Postdoc: Environmental social science on iconic ecosystems in the American West


Idaho State University


Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Start Date

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Primary Purpose

Idaho State University invites applications for a Postdoctoral Research Associate with a specialization in environmental social science to join a transdisciplinary team to conduct social science research related to a recently awarded National Science Foundation Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research Infrastructure Improvement (EPSCoR) program grant. The award, Genes to environment: modeling, mechanisms, and mapping (GEM3), will facilitate statewide transdisciplinary research to uncover the fundamental genetic, environmental, social, and policy mechanisms connected to the adaptive capacity of two iconic organisms in Idaho: sagebrush and rainbow trout (

We seek applicants whose research interests are focused on some combination of human adaptation to environmental change, land use change and/or decision-making, water management and decision-making, and the social dimensions of inland fish and fisheries across a range of scales, and the candidate will work on research related to their expertise in sagebrush and/or river ecosystems. We are interested in candidates from a broad range of disciplines, including geography, sociology, political science, and anthropology. While we are open to a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches, candidates with expertise in GIS, participatory modeling, or scenario analysis are particularly encouraged to apply.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will have the opportunity to focus their research one or more of the following topics (or related areas):
•    Individual or organizational adaptation and adaptive capacity to environmental change 
•    Local and traditional knowledge of environmental change
•    Scenario planning for and/or the politics of landscape futures in Idaho 
•    Participatory mapping of environmental change or other GEM3 topics of interest

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will work collaboratively with GEM3 team members at Idaho State University, Boise State University, and the University of Idaho, a group of faculty and students committed to transdisciplinary, team-based, actionable research that addresses real-world environmental challenges.

The position can begin as early as June 1st (start date is flexible) and will be contracted for one year, with a second year of funding available dependent on performance. 

Key Responsibilities

1.    Design and administer interviews and analyze interview data and/or design and administer surveys and analyze survey data, depending on prior experience
2.    Coordinate and co-lead stakeholder workshops
3.    Collaborate with transdisciplinary teams 
4.    Manage project datasets 
5.    Coordinate project meetings
6.    Prepare manuscripts and publish results in peer-reviewed journals
7.    Present research results at national conferences

Minimum Qualifications

•    The candidate should possess a doctoral degree earned within the last five years in human geography, sociology, political science, anthropology, natural resources, or a similar field or be ABD 
•    Excellent written and verbal communication skills
•    Expertise in qualitative and/or quantitative social science research methods 
•    Ability to work with stakeholders, landowners, policy makers, and an interdisciplinary team of scientists

Preferred Qualifications

•    Experience developing futures scenarios to assess the outcomes and desirability of local and regional environmental policies and plans
•    Experience developing spatially explicit decision support tools for community engagement in evaluating land use practices and alternative scenarios
•    Experience with participatory methods
•    In-depth knowledge and skills to perform complex spatial analyses (GIS, spatial statistics, familiarity working with remotely sensed and other spatially explicit data)

Please submit the following documents with your application:
Cover letter describing relevant skills and academic interests, Curriculum Vitae, one (1) representative manuscript, and the names and contact information for three (3) professional references. Please address the materials to Drs. Morey Burnham and Kelly Hopping.

Position will remain open until filled. Salary is approved at $55,000 annually, commensurate with education and experience. Includes a competitive benefits package. Offers of employment may be conditional pending successful completion of a background investigation.

Contact Name

Dr. Kelly Hopping

Contact Email