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  • Spatial Ecologist

    • Employer: Colorado State University
      Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 07/05/2022
      Open Until Filled: No

    Applicants must meet the minimum qualifications in the announcement to be considered for hire. Apply no later than 7/5/2022 for full consideration at jobs.colostate.edu. Mailed or emailed applications will not be accepted.

    Position Summary: The Spatial Ecologist Postdoctoral Researcher will be responsible for processing, analyzing, and synthesizing radar, community science, and remote sensing data through peer reviewed publication on the impacts of artificial light on migration bird land use and flight patterns. The post-doc will work closely with PI Horton (CSU) and Co-I Henebry (Michigan State University). This is a 2-year position. 

    Project Summary: Human populations are shifting toward urban centers. Currently, more than 80% of the United States population resides in cities — up 64% since 1950, with projections reaching 89% by 2050. Urban land area belies the outsized environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural footprints associated with city living. Cities are hotspots: of wealth creation and waste generation; of technical and cultural innovations; of greenhouse gases and toxic emissions; of impervious islands emitting heat and light; of denser human populations coupled with lower biotic diversity. Understanding the scope and impact of urban development on natural communities, both within urban areas, but also across these areas at continental scales, is pivotal for sustainable development, urban planning, and the intentional conservation of biodiversity. Remote sensing of biotic diversity has advanced considerably in the past few decades, ushering in a new era of multi-sensor synthesis, bringing together various and diverse observational datastreams to characterize, map, monitor, and model the location — and even the movement — of species and populations. We propose a novel approach to understand the influence of urban areas on bird migration by bringing multiple NASA products together with analysis of in-situ weather radar data and citizen science observations. We focus on the Central Flyway and the urban archipelago across the U.S. Great Plains. We will build our analytical dataset along a north-south transect by articulating observations from ECOSTRESS (land surface temperature and emissivity,  evapotranspiration, and evaporative stress index), DESIS (a suite of complementary advanced spectral indices), and GEDI (geolocated waveforms, canopy cover fraction and leaf area index profiles) upon a backbone of time series from NLCD, MODIS, VIIRS, and Landsat. Our specialized reanalysis of NEXRAD weather radar data (>25 years) will allow us to derive system-wide measures related to nocturnal bird migration, including measures of the number of airborne migrants, phenophases of migrant passage, speed and direction of nightly movements, and migrant land use during stopover. Our inclusion of eBird citizen science measures will provide detailed daytime measures of species richness, relative occurrence, and phenology. 

    To apply (https://jobs.colostate.edu/postings/106159), please include the following:

    • Statement of Qualifications (one-page letter addressing each qualification described in the announcement) uploaded in the ‘Cover Letter’ slot.
    • Resume/CV
    • Diversity Statement which demonstrates your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM.
    • References – please include within your application contact information for 3 professional references.

    Required Job Qualifications

    1. Ph.D. degree in a pertinent biological, remote sensing, or computer science field by start date of position.
    2. Must also have demonstrated experience publishing scientific papers in the areas of ecology, quantitative ecology, remote sensing, or movement ecology.
    3. Demonstrated competency in statistical modeling, proficiency in R coding, extensive experience in remote sensing, and ability to handle and organize large datasets.

    Preferred Qualifications:

    1. Experience working with weather surveillance radar data and processing.
    2. Experience working with remote sensing layers including MODIS, VIIRS, LANDSAT, and NLCD imagery.
    3. Experience in movement ecology with an emphasis in bird ecology.
    4. Demonstrated experience working in collaborative research settings.

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