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Research Associate #606129

Employer
Northern Arizona University
Location
Arizona, United States
Salary
Salary Commensurate with experience
Posted Date
Mar 30, 2022

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Research Administration
Employment Level
Administrative
Employment Type
Full Time
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Job Description

The Ecological Restoration Institute (ERI) is adding to our science delivery team of natural resource professionals committed to working with land management practitioners (e.g., US Forest Service, AZ State Forest and Fire Management, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management) and other partners to restore and increase resiliency of Arizona’s fire-adapted forests. As a member of the Science Delivery Team, this position will support the ERI’s mission (https://eri.nau.edu/about-us) through co-production of technical analyses with partners to inform large forest landscape restoration efforts such as the 4 Forests Restoration Initiative (4FRI). In this role you will interact with a wide variety of land managers and stakeholders to translate broad forest management goals into specific metrics for implementation and evaluation, and communication via spatial (e.g., GIS, remote sensing) and tabular (e.g., spreadsheets, databases) data products. Questions we are addressing include how to rapidly assess large landscapes for the use of natural fire ignitions to restore forests (i.e., using fire to create fire-resilient landscapes), prioritizing mechanical treatment (e.g., forest thinning, fuels reduction), and/or post-fire recovery (e.g., identifying where, when, and how to manage post-fire landscapes).

The ideal candidate is a creative problem solver that has both practical and scientific experience in forest/fire ecology, a passion for collaborative work involving a diverse range of stakeholders and team members, and an interest in creating healthy, resilient forested landscapes.

Essential Functions

Knowledge Development - 40%

Work with the ERI Science Delivery Team to:

  • Identify key scientific questions and needs with federal land managers on topics including forest treatment prioritizations, landscape evaluations, and post-fire assessments.
  • Advance solutions to questions on appropriate metrics of restoration implementation and success, including spatial heterogeneity metrics, forest structure metrics, and scalable landscape metrics.
  • Conduct forest sampling fieldwork to inform landscape evaluations and monitoring studies or respond to land manger questions.
  • Acquire and analyze spatial and tabular datasets for practical applications with federal, state, and local land managers.
  • Summarize data analyses into technical reports for managers.

Science Delivery & Outreach - 30%

Collaborate with ERI staff, including researchers and delivery staff to:

  • Assist the Program Director with partner requests, including rapid technical assistance to USFS, NPS, BIA, USFWS, State Agencies and other partners.
  • Collect field data to inform rapid technical assistance. (Bryce Canyon, 4FRI Spatial Heterogeneity)
  • Collaborate with other ERI staff, including researchers and outreach staff, to identify and produce useful outreach products for practitioners in the Southwest.
  • Deliver science to practitioners via multiple communication techniques, including live workshops, webinars, podcasts, and written products
  • Communicate with land manager practitioners to identify scientific needs for best ecological practices, to better understand of economic costs and benefits, and/or to address societal opportunities or constraints to landscape restoration.
  • Identify key scientific questions and needs for forest treatment prioritizations, landscape evaluations, and post-fire assessments.
  • Acquire or develop the spatial and tabular datasets (e.g., GIS) needed to address these questions
  • Analyze spatial and tabular datasets for practical applications with federal, state, and local land managers.
  • Conduct forest sampling fieldwork to inform landscape evaluations and monitoring studies or respond to land manger questions.
  • Summarize data analyses into technical reports for managers.

Foster and Support Partnerships - 25%

  • Support collaborative efforts with technical contributions and expertise.
  • Coordinate with sister-institutes of SWERI (AZ, NM, & CO) to leverage joint projects.

Administrative and Internal Communication - 5%

  • Participate in weekly meetings to support and coordinate among ERI Policy and Partnerships team, Ecology team, Tribal Program team, and Industry and Biomass Utilization team.

Minimum Qualifications

  • A Master's degree in a natural resource science field (e.g. forestry, forest ecology, landscape ecology, fire science, geography, ecoinformatics, quantitative ecology) or a closely related field.
  • Three years of professional work experience in forest ecology, silviculture, fire suppression, fire science, landscape ecology, forest management, wildlife management or a closely related field.
  • Knowledge of major forest health issues in western US fire adapted forests and management strategies to address those issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to create products from publicly available datasets (e.g., maps, figures, and tables) that effectively and creatively communicate results of analyses and research.
  • Working knowledge of the Scientific Method, including sound understanding of experimental design, sampling procedures, data analysis procedures.

Preferred Qualifications

  • A Ph.D. in natural resource science (e.g. forestry, forest ecology, landscape ecology, fire science, wildlife biology, geography, informatics, quantitative ecology) or a closely related field.
  • Proven experience implementing fire planning and silvicultural concepts in a forest management context.
  • Experience in spatial and non-spatial modeling, including fire behavior modeling, and/or methods to study trends and predicted changes in forest conditions, forest health and wildfire risk, and values at risk over time.
  • Excellent communication skills and experience conveying complex forest and fire ecology science to technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Demonstrated strong collaborative, organizational, and project management skills.
  • Familiarity with southwestern U.S. forests and/or similar ecosystems. Knowledge and experience in applying climate change science to the study and analysis of forest ecosystems and climate adaptation.
  • Knowledge and experience using geospatial and remotely sensed data to analyze and visualize natural resources, including demonstrated proficiency in one or more of the following: ArcGIS, QGIS, Google Earth Engine, R, R Shiny, and/or Python.
  • Knowledge and experience working with tabular data in one or more of the following: MS Access, MS Excel, SQL, R, and/or Python.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please click on the "Apply" button on this page. You must submit your application by clicking on the "Submit" button by midnight of the application deadline. If you need assistance completing your application there are instructions available on the Human Resources website or in person in the Human Resources Department located in Building 91 on the NAU Campus - on the corner of Beaver and DuPont Streets.

If you are an individual with a disability and need reasonable accommodation to participate in the hiring process please contact the Office of Equity and Access at: 928-523-3312/TDD - 928-523-1006 or PO Box 4083, Flagstaff AZ 86011.


Equal Employment Opportunity

Northern Arizona University is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. NAU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

EEO is the Law Poster and Supplements

NAU is an Employer of National Service. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other National Service alumni are encouraged to apply.

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