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Montana State University Postdoctoral Researcher in Bozeman, Montana

Position Details

Position Information

Announcement Number STAFF - VA - 23149

For questions regarding this position, please contact:

Julie Hager

Classification Title Postdoctoral Researcher

Working Title Postdoctoral Researcher

Brief Position Overview

Position Number 4C2740

Department Animal & Range Sciences

Division College of Agriculture/MAES

Appointment Type Professional

Contract Term Fiscal Year


If other, specify From date

If other, specify End date

FLSA Exempt

Union Affiliation

FTE 1.0

Benefits Eligible Eligible

Salary $54,000 to $57,500 annually, commensurate with experience, education, and qualifications

Contract Type LOA

If other, please specify

Recruitment Type Open

Position Details

General Statement

We have an exciting applied-research opportunity for a passionate postdoctoral researcher interested in the ecology and community dynamics of grassland and shrubland birds, plus vegetation composition and structure, under different livestock-grazing regimes at multiple scales. Numerous partners are interested in evaluating the ability of traditional and several emerging grazing strategies (e.g., active herding, virtual fencing, and open-gate rotation) to balance trade-offs in economic viability for livestock producers while maintaining ecological integrity in the short and longer terms.

Livestock grazing is the most-pervasive land use across Montana, and grazing management remains one of the major issues affecting public-land management. Amidst invasive grasses, increasing frequency of drought, and other challenges, finding solutions requires collaborations that are well informed by field data, analyses, and grassroots efforts with private- and public-land managers. Across shrub-steppe and grassland systems of western North America, many bird species associated with these vegetation communities are experiencing pervasive declines. Such species include Sprague’s Pipit, Thick-billed Longspur, Chestnut-collared Longspur, Long-billed curlew, and Baird’s Sparrow, as well as Brewer’s Sparrow, Sagebrush Sparrow, and Sage Thrasher.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Spearhead the implementation of the various grazing strategies at multiple spatial scales

  • Liaise as ambassador for the project with diverse partners

  • Exhibit flexibility, organization, innovation, and positive attitude amidst logistical and other constraints

  • Engage with the local conservation community, and balance contributing synergistically to other projects of the Lead Researchers with championing this project

  • Ensure attention to detail in measurement and management of data on multiple ecosystem indicators

  • Lead publication of key results in peer-reviewed journals.

    Required Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills

  • Ph.D. in range science, aridlands ecology, wildlife ecology, natural-resources management, conservation biology, or related fields (applicants with dissertation date scheduled within 5 months of applying may be considered)

  • Previous, relevant field-research experience, and evidence of leading successful research effort(s)

  • Well developed analytical skillset, including experience in a subset of multivariate statistics (e.g., for analyses of plant and bird composition), information-theoretic analyses (e.g., using AIC , BIC , etc.), mixed-effects modeling, spatial statistics (or proficiency in GIS ), multiple-linear-regression and -logistic-regression analyses, (deeper exposure to Bayesian statistics is a plus), in R or analogous analysis platforms


Preferred Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills

  • Have well-developed interpersonal skills and sound decision-making to work effectively in remote, high-elevation landscapes inhabited by grizzly bears (in 1 of the 2 research domains)

  • Experience and a desire to collaborate with private ranchers, state and federal land managers, and university and federal-agency researchers in a multidisciplinary environment

  • Familiarity with the semi-arid grassland and shrubland ecosystems of the northern USA , plus familiarity with working landscapes for conservation

    The Successful Candidate Will

  • Have a productive publication record in peer-reviewed journals (including papers in review)

  • Have excellent written, oral, and interpersonal communications skills

  • Have evidence of a strong work ethic

  • Be highly self-motivated

  • Have a desire to mentor budding professionals

  • Possess intellectual inquisitiveness and open-mindedness; and

  • Have the ability to work both independently and collaboratively with coworkers

  • Possess a problem-solving outlook and approach, on short and longer time scales

  • Be able to provide unbiased investigation of our questions and hypotheses of interest

    Position Special Requirements/Additional Information

This job description should not be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or requirements, but a general description of the job. Nothing contained herein restricts Montana State University’s rights to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

Physical Demands

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily with or without reasonable accommodations. The requirements listed in this description are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

This position has supervisory duties? No

Posting Detail Information

Number of Vacancies

Desired Start Date

Position End Date (if temporary)

Open Date

Close Date

Applications will be:

Screening of applications will begin on November 18, 2022; however, applications will continue to be accepted until an adequate applicant pool has been established.

Special Instructions

To apply apply for this position, please upload the following documents:

1.) Cover Letter

2.) CV that includes include publication record (including papers in review)

Diversity Statement

Montana State University values diverse perspectives and is committed to continually supporting, promoting and building an inclusive and culturally diverse campus environment. MSU recognizes the importance of work-life integration and strives to be responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

In compliance with the Montana Veteran’s Employment Preference Act, MSU provides preference in employment to veterans, disabled veterans, and certain eligible relatives of veterans. To claim veteran’s preference please complete the veteran’s preference information located in the Demographics section of your profile.

MSU’s Non-Discrimination Policy and Discrimination Grievance Procedures can be located on the MSU Website: