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Postdoctoral Research Associate

University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Climatic Research and Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology

The Effects of Extreme Weather on Bird Populations and the Role of Habitat Refugia in Adapting to Climate Change

We are investigating the effects of extreme weather events---particularly droughts, heat waves, and springtime cold snaps---on bird populations and how climate change may affect these relationships. A second goal is to determine the role of National Wildlife Refuges and National Forests as refugia and to identify management actions to enhance this function.

The successful candidate will perform in-depth data analysis of climate model output to assess the relationship between extreme weather events and avian demographics. S/he must have strong scientific writing and programming skills with an ability to publish in peer-reviewed journals. The successful candidate will work closely with scientists and faculty members in the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research and the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology.

A Ph.D. in climatology, atmospheric science, or a related field is preferred. Training in quantitative or computational ecology is a secondary preference. The ideal candidate will have experience with performing quantitative analysis of large data sets using computer software packages, experience in interpreting the meteorological factors associated with extreme weather events and climate change, knowledge of climate model output formats (netCDF, GRIB, etc.), statistical analysis skills, and the ability to transform map projections of model output (GIS experience desirable).

This is a three-year, full-time position. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Full benefits, including health insurance, are provided. The starting date is flexible, but the project is already underway, so we hope to hire soon.

We seek candidates who work well in a collaborative setting, have excellent verbal and written communication abilities, and possess creative problem-solving skills.

This NASA-funded project is a collaboration among participants at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Forest Service, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Nevada, Reno, and Stony Brook University.

To apply, please send us a cover letter summarizing your research interests and background, a CV that spells out this experience, and the contact information for three references. This material should be sent to Dr. Steve Vavrus ( at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Posted July 5, 2012.