Cornell University, Lab of Ornithology

Position ID:Cornell-Lab-CCB_POSTDOC_ASSOC_WESTUS [#27459, WDR-00044544]
Position Title: Postdoctoral Associate: Endangered Bird Conservation in the Western U.S., Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14850, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Areas: Ecology
Biology
Statistics
Appl Deadline:2024/08/01 11:59PMhelp popup (posted 2024/04/05, listed until 2024/08/01)
Position Description:    

Postdoctoral Associate: Endangered Bird Conservation in the Western U.S.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is a pioneer of purpose-driven science and Cornell University’s second largest college. 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: We believe that achieving next-generation scientific breakthroughs requires an understanding of the world’s complex, interlocking systems. We believe that access to nutritious food and a healthy environment is a fundamental human right. We believe that ensuring a prosperous global future depends on the ability to support local people and communities everywhere. By working in and across multiple scientific areas, CALS can address challenges and opportunities of the greatest relevance, here in New York, across the nation, and around the world.

The Cornell Lab is a global leader in ornithological research & conservation and is currently home to a vibrant community of several dozen postdoctoral associates working across all programs. We strive to provide a supportive and collaborative environment for this community that fosters personal growth and career advancement. Within the Lab, the Yang Center (https://bioacoustics.cornell.edu) is defined by its application of bioacoustic techniques to biodiversity conservation. Ecological research, hardware and software engineering, and global capacity building are the Yang Center's pillars of bioacoustic innovation. 

The incumbent will join a lab group in the Yang Center run by Dr. Connor Wood (connormwood.com) to advance the conservation of two highly imperiled bird species: the Pinyon Jay and the Spotted Owl in Southern California. Both have declined by 50% or more in recent decades, yet cohesive monitoring programs have been lacking. The incumbent will lead the analysis of data from nascent passive acoustic monitoring efforts for both species to facilitate proactive habitat restoration efforts and other measures to help arrest or even reverse ongoing population declines. 


Position Function

Both the Pinyon Jay and California Spotted Owl are under consideration for protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and broad-scale passive acoustic survey data is being collected in summer 2024 for both species and again in 2025 for the owl. Thus, data will be immediately available for analysis and this position will fill critical data deficiencies associated with both species. 
For the Pinyon Jay, key objectives include: 1) relate acoustically-derived bird observations to detailed vegetation data in order to assess landscape-scale patterns of site occupancy, 2) use occupancy and detection estimates to inform the development of a scalable Pinyon Jay survey protocol capable of meeting regulatory requirements associated with ESA listing, and 3) combine concurrent acoustic and point count survey data to develop a scalable, acoustically-based Pinyon Jay abundance index. Pending the acquisition of additional funding, the incumbent could explore management tradeoffs between the pinyon-juniper woodland-obligate Pinyon Jay and sagebrush obligates such as the Brewer’s Sparrow. 

For the Spotted Owl, key objectives are: 1) analyze two years of passive acoustic survey data to provide a first-ever regional assessment of the distribution of Spotted Owls in Southern California, 2) contribute to a range-wide population assessment of the California Spotted Owl (Southern California and Sierra Nevada populations), and 3) inform future monitoring of Spotted Owls in Southern California.


The scope of the project provides an opportunity to make direct contributions to conservation and basic ecology. We will collaborate with NGOs, federal and state agency biologists and managers (e.g., U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management), and academic researchers specializing in ecology, statistics, and computer science. In addition to working with external partners, the postdoctoral associate will be working closely with scientists in the Yang Center and in the Lab’s Center for Avian Population Studies. We encourage postdoctoral associates to explore related research questions and collaborate on projects conducted in the Lab and with partners. 


This is a one-year position, reappointed annually based on successful performance. Extension beyond two years and the collection of additional field data is contingent upon funding, available work and performance. 


Anticipated Division of Time

Expected outcomes of this work are the submission of at least three manuscripts to high-impact peer-reviewed journals and coordination with agency partners to directly apply results to conservation in the Great Basin and Southern California. No fieldwork is required, but field visits to each project area (Nevada and Southern California) are strongly encouraged. 

  • Develop and conduct avian conservation research to meet project goals. Analyze research findings. Apply results to conservation in the focal ecosystems. (60%)
  • Present results at professional meetings, conferences, and popular seminars. Prepare at least three manuscripts for high impact peer reviewed journals and other research products, including reports and relevant information to partners. (25%)
  • Engaging with partners and possible funders. Participate in career and professional development opportunities. (10%)
  • Engage in ongoing academic and intellectual life at the Lab of Ornithology and Cornell University. (5%)

Qualifications

  • A Ph.D. in biological or ecological sciences or statistics
  • Writing skills and a strong publication record for the professional stage of the applicant 
  • Quantitative skills and experience with terrestrial population modeling, particularly in an occupancy framework and preferably with birds

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Experience conducting passive acoustic surveys, experience working with large acoustic datasets, and familiarity with machine learning tools
  • Experience with survey design techniques, including power analyses
  • Other beneficial qualifications include: GIS skills, field experience with birds, and familiarity with the ecology of the Great Basin, Southern California, or other arid ecosystems

Supervision Exercised

The incumbent will be expected to meet regularly with project collaborators (within the Yang Center, at NGOs, at other universities, and in government agencies). In addition, there are opportunities for the incumbent to mentor undergraduate students and possibly contribute to informal mentoring graduate students, but neither activity is expected or required. 

Salary, rewards, and benefits:

Salary is commensurate with experience, up to $64,000 per year and includes benefits. 

Fully remote work will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Local personnel will have the flexibility to work on a hybrid schedule with opportunities to work on-site and from home. 


Benefits provided by Cornell include a broad range of comprehensive health care options, generous paid leave provisions: 3 weeks of vacation, 13 holidays (including end of year winter break), paid family leave, and superior retirement contributions. Additionally, Cornell provides access to professional development initiatives, wellness programs, and employee discounts with local and national retail brands.

To apply: 

Please apply via Academic Jobs Online (https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/27459). 

Qualified candidates should submit a short cover letter, curriculum vitae, 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. 

Review of applications will begin two weeks after posting and will continue until a suitable applicant is identified. 

Start date is flexible between fall 2024 and spring 2025.

CALS hiring range for this title is $56,484 to $64,000.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

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 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 strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply. 





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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.

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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