Postdoctoral Research Associate (Sociology)

Idaho State University

Pocatello, ID, US

Primary Purpose

Postdoctoral Research Associate sought to conduct research on human adaptation to social-ecological change, with a focus on groundwater governance and/or agricultural producer adaptation to water curtailments in eastern Idaho. The primary goal of the research is to identify the key multi-scalar determinants of agricultural producer and water management institution adaptive capacity in the context of aquifer decline. The research will examine how agricultural producers have been impacted by mandatory water curtailments and how they have adapted to them, as well as environmental justice issues associated with groundwater governance decisions in Idaho.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will be affiliated with Idaho EPSCoR MILES project ( The goal of MILES is to analyze historical and current patterns of landscape change, identify social drivers of urban landscape changes that affect ecosystem services, and identify vulnerabilities in ecosystem services under future scenarios to provide science-based decision support needed to sustainably manage Idaho’s resources. This position will begin in January 2017 (start date is flexible) and will be funded through May 2018.

Key Responsibilities

1.    Design and administer interviews and analyze interview data and/or design and administer surveys and analyze survey data, depending on prior experience
2.    Conduct research on at least one of the following topics:  
•    Agricultural producer decision-making about adapting to water use restrictions in eastern Idaho
•    The multi-scalar social, political, and economic processes that shape agricultural producer adaptation decisions and their adaptive capacity
•    Perceptions of fairness in groundwater governance processes and outcomes
•    The factors that enable or constrain successful groundwater governance in Idaho, and the historical context in which a recent groundwater curtailment agreement was negotiated
3.    Present research results at national conferences and publish results in peer-reviewed journals
4.    Participate in MILES external engagement and workforce development activities

Minimum Qualifications

The candidate should possess a doctoral degree earned within last five years in human geography, sociology, anthropology, natural resources, or similar field. The candidate should have excellent written and verbal communication skills, and should possess expertise in qualitative and/or quantitative research methods.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience with quantitative social science research methods, specifically experience with designing and administering surveys and knowledge of a statistical software package, such as Stata. Experience with qualitative social science research methods, specifically designing and administering interviews and knowledge of data analysis software, such as NVivo or Atlas.ti. Prior experience in at least one of the following research areas is preferred: adaptation to environmental change; water management and governance; agricultural decision-making; environmental justice.

Please submit the following documents with your application:
To apply, please submit a cover letter describing relevant skills and academic interests, a Curriculum Vitae, and the names and contact information for three (3) professional references.

Priority consideration will be given to applications received by December 10, 2016. However, the position will remain open until filled. The approved salary range is $50,000-$55,000 annually, commensurate with education and experience. Includes a competitive benefits package. Offers of employment may be conditional pending successful completion of a background investigation.