Postdoctoral/Post Master's Fellowship - Keillor Wisconsin Coastal Management-Sea Grant Fellow

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Sea Grant | Posted Jan 25, 2024

Deadline: Mar 3, 2024

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Experience Level:
Entry Level
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The Wisconsin Sea Grant College Program and the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program seek postdoctoral and post-master’s candidates interested in tackling science and policy challenges related to increasing coastal community resilience across the Great Lakes region. Together, these programs will fund a state Science-Policy Fellow position, named in honor of a longtime Sea Grant coastal engineering expert Phil Keillor, to celebrate his legacy in building resilience in Wisconsin communities. The Fellow will work closely with Wisconsin Coastal Management Program’s Coastal Hazards Work Group, Sea Grant’s coastal engineer, local government representatives, and researchers from a variety of fields to tackle the important challenge of connecting science related to coastal processes – including flooding, erosion, and storms – with communities that could benefit from the information.

This Fellowship position provides a unique educational and career opportunity for a recent graduate interested both in coastal resources and the policy decisions affecting those resources in Wisconsin. The program places a recent master’s or doctoral graduate within a state agency full-time for one year, with the Fellow bringing technical skills to address water issues while receiving valuable real-world science-policy experience from the resource professionals who serve as mentors. These mutual partnerships result in advancing science to support policy decisions as well as valuable training opportunities for new professionals entering the workforce. The fellowship provides strong mentoring and relationship-building with an emphasis on the Fellow's professional development and success.

There is significant flexibility in the specific questions and approaches that the Fellow will tackle and employ, and we seek applicants from a variety of backgrounds including social sciences, engineering, resource management, geology, geography, meteorology, ecological modeling, limnology, etc. The Fellow should be prepared to pursue projects and opportunities according to their interests within the fellowship in addition to gaining experience addressing immediate programmatic needs. There are many opportunities for the Fellow’s work to help communities facing hazardous conditions. Some specific opportunities include:

• Assist the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and Wisconsin Sea Grant in building resilience in Wisconsin coastal communities. Depending on skills and interest, the fellow may develop mapping tools, create educational materials, communicate with stakeholders, provide technical assistance, participate in community engagement or coordinate meetings.
• Help finalize updates to and provide guided outreach on Wisconsin Sea Grant’s Coastal Processes Manual (3rd Ed). This manual demonstrates methods to assess the threat of hazards like flooding, shoreline erosion, and dangerous currents and waves to coastal properties and communities. Efforts may include assisting with editing and production, coordinating outreach events and trainings, developing tools or hazard data to support use of the manual, and piloting specific chapters and tools in communities.
• Provide support and participate in activities of the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program - attend Wisconsin Coastal Management Council meetings, assist with annual grants program, update the grants program StoryMap, facilitate workshops and other trainings, and engage in other WCMP initiatives.
• Provide support and participate in activities of the Wisconsin Sea Grant Program - attend team meetings, assist with research, fellowship, internship, or outreach projects.
• Build on successful previous and ongoing efforts addressing coastal resiliency, such as Collaborative Action for Lake Michigan Resilience (CALM) and Coastal Hazards of Lake Superior (CHAOS) and the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) Coastal Resilience Working Group. Engage with and support existing networks of local, state, federal and university partners that are working collaboratively on coastal resilience.
• Explore opportunities to collaborate with Keillor Fellows in other state agencies (e.g., Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources) on topics such as flooding, wetlands, habitat, and coastal resilience.
• Communicate coastal resilience science and policy work at state, regional, and national conferences.

This Fellow is intended to be stationed in downtown Madison with the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program at the Department of Administration, and will work with researchers from across the state, region and country, as well as stakeholders and policy-makers in Wisconsin. The fellowship mentor team will include Kate Angel and Mike Friis (Wisconsin Coastal Management Program) and Drs. Adam Bechle and Jennifer Hauxwell (Wisconsin Sea Grant). The position requires occasional travel, including overnight stays. Most WCMP staff members work hybrid schedules, and a similar work arrangement may be available to the fellow, with the expectation that the fellow is regularly available for in-office work and meetings.

We welcome applications from underrepresented candidates and anyone passionate about using science to better serve Wisconsin’s Great Lakes communities. 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. Wisconsin Sea Grant is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, inclusive and anti-racist workplace. Applications from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals, LGBTQ+ and non-binary identities, women, persons with disabilities, military service members and veterans, and anyone passionate about our mission are strongly encouraged.

More detail on the fellowship is below. If you have any questions, please contact:
Jennifer Hauxwell at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Please note that successful applicants are responsible for ensuring their eligibility to work in the United States (i.e. a citizen or national of the United States, a lawful permanent resident, a foreign national authorized to work in the United States) on or before the effective date of appointment. University sponsorship is not available for this position. Any work-eligible student or postgraduate who will have graduated in the past five years with a Master’s or Doctorate degree in an applicable field (see above) is encouraged to apply. Fellows must have completed all degree requirements before starting the fellowship.

Stipend and Expenses
Annual stipends are dependent on the Fellow’s academic background, with post master’s Fellows earning $42,000 and postdoctoral Fellows earning $57,000, both with additional benefits (see - Fellows will be allotted up to $2,000 to cover fellowship-related travel and can include conferences. Additional travel associated with the fellowship may be covered by the host agency at the agency’s discretion.

Application Requirements
Application packages should be sent to email hidden; JavaScript is required at the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute and should include:
1. A personal statement that describes your background and abilities, your expectations from the fellowship experience and how this experience fits with your career goals (2 pages or fewer)
2. Curriculum vitae with relevant educational, professional and volunteer experience (no length limit)
3. Copies of all undergraduate and graduate student transcripts
4. Up to 4 writing samples, both formal and informal (e.g., journal articles or other technical documents, popular articles, web resources, etc.)
5. A list of two professional references with contact information, including a faculty member from your graduating institution familiar with your academic record
Please use the naming convention “Last name – description of file” for all files associated with the application (e.g. “Yang – cover letter”, “Yang – cv”, “Yang – transcripts”, etc.).

Selection Process
Wisconsin Sea Grant and Wisconsin Coastal Management staff will identify a short list of candidates for interviews. Interviews will be conducted by a panel with representatives from both programs to determine the best fit for the position. It is expected that applicants will possess a strong aquatic sciences and water resources background, strong analytical skills, an ability to manage projects and work independently, and excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Length of Assignment
The length of assignment is one year with an anticipated start in late summer 2024. This timeline may be adjusted to accommodate academic semester needs or the needs of the candidates or funding institutions.

Host Agency Description
The Wisconsin Coastal Management Program (WCMP) is a state program within the Department of Administration, focused on coastal resources around the Great Lakes. They are federally funded through the National Coastal Zone Management Program which is administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The aim of WCMP is to preserve and improve access to the natural and historic resources of Wisconsin’s Great Lakes coasts. WCMP works with a network of federal, tribal, state, and local partners to support communities as they build resilience to coastal hazards. WCMP serves to connect coastal communities with resources and technical assistance through their extensive network of partners and provide financial assistance directly through their annual grants program. To learn more about WCMP, see:

March 3, 2024 – Deadline for submission of applications
Mid March to early April – Interviews
August-September (approx.) – Fellowship begins.