Spatial analysis of post-fire vulnerability and resilience in wildland urban interface communities
Research Associate (Post-Doctoral)
Department of Fisheries & Wildlife, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331
The successful applicant will be appointed to work under the supervision of Dr. Lisa Ellsworth (College of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife) and Dr. Jenna Tilt (College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences), together with a collaborative research team including engineering professors and students from Oregon State University (Dr. Erica Fischer), University of Colorado, Boulder (Dr. Brad Wham), and University of Minnesota (Dr. Lauren Linderman).
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR with the potential for remote work during COVID limitations
The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University invites applications for a full-time (1.0 FTE), 12-month, fixed-term Postdoctoral Research Associate position. Reappointment for an additional 6-12 months is possible depending upon annual review and availability of funding.
The 2017 Tubbs Fire and the 2018 Camp Fire caused significant damage to civil infrastructure in Santa Rosa and Paradise, California, respectively. An unanticipated, but significant impact following these fires was contamination of the public drinking water. The contamination imposed an enormous burden on the municipal water districts in Santa Rosa and Paradise to determine the location of the contamination source(s), and the investigation has cost millions of dollars.
The Research Associate will develop geospatial models that consider topography, fuel, vegetation and soil types, pipe vulnerability, human demographics, and community recovery to predict pre-fire risk and post-fire recovery related to water infrastructure. We anticipate models will include various data types including: high-resolution remote sensing, locations of in situ pipeline networks, geolocation and frequency of social media postings (i.e. Twitter, Facebook) regarding water contamination, fuel loads, soil types, human demographics, topography, etc. The analysis will be used to inform a prototype web-based tool to be used by city planners and emergency responders. Strong spatial analysis skills are necessary. An ability to work independently and constructively as part of a broad, interdisciplinary research team is critical.
The successful applicant will be appointed to carry out duties as follows:
70% Conduct research and spatial analyses on pipe vulnerability, topography, fuel, vegetation and soil types, demographics, and community recovery to predict pre-fire risk and post-fire recovery of water infrastructure, and present results in written and oral scientific and outreach communications. Publication in scientific journals is expected. Participation in grant-writing with PIs to fund the next stage and future expansion of project topics.
30% Communication with scientists, city and county municipalities, professional and stakeholder groups, computer programmers, and members fire-impacted communities in informal and formal workshop settings. Create outreach materials for general audiences.
Work conditions: The Research Associate will primarily work in an office setting. Some travel to visit fire-impacted areas and participate in stakeholder workshops is expected.
· Candidate must have earned a PhD or equivalent degree in fire science, landscape ecology, geography, urban planning, or a closely related field by the start date of appointment
· Demonstrated research accomplishments and publications in the primary research literature.
· Demonstrated knowledge of utilizing geospatial software and related products (i.e. Google Earth Engine, ENVI, R, QGIS, ESRI), data acquisition, and geospatial analysis methods.
· Demonstrated strong quantitative skills; especially spatial statistics and analyses, database construction and management.
· Demonstrated excellence in (English) written and verbal communication skills.
· Demonstrated success in working both independently and constructively in multi-institution and/or interdisciplinary research team(s).
· Current valid (U.S.) motor vehicle license is required for this position, as is a requirement to pass drug test (following Oregon State University protocols).
· Demonstrated experience and skills in project management, including the ability to manage research budgets, logistics, and personnel.
· Understanding of fire risk and resilience in western U.S. fire-prone ecosystems
· A demonstrable commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity and inclusion. This might include engagement with personal and professional development or be woven into the practice of any traditional professional duties (e.g., research, mentoring, education, scholarship, service).
· Preference will be given to candidates with a strong publication record, a demonstrable commitment to seeking external funding, and research interests aligned with the research team.
Salary and Benefits:
The Research Associate will be appointed at an annual salary of $52,000 and compensation package will include health benefits.
Individuals interested in this position should submit a cover letter detailing how they meet the minimum and preferred qualifications as well as describing their long term research objectives, electronic copies of CV, and the names and contact information for a minimum of three individuals who can provide professional recommendations to support the application. Screening of applications will begin June 30, 2020 and applications will be received and considered until the position is filled. A start date of September 1, 2020 is preferred but there may be some flexibility for the preferred candidate. Please indicate your availability in your cover letter. Please feel free to contact Dr. Ellsworth with any questions about the position at firstname.lastname@example.org. Only those applicants selected for interviews or further consideration will be contacted personally.
Full details can be found and applications should be submitted to: https://jobs.oregonstate.edu/postings/91946
OSU commits to inclusive excellence by advancing equity and diversity in all that we do. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.
Lisa M Ellsworth, Ph.D. (she/her/hers)
Wilburforce Fellow in Conservation Science
Fire and Habitat Ecology
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Oregon State University
Nash Hall, Room #104
Corvallis, OR 97331