Research Associate (Aquatic Vulnerability)

Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR, US

Position Summary

The Department of Forest Engineering, Resources & Management invites applications for a full-time (1.00 FTE), 12-month, fixed-term Research Associate position. Reappointment is at the discretion of the Department Head.

The Research Associate will develop spatial tools and models that relate aquatic condition and resilience to landscape factors, as part of an agreement between Oregon State University (OSU) and the US Forest Service (USFS), and an interagency agreement between USFS and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Research Associate will conduct research that improves understanding of how natural and anthropogenic watershed characteristics contribute to water quality and aquatic condition. The position will contribute to the mission of both the College of Forestry and Oregon State University by a. conducting distinctive problem-solving research, b. supporting a continuous search for new knowledge and solutions, c. educating and engaging practitioners and users of the world’s forest resources, and d. maintaining a rigorous focus on academic excellence.

The Research Associate will develop spatial tools and models that relate aquatic vulnerability and condition, including water quality, habitat, and fish populations—in streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and/or coastal waters—to landscape factors, in general, and forest health and wildfire, in particular. This will be done, in part, using and further developing EPA’s modeling tools, such as HexSim (, as well as building empirical models that incorporate regional and national datasets such as StreamCat and LakeCat as well as other related landscape data. Analyses will generally be based on a watershed unit, although other spatial scales and landscape units could be studied, including modeling of individual watersheds.

Position Duties

30% – Apply and improve landscape fish population simulation and empirical models for streams, rivers, lakes, and/or coastal waters at regional to national scales using data from various sources (including data from the National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS), EPA, other federal, regional, state, and local agencies, as well as universities and published and commercial sources).

30% – Analyze, interpret, and incorporate modeling results into tools, maps, reports, presentations, manuscripts, and/or other products that communicate results and may contain strategies for improving water quality, fish habitat, and fish populations.

25% – Develop and/or improve datasets containing landscape factors, including StreamCat, LakeCat, remotely-sensed data, and other possible datasets and/or supplementary data at national to regional scales.

10% – Prepare research proposals/grant applications for further research/studies related to the general topic of landscape-scale water quality/fish population modeling.

5% – Develop a study plan and quality assurance plan for each task.

Minimum/Required Qualifications

Ph.D. in aquatic ecology, watershed sciences, landscape ecology, or related field.

Ten years job experience working on geospatial analysis, modeling, and statistical analysis.

Ten years job experience working with ArcGIS, statistical software, and programming languages.

Five years job experience developing and working with ecological models that link habitat quality and anthropogenic stressors to populations.

Five years job experience working on interdisciplinary teams in the ecological sciences.

Established publication record (i.e., at least 10 peer-reviewed publications, with at least five as first author) including the areas of landscape-scale aquatic ecology and ecological modeling.

Established record communicating research results to a wide range of audiences (i.e., at least 20 presentations).





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