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Teaching Postdoctoral Positions Available at Cornell University

Expiration Date: 

Active Learning in Environmental Sciences and Sustainability Courses:

Climate Solutions, Field Biology, Global Water Sustainability, & Project-based Learning ESS Capstone

Position title: Postdoctoral Teaching Associates (2 positions available)

Location: Department of Natural Resources, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-5701

The College of Agriculture and Life Science is a pioneer of purpose-driven science and Cornell University's second largest college. We work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through world-renowned research, education and outreach. The questions we prove and the answers we seek focus on three overlapping concerns: natural and human systems; food, energy and environmental resources; and social, physical and economic well-being.

Description and Responsibilities

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites applications for two teaching postdoctoral positions in the development, teaching, and assessment of active learning-based courses for Cornell undergraduates. These positions will contribute to the expansion of the new Environmental Sciences and Sustainability (ESS) major. Initial appointments are for one year, with annual renewal for up to 3 years pending performance, funding and available work. Both positions are full-time, and require residence in beautiful Ithaca, NY.

These positions are part of Cornell’s Active Learning Initiative (ALI), which seeks to shift our undergraduate curriculum toward active learning approaches. The wide range of participating departments is summarized here.

Active Learning in DNR and ESS: DNR is one of many academic departments that contribute to Cornell’s ESS major. The two postdocs will be based in DNR, and work with ESS faculty to create three new courses (Global Water Sustainability, Climate Solutions, Project-Based Learning ESS Capstone) and revise aspects of a fourth course (Field Biology). Further, the postdocs will work with education researchers to assess the processes and outcomes of designing active learning elements for environmental science courses, including critical thinking and collaborative group work. Finally, the postdocs will work with ESS faculty to share the results of the active learning course assessments through seminars, conference presentations, workshops, and refereed journal articles.

Role of Postdoctoral Associates: Each postdoc will work closely with faculty instructors on two courses. One postdoc will work with: (1) Dr. Pete McIntyre to develop and co-teach a new large-format course on Global Water Sustainability, providing a social science perspective to complement McIntyre’s natural science expertise; (2) Dr. Marianne Krasny to develop and teach a Climate Solutions course, which will be offered as a hybrid course for Cornell students and an open online course for public audiences; and (3) Dr. Michelle Smith’s STEM research team to develop and implement assessment tools and share the results with the ESS faculty at large. The other postdoc will work with: (1) Dr. Matt Hare to develop and teach modules on critical thinking, teamwork and project management for the Project Learning ESS Capstone; (2) Drs. Marc Goebel and Paul Rodewald to develop and implement a collaborative learning model for field labs in Field Biology; and (3) Dr. Michelle Smith’s STEM research team to develop and implement assessment tools and share the results with the ESS faculty at large.

Both postdocs will be members of a strong cohort of ALI postdocs supported by the Cornell Center for Teaching Innovation, which offers opportunities to participate in education journal clubs and workshops. This campus-wide network will complement membership in the DNR community. To support further professional development, funding is available for postdocs to present the outcomes of their teaching and assessments at relevant education and environmental science conferences, and to publish articles in education research journals.

Qualifications: Candidates for the first position should have a PhD in science education, environmental social science, a natural science, or a related field, with a strong preference for expertise in water resources and/or climate change. Candidates for the second position should have a PhD in science education, natural resources, environmental sciences, or a related field. Demonstrated capability in teaching is required. Candidates for both positions also must have demonstrated interest or experience in creating and/or applying active learning strategies to enhance educational outcomes.

Diversity and Inclusion have been and continue to be a part of our heritage. Cornell University is an educational institution and employer that values Equal Employment Opportunities, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities.

Applications and Starting Date: Anticipated start date is 1 June 2019. Please apply via the Academic Jobs On-line website: For full consideration, qualified candidates should submit a CV, a statement of experience with teaching and course development, the names of at least three references, and a statement of contribution to diversity, equity and inclusion. Applications will be reviewed starting 8 March 2019 and will be accepted until both positions are filled.