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Taking the Pulse of Our Planet

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Postdoctoral research position at the USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center

Pre-announcement for a 3-year funded postdoctoral research position in species’ adaptive capacity and vulnerability to climate change

An exciting research opportunity is opening at the USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center on the Montana State University campus for a passionate postdoctoral researcher interested in patterns of species vulnerability and resilience to contemporary climate change, as they relate to adaptive capacity. Adaptive capacity (AC) has been described as one of three main elements that influence vulnerability to climate change, in addition to exposure and sensitivity. Primary components of AC include dispersal and colonization abilities, evolutionary capacity, and phenotypic plasticity. Because AC is poorly understood, it has often been excluded from climate change vulnerability assessments, and natural resource managers are hindered in their ability to consider AC in various analyses and conservation planning activities and decisions. The successful applicant will draw from diverse literatures (e.g., genetics, ecophysiology, evolutionary biology, conservation biology), and from interactions with state and federal resource managers, other conservation practitioners, university and agency researchers, and NGO scientists to identify knowledge, management needs, and scientific gaps with regards to adaptive capacity. Well-developed interpersonal skills, a strong work ethic, and a desire to collaborate with agency scientists, resource managers, and university researchers from across the nation and world are required for success in this exceptional opportunity. The researcher will lead the organization, progress, and completion of several peer-reviewed publications, and be centrally involved in organizing two workshops and using input from numerous resource managers and researchers to develop a framework that will help natural resource managers and other conservation practitioners assess the likely AC of species within a local or regional biota in response to ongoing and projected climate change.


The successful candidate will be hired as a GS-11 Biologist after a nation-wide announcement on USAJOBS, and will be eligible for a benefits package. More information on benefits for USGS employees can be found at: 


At their earliest convenience (ideally before 29 May 2016), highly qualified and interested individuals should contact Dr. Erik A. Beever (; +1-406-994-7670) and send your CV and a ~1-page statement of interest that outlines pertinent experience, general qualifications, and your graduate degrees and topics. Do not include your social security # or phone # in these documents. Previous experience with ecological or species’ responses to contemporary climate change, disturbance ecology, and species endangerment, as well as evidence of initiative, innovation, leadership, and sustained productivity in publications are important skillsets for this opportunity. General information on the project is available at (on the “Science” tab), and information on the researcher in whose lab the position will be physically located is at . His publication list is at .

Information about the Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center can be found at and about its research staff at .

Opportunity within the NCO: