Announcements > Post-doc position U Montana with Brian Chaffin

The W.A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation at the University of Montana seeks applicants for a 12-month postdoctoral research associate position. The postdoc will work directly with Associate Professor Dr. Brian Chaffin in the Department of Society & Conservation on a NSF EPSCoR-funded research project titled "Resilience Informatics for the Convergence of Critical Capacities to Address Regional-scale Environmental Change." This research collaboration between investigators at the University of Montana and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln leverages large-scale ecological data and social data collected through multiple iterations of landowner and conservation professional surveys to better understand and respond to landscape-scale social-ecological transitions. The postdoctoral researcher will work with team members to better understand how individuals (e.g., landowners, land managers, conservation professionals) across rural, working landscapes in the American West perceive pressing conservation challenges and respond to these challenges through social networks, individual action, and collective action.

The successful applicant will engage as a critical member of the social science team, working to compliment the big data approaches of the biophysical science team through: analysis of large, publicly-available social datasets for analysis of spatial patterns and temporal trends; and analysis of previously collected survey data from agricultural producers and conservation professionals in Montana and Nebraska aimed at better understanding local conservation practices and decision-making. The successful candidate will have: (1) strong theoretical foundations in a social science discipline including but not limited to geography, anthropology, sociology, or interdisciplinary conservation or environmental social sciences; (2) familiarity with complexity thinking and social-ecological resilience concepts; (3) proficiency with social science mail and internet survey methodologies including analysis and publication of survey data; and (4) strong writing ability and the desire to write for peer-reviewed publication. Candidates proficient in quantitative social data analysis tools in coding environments such as R, Python, MatLab, etc., and/or familiar with critical approaches to social data analysis are encouraged to apply. The postdoctoral associate will collaborate and coordinate weekly with postdoctoral associates and other team members at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, serving as a link between project partners and research nodes. The postdoctoral research associate will receive training and mentorship in interdisciplinary, team-based, social-ecological research and will be encouraged and funded to pursue external training in research tools and analytical skills that both meet the needs of the project and satisfy the postdoc's professional goals.

The University of Montana is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and has a strong institutional commitment to the principle of diversity in all areas. In that spirit, we are particularly interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of qualified people who would assist the University in demonstrating its five priorities for action: Place student success at the center of all we do; drive excellence and innovation in teaching, learning, and research; embody the principle of "mission first, people always"; partner with place; and proudly tell the UM story.

Required Qualifications
PhD in social sciences with emphasis in conservation or environmental social science
ABD applicants will be considered, but confirmation of PhD is required prior to start
Applicants with diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply
Applicants must be able to clearly communicate complex ideas in writing and be willing to learn in a fast-paced, self-directed environment
Evidence of publishing in academic journals is required

Preferred Qualifications
Experience analyzing and publishing social science survey data
Experience with a quantitative data analysis packages (i.e., R, Python, MatLab) and/or proficiency with ArcGIS (or open-source GIS software)
Experience with and/or a strong desire to engage theories of social-ecological resilience and critical approaches to social science

Priority application date is March 14th, 2023. Full job description and information on 'how to apply' can be found here:

Please direct all inquiries to