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Postdoctoral Fellow Position: Modeling climate and wildfire interactions

The Harvard Forest invites applications for a post-doctoral researcher to work with Dr. Jonathan Thompson. The successful candidate will contribute to a multi-institutional project, funded by the National Science Foundation, working to understand the potential for climate change to force a critical transition from a stable forest-dominated landscape to a stable shrub-dominated landscape within the Klamath region of Oregon and California. The researcher will utilize the LANDIS-II ( succession and disturbance modeling framework to simulate climate change effects on wildfire regimes and vegetation dynamics, thereby projecting the potential for and mechanisms driving a critical transition. There is an expectation that the research will make significant contributions in theoretical and applied ecology.  Learn more.

Work Location:

The post-doc will be based at Harvard Forest in Petersham, Massachusetts 

Required Qualifications:

Ph.D. (awarded by start date) in forest ecology, forestry, geography, or related field; Capable of conducting complex spatial analyses (e.g. landscape simulation, GIS, remote sensing, and spatial statistics); Experience with simulation modeling of large data; Skilled at scripting within the R and/or Python programming languages; Evidence of strong scholarship, including peer-reviewed publications; Proven ability to plan and conduct independent research projects from beginning to end;

Preferred Experience:

Prior use of LANDIS or other forest succession and disturbance models; experience modeling wildfire using BFOLDS, FARSITE, or other fire behavior or spread models;


Review of applications will begin on 11/15/2014.  There is flexibility around the start date, but not past April 2015. Initial appointment of one year is renewable for up to an additional 1.5 years based on performance.

Harvard Forest, an internationally recognized center for basic and applied research in ecology, conservation and ecosystem studies, with 40 full-time staff is one of 26 Long Term Ecological Research sites across the country sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The Forest facilities include a research and administrative complex, 3500 acres of land, and residential buildings. The Forest is located in Petersham, a small rural town in north central Massachusetts about 70 miles west of Cambridge. For more information, visit


$44000 plus health insurance benefits through Harvard University

To apply:

Send CV, PDFs of relevant publications, and the names and contact info for three references to Jonathan Thompson: