University of Northern British Colombia Position Ph.D. Research Assistantship in Cumulative Impacts of Land Cover Change
The University of Northern British Columbia is seeking a Ph.D. student to work with an interdisciplinary team engaged in the NASA-funded project “Maintaining Life on Land (SDG15) under Scenarios of Land Use and Climate Change in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru”. Under the supervision of the Principle Investigators, the student will develop and execute methods for forecasting the impacts of changing human pressures on ecosystem values in the region. The work will be done to support decision making by relevant ministries in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru regarding Sustainable Development Goal 15. The student is expected to work in collaboration with full project team including two Ph.D. students at the Montana State University and Northern Arizona University. This a 1.0 FTE Ph.D. Research Assistantship position that is expected to be available for a four year period. In addition to the assistantship, limited funds for travel to collaborate with partners will be provided. The intended start data is September 2019 or sooner. Students must meet the entry requirements for UNBC Natural Resource and Environmental Studies PhD Program (https://www.unbc.ca/nres-graduate-program/phd), which includes an MSc degree, English language proficiency and a minimum GPA. Duties Assess the needs of the collaborating countries with regards to SDG15 regarding human pressures to ecosystems. Adapt global Human Footprint maps of cumulative pressure using national and regional datasets. Compile predictor data sets that include biophysical and socio-economic drivers of human pressure for a historic calibration period and future scenarios. Develop statistical functions for the historic period relating changing patterns in Human Footprint with potential drivers. Use the statistical functions to forecast future human footprint and biodiversity impacts. Analyze and interpret the results with regards to conservation strategies aimed at meeting the SDG15 targets identified by each collaborating country. Perform spatial and statistical analyses using Esri products, Google Earth Engine, R, and other software; Contribute to the writing and preparation of scientific publications; Manage, archive, and serve numerous large data sets; Maintain the lab web pages; Coordinate multidisciplinary research teams; and Prepare maps, graphics, resource briefs and other visuals for communication to diverse audiences. Required Qualifications: M.Sc. in ecology or related field; Demonstrated understanding of or aptitude for attaining and understanding theory and application in ecology and human threats to ecosystems. Strong training, experience, or aptitude in spatial analysis and statistical techniques. Interest and/or experience in working with natural resource managers on national-scale conservation application and reporting. Potential to execute and publish ecological research; Experience in working on integrated science teams. Desired Qualifications Proficiency in or aptitude for learning Spanish Demonstrated proficiency in the use of Esri products, Google Earth Engine, Python, and/or R. Experience in publishing peer reviewed scientific papers; Successful collaborations with large research teams; Experience in managing large data bases. Application Procedures: Email a letter of interest, C.V., and the names and contact information of three references by March 1 2019 to oscar.ven...@unbc.ca. Address the email to: Oscar Venter Ecosystem Science and Management Program University of Northern British Columbia Prince George, BC, Canada, V2N 4Z9 http://oscarventer.net/people/ The position is contingent upon funding and will remain open until a qualified applicant is recruited.