[ES_JOBS_NET] USGS Post doctoral opportunity: Energy/Mineral development impacts, Denver, CO or Reston, VA.

Diffendorfer, James jediffendorfer at usgs.gov
Wed Dec 19 13:38:30 MST 2018

*Proposals due February 1, 2019.  *

*Please contact any of the research advisors listed below if interested.*

*Additional details at **http://geology.usgs.gov/postdoc

*Multi-Resource Analysis - Integrating Energy, Mineral, and other Natural
Resource Assessments*

An interdisciplinary USGS team has initiated a research agenda to develop
methods and tools for Multi-Resource Analysis (MRA). MRA is a
next-generation suite of analytical products that can be used to inform
land use and resource management decisions by integrating scientific
information about natural resources and explicitly recognizing changes to
those resources caused by natural events and human decisions, including
energy and minerals development decisions. MRA focuses on the effects of
change on multiple natural resources, interrelationships among natural
resources, and the economic and societal consequences of these changes to
humans. The USGS has a growing body of work on MRA and related topics
(Jenni et al., 2018; Haines et al., 2013; Martinez et al, in review;
Diffendorfer et al., 2017). The focus of this Research Opportunity is to
further advance MRA via integration of energy, mineral, and other natural
resource assessments. The Mendenhall Fellow’s research may be centered on
any of the physical, economic, or decision science aspects of the MRA. To
that end, we solicit proposals touching on one or more of following
research areas which are the primary components of an MRA described in
Jenni et al. 2018.

1.     *Baseline natural resource assessment:* USGS energy and mineral
resource assessment procedures have been in place for many years, but there
are no equivalent procedures for collectively assessing the many other
natural resources in a region, nor an established means of integrating
geologic, biophysical, and socioeconomic resource assessments. An
innovative methodology to synthesize co-located natural resource data in a
study region is needed.

2.     *Scenarios and scenario analysis:* Natural processes and events and
human decisions can change landscapes, their natural resources, and the
benefits those resources provide. Resource managers need to make decisions
despite significant uncertainty and there is a need for robust techniques
that can provide an improved understanding of future conditions that could
occur under a set of decision-relevant scenarios.

3.     *Integrated, Dynamic Models of Physical and Biological
Interrelationships:* Understanding how stressors, disruptions, and
decisions can change future conditions of co-located natural resources
requires an understanding of the interrelationships among those resources.
Research is needed to develop integrated, dynamic models of the physical
and biological relationships among resources.

4.     *Economic Analysis:* MRA provides additional information by
considering the connection between natural resources and people via
economic analyses. Research is needed on methods to evaluate how the
biophysical changes modeled under different scenarios affects and is valued
by the people who live in the region or rely on the resources.

We seek a Mendenhall Fellow to investigate and advance MRA using USGS
energy and mineral resource assessments. The research should fall within
one or more of the four categories described above. Possible topics include:

   - How can recent advances in data synthesis, automation, integration and
   AI allow the integration of multiple resource assessments to provide
   meaningful information on resource quantity, quality and importance, and
   how can information be collected, synthesized and delivered in a more in
   effective and efficient manner?
   - Exploring the potential for a set of generalized scenarios related to
   energy and mineral development strategies that could be applied
   consistently across many regions.
   - Exploring how scenarios and alternatives to scenarios capture and
   communicate alternative futures to decision makers and stakeholders and how
   well existing energy simulations perform compared to observed patterns of
   - Developing and applying methods that provide a quantitative accounting
   of the relationships between multiple resources. Possible examples include
   quantifying the individual and population-scale impacts of petroleum
   development on collocated species, or quantifying the social and economic
   impacts of recreation areas being converted to mineral resource extraction.
   - Connecting the valued aspects of the resources to quantitative
   measures of value, with particular interest in economic valuation.
   - Using or modifying risk assessment tools and approaches to integrate
   consideration and valuation of low-probability, high-consequence events
   (such as spill or leak) into the economic analysis.

Applicants are expected to have strong technical skills in economics,
decision science, geology, geophysics, geography, ecology, or another
relevant physical science along with computational skills associated with
the proposed work and a desire to contribute to advancing MRA; however,
experience in applying the skills towards MRA is not necessary.


Diffendorfer, J.E., Beston, J. A., Merril, M. D., Stanton, J. C., Corum, M.
D., Loss, S. R., Thogmartin, W. E., Johnson, D. H., Erickson, R. A., Heist,
K. W. 2017. A method to assess the population-level consequences of wind
energy facilities on bird and bat species. 65-76 in “Wind Energy and
Wildlife Interactions: Presentations from the CWW2015 Conference”.
Springer, New York, New York. ISBN: 9783319512709

Haines, S.S., Diffendorfer, J.E., Balistrieri, L., Berger, B., Cook, T.,
DeAngelis, D., Doremus, H., Gautier, D.L., Gallegos, T., Gerritsen, M.,
Graffy, E., Hawkins, S., Johnson, K.M., Macknick, J., McMahon, P., Modde,
T., Pierce, B., Schuenemeyer, J.H., Semmens, D., Simon, B., Taylor, J., and
Walton-Day, K., 2013, A framework for quantitative assessment of impacts
related to energy and mineral resource development: Natural Resources
Research, v. 23, no. 1, p. 3–17.

Jenni, K.E., Pindilli, E., Bernknopf, R., Nieman, T.L., and Shapiro, C.,
2018, Multi-Resource Analysis—Methodology and synthesis: U.S. Geological
Survey Circular 1442, 81 p.,https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1442.

Martinez, C., S. Haines, S. Garman, J. Diffendorfer, D. Semmens, Dorning,
M., Jenni, K., in review. Quantifying potential future effects of
developing oil and gas resources on ecosystem attributes: A demonstration
in the Piceance Basin, Western Colorado. Natural Resources Research.

*Proposed Duty Station:* Denver, CO; Reston, VA

*Areas of Ph.D.:* Economics, decision science, geosciences, geography,
landscape ecology, hydrology or related fields (candidates holding a Ph.D.
in other disciplines, but with extensive knowledge and skills relevant to
the Research Opportunity may be considered).

*Qualifications:* Applicants must meet one of the following
qualifications: Research
Research Analyst
<https://geology.usgs.gov/postdoc/opps/qualifications.html#op_anal>, Research
Social Scientist
Physical Scientist
<https://geology.usgs.gov/postdoc/opps/qualifications.html#res_ecol>, Research
<https://geology.usgs.gov/postdoc/opps/qualifications.html#res_geog>. (This
type of research is performed by those who have backgrounds for the
occupations stated above. However, other titles may be applicable depending
on the applicant's background, education, and research proposal. The final
classification of the position will be made by the Human Resources

*Research Advisor(s):* Karen Jenni, 303-236-5766, kjenni at usgs.gov
<https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=cm&fs=1&tf=1&to=kjenni@usgs.gov>; Emily
Pindilli, 703-648-5732, epindilli at usgs.gov
Seth Haines, 303-236-0459, shaines at usgs.gov
Darius Semmens, 303-236-1420, dsemmens at usgs.gov
<https://mail.google.com/mail/?view=cm&fs=1&tf=1&to=dsemmens@usgs.gov>; Jay
Diffendorfer, 303-236-5369, jediffendorfer at usgs.gov

*Human Resources Office Contact:* Emilyn Claycomb, eclaycomb at usgs.gov
703 648-7481

*The USGS Mendenhall program.*

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began the Mendenhall Postdoctoral
Research Fellowship Program (now called Mendenhall Research Fellowship
Program) in 2001 in honor of Walter C. Mendenhall, the fifth Director of
the USGS. The Mendenhall Program provides an opportunity for recent PhD
graduates (within five years since completion of the doctoral degree) to
conduct concentrated research in association with selected members of the
USGS professional staff. The Program is intended to provide research
fellows with experiences that enhance their personal scientific skills and
accomplishments.  Through the Mendenhall Program the USGS acquires current
expertise to assist in the advancement of its scientific goals.

To date, over 120 Mendenhall Fellows have joined the USGS.  Mendenhall
Fellowships are 2-year appointments with a competitive salary (~$60,000)
and benefits package. Mendenhall Fellows are also granted project expense
funds appropriate to the scope of research to be conducted. Postdoctoral
research projects under this program have spanned a wide range of
scientific topics of interest and relevance to the mission of the USGS.
For additional information, please consult the Project Profiles section of
the Mendenhall Program web site at the following URL:

What is it like to be a USGS Mendenhall Fellow?  Check out the FAQ section
of the program web site for some very informative quotes from previous
Mendenhall Fellows.  Also, another way, of course, is to find out directly
from a Fellow -- Project Profiles contain their contact information.

Program contacts: Dr. Rama K. Kotra, 703-648-6271, rkotra at usgs.gov;

Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Denver Federal Center, Bldg 25, room 1719, MS 980
Denver, CO 80225
ORCID: 0000-0003-1093-6948

Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Denver Federal Center, Bldg 25, room 1719, MS 980
Denver, CO 80225
ORCID: 0000-0003-1093-6948
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