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SBSC Employment Opportunities

For more information on USGS employment, please view the following sites.


Jobs in Canyonlands Research Station

Moab and the Peaks

Post-Doctoral Position at USGS in Moab, UT: Climate change effects on dryland ecosystems

A postdoctoral position in ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, and climate change is available at the USGS Canyonlands Research Station located in Moab, UT.


The successful candidate will work on a collaborative project examining how warming and altered precipitation regimes affect plants, soils, and biogeochemical cycles of the Colorado Plateau and the Chihuahuan Desert. In particular, within the framework of this Department of Energy-funded experiment, the postdoctoral fellow will address how climate treatments alter plant and soil community composition and physiology; carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycling; and nutrient transfers between biocrusts and vascular plants in the field. Responsibilities of this position include: 1) collect and synthesize data (from the field and the lab) to explore questions and patterns of climate change connections to ecosystem structure and function; 2) effectively use statistical analyses to assess relationships among plant, soil, and climate data; 3) communicate results in presentations and peer-reviewed publications; and (4) oversee manipulative experiments and aid in the field and laboratory supervision of technicians who help with data collection and organization. This position offers an exciting opportunity be a part of a creative scientific team whose goal is to elucidate how climate change - predicted to be notably strong in the arid and semiarid Southwest - will affect the plants, soils, and ecosystem function of the region.

A Ph.D. and background in biogeochemistry or ecology is preferred. The Canyonlands Research Station is a USGS facility and the successful applicant would be working with Drs. Sasha Reed and Jayne Belnap. Moab, UT is a small town offering a variety of outdoor opportunities, and more information about Moab can be found at

SALARY AND START DATE: Salary is $47,923/year plus full benefits and a start date within October 2014-January 2015 is preferred. The position is expected to last 2 years with potential 1-year extension.

APPLICATION: Interested individuals should submit a cover letter and a curriculum vitae to Erika Geiger ( and put ‘Dryland climate change post-doc’ in the subject line. Please don’t hesitate to contact Sasha Reed ( with any questions. This job will also be posted on August 25, 2014 on USA Jobs ( and you can find it by typing ‘Moab, UT’ into the Location field.

Both Drs. Reed ( and Belnap ( will be at ESA. If you would like to meet there, please drop us an email with your CV, and we will arrange a time.

Climate Change and Colorado Plateau Ecosystems

Biological Soil Crusts:  The Role of Trampling, Climate Change and Nitrogen Deposition in Affecting Community Species Composition

A PhD-level position for a U.S. Citizen (only!) is available at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to study biological soil crust communities. The student will work on a collaborative project with Drs. Henry Sun (Desert Research Institute, Las Vegas, NV) and Jayne Belnap (USGS, Moab, UT) examining species dynamics of undisturbed biocrusts, as well as how trampling, climate change (temperature and water manipulations), and nitrogen deposition has affected biocrust composition and physiology. These studies will occur on both the Colorado Plateau and in the Mojave Desert.  The student will: 1) sample current and past experiments to assess treatment effects and recovery of species composition and physiological function; 2) synthesize 18 years of data on the natural dynamics of undisturbed biocrust communities (the longest running data set in existence); 3) give presentations and publish peer-reviewed papers. A background in laboratory and field methods in ecology, physiology, and biogeochemistry is preferred. Start date will be Fall 2014 or Spring 2015, depending on applicant availability. Position is expected to last 4 years. Interested individuals should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and three references to Dr. Sun (