Post-Doctoral Researcher (Applied Natural Resource Economics)

University of Minnesota
St. Paul and Duluth, MN, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


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Essential Qualifications:
Ph.D. in natural resource, environmental or ecological economics or related degree with experience in integrated economic and natural science modeling, experience working with interdisciplinary teams, good communication skills, a record of scientific achievement as indicated by a publication record and external funding commensurate with time since PhD, and excellent quantitative ability.
Desired Qualifications:
Excellent written and oral communication skills for both professional and nonprofessional audiences.  Exceptional quantitative and analytical abilities. Prior experience working with industry, NGO, and government agency personnel. Prior experience working with quantitative modeling, GIS, and database management. Familiarity with ecosystem services and natural capital, and environmental science and policy.


About the Job

Two-year Post-Doctoral Research Position in Natural Resource Economics working with Professor Stephen Polasky (Applied Economics), researchers with the Natural Capital Project based at the Institute on the Environment in St. Paul, and the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) in Duluth.

Position Responsibilities: 
Research (90%)
The successful candidate will conduct research on topics in applied natural resource economics relevant to northern Minnesota. A major focus of the position will be to conduct research on the full suite of market and non-market benefits and costs associated with development and use of natural resources. Research projects could involve analysis of potential mining development, forestry projects, water resources, tourism development, or ecosystem restoration. The research would analyze the likely impacts of natural resource development on ecosystem services and natural capital, in addition to valuation of the direct benefits and costs of development. Such research will likely utilize spatially-explicit integrated ecological-economic models, such as the InVEST model from the Natural Capital Project, or similar spatially-explicit models, life-cycle analysis, and econometric analysis.

Team Collaboration (10%)
The research will involve working collaboratively with a large team of interdisciplinary researchers from NRRI, UMD, and the Natural Capital Project.       
Background:  Research at NRRI is focused on delivering solutions to pressing problems associated with the sustainable use and development of Minnesota’s natural resources, balancing the environment, resources and economy for the benefit of communities. NRRI's role is as a non-partial, science-based resource that develops and translates knowledge to help define and maintain the social license to operate. Associated with the University of Minnesota Duluth with research facilities in Duluth and Coleraine, NRRI is a leading research arm of the greater University of Minnesota community and employs approximately 130 scientists and staff. Programs cover 6 initiatives: Water, Forest/Land, Mining/Minerals/Metallurgy, Bioproducts & Biomaterials, Renewable Energy, Business Development. We seek an individual who can collaborate effectively with an interdisciplinary group of scientists and engineers.
The Natural Capital Project is a research collaboration among the University of Minnesota, Stanford University, The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The mission of the Natural Capital Project is to work to integrate the value nature provides to society into all major decisions with the ultimate objective to improve the well-being of all people and nature by motivating greater and more targeted natural capital investments. A major research thrust of the Natural Capital Project has been to develop an integrated dynamic landscape model, the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) software tool, and to use InVEST to evaluate the impact of alternative policy or management decisions on ecosystems and human well-being.  The Natural Capital Project works in a wide range of countries around the world as well as working on research projects throughout Minnesota and surrounding areas.


How To Apply

Review of complete applications will begin November 1, 2018, and will continue until the position is filled. Applications must be submitted online. To apply for this position, go to and search for job opening 326764. Complete applications must include:

  • A letter expressing interest, availability, experience, and strengths as they relate to the position
  • A current resume/curriculum vitae
  • Contact information for three professional references

Applicants may also include the following optional documents:

  • A statement of philosophy regarding commitment to diversity and equal opportunity.