Postdoctoral Researcher in Applied Climate Change with the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute

Nov. 12, 2021

The Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute (ALWRI) is accepting applications for a postdoctoral position focused on wilderness governance within the context of a changing climate. The Postdoc will lead syntheses, research, engage with national research and management teams, as well multi-partner public engagement to evaluate the potential effects of conservation decisions, in response to climate change, in federally designated wilderness. The Postdoc will be responsible for creating scenario-based evaluations of the risks, tradeoffs, and uncertainties in resisting, accepting, or directing the effects of climate change in wilderness areas managed by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service. Among other efforts, the work will include: development and dissemination of decision-frameworks and scenarios; consideration of biological/ecological, ethical, law/policy implications; and co-production of science questions related to climate change effects in wilderness with various partners including wilderness managers. A key role for the postdoc will be building effective relationships with information users, who range from governmental to non-governmental institutions, and include (among others) federal and state natural resource management agencies, Tribes, other recreational users, and national policymakers addressing the management of wilderness.
• On behalf of the ALWRI, and the Interagency Wilderness Steering Committee, lead a multi-bureau team of scientists and managers to conduct a multiyear, multidisciplinary assessment of the tradeoffs (i.e. benefits and costs) of resisting, accepting, or directing wilderness social-ecological systems in the context of climate change.
• Serve as the ALWRI expert and technical advisor for climate change science, impacts, and applications in wilderness management.
• Lead workshops with various partners, and in particular wilderness managers.
• Assemble technical information, analyze, interpret, and disseminate data to provide various management options, under myriad climate scenarios and potential impacts, to wilderness managers.
• Leverage innovative and effective science communication techniques to share work products (outreach and tech transfer).
• Lead an agency-published general technical report, and lead and co-produce reports and papers with scientists, wilderness managers and other partners, and wilderness leaders in the four National Wilderness Preservation System bureaus (USFS, BLM, FWS, NPS).

How to apply
Using the subject line ‘climate change postdoc’, please email cover letter (explaining how your education and experiences have prepared you to successfully lead and complete the work described above), CV, and names and contact information for 3 references to: sends e-mail). Application review will begin December 1st.

Required Qualifications
PhD (by mid-December 2021) with experience in interdisciplinary and climate change research, and application of this science to support decision-making. Familiarity with public lands management challenges and opportunities (and more specifically, wilderness stewardship needs) and scenarios planning techniques are preferred.
GS- 11/12 ($64,649/$77,488 annually) depending on experience
Location and Institute information
The Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute is part of U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station and an interagency, national research facility located on campus at the University of Montana. The Leopold Institute is the only federal research group in the United States dedicated to development and dissemination of knowledge needed to steward the 111- million acre, U.S. National Wilderness Preservation System. We have a long a long history of conducting and sharing science in support of the NWPS, as well as collaborating with academic, NGO, tribal, community, and other partners within the U.S. and internationally. Wilderness conservation continues to have relevance and importance, at home and globally; and
in many ways, is more important than ever. Wilderness is integrally connected to climate change mitigation, fresh water supplies, habitat connectivity, food and economic security, spiritual and physical health, to name a few. We have exciting stewardship challenges in front of us and endless opportunities to conduct science and develop partnerships that make a difference. The Leopold Institute is a growing vibrant community with several new scientists and is in the process of building our next, ten-year, science strategic plan...and, you can help to shape this plan. We welcome you to join our team. More information about the Leopold Institute can be found here,

Other information
Preference will be given to applicants who can start in Jan/Feb 2022. Funding is available for three years. The Postdoc will report to the Leopold Institute Director, and will be supported by a science mentor, and the team at the ALWRI. Once selected, the scientist will be classified as a Research Scientist GS-11 or GS-12, with the final rating determined by Forest Service human resources management, with support from a mini-panel, peer review process.