NCEAS Postdoc: SNAPP Zero-deforestation landscapes


Sunday, March 31, 2019

Start Date

Friday, February 1, 2019

The Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP) seeks a postdoctoral fellow to collaborate on a new, two-year project titled “Landscape-scale forest assessments to support zero-deforestation supply chains.” This project is designed to empower the participation of small producers in zero-deforestation supply chains and support companies and governments to make conservation decisions based on landscape-scale connectivity. The project focuses on the High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA), a multi-stakeholder initiative that has emerged as a leading tool for corporate and public implementation of zero-deforestation commitments. The work focuses on oil palm in Indonesia. Our team of working group participants from academia, farmer cooperatives, industry, and non-profits, will seek new scientific innovations that enable 1) greater participation of smallholder producers in zero-deforestation supply chains; 2) higher confidence in the benefits of corporate zero-deforestation commitments and 3) improved conservation planning through the integration of landscape-scale connectivity assessment.

The selected postdoctoral fellow will work closely with co-PIs Robert Heilmayr (University of California, Santa Barbara) and Kimberly Carlson (University of Hawaii, Manoa). In addition, the postdoc will contribute to a team that values richly varied disciplines, perspectives, and ways of knowing and learning, and includes leading remote sensing scientists, conservation biologists, and practitioners from academia, non-profits and the private sector. The position will be based at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS).

Primary responsibilities may include but are not limited to: 1) help design and participate in SNAPP working group meetings, 2) work with smallholders to identify and develop tools and technical guidelines that are well-suited to enhancing their participation in zero-deforestation supply chains; 3) integration of existing, corporate conservation assessments into a flexible database of forest types; 4) creation of machine learning models to distinguish forest types from remotely sensed data; 5) connectivity modeling to inform effective landscape-scale conservation plans; and 6) communication of scientific advances through academic publications.

The Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP) is a collaboration between The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) to create a fundamentally different way to identify and tackle large-scale challenges that threaten the integrity of nature and human wellbeing.

NCEAS ( is a unique research center located in scenic downtown Santa Barbara and part of the University of California, Santa Barbara. The Center is known for fostering collaboration and data driven analysis. NCEAS has a growing and thriving community of postdocs, resident scientists, and analysts, and frequent influx of leading scientists and practitioners from around the world participating in working group projects across a diverse range of initiatives. Postdocs contribute their varied experiences, knowledge, interests, and enthusiasm, fostering the diverse intellectual atmosphere of the Center.

At minimum, applicants must have:
• A PhD conferred in geography, ecology, economics, or a related field by January 1, 2019


Collaboration and leadership
• Experience collaborating with or leading interdisciplinary research teams
• Experience participating in, organizing and moderating multi-stakeholder meetings
• Ability to work independently and collaborate as part of a team

• Excellent written communication skills, including peer-reviewed publications
• Outstanding interpersonal skills, including demonstrated ability to communicate, primarily in English, with individuals and organizations outside of academia (e.g., NGOs, businesses)
• Proficiency speaking, reading, and/or writing Indonesian

Analytical skills and systems knowledge
• Experience with remote sensing and spatial analysis
• Computational expertise in at least one programming language (e.g., Python, R)
• Experience using Google Earth Engine or other machine learning or artificial intelligence platform
• Experience using habitat connectivity and/or conservation planning models
• Familiarity with smallholder and/or tropical commodity agricultural production systems and supply chains

22 months, with potential for reappointment.

Annual salary based on qualifications and prior years of postdoc experience. Full benefits package included.

Start date February 2019.

Please apply through UC Recruit:
Primary consideration given to completed applications submitted by January 17, 2019. Otherwise, open until filled.

Contact Name

Dr. Robert Heilmayr

Contact Email