Coastal Wetlands Postdoctoral/post Master's Fellowship

Wisconsin Sea Grant and Water Resources Institutes | Posted Apr 29, 2022

Deadline: Jun 1, 2022

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The Wisconsin Sea Grant College Program (housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Aquatic Sciences Center) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Office of Great Waters Program seek postdoctoral and post-master’s candidates interested in tackling science and policy challenges related to climate change and Lake Superior coastal wetlands. Together, these programs will fund this state Science-Policy Fellow position, named in honor of a longtime Sea Grant coastal engineering expert J Phillip Keillor, to celebrate his legacy in providing science to help build resilience in Wisconsin’s coastal communities. The Fellow will work closely with WDNR staff and work groups, other state and federal agencies, and researchers from a variety of fields to tackle the important challenge of connecting science related to climate change with natural resource managers. The fellowship mentor team will include Dr. Madeline Magee, Cherie Hagen, and Lacey Hill-Kastern (WDNR Office of Great Waters) and Drs. Titus Seilheimer, Natalie Chin, and Jennifer Hauxwell (Wisconsin Sea Grant).

This Fellow position provides a unique educational and career opportunity for a recent graduate interested in climate change, coastal wetlands, and the policy decisions affecting those resources in Wisconsin. This fellowship places a recent master’s or doctoral graduate within the WDNR full-time for two years, with the Fellow bringing technical skills to address coastal wetland and climate change issues while receiving valuable real-world science-policy experience from the resource professionals who serve as mentors. These mutually beneficial partnerships advance science to support policy decisions and provide valuable training opportunities for new professionals entering the work force. This fellowship opportunity emphasizes personal and professional growth through significant flexibility as the fellow develops their project goals and approach and gains experience with community-engaged science and research. Community-engaged science and research relies on building a relationship with a community, developing trust, and practicing in the co-production of science that can benefit the community in decision-making. Each fellow gains experience working at this interface, experimenting with approaches that may be effective (and also learning through those that might not be), and learning how best to translate their strengths into science that is actionable.

Wisconsin DNR has identified the following priority area in which we are seeking assistance. While the bulk of the fellow’s work will focus on this research question, there will be opportunities to assist with field projects, attend trainings and conferences, participate in policy discussions, and work groups, and generally collaborate with DNR staff. The candidate will be expected to produce at least one lead-authored manuscript, mapping products, and contribute to internal and external reports.

· The proposed project will build on prior and ongoing work assessing and predicting climate change effects on coastal wetlands to develop a simplified framework for climate change-based prioritization of wetlands for conservation or restoration action. Information developed in this project will be used to implement management and restoration projects in the Lake Superior basin. The project will develop (a) a series of maps summarizing climate change sensitivity of Lake Superior coastal wetlands; (b) generate general climate adaptation strategies for Great Lakes coastal wetlands; and (c) recommend specific actions for a subset of wetlands to increase climate resilience. Additionally, the fellow will make recommendations on how to transfer the project for subsequent phases in other Great Lakes basins.

This Fellow is intended to be stationed in downtown Madison at the WDNR, and will work with researchers from across the state, region and country, as well as stakeholders and policy-makers in Wisconsin. The position requires occasional travel, including overnight stays.

UW-Madison is an Equal Employment, Equal Access Employer committed to increasing the diversity of our workforce. Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW-Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals. The University of Wisconsin-Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background-people who as students, faculty, and staff serve Wisconsin and the world.