Post Doctoral Research Scholar - Human Environment Systems

Apply now Job no: 496061
Work type: Non-Classified/Professional
Location: Boise, ID
Categories: Academic Programs, Education and Training, Research

About Us: Boise State University, powered by creativity and innovation, stands uniquely positioned in the Northwest as a metropolitan research university of distinction. Learn more about Boise State and the City of Boise at Boise State University is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty, staff, students, and academic program offerings and to strengthening sensitivity to diversity throughout the institution. Boise State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, and members of historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply. We are a welcoming campus that supports diversity and inclusion.
Job Summary/Basic Function:

We have three years of funding available for a research scientist/postdoctoral scientist focused on analyzing the efficacy and unintended consequences of policies intended to encourage sustainable land use practices. Such land use policies (such as protected areas, logging bans, sustainability certification, and restrictive zoning) are becoming more and more prevalent worldwide as societies struggle to satisfy competing demands for food, fiber, housing, biodiversity and ecosystem services. With “big data” and advanced statistical techniques, we have an increasing capacity to quantify the impacts of these policies.

In this project, we focus on investigating land use policies aimed at protecting farmland from development across the continental US. States and counties across the U.S. have implemented a diverse range of policy mechanisms, providing a wide range of excellent opportunities to conduct sophisticated land use policy impact analysis research.
Our project team has rich geospatial datasets on farmland conversion and policy implementation across the entire nation, in hand. We are looking for someone with advanced data science and analytical skills to use spatial econometric and causal identification strategies to quantify policy efficacy, identify leakage, and to investigate how social-ecological context influences policy outcomes. This project has strong potential for both high-impact peer-reviewed publications and to influence U.S. land use policies.

Department Overview:

The post-doc will join the Human-Environment Systems community (, a group of faculty, researchers and students committed to trans-disciplinary, team-based, actionable research that addresses real-world environmental challenges. The project team includes Dr. Jodi Brandt (land use scientist at Boise State), Dr. Mitch Hunter (Research Director at American Farmland Trust), Dr. Jayash Paudel and Lee Parton (economists) and Matt Williamson (conservation scientist).

Essential Functions:

The project involves analyzing large (i.e. national-scale) spatial datasets, expertise in GIS, database development and management, strong coding skills, and preparing manuscripts for publication in top-tier journals.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

● The position requires strong spatial and quantitative modeling skills, a broad understanding of policy impact analysis, and experience with counterfactual and quasi-experimental statistical analysis techniques.
● Strong English written and verbal communication skills are required, as is the ability to work well in a team that includes interdisciplinary scientists and professionals.

Minimum Qualifications:

Requires a minimum of a Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree in a relevant discipline.

We also welcome applications from candidates with a M.S. and a publication record in topics related to this research. Applicants that do not have a PhD are encouraged to reach out to Jodi Brandt (

Preferred Qualifications:

We are seeking a candidate with a publication record in using geospatial data and spatial econometric techniques to measure land use policy impacts.

Salary and Benefits:

The pay for this position is $60,000 per year. Boise State University is committed to offering a benefits package that provides health and financial protection plans as well as resources to promote health and well-being. Our program provides flexibility so you can choose the benefits that are right for you and your family. Learn more about our benefit options at

Required Application Materials:

Applicants should apply with CV, contact information for 3 references, and a cover letter. The cover letter should include a statement describing experience with econometric, counterfactual and quasi-experimental analysis techniques with geospatial data. Informal inquiries about the position can be directed to Jodi Brandt (



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Boise State University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. Boise State University is building a culturally diverse faculty and staff and strongly encourages applications from women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and covered veterans. As a federal contractor, the University will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. View Boise State's complete Pay Transparency Policy Statement. If you require an accommodation to complete this application, please contact Human Resources at 208-426-1616
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