We are looking for a post-doctoral researcher, with a strong social science background and a keen interest in agent-based modeling, to join our interdisciplinary team that aims to better understand the interactions between ticks, tick borne disease, forest management and human behavior using citizen science data.The anticipated hiring salary for this soft-money funded position is $47,000.
Background: Our project, “Developing Adaptive Forest Management Practices to Mitigate Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health,” is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. We are led by Drs. Allie Gardner (School of Biology & Ecology), Carly Sponarski (Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Conservation Biology), Jessica Leahy (School of Forest Resources), Anne Lichtenwalner (School of Food and Agriculture), and Laura Kenefic (USDA Forest Service). This post-doctoral researcher will be mentored by social scientists Drs. Jessica Leahy and Carly Sponarski, with support from the rest of team, and will have opportunities to interact with our citizen science coordinator, graduate students and undergraduate students.
Resilient agroecosystems have both healthy forests and healthy forest workers. Our project integrates natural and social science research, extension, and education to develop and test adaptive land management practices to protect private forest landowners, foresters, and loggers against exposure to tick-borne disease and to manage the spread and persistence of tick-borne disease in the forest landscape. Due to climate change, Maine has experienced a five-fold increase in incidence of Lyme disease over the past decade, providing an urgent need and a unique socio-ecological context to investigate the effects of forest management on infectious disease transmission. Forest workers are at particularly high risk of contracting tick-borne disease due to their high occupational exposure to ticks and low perceptions of tick-borne disease risk. We are conducting applied ecological research to understand the impact of timber harvesting on risk of exposure to tick-borne disease and the causal mechanisms underlying observed patterns. We are also conducting applied social science research to understand the economic, environmental, and production factors that influence private forest landowners’ decision-making processes related to land management and tick-borne disease prevention. A key integrated dataset emerging from this project is our citizen science data which will include quantitative social science surveys and tick abundance and pathogen infection prevalence data. Combined, we hope our results will be used to inform practical recommendations to mitigate the impacts of climate change on tick-borne disease transmission that are based on scientific data and compatible with landowners’ interests. One important research goal for the post-doctoral researcher is to use the citizen science data to create a prototype agent-based model that explores this coupled social-ecological system and contributes to overall project goals.
Complete Job Description
The University of Maine is a community of more than 11,200 undergraduate and graduate students, and 2,500 employees located on the Orono campus and throughout the state. UMaine is the state land and sea grant university and maintains a leadership role as the System’s flagship university. As a result, it is dedicated to providing excellent teaching, research, and service at the university, state, and national levels.
Further information about UMaine can be found at https://umaine.edu/
The University of Maine offers a wide range of benefits for employees including, but not limited to, tuition benefits (employee and dependent), comprehensive insurance coverage including medical, dental, vision, life insurance, and short and long term disability as well as retirement plan options. As a former NSF ADVANCE institution, the University of Maine is committed to diversity in our workforce and to dual-career couples.
UMaine is located in beautiful Central Maine. Many employees report that a primary reason for choosing to come to UMaine is quality of life. Numerous cultural activities, excellent public schools, safe neighborhoods, high quality medical care, little traffic, and a reasonable cost of living make the greater Bangor area a wonderful place to live.
Learn more about what the Bangor region has to offer here .
PhD in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Agriculture or Forests; Natural Resources Management; Environmental Economics; Environmental Anthropology; Ecology and Environmental Sciences; Forest Resources; Rural Sociology or related field.
A strong interest in agent-based modeling.
Prior research experience with quantitative applied social science research.
Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
Ability to develop manuscripts and deliver presentations.
Ability to work effectively with a wide range of stakeholders.
Materials must be submitted via "Apply For Position" below. You will need to create a profile and application; upload:
1.) a cover letter which describes your experience, interests, and suitability for the position 2.) a resume/curriculum vitae 3.) contact information for three professional references
You will also need to submit the affirmative action survey, the self-identification of disability form, and the self-identification of veteran status forms. Incomplete application materials cannot be considered. Materials received after the initial review date will be reviewed at the discretion of the University.
Search Timeline is as follows: Review of applications to begin: March 15, 2021 Interviews to begin no earlier than: May 1, 2021 Tentative start date: September 1, 2021
For questions about the search, please contact search committee chair Dr. Jessica Leahy (firstname.lastname@example.org .
Appropriate background checks are required.
The University of Maine is an EEO/AA employer, and does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran’s status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Amie Parker, Interim Director of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5754, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System).