Monday, June 23, 2014

Research Social Scientist - New York City Urban Field Station

Two Year Postdoctoral Position

The mission of the New York City Urban Field Station ( is to improve quality of life in urban areas by conducting and supporting research about social-ecological systems and natural resource management. It began as a partnership between the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. The Urban Field Station does the following:
  •  Promotes natural resource stewardship and ecological literacy to advance human well-being in New York City
  • Partners with land managers to create innovative “research in action” programs that support urban ecosystems
  • Conducts comparative research and shares findings with counterparts in other metropolitan regions in the United States and globallyLinks to a growing network of US Forest Service scientists and university cooperators focused on urban research

In addition to the network of relationships among scientists, practitioners, and university cooperators, the Urban Field Station is a physical place for visiting scientists and students to convene and to stay while conducting research in New York City.

Working with Urban Field Station staff from the US Forest Service, the Post Doctoral Research Social Scientist will conduct research in the area of complex social-ecological systems. Working from a resilience framework and attuned to cycles of disturbance and recovery across a varied landscape, the scientist will investigate diverse forms of urban natural resources stewardship. The scientist will build upon frameworks that identify natural resource stewardship as a form of governance and a part of social-ecological resilience (NYC UFS publications can be found here: The researcher will have access to existing datasets that document stewardship in the context of both acute disturbances and chronic presses. He/she will explore the emergence and persistence of civic stewardship practices and will work to measure, model, and communicate the impacts of these practices. These impacts can include transformations in individual cognitive states, social relations, governance networks, and biophysical forms and functions.

In conjunction with the NYC UFS scientists, produce peer reviewed literature in the area of social-ecological systems and urban natural resources stewardship Analyze existing Urban Field Station datasets (e.g. Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project, Living Memorial Project) to advance the state of knowledge in this growing field.

  • Assist US Forest Service staff with communications efforts including website content development, white papers, grant proposals, webinars, and conference presentations.
  • Strengthen strategic partnerships with universities and other institutions around research, communications, and adaptive management (e.g. through workshops, symposia)

1. A doctoral degree from an accredited college (in fields related to social science and urban natural resource management, such as: anthropology, environmental psychology, environmental studies, geography, history, public health, sociology, urban planning/studies).
2. Strong analytical, writing, and communications skills.
3. Strong qualitative and quantitative social science research background (includes familiarity with relevant theoretical frameworks, empirical literature, methodologies, analytical tools/software, and academic journal outlets).
4. Proficiency in Microsoft Office software programs including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
5. US Citizenship is required (permanent residency is not sufficient).

  • Experience with Social Network Analysis methods and software; experience with qualitative analysis software (e.g. NVivo); experience with statistical software (e.g. SPSS)
  • Experience with the professional fields of natural resource management or community development
  • Knowledge of government, academic and nonprofit organizations related to environmental research, monitoring, stewardship, and education in the New York City region.

Duty Station: New York, NY Urban Field Station, Bayside, NY
Start date: August 15, 2014 preferred, start date negotiable
Competitive benefits and salary package.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, CV, and writing sample to:
Erika Svendsen, Research Social Scientist
USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station
New York City Urban Field Station

All applications must be received no later than July 9, 2014
The USDA Forest Service is an equal opportunity employer. Everyone is encouraged to apply.

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