Postdoctoral Research Opportunity ~

20 de marzo de 2012

Postdoctoral Research Opportunity

Modeling future scenarios: Climate Change Assessment and Strategic Habitat Conservation in the Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands
USDA Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF), North Carolina State University (NCSU)
Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative (CLCC)

Postdoctoral position available: A two year joint appointment with the USDA Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF) and North Carolina State University collaborating as a partner of the Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative (CLCC). The successful applicant will have a Ph.D. in natural sciences and strong skills and interest in computer modeling, statistical analyses, modeling vegetation dynamics, GIS and remote sensing analyses, biodiversity and conservation research. The position may begin immediately.

To apply go to:  search for position #101296,
Or to this direct link: Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Background:  Natural resource management agencies are challenged to predict and respond to the potential effects of a changing climate and land use. Vegetation dynamics, urbanization, sea-level rise, and changes in hydrology will directly and indirectly impact habitat availability and quality and are of concern to agencies seeking to implement long-term conservation strategies. Primary disturbance agents in the Caribbean such as hurricanes, flooding, fire and drought will be impacted by changes in climate and affect vegetation, land cover, and wildlife habitat. Conservation of fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats will require the development of a conservation system with the ability to predict, evolve, monitor, and adapt to these changing conditions. Modeling the future range of landscape conditions under a variety of policy and land use scenarios is an effective way to provide managers the information they will need to adaptively manage for species conservation.

The primary task is to create spatially explicit models of future vegetation cover under different climate and land use scenarios in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, and to develop scientific products (peer reviewed publications, maps, geospatial datasets) that can serve as a basis on which to model potential species and habitat responses to change.

The position will be located at the USDA Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry, with facilities on the grounds of the University of Puerto Rico Botanical Garden in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico (San Juan Metropolitan area). The selected candidate will work with Dr. William Gould (US Forest Service and CLCC coordinator) and the research team in the IITF GIS and Remote Sensing Laboratory and in collaboration with Dr. Jaime Collazo of North Carolina State University (NCSU). The selected candidate will also work closely with a team modeling hydrology, downscaling climate models, and developing urban growth models for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The position will be administered through NCSU and the selected candidate will be an employee of NCSU with an adjunct position at IITF and will collaborate closely with the Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative (CLCC).

The selected candidate will work with existing geospatial datasets, create new geospatial information, and assess vegetation dynamics by calibrating existing models, including Vegetation Dynamics Development Tool (VDDT) to local conditions for the ecological processes most relevant to the ecological systems in Puerto Rico and the USVI.
Candidates should have:
-          Ph.D. in natural sciences, computer modeling, geospatial statistical analyses, environmental studies, or related disciplinary areas;
-          Experience and proficiency in GIS software and analyses, "R", or other statistical software;
-          Familiarity with climate modeling, VDDT helpful;
-          Motivation to work independently; and
-          Excellent computing and writing skills, motivation to publish in peer-reviewed journals.
For further information contact William Gould at

William Gould, Research Ecologist, USDA Forest Service
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Jardín Botánico Sur
1201 Calle Ceiba
Río Piedras PR  00926-1119
Telephone:787-766-5335 ext. 302, fax:787-766-6302

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