Postdoctoral Fellowship in Habitat Management for Woodland Caribou, University of Northern British Columbia

ABOUT THE POSITION

The University of Northern British Columbia in collaboration with fRI Research is recruiting a postdoctoral fellow (PDF) for a 1.5-year term. The position is focused on developing strategic-level recommendations to guide forest harvesting and silvicultural prescriptions that maintain habitat for woodland caribou across managed landscapes in west-central Alberta. That includes a comparison of habitat disturbance resulting from fire and forest harvesting and the dynamics of those two disturbance types over time. The PDF will engage with university, industry and government researchers and managers to define the scope of investigation. Within that context, there is considerable latitude to define the specific research questions.

The project is supported by an extensive purpose-built set of data that describe stand conditions and vegetation communities across a range of disturbance types within areas occupied by caribou. Also, the PDF may access an extensive database of location data for caribou found across the study area. We anticipate that the PDF will produce a habitat-supply model that allows for strategic planning of forest harvest and silviculture that aids in the conservation and recovery of woodland caribou.

The PDF will be based at the University of Northern British Columbia but will work collaboratively with an interdisciplinary group of scientists and policy experts from fRI Research, the Alberta Government, and the forest industry. Ché Elkin (University of Northern BC), Chris Johnson (University of Northern BC), and Laura Finnegan (fRI Research) are the project leads. Woodland caribou is Threatened in Canada. This project provides an opportunity to conduct science that informs conservation solutions for a high-profile species. That includes working closely with foresters, biologists, and planners tasked with understanding and conserving caribou.

JOB DESCRIPTION

  • The PDF will lead research that informs our understanding of natural and anthropogenic disturbance across the range of woodland caribou in west-central Alberta, with a particular focus on forest harvest and fire. The research will inform the development of a decision-support model that provides guidance to forest management and planning.
  • The PDF will be responsible for writing and publishing collaborative peer-reviewed manuscripts as well as associated data collection and management.
  • Primary knowledge areas include wildlife-habitat relationships, disturbance ecology, spatial timber supply, and habitat modelling.
  • Knowledge of natural resource or conservation policy is an asset.
  • The PDF will have demonstrated experience with project management and collaborative science that involves quantitative analyses.

SALARY AND TERM

  • The position is for a 1.5-year term.
  • The salary is $58,000 and benefits consistent with those provided by the University of Northern BC. There are some funds for travel associated with the position.
  • The successful applicant will be based at the Prince George campus of the University of Northern BC. There may be opportunities to complete the project by distance through regular video-conference meetings with the project team.
  • The start date is negotiable, but we are targeting November 15 or earlier.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Minimum qualifications are a PhD degree that is focused on terrestrial ecology (e.g., wildlife ecology, landscape ecology, forest ecology), applied biology or ecological modelling.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills are essential.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and in a collaborative team setting.
  • Expertise in spatially-explicit simulation modelling is an asset, specifically forest growth models.
  • Demonstrated expertise with quantitative analysis. Ability to code in R or Python an asset.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
Please send a CV and cover letter to Dr. Ché Elkin (che.elkin@unbc.ca ) with the subject line “Caribou Habitat PostDoc Application”. In your cover letter briefly address how you meet each of the requirements of the position. Also, please explain your research strengths and the questions you might pursue as part of a broad effort to improve the science and policy focused on managing caribou habitat in the context of wildfire or forest harvest. If you have questions about the position, please contact Dr. Elkin.

We plan to fill the position as soon as possible.

OUR COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY AND EMPLOYMENT EQUITY
The University of Northern British Columbia is fully committed to creating and maintaining an equitable, diverse, and inclusive environment that is accessible to all. We are devoted to ensuring a welcoming, safe, and inclusive campus free from harassment, bullying, and discrimination. This commitment is woven into our motto and mission. In the Dakelh language, UNBC’s motto ‘En Cha Huná translates to “they also live” and means respect for all living things. Through the respect for all living things, we are able to grow and learn better together, each bringing our own unique individual differences and contributions to inspire leaders for tomorrow by influencing the world today.

Employment equity requires that we remove barriers and overcome both direct and indirect discrimination. In this way, the pool of excellent candidates increases substantially. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, colour, religion, sex, place of origin, age, physical disability, mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and any other prohibited grounds of discrimination as outlined in the BC Human Rights Code.

The University of Northern British Columbia is committed to employment equity and encourages applications from the four designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities) as well as the LGBTQ2+ communities and individuals with intersectional identities. Persons with disabilities, who anticipate needing accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, may contact UNBC Health & Wellbeing at wellbeing@unbc.ca. Any personal information provided will be maintained in confidence.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY

Since its founding in 1990, the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) has emerged as one of Canada’s best small research-intensive universities, with a passion for teaching, discovery, people, and the North. UNBC’s excellence is derived from community-inspired research, hands-on learning, and alumni who are leading change around the world.

Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples have walked gently on the diverse traditional territories where the University of Northern British Columbia community is grateful to live, work, learn, and play. We are committed to building and nurturing relationships with Indigenous peoples, we acknowledge their traditional lands, and we thank them for their hospitality. UNBC’s largest campus in Prince George is located on the traditional unceded territory of the Lheidli T’enneh, in the spectacular landscape near the geographic centre of beautiful British Columbia.

UNBC consistently ranks in the top three in its category in the annual Maclean’s university rankings. UNBC also recently placed among the top five per cent of higher education institutions worldwide by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. With a diverse student population, the University is friendly, inclusive, and supportive. Prince George is a city of ~80,000 people with impressive cultural, educational, and recreational amenities. For more information about living and working in Prince George, please refer to http://www.unbc.ca/experience and
https://moveupprincegeorge.ca. Make your mark with this leading post-secondary institution.

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