Postdoctoral Position (2): Assessing ecosystem services (Natural Capital Project)

Stanford University
Stanford, CA, United States
Position Type: 
Postdoc
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Doctorate
Languages Required: 
Spanish

EXPIRED

Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Together with the Wildlife Conservation Society and a diverse group of researchers and NGOs in Bolivia, the Natural Capital Project at Stanford University (NatCap) is collaborating with a wide variety of stakeholders to co-develop (a) a set of scenarios and a common vision that demonstrates the potential for economic development that preserves the existing natural and cultural heritage while providing local livelihoods, thus promoting a more sustainable development pathway for the Llanos de Moxos region and the Department of Beni in Bolivia; and (b) a shared database of information on the natural assets, ecosystem services, and scenario results for the Llanos de Moxos region. For that task, we are seeking up to two Postdoctoral researchers to support the project. Desired skills and background for each are detailed below.

The term is for one year, with the possibility of extension to 18 months based on performance and funding availability. The position would likely be based at Stanford University with the Natural Capital Project, with the expectation that significant time would be spent in the region (if and when travel becomes feasible). However, given the ongoing COVID crisis, we are open to consider other locations and work arrangements for a candidate with the right skills and experience.

Postdoc 1. Ecosystem services, sustainable development, and livelihoods

Applicants for this position will have a background in the linkages between human and natural systems, and the role that ecosystem services (particularly hydrologic services) play in sustainable livelihoods in developing countries. The successful candidate will (a) contribute toward creating a framework for the quantification and mapping of different ecosystem services across the region, identifying proxy variables for services where data are limited, and evaluating the potential for including economic valuation; (b) engage closely with local collaborators to co-develop scenarios of sustainable development, incorporating priorities and policies from a diverse set of actors; (c) assess how ecosystem benefits are impacted by these scenarios (in terms of biophysical, economic, and/or other livelihood metrics), and thus how sustainable land management can contribute to livelihoods; and (d) how impacts and benefits are distributed among different communities, sectors, Indigenous groups, etc.

QUALIFICATIONS

Required

  • Ph.D. in a relevant environmental or social science discipline (e.g., environmental policy, anthropology, economics),
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to interdisciplinary work at the intersection of ecosystem services (especially hydrologic services) and livelihoods 
  • Experience collaborating with community and NGO stakeholders communicating the benefits of ecosystem services in terms of economic or livelihood benefits
  • Very good written and oral communication skills in English
  • Fluent in Spanish

Preferred

  • Experience working in conservation or sustainable development in the Bolivian Amazon, or in neighboring regions
  • Ability to work with geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Knowledge of economic valuation for ecosystem services

Postdoc 2. Floodplain/wetlands hydrologist

Applicants for this position will have a background in the hydrology and ecosystem services of floodplains and wetlands. The successful candidate will focus on spatially-explicit assessment of how land use changes impact water flows and, thereby, the ecosystem services provided by this unique region. Further, the position will explore how the realization of these benefits hinges on hydrologic and climatic conditions, and thus how preserving these conditions through catchment management and sustainable land management can ensure the maintenance and preservation of hydrologic ecosystem services for various communities and stakeholders, including Indigenous management areas, agriculture and ranching interests, fisheries, etc.

QUALIFICATIONS

Required

  • Ph.D. in water/natural resources, catchment hydrology, engineering, or other relevant science 
  • Experience with hydrologic modeling, including developing or applying floodplain models in areas with low data availability
  • Ability to work with geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Very good written and oral communication skills in English
  • Fluent in Spanish

Preferred

  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to interdisciplinary work at the intersection of ecosystem services and livelihoods.
  • Experience working in the Bolivian Amazon, or in neighboring regions.
  • Experience with the use of remote sensing (or other Earth observation-derived products) to supplement hydrological analyses in areas with limited data availability.
  • Experience collaborating with community and NGO stakeholders communicating the benefits of water ecosystem services in terms of economic or livelihood benefits.

What you’ll need to succeed

In both of these interdisciplinary roles, the successful candidate(s) must be able to work independently under tight deadlines, have excellent written and oral communication skills, and also excel in a collaborative research environment. They will collaborate closely with researchers at Stanford University, the Universidad Autonóma del Bení in Bolivia, Wildlife Conservation Society, and other collaborators and stakeholders in the region of Bení, including potential travel to the study area (when and if feasible given COVID restrictions). The postdoc will also be responsible for generating presentations and contributing to other communications materials for outreach and community engagement on the values of and threats to the ecosystem services of the Llanos de Moxos region.

Whatever your intersection of identities, you are welcome at the Natural Capital Project. We are committed to inclusivity and promoting an equitable environment that values and respects the uniqueness of all members of our organization. We therefore encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

How to apply

To apply, please email Adrian Vogl (avogl@stanford.edu) with the subject line “BOLIVIA POSTDOC” and attach a C.V., contact information for three references, and a cover letter. In the cover letter, please address:

  • Your qualifications for the position
  • What unique experiences you could bring to our team
  • Indicate if you would require sponsorship for a visa to work in California1, and any details that would affect the type of visa. Visas must be processed through the consulate in your home country.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting January 11, 2021.

1 Note that we are open to considering alternative work or contractual arrangements if visa or citizenship status means that relocation to California is not feasible.