Postdoctoral fellowship in tallgrass prairie ecology & management
We seek an enthusiastic colleague to help lead an experiment co‐designed by The Nature Conservancy and researchers at Kansas State University. The experiment will assess the effectiveness of “virtual fence” technology to control cattle grazing locations with the aim of improving conditions for grassland birds, and improving stream health including water quality, stream macroinvertebrates, and streamside vegetation. The post‐doctoral fellow will be jointly supervised by Dr. Alice Boyle and Dr. Walter Dodds (K‐State Biology) and collaborate closely with Tony Capizzo (The Nature Conservancy; Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve) and managers from the partner ranch.
The postdoctoral fellow will assist in project development, collect bird data in the field, and oversee aquatic and vegetation sampling and associated field and laboratory work conducted by technicians. This position is ideal for someone with strong avian skills who is interested in broadening their expertise to include other aspects of ecology, conservation, and management. Within the constraints of planned data collection protocols, there are opportunities for the post‐doc to pursue associated research questions if they wish. Depending on career objectives, Boyle, Dodds, and Capizzo will work closely with the candidate to develop and implement a personalized mentoring plan.
Location: Field work at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, located in the beautiful Flint Hills near Strong City, Kansas. Home institution in the Division of Biology at Kansas State University. While remote work may be possible for part of the year, this position will require the post‐doc to live locally for at least the spring and summer months.
Required qualifications: PhD in ecology or similar field. Strong field skills including bird identification and comfort with routine ecological methods, field surveys, downloading and maintaining ecological sensors. Demonstrated ability to analyze and complete manuscripts in a timely fashion. Strong data analysis and writing skills with a demonstrated ability to write reports and publish scientific papers in a timely fashion. Excellent “people” skills, including the ability to effectively train and mentor technicians and interact well with ranchers, Nature Conservancy and National Parks personnel, the university community, and the public. This position requires a valid driver’s license and willingness to conduct field work off trail under sometimes harsh conditions.
Preferred qualifications: Experience or understanding of grassland ecology and management, grassland bird surveys and identification, experience identifying stream macroinvertebrates, experience with grassland plant identification and vegetation surveys.
Duration: 1 year initial appointment with reappointments (up to 4 years) contingent upon performance