Researcher (M/F) in SHS: Processes of connections/disconnections of socio-hydrosystems, Transversal study of the visible/invisible interface in the interplay between the social and environmental dimensions of socio-hydrosystems via EURAXESS

Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)

Lyon, France 🇫🇷


The post-doctoral researcher will have two main tasks in the HYDECO project, in connection with the two “threads” presented above and in close collaboration with the researchers involved in the HYDECO project.
First, through the analysis of data produced (or being produced) by the different participating MWOs, he or she will attempt to identify the connection/disconnection processes that will have been highlighted by the MWO device and to establish a typology. This meta-analysis, based on a reading grid constructed by the post-doctoral fellow, involving bibliographic research and the development of indicators and meta-indicators, will have to highlight the main processes at work in each analyzed space as well as the original research implemented by the HMOs (or a subset of the HMOs involved in the project), in connection with the concept of connectivity. The aim is not to compare fields, but to put into perspective approaches and methods that allow scientists to highlight invisible phenomena.
In a second phase, the post-doctoral fellow will focus on a transversal study of the visible/invisible interface in the interplay between the social and environmental dimensions of socio-hydrosystems. Using interviews and field studies, he or she will be particularly interested in the way local societies deal with environmental issues, identifying, if possible, “tipping points” that trigger the transition from an invisible phenomenon to one considered an environmental problem. This comparative approach will address all the MWOs involved, but depending on the time available, the work could be concentrated on a sample of a few MWOs for which this issue is particularly relevant (defined in phase 1).
These two main tasks will involve missions and travel within the MWOs, in France and abroad, in order to meet the teams and partners and to understand the local context of the socio-hydrosystems concerned.
In addition to these two main tasks, the post-doctoral fellow will participate in the scientific animation of the HYDECO project (help in the organization of the scientific meetings of the project, reports of follow-up meetings) and in its coordination (follow-up of the execution of the tasks in each MWO, coordination of the work with the general objectives), up to 20% of the working time. This task will be carried out in interaction with the project leaders and the leaders of the teams of each involved MWO.
The post-doctorate is scheduled for 30 months, which will allow him/her to follow the whole project. It will give the person occupying the position experience in project management, animation of interdisciplinary groups and scientific publication, which will be valuable elements for his/her profile and his/her later insertion in the research world.

The proposed job is part of the transverse project HYDECO of the Laboratory of Excellence (LABEX) Interdisciplinary Research Device on Man-Media Interactions (DRIIHM). This LABEX is made up of fifteen Man-Milieu Observatories (OHM) located in France and abroad, in which the effect of a major transformation of the man-environment relationship is observed. In 2020, the LABEX DRIIHM launched a call for “transverse projects” to allow several observatories to work on a common theme and its differentiated manifestations within each territory involved. The HYDECO project is one of the winners of this call. It proposes to analyze 7 MWOs (OHMi Pima County, OHM RhĂ´ne Valley, OHM Mediterranean Coast, OHM Estareja, OHM Haut-Vicdessos, OHM Nunaviq, OHM Fessenheim) through the prism of connections, disconnections and reconnections between societies and their socio-hydrosystems.
The project “Connection, disconnection, reconnection in socio-hydrosystems – HYDECO” assumes that these connections, disconnections or reconnections occur in all areas and dimensions. Thus, the use of watercourses or water resources creates or reveals material or symbolic connections, while certain developments lead to physical (dams) or social (invisibilized hydrosystems) disconnections. Finally, recent policies, which emphasize the flows between the different elements and compartments of hydrosystems, insist on “reconnection” at all levels.
In this context, the objective of the HYDECO project is to use the variability of the situations proposed by the OHMs to test the effectiveness of this reading grid applied to socio-hydrosystems and to re-explore in a critical and exemplified way the notions of connection and connectivity.
The central hypothesis is that, beyond the variability of local situations, the trio of relationships (connections, disconnections or reconnections) appears in a constant manner in the different environments concerned by the 7 OHMs involved and that it proposes a fertile way of reworking the concept of socio-hydrosystem and its socio-ecological state, emphasizing both the socio-cultural evolutions and the functional interactions between all their components.
To validate this hypothesis, the project will follow two main threads that will be developed through the different tasks: the visible/invisible opposition and the notion of tipping point. The project is organized in six tasks. The first task aims at defining the objects of study in their social and historical depth. Tasks 2 to 5 will explore the different dimensions of connections/disconnections/reconnections (vertical, longitudinal, lateral, flow). The last task will aim at organizing the project and allowing the production of a synthesis book and/or special issue of a journal highlighting the results obtained. These tasks, which are part of the whole project and carried out by all the researchers involved in HYDECO, will constitute the background of the proposed post-doc position but they will obviously not be the exclusive responsibility of the person recruited (see activities below).
The table below describes the 7 MWOs involved in the HYDECO project and, for each, the socio-hydrosystem studied. 4 of the MWOs involved are located in France and 3 abroad (Canada, USA, Portugal).
MWO Socio-hydrosystem considered
Mediterranean coastline Coastal lagoon and associated alluvial plain
Rhone Valley Rhone River Corridor
Fessenheim Rhine river corridor, secondary channels and Rhine island in front of the CNPE
Vicdessos Hydrosystems at the head of the watershed (peat bogs and Bernadouze and high altitude lakes)
Pima County Tucson Active Management Area corresponding to the Santa Cruz River
Nunavik Umiujaq River Socio-hydrosystem
Estareja River and lagoon hydrosystem

Le laboratoire d’excellence (LABEX) « Dispositif de Recherche Interdisciplinaire sur les Interactions Homme-Milieux » (DRIIHM) est constituĂ© de treize Observatoires Homme-Milieux (OHM) situĂ©s en France et Ă  l’Ă©tranger, dans lesquels l’effet d’une transformation majeure de la relation homme-environnement est observĂ©e. Il est portĂ© par l’Institut National Ecologie et Environnement (INEE) du CNRS.
Membre historique du LaBEX DRIIHM, le laboratoire EVS est l’unitĂ© support de l’OHM VallĂ©e du RhĂ´ne depuis 2010. Rassemblant une communautĂ© de près de 140 chercheurs issus d’un large spectre de disciplines issues des sciences humaines et sociales et des sciences de l’environnement, cette unitĂ© s’intĂ©resse Ă  la comprĂ©hension des dynamiques territoriales autour notamment de deux principaux objets partagĂ©s, la ville et les hydrosystèmes. Elle dispose d’un atelier interdisciplinaire sur les socio-Ă©cosystèmes et participe Ă  l’animation de l’EUR H2O’Lyon sur les sciences intĂ©grĂ©es des bassins versants.
Le laboratoire de recherche international (IRL) iGLOBES, quant Ă  lui, est une unitĂ© du CNRS basĂ©e Ă  l’UniversitĂ© d’Arizona Ă  Tucson (États-Unis). SpĂ©cialisĂ© dans les recherches Ă  l’interface entre les sciences de l’environnement et les sciences sociales, l’IRL iGLOBES est le support de l’observatoire homme-milieu international (OHMi) Pima County, qui observe les changements socio-environnementaux dans le sud-est de l’Arizona. L’OHMi Pima County est le coordinateur du projet HYDECO.

Eligibility criteria

The proposed job is in the field of environmental sciences and in particular environmental social sciences. The candidate is expected to have a good knowledge of the field of water issues, an excellent perception of the interactions between physical processes and societal implications, and a capacity for dialogue with specialists from different disciplines involved in the MWOs, as the interdisciplinary approach is one of the essential elements of the DRIIHM network. The post-doctoral fellow must be able to adapt to research sites located in France and abroad and be able to travel for short and medium term missions to the different MWOs of the project. A medium or long term mobility in the Pima County MWO, leader of the HYDECO project is expected.
In view of the different missions, the person recruited will have to have organizational skills, be comfortable in managing a research team and be able to interact with a wide range of partners (scientists, field actors and civil society, etc.). Knowledge of the DRIIHM network and its scientific expectations would be an important advantage.
Also in view of the working conditions, fluency in English and possession of a valid driver’s license will be important elements in the selection process.

Web site for additional job details

Required Research Experiences

  • RESEARCH FIELDAnthropology
  • RESEARCH FIELDEnvironmental science

Offer Requirements

  • REQUIRED EDUCATION LEVELHistory: PhD or equivalentAnthropology: PhD or equivalentEnvironmental science: PhD or equivalent