Lead Ecosystem Services Modeler, Natural Capital Project

Lead Ecosystem Services Modeler (Application review begins August 15, 2011)

We are a partnership among Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment, University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, The Nature Conservancy, and World Wildlife Fund developing tools to model and map the distribution of biodiversity and the flow of multiple ecosystem services across land- and seascapes. We seek a creative and talented ecologist or economist with strong leadership and communication skills to advance the development, testing and application of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem service models.

We are a collaborative group of researchers and practitioners who seek someone with expertise to oversee and align the development of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem service models, to contribute directly to improvement of existing models (carbon storage and sequestration, timber and agricultural production, crop pollination and biodiversity and methods for representing uncertainty) and to lead the development of new models (such as non-timber forest product harvest, soil fertility, livestock production, wind erosion control, forage production). We seek applicants with diverse experience in the development and use of models to inform natural resource decisions, and with a desire to think creatively about a broad set of biophysical and social processes.

Our core team is based in Seattle, Washington, DC and at Stanford, and we have active partners around the globe. This position is housed at Stanford University and will be advised by Gretchen Daily and Stephen Polasky.

Principal Responsibilities:

    • Manage a team of model developers to

      • Coordinate the development of a consistent and inter-related modeling approach for estimating terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem service change and valuation.

      • Maintain and improve existing, simple models created in the ArcGIS platform and open-source formats.

      • Develop new simple models to allow more complete representation of terrestrial ecosystem services (e.g. non-timber forest product harvest, forage production, etc.)

      • Coordinate and directly contribute to the development of “tier 2″ complex models for a broad set of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem services.

      • Coordinate a model development team with the Project’s software development team to aid translation of equations into user-friendly tools.

      • Test and validate models against other widely accepted models (e.g. CENTURY) and empirical data sets from data-rich regions globally.

      • Collaborate with marine model development team to establish terrestrial-marine links in the model system.

    • Coordinate a team in supporting application of models in diverse policy contexts at our sites in China, Indonesia, South America, Africa, and throughout the United States.

    • Communicate scientific and practical advances in diverse settings including peer-reviewed publications, white papers, scientific meetings, stakeholder meetings, government workshops and trainings.

    • Lead and collaborate on funding proposals to public and private sources.

    • Represent terrestrial and freshwater model development on the Leadership Team, one of the Project’s senior decision-making bodies.


Required Qualifications:

    • Ph.D. in ecology, natural resource economics, agronomy, conservation science or related fields.

    • 5 years experience in model development and application, preferably for both primary research and practical settings.

    • Established publication record in diverse, peer-reviewed journals.

    • Strong interest in, and commitment to using science to inform policy.

    • Experience managing a research team and budget.

    • Familiarity with geographic information systems (ArcGIS, GRASS, etc) and familiarity with Python, FORTRAN, C++, VB, or Java.

    • Success in acquiring funding from diverse sources.

    • Experience working with collaborators from diverse backgrounds and the capacity and interest to work with interdisciplinary teams.

    • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with both technical and non-technical audiences.


Term: September 15, 2011 through September 14, 2013 and beyond, contingent upon funding.


Location: The position is a postdoctoral research position located in Palo Alto, California at Stanford University and will require extensive interaction with interdisciplinary teams and travel within the US, Latin America and Asia.


How to Apply: Send a cover letter describing your experience and interest, as well as a CV and contact information for three references to gail.kaiser@stanford.edu with LEAD MODELER in the subject. We will begin reviewing application August 15, 2011 and the position will remain open until filled.

Stanford University is committed to equal opportunity through affirmative action in employment and we are especially eager to identify minority persons and women with appropriate qualifications.