USGS Effects of Climate on Human-Wildlife Conflict: Virginia

U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)
Reston, Virginia
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*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis. USGS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) located in Reston, Virginia. The USGS mission is to monitor, analyze, and predict current and evolving dynamics of complex human and natural Earth-system interactions and to deliver actionable intelligence at scales and timeframes relevant to decision makers. As the Nation's largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency, USGS collects, monitors, analyzes, and provides science about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems. The National Climate Adaptation Science Center (NCASC) leads a network of nine regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) located across the U.S. Together, the National and regional CASCs conduct research to understand how changing climate conditions impact fish, wildlife, ecosystems, and communities. Through this work, we aim to provide on-the-ground natural resource managers and other stakeholders with scientific information and decision-making tools to help them understand, respond, and adapt to these changes. Research Project: Synthesizing the existing science on climate impacts and adaptation has been identified as a need by natural resource managers. By collating the existing information on a topic in a single location, synthesis products can be a valuable resource for both understanding the existing evidence base and identifying knowledge gaps that can be addressed through the funding of future science projects. As such, the CASC network is engaged in a variety of synthesis activities, ranging from the effects of climate change on ungulates to the effects of climate change on wildfire dynamics. The selected fellow will further the synthesis efforts of the NCASC by scoping and implementing one or more synthesis projects exploring the effects of climate on human-wildlife conflict. Climate variability and change have the potential to affect the occurrence and frequency of human-wildlife conflicts through a number of mechanisms, including changes in the quality and quantity of natural food sources, habitat loss and degradation, and changes in the abundance and distribution of wildlife. Understanding how patterns of human-wildlife conflict might change in response to changing environmental conditions is important for the planning and implementation of effective conflict prevention and mitigation strategies. Learning Objectives: Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will plan the human-wildlife conflict synthesis project, including initial research to identify focal species; engaging with federal and non-federal partners to solicit input on focal species; identifying the most appropriate structure for organizing the information (e.g. several syntheses papers, each focused on a single species, or one multi-species synthesis paper); defining the synthesis methods; designing the database for recording information from relevant papers; and writing the synthesis report(s). The selected candidate may also have the opportunity to pursue additional syntheses on topics relevant to the CASC mission. The fellow will coordinate with NCASC biologists to complete this project and will also have the opportunity to engage with additional NCASC federal staff and staff throughout the CASC network. Mentor: The mentor for this opportunity is Emily Fort ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor. Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Fall 2021. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors. Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year, but may be extended for two additional years upon recommendation of USGS and is contingent on the availability of funds. Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time. Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens only. ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and USGS. Participants do not become employees of USGS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE. Questions: If you have questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.
The candidate should be currently pursuing or have received a Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree in one of the fields listed in the eligibility requirements section below. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date. Highly competitive applicants will have education and/or experience in several of the following: - Experience conducting systematic literature reviews - Experience in basic database design and management - Familiarity with terrestrial mammal biology/ecology - Familiarity with the topic of climate change and its effects on wildlife and ecosystems - Familiarity with the topic of human-wildlife interactions and conflict - Self-starter with strong attention to detail and organizational skills - Excellent written and verbal communication skills
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