Job Posting: Research Scientist Positions at University of Montana and University of Nebraska-Lincoln

October 25, 2019

University of Montana and University of Nebraska-Lincoln, in collaboration with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and their Conservation Effects Assessment Project, seek to jointly hire two scientists to study ecological and economic outcomes of conservation investments in western rangelands.

>> Download a PDF of the Position Description <<


Multi-institutional partnership offers unique advantages for highly motivated individuals:

  • Immediate impact with a team of applied scientists who for a decade have helped inform millions of acres of on-the-ground conservation through the NRCS-led Working Lands for Wildlife.
  • Leverage technological innovations that address the most pressing needs of rangeland conservation across unprecedented spatio-temporal scales
  • Membership in the new ​Center for Resilience in Working Agricultural Landscapes​ at UNL and the Rangeland Analysis Platform​ (RAP) science team at UM


Seeking two new team members to assess a pair of fundamental questions in rangeland conservation:

1) How much rangeland productivity has been lost to woody plant encroachment on western rangelands?

2) What are the economic consequences of the loss of productivity? Working together, scientists will apply spatial econometric methods to quantify changes in productivity resulting from woody encroachment, its management, and corresponding impacts on the economic value of rangeland resources. Critical evaluation of both questions is made possible through newly produced, fine resolution datasets of rangeland vegetation cover, productivity, and transitions (​Jones et al. 2018​, ​Robinson et al. 2019​, ​Uden et al. 2019​), soon to be publicly available on RAP. Economic scenarios will examine how Farm Bill financial incentives could expedite the speed and scale of rangeland restoration through woody plant management. Responsibilities include project development and implementation, peer reviewed publications, and close interaction with partners and stakeholders to inform conservation actions.


Successful candidates will be enthusiastic and self-motivated, and willing to provide guidance, leadership, and new perspectives to help push the boundaries of rangeland ecology and conservation. Individuals must be able to work in a cooperative and dynamic team environment across both universities and with conservation partners. A PhD in ecological economics, rangeland ecology, or similar field is required. For the ecologist position, experience with geospatial datasets and software (e.g., Google Earth Engine) is preferred.

Location and compensation

Rangeland ecologist will be based at UM in Missoula, and ecological economist will work out of UNL in Lincoln. Travel between the two universities is required. Salary will be $65k/year with health and retirement benefits. Duration of each position is two years. Preferred start date is January 2020.

Please send inquiries via email about either position to Brady Allred or Dirac Twidwell.

To apply for either position provide 1) letter of interest, and 2) CV (including references) to both Brady Allred (​) and Dirac Twidwell (​) by December 1, 2019.

>> Download a PDF of the Position Description <<