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Postdoctoral Researcher to Synthesize Alaska Freshwater Invertebrate and Water Quality Data

Expiration Date: 

Agency: University of Alaska Fairbanks, Institute of Arctic Biology

Location: Fairbanks, AK. Remote work possible upon prior agreement

Job Category: Seasonal, 40 hr/week. Part-time work possible upon prior agreement

Salary: $28-$30/hr, depending on experience

Start Date: January 2023 or earlier

Application Closing Date: 1 November 2022


Description: The nascent Alaska Rivers Lab at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Institute of Arctic Biology is seeking a postdoctoral researcher to synthesize freshwater invertebrate and water quality data. These data are collected by the National Park Service Central Alaska Inventory and Monitoring network and other entities within national parks and public lands in Alaska over the past 15+ years. The successful applicant will compile and analyze these data to assess long-term trends in species distributions, abundance, community composition, and habitat suitability, particularly with respect to changes induced by climate change and mining activities. The research is expected to be guided by these broad questions:

  • To what extent can sites across Alaskan public lands be classified meaningfully based on a suite of shared environmental conditions, and do these classes, in turn, contain clearly defined ecological communities? Conversely, can ecological community data from sample collections be useful in a bioassessment sense to predict environmental conditions at a site?
  • How are species and habitat distributions altered across Alaskan public lands based on habitat conditions and expected environmental shifts under climate change or human use (mining)? Are certain ecological communities or habitats at particularly high risk of decline?

The postdoctoral researcher will work closely with the lab Principal Investigator (Dr. Jeff Muehlbauer), as well as collaborators with the National Park Service and other agencies (e.g., the Bureau of Land Management). The position is fully funded for 9 months, with extensions into additional months and years possible pending performance and availability of funds. Working part-time on this project while maintaining other employment is also possible but should be discussed in advance. A physical presence in Fairbanks is preferred, although remote work options from elsewhere are possible.

Qualifications: Applicants should hold a PhD or equivalent in Ecology, Biology, or a related field by the anticipated date of employment. The successful candidate will possess expertise in all or a combination of statistical modeling, computing languages (e.g., R, SQL, Python), and spatial analysis (e.g., GIS). Prior experience working with large datasets, with data synthesis in freshwaters, and with aquatic invertebrate taxa are preferred. The Alaska Rivers Lab at UAF is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in freshwater sciences; applicants from traditionally underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.

To Apply: Send cover letter, CV, and contact information for three references to Dr. Jeff Muehlbauer, Review of applications will begin 1 November and will continue until the position is filled.