Position Announcements

Postdoctoral Researcher, Freshwater Health

Conservation
International (CI) helps societies sustainably care for nature, our global
biodiversity, for the benefit of humanity.  An abundance of clean
fresh water is critical for people and nature to thrive yet more people have
cell phones than have access to safe drinking water. Healthy freshwater systems
provide water for human consumption, sanitation, agriculture, industrial manufacturing,
and energy generation, underpinning economic development. According to the
United Nations, by 2030, demand for water will exceed supply by 40 percent and
half of the people on Earth will likely face water shortages. In this context,
Conservation International, together with diverse group of partners, seeks to
develop a Freshwater Health Index
(FHI). The FHI will fill a critical gap in understanding and monitoring
the global health of our freshwater systems to ultimately improve their
management and contribute to closing the water gap by 2030. The Freshwater
Health Index will define the health of freshwater systems in terms of their
ecological health and how well they provide a range of services to human
communities now and into the future.



The
postdoctoral researcher will play a key role in developing the FHI.  Working closely with Dr. Sandy Andelman, CI
Chief Scientist, as part of a large multi-institutional collaboration to
develop and implement a Freshwater Health Index. (S)he will (1) conduct an extensive
literature review to assess the state of indicator science (in general and in
relation to freshwater); (2) develop and test analytical approaches for the
freshwater health index, considering scalability and challenges of data rich
and data poor regions; (3) developing methods for combining and/or reducing
indices while preserving overall information content. S/he will also
collaborate with others to (4) locate, gain access and synthesize historical,
empirical, and theoretical data sets to determine the quality and quantity of
available data in specific locations, especially in the Greater Mekong. In this
context, (s)he will communicate with government officials and international
researchers in a manner that is culturally sensitive and respectful. As part of
the larger FHI team, (s)he will communicate with other project researchers to
coordinate research projects and participate in project meetings.



This position is a two-year assignment.


RESPONSIBILITIES



  1. Locates, gains access to and synthesizes historical, empirical, and theoretical data
    sets, including (a) determining the quality and quantity of available data in
    specific locations, especially in the Greater Mekong and (b) organizing the
    data into a federated set of databases or a distributed database
  2. Develops
    methods for combining and/or reducing indices while preserving overall
    information content
  3. Conducts
    an extensive literature review to assess the state of indicator science (in
    general and in relation to freshwater) and stays abreast of the relevant
    current and historical literature
  4. Gives presentations on individual research and general FHI
    science at international scientific and policy meetings, within CI, and at
    other fora.


Other duties as assigned by supervisor.



Working Conditions



  1. Position based at CI headquarters in Arlington, Virginia
  2. Up to 30% international travel, mostly in Asia


QUALIFICATIONS



Required



  1. Ph.D. in ecology,
    statistics, environmental science, geography, hydrology or a related field;
  2. Four years
    experience in conducting quantitative scientific research, at least two related
    to freshwater ecosystems or ecosystem services;
  3. Demonstrated
    experience with multivariate analyses;
  4. Strong
    quantitative skills, especially using R and/or SAS;
  5. Experience
    synthesizing, managing and analyzing heterogeneous data of varying quality,
    from distributed sources sustainable development, or closely related fields;
  6. Demonstrated record of
    publication in peer-reviewed literature on topics relevant to the
    position;
  7. Interest in linking science to
    decision making and policy outcomes;
  8. Strong ability to work independently;
  9. Excellent oral and written
    communication skills;
  10. Demonstrated
    ability to work in collaborative, team research environments and cultivate
    productive partnerships with academic and research institutions


Preferred



  1. Understanding and
    experience with indicator science.
  2. Experience in
    developing countries, especially in Asia.