective model fitting of historical sightings data to estimate demographic parameters, and exploring future population dynamics under various scenarios related to environmental conditions and mitigation of human interactions with whales through policies enacted under the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act. The postdoc will work with members of the Population Evaluation Team subgroup of the Right Whale U.S. Implementation Team, including scientists across multiple federal agencies and NGOs (e.g., New England Aquarium).
Assist with further development of the PVA. This includes developing and fitting new and existing population models to sightings data and improving an existing individual-based population projection model to facilitate its current and future uses as a management tool.
Assist with other statistical needs in PSB, serving as a consultant and collaborator to biologists monitoring protected species.
Provide support for science and management needs. Duties include analyzing data and preparing presentations for stakeholder meetings, environmental impact statements, biological opinions, and scientific manuscripts.
The position will be full-time for one year with the possibility of extension. The position is eligible for the benefits described on the Integrated Statistics website. The position will probably start remotely but with the goal of intermittent in-person work at the NEFSC lab in Woods Hole, MA.
Integrated Statistics is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any classification protected by federal, state, or local law. Consistent with its obligations under federal law, Integrated Statistics is committed to taking affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified women, minorities, disabled individuals, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, and other eligible veterans. For assistance with accessibility of applications, posters, forms, and/or documents, please email the Integrated Statistics office.
Qualifications and Skills
These qualifications and skills are required:
PhD in quantitative ecology, statistics, wildlife ecology or similar field
Strong background in statistical modeling including experience in Bayesian and frequentist concepts
Advanced programming in R
Experience publishing scientific research
Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written (including visual presentations) with a variety of audiences including technical, scientific, and the general public
Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
Strong project management skills
Attention to detail
Adaptability to quickly changing priorities and strict timelines
US citizenship and presence. Ability to comply with EO 14042.
These qualifications and skills are desired:
Experience with Bayesian hierarchical modeling
Experience with capture recapture modeling
Model fitting with BUGS/JAGS/NIMBLE
Programming and database management (e.g., PL/SQL, version control with Git)
Familiarity with visual survey data collection and processing methods