Graduate and postdoctoral research opportunities at the University of Colorado at Boulder

Opportunity Type: 
Graduate student

Two graduate assistant positions and one post-doctoral opportunity are available as part of an NSF-funded, multi-year study. The research focuses on the coupling of social and natural systems and on the future of ecosystem services in the Colorado Front Range (COFR). The project builds on a foundation of existing research in the region. The individuals will work primarily with Patrick Bourgeron and Hope Humphries at INSTAAR, but will also collaborate with Catherine Keske, Tim Seastedt, Mark Williams (INSTAAR), and other researchers involved in the NSF project ³Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems in the Colorado Front Range Wildland/Urban Interface: Causes and Consequences², as well as Niwot Ridge LTER.

GA 1 (Ph.D-level): Landscape analysis and modeling. Research will include synthesis of the qualitative and quantitative understanding elucidated for COFR, highlighting the human context, the hierarchical nature of the system, the attractors (system states) which may be accessible to the system, how the system behaves in the neighborhood of each attractor (potentially in terms of simulation model results), positive and negative feedbacks associated with an attractor, and changing resilience. Research will also include contributing to the further development of a spatially explicit landscape-fire-succession model (LANDIS) to examine the magnitude of landscape response to land-use change and corresponding disturbance effects on subsequent land use.

GA 2 (MS-level): Land use land cover change. The research focuses on (1) using spatial representation of land cover and land use to identify patterns of landscape change in the Colorado Front Range (COFR) study area, and (2) integrating Local Ecological Knowledge (LEK) and other existing social data into theories and models of social-ecological change and their implications for human livelihoods.

Postdoctoral fellow (2 years): The postdoctoral fellow should have a strong interest in sustainability science, and experience in conducting multivariate analysis, use of remotely sensed data, and development of spatially explicit landscape models in the context of regional change. The project includes analyses to define the boundaries of the social-ecological systems in the wildland/urban interface of Colorado, their key components, historical profiles, important ecosystem drivers, and characteristics of socio-economic structures.

Prospective candidates should contact:
Dr. Patrick Bourgeron ( or
Dr. Hope Humphries ( for more information;
please include a current resume and statement of research interests with your inquiry.

Expiration Date: 
Tue, 2013-03-19

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