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Postdoctoral Fellow in Ecohydrology and Aquatic Resources

William & Mary’s Global Research Institute (GRI) and Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) seek a Postdoctoral Fellow with expertise in geospatial hydrology and aquatic resources to work with Drs. Kunwar Singh (GRI-AidData) and Mary Fabrizio (VIMS – Department of Fisheries Science). The fellow position is a part of the Nepal Water Initiative, a collaborative effort of VIMS, GRI, and the Institute for Integrative Conservation (IIC), established for exploring the complex interactions among natural resources, livelihood systems, and climate scenarios in Nepal for developing strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change through interdisciplinary and pluralistic institutional approaches.

The fellow will primarily focus on exploring the baseline status of natural resources and changes in those resources due to anthropogenic activities under a changing climate, as well as the effects of long-term changes on freshwater fishes of Nepal. Mounting human pressure on Nepal’s natural resources, combined with its mountainous terrain and social vulnerability, makes the country particularly vulnerable to climate change. Freshwater fishes are threatened by natural resource depletion and degradation of aquatic habitats, as well as climate-related effects. Therefore, we are especially interested in understanding the role that variability in seasonal water availability plays in maintaining suitable habitats for aquatic species in the region. The fellow will focus on reproducible science through cloud computing and a built-in data catalog and ground observations to create baseline data on land change, water resources, and changes in floodplain connectivity. The fellow will develop survey protocols and apply outcomes to explore the role of seasonal water variability in maintaining habitats for aquatic species.

Position responsibilities include development of a research plan; development of conceptual approaches and sampling protocols; collection of data from field studies in Nepal; statistical analyses; preparation of manuscripts describing results; and coordination of meetings with research teams from IIC, VIMS, and GRI. The project will involve travel to present at scientific conferences, as well as to accomplish field-based studies in Nepal as necessary. The specific responsibilities include:

  • Utilize cloud computing (e.g., Google Earth Engine-GEE) and a built-in data catalog and data collected from surveys to create a baseline time-series database of land change, water resources, and changes in floodplain connectivity.
  • Process and analyze data on river discharge, climate, and from weather stations.
  • Engage with undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds through training, hands-on exercises, and applied research.
  • Develop protocols for household and field surveys, including IRB approvals if required.
  • Communicate findings to scientists and the public, including publication in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at conferences.
  • Develop materials to train local communities and engage with students from diverse backgrounds on a project through training, hands-on exercises, and applied research.

The fellow will receive an annual salary of $55k and W&M’s medical and retirement benefits. In addition, the fellow will have access to a research fund of $33k and $5k to attend conferences. Most of the research fund will be used to hire Research Assistants, as working with and mentoring undergraduate students is part of the responsibility of the fellow position.

Inquiries should be directed to Dr. Kunwar Singh (ksingh@aiddata.wm.edu) or Dr. Mary Fabrizio (mfabrizio@vims.edu).

This position is in Williamsburg, Virginia. This is a 12-month position, and renewable for a second-year contingent on performance. The position will be open until filled, with a review of applicants beginning on February 17, 2023.

Required Qualifications

At the time of appointment, the applicant will have a PhD, from an accredited institution, in physical geography, ecohydrology, geospatial science, natural resources, aquatic science or similar with a research focus on the intersection of geospatial analysis and ecology with a preference for aquatic ecology, and a strong publication record. The fellow must have proven abilities to conduct related research projects and to work as part of a scientific team.

Preferred Qualifications

Preference will be given to applicants with:

  • advanced programming skills with language and tools such as GEE, R, and Python.
  • experience analyzing large data sets with cloud technologies and platforms.
  • training or experience in ecohydrological modeling.
  • experience applying statistical analysis to model natural resources under changing climate.
  • proven communication, team building, and organizational skills.
  • experience working in a collaborative environment.
  • experience and/or ability to lead a research project and independently develop new directions.
  • proven interest and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in the sciences.
  • experience and/or ability to develop research collaboration & co-production of knowledge with international communities (i.e., local communities in Nepal).

Application Instructions

For more details and to apply, please visit the position listing at the William & Mary Employment Opportunities portal. There, click Apply for this Job to apply with the required application materials.

Application materials should include: (1) a cover letter identifying availability for this position; (2) a 1-page statement describing relevant experiences and research interests; (3) a pdf of a peer-reviewed publication; (4) a full curriculum vitae; and (5) the names, addresses (including titles and institutions), email addresses, and telephone numbers of three references.

For full consideration, submit application materials by the review date, February 17, 2023. Applications received after the review date will be considered if needed.

Inquiries should be directed to Dr. Kunwar Singh (ksingh@aiddata.wm.edu) or Dr. Mary Fabrizio (mfabrizio@vims.edu).

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

William & Mary values diversity and invites applications from underrepresented groups who will enrich the research, teaching, and service missions of the university. William & Mary is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and encourages applications from women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.