USGS Post-Doctoral Research – Quantitative Ecologist focused on
continental-scale sample design for monarch butterflies and the resources
that sustain them

The United States Geological Survey is recruiting a post-doctoral scientist
in quantitative ecology for a USGS Monarch Conservation Science Partnership
project focused on developing a continental-scale sample design for monarch
butterflies and the resources that sustain them. The appointment is
anticipated for 2.5 years.
 at the GS-11 level (ca. US$
 per year, plus benefits; official salary level listed in official job
announcement). The post-doc will work with project lead Wayne Thogmartin
(USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center [UMESC]), and will
collaborate with other scientists in the partnership as well, including Jay
Diffendorfer and Darius Semmens (both of USGS Geosciences and Environmental
Change Science Center), Ralph Grundel (USGS Great Lakes Science Center),
and Laura Lopez-Hoffman (University of Arizona). The position is located in
La Crosse, WI, at UMESC.

The successful candidate will support the project by taking lead and
collaborative roles in:
1) Developing and mapping a spatially balanced and stratified master sample
for the regions of the U.S. using a Generalized Random Tessellation
Stratified sampling framework. Development of this sample could involve
incorporation of cluster sample considerations to minimize travel among
locations. Coordination of the sample design for the monarch butterfly with
the North American Bat Monitoring Program will likely be essential.
2) Conducting power analyses for attributes collected according to the
proposed sample design. Such analyses might examine tradeoffs between
spatial intensity versus temporal intensity (e.g., sampling alternate years
at a larger number of locations versus a smaller set of continuously
sampled locations); consequences of cluster arrangements; and
identification of the extent to which portions of the landscape are
sufficiently sampled under presumed levels of spatial and temporal
variability and proposed sample sizes.
3) Summarizing data from pilot monitoring activities to inform development
and implementation of the proposed sample design.
4) Evaluating the potential for existing monarch butterfly monitoring
programs, such as Monarch Larvae Monitoring Program and Journey North, to
satisfy sampling of portions of the landscape and identify attributes
needed to draw statistically robust inferences, once those data sources are
embedded within the master sample.

Applicants should possess strong skills in sample design, the R programming
language, and experience publishing in peer-reviewed journals. Experience
modeling wildlife populations, understanding of Bayesian statistics, and
experience working on large, collaborative research projects is also
desirable.  Prior experience with monarch butterflies is preferred, but not
a necessary condition for this position.

For more information and for submission of application, please see

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