Human Dimensions of Large Rivers

Lewis and Clark Community College
Alton, IL, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


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Develop a comprehensive research program focused on the human dimensions of large river ecosystems in the Upper Mississippi River Basin, with a specific focus on exploring the factors influencing behavior of floodplain and watershed residents for improving management of large river ecosystems. We are particularly interested in candidates who address one or more of the following topics: human dimensions of water conservation/management; policy research related to freshwater ecosystems; social impacts of water issues; landscape-level social impacts in large freshwater systems; and/or sustaining multiple uses of a working river system, including recreation, tourism, and the use of living (e.g. hunting, fishing forestry) and non-living (e.g. water, sand) resources. Work with partners and affiliates of the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) in the development of research and allied educational programs. Serve as NGRREC’s lead in development of research proposals related to the human dimensions of large rivers.

The following are duties that are normal for this position. These are not to be construed as exclusive or all-inclusive. Other duties may be required or assigned. The successful candidate will have expertise in conducting policy-relevant research on the human dimensions of large rivers that is well-grounded in social science theory. The successful candidate will regularly publish research results of in peer-reviewed scientific journals; develop grant proposals and attract research funding; and be willing to work with governmental and non-governmental organizations in the Upper Mississippi River Basin and elsewhere. The ability to articulate professional opinions in writing and in person is expected, including to granting and management agencies, the broader scientific community, and the public.

To be considered, candidates must have a Ph.D. in the human dimensions of natural resources, environmental policy, science and technology studies, geography, environmental sociology, or a related discipline. Preferred candidates will be mid-career with a scholarship record equivalent to that of an associate professor. All candidates should have strong quantitative skills, evidence of an ability to collaborate with researchers from other disciplines, and a demonstrated ability to develop a fundable research program that is relevant to NGRREC’s mission. To be considered, mid-career candidates will have a vigorous record of publication, a diverse collaborative network, evidence of outreach, and sustained success in attracting external funding. Early-career candidates should be able to demonstrate high potential in these activities. Evidence of an ability to engage stakeholders and teach field courses is highly desired.

This position is a 12-month full-time position, reflecting a 100% research appointment with a small outreach and teaching responsibility. The position is based at the Jerry F. Costello Confluence Field Station (CCFS) in Alton, Illinois. The CCFS is situated in an area rich with local, state, federal, and private water resources and infrastructure, and represents a unique living laboratory for the study of rivers, their floodplains, and the management of these unique ecosystems. For example, directly across the Mississippi River from the CCFS is the 3,700-acre Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary, which contains a 1,200 acre wetland/prairie restoration project, and immediately downriver lies Maple Island, a 400-acre natural area licensed to NGRREC for ecological research.

Given its location, focus, and partners, NGRREC is positioned to connect the watershed research that extends from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of New Mexico. An important facet of NGRREC’s mission is to support policy deliberations with reliable data and knowledge. Thus, NGRREC and partners have launched the GLTG to expedite the data-to-knowledge-to-policy connections.

Program managers at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. EPA are collaborating closely with NGRREC scientists in applied research efforts that better inform water resource management efforts. Additional information on NGRREC is found on