The United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey is recruiting a post-doctoral scientist in quantitative ecology for a USGS Monarch Conservation Science Partnership project focused on developing a continental-scale sample design for monarch butterflies and the resources that sustain them. The appointment is anticipated for 2.5 years. Anticipated salary will be at the GS-11 level (ca. US$51,811 per year, plus benefits; official salary level to be listed in official job announcement). The post-doc will work with project lead Wayne Thogmartin (USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center [UMESC]), and will collaborate with other scientists in the partnership as well, including Jay Diffendorfer and Darius Semmens (both of USGS Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center), Ralph Grundel (USGS Great Lakes Science Center), and Laura Lopez-Hoffman (University of Arizona). The position is located in La Crosse, WI, at UMESC.
The successful candidate will support the project by taking lead and collaborative roles in:
- Developing and mapping a spatially balanced and stratified master sample for the regions of the U.S. using a Generalized Random Tessellation Stratified sampling framework. Development of this sample could involve incorporation of cluster sample considerations to minimize travel among locations. Coordination of the sample design for the monarch butterfly with the North American Bat Monitoring Program will likely be essential.
- Conducting power analyses for attributes collected according to the proposed sample design. Such analyses might examine tradeoffs between spatial intensity versus temporal intensity (e.g., sampling alternate years at a larger number of locations versus a smaller set of continuously sampled locations); consequences of cluster arrangements; and identification of the extent to which portions of the landscape are sufficiently sampled under presumed levels of spatial and temporal variability and proposed sample sizes.
- Summarizing data from pilot monitoring activities to inform development and implementation of the proposed sample design.
- Evaluating the potential for existing monarch butterfly monitoring programs, such as Monarch Larvae Monitoring Program and Journey North, to satisfy sampling of portions of the landscape and identify attributes needed to draw statistically robust inferences, once those data sources are embedded within the master sample.
Applicants should possess strong skills in sample design, the R programming language, and experience publishing in peer-reviewed journals. Experience modeling wildlife populations, understanding of Bayesian statistics, and experience working on large, collaborative research projects is also desirable. Prior experience with monarch butterflies is preferred, but not a necessary condition for this position.
This announcement is a pre-notification. We anticipate that the official job announcement will be posted to www.usajobs.gov in early summer – you can register at that site to receive a notification of when this position is posted. As an expression of interest and to be notified when this job is listed on USAjobs.gov, please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references via email, subject line “Monarch Sample Design Post-doc”, to Wayne Thogmartin at .