Summary: The Yellowstone to Yukon vision is an interconnected system of wild lands and waters stretching from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to the northern Yukon, harmonizing the needs of people with those of nature.  As well as providing wildlife habitat and holding important ecological values, outdoor spaces are places where people recreate. Identifying how and where people and wildlife co-occur in landscapes is an important part of “large landscape” conservation. This multi-year applied research project is concluding its second year. This 2-year position will build on the first phase of the project that focused on identifying and mapping where people recreate in the Y2Y region, and beginning to compile and model the ecological impacts of different types and intensities of recreation use. In phase two, the focus will be on finalizing and testing functional models of disturbance from recreation; expanding the models to include additional areas of human use and species of interest; and working closely with partners to translate the data into information systems that can inform policy and management decisions. The position is ideal for landscape and recreation ecologists or conservation scientists with strong geospatial and modeling skills and the desire to conduct & communicate applied research that informs conservation. https://blogs.unbc.ca/recreationecology/

Project description:  The University of Northern British Columbia (Dr. Pamela Wright, UNBC) and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Dr. Aerin Jacob, Y2Y) seek one postdoctoral fellow to work on this two-year funded project. The appointee will lead a team of researchers and partners to:

develop a spatially explicit database of motorized/non-motorized trails used for nature-based recreation in the Y2Y region, acquired via partnerships, remotely sensed data, and digitization; working from primary and grey literature, and potentially with subject matter experts, review recreation ecology impacts on selected wildlife species and ecosystem components of conservation concern; and, develop functional models of disturbance in the Y2Y region, e.g., where structural habitat exists but recreation-related disturbance affects specific species or ecosystem components.

This position is ideal for a collaborative self-starter committed to applied research and actionable science, and with outstanding interpersonal and project management skills. It is anticipated that the appointee will work closely with Y2Y and UNBC researchers, staff, and partners to learn about transboundary conservation and how research can inform conservation and management. Activities may include grant writing and reporting, supervising students and/or technicians, and related technical and non-technical outreach and professional development.

Qualifications: Ph.D. in geography, ecology, or conservation-related natural sciences with strong geospatial and modeling skills. An interest and background in wildlife ecology, recreation or road ecology is an asset, as are experience conducting and communicating landscape-level, collaborative research to inform planning.

Essential skills and experience include: 

  • Proficient in ESRI ArcGIS and R; experience creating and managing large spatial databases, analyzing and mapping spatial and temporal data, generating predictive models using count data (e.g. GLM, GLMM), understand model selection and multi-model inferences, working with complex ecological data including resource/step selection functions and species distribution models, satellite imagery and remote sensing data
  • Publication record (e.g., led writing of journal articles, book chapters, funder/agency reports)
  • Collaborative approach (especially non-academic) and project management

Desired skills and experience include:

  • Leading large projects to completion, supervising undergraduate students or technicians
  • Literature reviews and meta-analyses
  • Working with government, community, and/or non-profit partners
  • Science communication and outreach (including technical and non-technical audiences)
  • Experience with R-Shiny would be considered an asset

We welcome applications from people who identify as part of marginalized, minoritized, and/or other under-represented groups.

Setting: Based at the Y2Y head office in Canmore, Alberta with significant time spent at the UNBC campus in Prince George, British Columbia; some travel within the Y2Y region. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, remote work is supported until such time as the Y2Y head office reopens.

Start date: The appointee will preferably start on or before September 1, 2021.

Salary range: $55,000-60,000 CAD per year for two years commensurate with qualifications and experience. Second year of funding contingent upon successful progress in year 1.

To apply: Applications must include a cover letter (addressing your interest and experience in the topic, explaining how you meet both the essential and desired qualifications, and relationship to career goals), CV, and contact information for three references. Documents/materials must be submitted in a single PDF file (“Y2YPostdoc-FirstNameLastName.pdf”) with the position title as the subject header to pamela.wright@unbc.ca. Questions about disability-related accommodations during the application and/or interview process may be directed to Simon Ongom, Y2Y Financial Controller, simon@y2y.net.

Closing date: Deadline May 20, 2021 or until position is filled with interviews anticipated in June 2021.

Web posting: www.y2y.net/careers