Postdoc on urban social-ecological systems in Boston

A postdoctoral position is available to examine urban greening as a key form of urban land use-land cover change in the greater metro region of Boston, MA. The project involves an interdisciplinary team of social-ecological system researchers at UMass Amherst and 7 other institutions, including Clark University and the Urban Ecology Institute. The successful candidate will be an integral member of this team and will conduct spatial analysis on the current state of green infrastructure and greening interventions in the Boston Metropolitan area.

Research involving the postdoc may include some or all of the following:

  • current and historical patterns of land use and land cover
  • urban food webs and invasive species
  • analysis of river networks and water quality
  • public health issues
  • future scenarios for the Boston Metropolitan area

The successful applicant must be adept at working with multiple researchers with varying interests in urban ecology, including geographers, landscape and urban planners, ecologists, and environmental educators. Strong communication skills are also required for coordinating interviews and meetings. In addition to supporting the overall project, candidates will be encouraged to develop their own research agenda within the project scope.

The preferred start date is January 2011, although there may be some flexibility. The primary location for the postdoc will be at UMass Amherst, but substantial time will need to be spent at other host institutions, and in the city of Boston. This is a one-year position, with the possible extension to two years. Applicants must have relevant Ph.D. experience in ecology, geography, landscape planning, or conservation biology, and be eager to work in an interdisciplinary team with the other scientists on the project. Prior experience with integrating socio-ecology into urban ecosystems is desirable. Candidates with expertise with GIS, modeling, and scenario building, are encouraged to apply.

Review of applicants will begin July 31, 2010, and continue until the position is filled. Applicants should submit (electronically) a cover letter that highlights the applicant’s skills and abilities in areas relevant to this project; curriculum vitae; a one or two page statement of experience as it relates to the stated project goals; a maximum of five sample reprints/preprints (electronic versions); and names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of three references. A copy of the grant proposal supporting this project is available on request. Applications should be sent (e-mail preferred) to: Paige Warren (, Department of Natural Resources Conservation, Holdsworth Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003.

The University provides an intellectual environment committed to providing academic excellence and diversity. The University is committed to increasing the diversity of the faculty, student body and the curriculum The University of Massachusetts is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and members of minority groups are encouraged to apply.

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