Spatial Ecologist

Updated: 9 months ago
Location: Fort Collins, COLORADO

Posting Details

Posting Detail Information

Working Title Spatial Ecologist
Position Location Fort Collins, CO
Research Professional Position Yes
Posting Number 201900900AP
Position Type Admin Professional/ Research Professional
Number of Vacancies
Work Hours/Week 40
Proposed Annual Salary Range 74000-84000
Desired Start Date 12/09/2019
Position End Date (if temporary)
To ensure full consideration, applications must be received by 11:59pm (MT) on 11/11/2019
Description of Work Unit

This work will be conducted at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University, working closely with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Fort Collins, Colorado. Fort Collins, located along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, is home to Colorado State University. Several state and federal agencies maintain research offices in Fort Collins, including U.S. Department of Interior (e.g., USGS, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and U.S. Department of Agriculture (e.g., Agricultural Research Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service), creating abundant opportunities for inter-agency interactions and collaborations.

Position Summary

Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory (NREL) at Colorado State University (CSU) invites applications for a research associate position. We seek a highly motivated and resourceful individual to assist with spatial analyses for a variety of ecological studies. This individual will have a thorough understanding of geographic information systems, including experience and knowledge of data management, high-level programming languages, map projections, and concepts surrounding spatial analyses pertaining to a myriad of data and ecological concepts. They will have thorough knowledge and experience working with a variety of spatial and aspatial data, including remotely sensed data, vector data, a multitude of data formats, and the integration of these data into a framework supporting time-series analyses. Due to the large volume and resolution/scale of data, most analyses will require the integration of parallel processing. Therefore, this incumbent will have experience with data and task decomposition, use of resource managers/schedulers, integration of directed acyclic graphs, and similar approaches on Windows and Linux platforms. They will have demonstrated experience and knowledge of locating, working with, and automating the retrieval of the most complete, accurate, large, and voluminous data. This individual will have experience with ESRI products (Desktop and Pro), open-source programming languages and spatial libraries (e.g., Python and R), and they will have demonstrated knowledge in adhering to code style and security standards using version control systems. Additionally, this individual will be detail-oriented, have strong organizational skills, have demonstrated experience with project-level documentation, writing manuscripts, and can work independently as well as participate within an interdisciplinary team.

This incumbent will work on various projects requiring similar experience and skills with geospatial analyses. Although not an exhaustive list, this individual will work on developing a transportation linear referencing system (via NetworkX, ogr [ogrlinref], pandas, and geopandas) incorporating the highway performance monitoring system and attributing of traffic volume, vehicle type, and road type on an annual basis with computing scalability an important factor for future efforts. They will work on time-stamping disturbances in sagebrush ecosystems (e.g., roads and well pads) using spatial queries, graph theory/connectivity concepts, or deep learning/machine learning algorithms (e.g., scikit-learn, PyTorch, TensorFlow, Theano, Keras, shapely, and gdal) with remotely sensed and ancillary data having known disturbance dates. Additionally, this individual will collect, manage and compile data (e.g., transportation, agriculture, transmission lines, oil and gas infrastructure, mining, wind energy infrastructure, fires, treatments, and housing density), which the incumbent will then use to develop multi-scaled, multi-species functional landscape connectivity in the sagebrush biome via CircuitScape/OmniScape. Similar efforts will include working with software supporting the simulation of wildfires to inform locating fuel breaks and improving the protection of sagebrush habitat.

The initial appointment will be one year, with the possibility of extension contingent on funding and mutual agreement among the research team and research associate. The target start date is 1 October 2019. Compensation will include an annual salary (commensurate with experience), benefits, and funds for travel and research expenses. This position will be based at NREL, CSU in Fort Collins, CO. Fort Collins is a unique and welcoming community with great public schools, and nearby foothills and mountains that provide a wide range of recreational opportunities.

Required Job Qualifications

Completed B.S./B.A. degree plus 10 years related experience, M.S. degree plus 5 years of experience, or Ph.D. degree plus 2 years of experience in ecology, conservation, geography or related discipline is required. Experience will include a focus on spatial analysis, statistical analyses, and high-performance computing (computer science).

Must have a valid driver’s license or the ability to obtain a driver’s license by the employment start date.

Preferred Job Qualifications

The preferred Research Associate should be proficient and able to do the following based on demonstrated work experience:
• Applicants will have demonstrated time-management skills and the ability to undertake several concurrent projects, tasks, and deadlines during work experience;
• Used time-series analyses with aspatial and spatial data;
• Used ESRI products (Desktop and Pro);
• Used open-source programming languages and spatial libraries (e.g., Python and R);
• Used version control systems and familiar with code style and security standards;
• Used resource managers/schedulers (e.g., SLURM, HTCondor) on Windows and/or Linux platforms;
• Demonstrated ability to work independently and to initiate and organize their own work;
• Has coordinated, designed, and implemented modeling different types of spatial and aspatial data that reflect multi-scale, spatially autocorrelated contexts while considering the demands and effects of decomposing data, the requirements of dependencies and use of directed acyclic graphs, and the integration into high-throughput, high-performance, and in-memory cluster environments;
• Has demonstrated experience using diverse data types and sources in multiple modeling environments to support project collaborators;
• Experience identifying and communicating problem areas with PIs and managers where resources are of concern or improvement is needed;
• Has troubleshot and resolved issues relative to spatial models and decision support systems, including configurations, data model designs, resource allocations, performance, and application programming interfaces;
• Has planned, implemented, and monitored quality and test protocols for model development of projects;
• Has co-authored peer-review journal manuscripts and has delivered oral presentations of scientific findings at meetings and conferences.

Diversity Statement

Ability to advance the department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion through research, teaching and outreach with relevant programs, goals and activities.

Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Data analysis

The individual will find and synthesize existing spatial and environmental data through space and time.

Project work will include 1) the development of temporal data via linear referencing; 2) time-stamping disturbances in sagebrush ecosystems using spatial queries, graph theory/connectivity concepts, or deep learning/machine learning algorithms with remotely sensed and ancillary data; 3) collect, manage and compile data and develop multi-scaled, multi-species functional landscape connectivity in the sagebrush biome; 4) simulate wildfires to inform locating fuel breaks and improving the protection of sagebrush habitat; and 5) similar spatial and statistical analyses as needed.

Percentage Of Time 80
Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Communications

Communication with research team on progress and outcomes, as well as, communicating results at scientific meetings.

Percentage Of Time 10
Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Publication in high-quality refereed journals

The successful candidate will work closely with lead PI’s and co-authors to disseminate research findings in high-quality peer-reviewed journal as a lead author or co-author.

Percentage Of Time 10

Application Details

Special Instructions to Applicants

For full consideration, please apply by the deadline, with a cover letter addressing the required and preferred qualifications, resume, and contact information for 3 professional references. References will not be contacted without prior notification of candidates.

Conditions of Employment Pre-employment Criminal Background Check (required for new hires), Valid Driver’s License
Search Contact Jessica Hunter,
EEO Statement

Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

The Acting Title IX Coordinator is the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, 201 Administration Building, Fort Collins, CO. 80523-8004, (970) 491-5312.

The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Associate Vice President for Human Capital, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836.

Background Check Policy Statement

Colorado State University (CSU) strives to provide a safe study, work, and living environment for its faculty, staff, volunteers and students. To support this environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations, CSU conducts background checks. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to, criminal (felony and misdemeanor) history, sex offender registry, motor vehicle history, financial history, and/or education verification. Background checks will be conducted when required by law or contract and when, in the discretion of the university, it is reasonable and prudent to do so.

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