A post-doctoral researcher is sought to lead a study of rapid, climate-forced changes affecting Bering Sea walleye pollock, which currently support the largest food fishery in the world. The Bering Sea is experiencing unprecedented warming and loss of winter sea ice, resulting in a rapid northward range expansion of pollock. This project will use statistical modeling to improve our understanding of the implications of changing climate conditions and demersal fish community structure for pollock growth and distribution on a north-south gradient. The successful applicant will gain experience by collaborating with two established fisheries oceanographers working with cutting-edge concepts of emerging novel climates in productive boreal ecosystems. This position will be located in Kodiak, Alaska.
Additional Position Details:
This project seeks to build scientific understanding needed to manage the Bering Sea walleye pollock fishery during a period of unprecedented climate change. The premise of the project is that ongoing changes to Bering Sea climate involve changing relationships among ecologically important environmental variables that complicate the prediction of pollock responses. The project will use a statistical modeling approach to evaluate changing sets of abiotic and density-dependent factors regulating pollock abundance and weight at age on a north-south gradient during the ongoing warming event.
Funding for the position comes from the Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center, an industry-funded research center at the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, UAF. This study will also dovetail with a companion study, funded by the NOAA Saltonstall-Kennedy program, that seeks to improve weight at age forecasts for use in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska stock assessments. The successful applicant will gain experience in conducting applied ecosystem research with immediate utility for fisheries management, and will also have the opportunity to collaborate with experienced researchers and management scientists at NOAA. Specific questions that will be addressed by this study include: How are the factors regulating pollock distribution, abundance, and productivity changing in the heatwave era? How will growth rates be affected by the expansion of the population in the northern Bering? What ecosystem properties should be monitored to understand changes in pollock growth and distribution? This position offers an excellent opportunity for an early-career researcher to develop their own approaches and perspectives for addressing the problem of sustainable fisheries management during an era of accelerating ecological change.
Interested applicants must apply online. If you need assistance applying to this posting, please contact the UAF Office of Human Resources at 907-474-7700.
Required Applicant Documents:
- Cover Letter outlining a statement of interest and qaulifications
- Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- Contact information for three professional references (address, email and phone number)
Early applications are welcome but must be received no later than May 31, 2019 by 11:55 PM Alaska Daylight Time to ensure full consideration. Applications received after this time and date may not be considered for this position. This position will remain open until filled.
Education required for this position:
PhD. (already received or having completed all requirements and awaiting graduation)
Type and length of experience required for this position:
Track record of successful statistical modeling, and a demonstrated ability to publish peer-reviewed papers as first author.
Knowledge, skills and abilities required for this position:
Expertise in statistical modeling techniques suitable for resolving population responses to spatially-temporally complex environmental and community changes. Specific examples of relevant approaches include but are not limited to Multivariate Autoregressive State Space Models / Dynamic Factor Analysis or Vector Autoregressive State Space Models. Expertise with Bayesian methods may be a plus. Ability to develop novel hypotheses and test them by adapting and extending existing statistical methods a plus. Experience with R expected, experience in project management of complex statistical analyses in a reproducible framework, e.g. through GitHub, a plus. Background in ecology, fisheries oceanography, or a related field. Demonstrated ability for creative, critical thinking and the ability to see research projects through to successful publication. Strong written and oral communication skills as evidenced by a record of scientific publications and presentations. Experience with the concepts and approaches of physical oceanography a plus, as is interest in and experience with interacting with resource managers and stakeholders.
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The successful applicant is required to complete a background check. Any offer of employment is contingent on the background check.
It is the policy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks that all employees are required to attend training to meet the requirements of the positions they hold, and to complete the required training within a specified period of time to remain employed at UAF. The policy can be located at: http://www.uaf.edu/chancellor/policy/04.07.010/
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