Postdoc Opportunity: Wildlife Research Fellow

The University of North Dakota's Department of Biology is now accepting applications for a postdoc research fellow to evaluate drone applications. This position is ideal for applicants with a PhD in wildlife ecology and experience with drones and remote sensing data.

Apply by March 15th for consideration.

Begin your application here.

Date published: 2021/03/11

The Department of Biology at the University of North Dakota is seeking a productive and dynamic candidate to fill a postdoctoral research fellow position leading a project evaluating unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones) applications in wildlife that facilitates energy and agricultural needs.

The initial appointment is for one year and is renewable for a second year, pending annual review of performance and continued availability of funding. This project has collaborations with Dr. Susan Felege (primary supervisor; University of North Dakota), Dr. Page Klug (U.S. Department of Agriculture – APHIS), Kaylan Kemink (Ducks Unlimited, Inc), industry partners in agriculture and energy (e.g., Xcel Energy, National Sunflower Association), as well as local start-up software company Airtonomy.

The postdoc will be developing and refining protocols that facilitate behavioral ecology assessments of wildlife to drones and collaborating with engineers and computer scientists to develop sensors and AI approaches to facilitate wildlife assessments needed in a variety of industry applications from energy and aviation to agriculture. The successful candidate will gain experience in multiple projects that all have common methodological approaches but different applications.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Lead research focused on sensor selection and AI development for drone swarms used to deter blackbirds from agricultural fields
  • Contribute to research associated with extending current wildlife assessment and carcass detection models developed from drone imagery for energy applications to other applications (e.g., general wildlife monitoring surveys, airport runways)
  • Assist in field data collection
  • Format and analyze data
  • Craft manuscripts for publication and reports for the various partners
  • Disseminate findings through peer-reviewed publications and wildlife conferences
  • Lead and contribute to extramural funding applications

The postdoc will have the opportunity to mentor graduate and undergraduate students assisting with field data collection and review of drone imagery.

Required Competencies

Competitive candidates will have a background in spatial analysis and statistical modeling as well as a successful track record in publishing. Preference will be giving to applicants that possess the ability to multi-task and creatively solve problems. The successful candidate should enjoy working both independently and in teams, especially through interdisciplinary collaborations with multiple stakeholders.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Ph.D. in wildlife ecology or closely related field
  • Demonstrated evidence publishing in peer-reviewed journals
  • Demonstrated experience in spatial and/or statistical modeling, including ArcGIS and R
  • Successful completion of criminal history records check.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with Unmanned aerial systems (UAS)
  • Experience with Remote Sensing Data
  • Experience with Image Science and/or Computer Vision
  • First-author peer-reviewed publications
  • Experience with Grant Writing

See more details about this position here.

Apply Now

For full consideration, applications must be received by March 15, 2021 and include the following materials:

  • Cover letter (max 1 page) describing research interest and suitability for position
  • CV
  • Contact information for three references

Begin your application here.

Position is open until filled. Questions can be directed to Dr. Susan Felege at [email protected].

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