Cornell University, Lab of Ornithology

Position ID:Cornell-Lab-CCB4524NPS [#27049, WDR-00042608]
Position Title: Postdoctoral Associate - Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14850, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Areas: Biology
Ecology
Ornithology
Statistics
Appl Deadline:2024/02/15 11:59PMhelp popup filled (posted 2024/01/22, listed until 2024/02/29)
Position Description:    

*** the listing date or deadline for this position has passed and new applications are no longer accepted. ***

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Cornell University
Ithaca NY

Postdoctoral Associate

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply. 

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is a pioneer of purpose-driven science and home to Cornell University’s second largest population of students, faculty and staff. We work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through world-renowned research, education and outreach. The questions we probe and the answers we seek focus on three overlapping concerns: natural and human systems; food, energy and environmental resources; and social, physical and economic well-being.  CALS is fundamentally invested in improving the lives of people, their environments and their communities both in New York state and around the world. 

About Us: 

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is a global leader in ornithological and biodiversity research and conservation and is also known for its vibrant postdoc community. Within the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics (Yang Center) is known for developing and applying novel bioacoustics techniques to biodiversity conservation. The Yang Center's main pillars include ecological research, hardware and software engineering, and global capacity building. We are an interdisciplinary, multi-PI research endeavor filled with passionate individuals from various backgrounds dedicated to conserving a wide diversity of marine and terrestrial taxa and ecosystems around the world.

The Cornell Lab is an inclusive community and we recognize that a diverse workforce creates more innovative and impactful work to address global challenges. We are committed to fostering a healthy workplace that values diverse perspectives and backgrounds as well as supporting growth and advancement opportunities. The Lab welcomes staff who are still learning in their careers and who are motivated to take on new challenges.

Position Function

Within the Yang Center, the Postdoctoral Associate will work closely with Assistant Director, Dr. Laurel Symes, and collaborators at the National Park Service (Dr. Aaron Weed), Dartmouth College (Dr. Matt Ayres and graduate student Pooja Panwar), University of Windsor (Dr. Hannah ter Hofstede) and Colby Sawyer College (Dr. David Lutz). Across the collaborative group, we span expertise in domains including bird and bat ecology, forestry and forest stewardship, bioacoustics, statistics and computer and data science.

The mission of the National Park Service (NPS) is to preserve, protect, and maintain the integrity of park ecosystems for the enjoyment of future generations, and this relies upon science-based information on species distributions, habitat associations, and responses to disturbance. The Postdoctoral Associate will work closely with an established collaborative team to support the mission of the NPS through analysis and interpretation of bioacoustic data.

Since 2006, the NPS Northeast Temperate Inventory and Monitoring Network has annually monitored forest birds using volunteers to assess status, trends and drivers of change in breeding populations in forested ecosystems within NPS parks. Point count data are collected annually at roughly 240 permanent forested sites within nine parks. Since 2021, the data collection protocol has been augmented by the deployment of passive acoustic recording equipment, providing opportunities to leverage the strengths of each data type and to compare findings.

Bioacoustics approaches have progressed substantially in the past decades, with rapid increases in the capacity for data collection, and advances in the tools available to process these recordings. The Postdoctoral Associate will work with the research team to implement and evaluate acoustic analysis approaches. Key activities will include: 

  1. Organizing and mentoring undergraduate students to annotate recordings.
  2. Applying the BirdNET algorithm (https://birdnet.cornell.edu), a machine learning approach that identifies vocalizations of birds and other species.
  3. Evaluating model performance by species, region, and time of year, and establishing species specific detection thresholds.

In addition to these core functions, we anticipate that the Postdoctoral Associate will develop and publish research using these bioacoustics data to answer jointly developed questions. Potential research areas include occupancy modeling, refinement of methods of detecting rare species, analysis of habitat associations, site comparisons, phenology, and other questions that connect to and build on the expertise and interests of the Postdoctoral Associate. 

In addition to working with external collaborators, the Postdoctoral Associate will work closely with scientists in the Yang Center and other programs at the Lab. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology also attracts many knowledgeable and passionate undergraduate students. For candidates passionate about student mentorship, there are many opportunities to work with students to provide research training and collaborate on projects and publications. 

Anticipated Division of Time

  • Recruiting, training, and mentoring undergraduate students to ensure quality of data and student experience (20%).
  • Applying and evaluating the BirdNET algorithm, presenting findings as white paper and/or publication (20%).
  • Working with project team to propose and conduct data analysis and prepare findings for publication. Presenting results at professional meetings, conferences, and/or public events (30%).
  • Developing funding proposals (15%).
  • Coordinating stakeholders, including meeting with collaborators, organizing working group meetings and/or workshops (10%).
  • Participating in career and professional development opportunities. Engaging in the academic and intellectual life at the Lab of Ornithology and Cornell University (5%).

Term of position:

This is a one-year appointment with possible extension depending on available work, funding and performance. The ideal start date is February 2024, but applicants available to start as late as Summer 2024 will be considered.

Requirements:

  • A Ph.D. in biological or ecological sciences, statistics, or other relevant field
  • Capacity and desire to engage in student mentorship
  • Ability to conduct research from conception to completion
  • Strong writing skills and publication record for the professional stage of the applicant
  • Familiarity with the ecology and vocalizations of New England birds 
  • Ability to work collaboratively and effectively with a distributed team
  • Strong communication skills and proficiency in spoken and written English
  • Respect for and sensitivity to differences of culture, identity, and background in the workplace and with external stakeholders

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Quantitative skills and experience with terrestrial population modeling, particularly in an occupancy framework 
  • Expertise in New England forest bird identification and ecology
  • Strong background in statistical approaches
  • Experience conducting simulation-based power analyses
  • Experience with grant writing and proposal development
  • Other beneficial qualifications include: GIS skills, field experience with birds (particularly of Northeastern United States), familiarity with Bayesian statistics, experience working with large acoustic datasets, experience analyzing remotely sensed data, familiarity with machine learning tools

Supervision Exercised:

The Postdoctoral Associate will supervise undergraduate students and will have the opportunity to contribute to the informal mentoring of graduate students.

This position is located in Ithaca, New York. Local personnel will have the flexibility to work on a hybrid schedule with opportunities to work on-site and from home.

To Apply: 

Please apply via Academic Jobs Online (https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/27049). Applications received by February 15, 2024 will be guaranteed consideration.

Qualified candidates should submit a short cover letter, curriculum vitae, research statement, contact information for three references, and a statement supporting diverse communities (this can be a stand-alone document (preferred) or the information can be embedded in other parts of the application materials) outlining how, through research, teaching, service, mentoring, extension, and/or outreach, the candidate has and will contribute to support Cornell’s historical mission of “any person … any study,” via the website. 

Applications will be reviewed as received, continuing until a suitable applicant is identified. Questions may be directed to Dr. Laurel Symes, LBS233@cornell.edu.

CALS hiring range for this position  is commensurate with experience, from $56,484 to $64,000 per year and includes benefits. 

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Life. Changing.

Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League and Land-grant university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

 Cornell’s regional and global presence includes state-wide Cornell Cooperative Extension programs and offices in all counties and boroughs, global partnerships with institutions and communities engaged in life-changing research and education, the medical college’s campuses on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Doha, Qatar, and the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in the heart of New York City.

 Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, and we do not tolerate discrimination based on any protected characteristic, including race, ethnic or national origin, citizenship and immigration status, color, sex/gender, pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, age, creed, religion, actual or perceived disability (including persons associated with such a person), arrest and/or conviction record, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender expression and/or identity, an individual’s genetic information, domestic violence victim status, familial status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations in accordance with applicable law. 




Familiarize yourself with Cornell’s COVID-19 workplace guidance as well as the university’s COVID-19 services and information

Employment Assistance:

For specific questions about the position or application process, please contact the Recruiter listed in the job posting or for general questions email mycareer@cornell.edu.

If you require an accommodation for a disability in order to complete an employment application or to participate in the recruiting process, you are encouraged to contact Cornell University's Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX at voice (607) 255-2242, or email at equity@cornell.edu.

Applicants that do not have internet access are encouraged to visit your local library, or local Department of Labor. You may also request an appointment to use a dedicated workstation in the Office of Talent Attraction and Recruitment, at the Ithaca campus, by emailing mycareer@cornell.edu.

Please read the required Notice to Applicants statement by clicking here. This notice contains important information about applying for a position at Cornell as well as some of your rights and responsibilities as an applicant.

EEO Statement:

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, and we do not tolerate discrimination based on any protected characteristic, including race, ethnic or national origin, citizenship and immigration status, color, sex/gender, pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, age, creed, religion, actual or perceived disability (including persons associated with such a person), arrest and/or conviction record, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender expression and/or identity, an individual’s genetic information, domestic violence victim status, familial status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations in accordance with applicable law. 

Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff to all identities and backgrounds. We encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

Pay Ranges:

The hiring rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined considering the following criteria:

  • Prior relevant work or industry experience.
  • Education level to the extent education is relevant to the position.
  • Academic Discipline (faculty pay ranges reflects 9-month annual salary)
  • Unique applicable skills.


Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
email address
607-255-3087
 
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, New York 14850