Job Opportunity

US Forest Service Postdoc Position (USFS-IPIF)

US Forest Service
US Forest Service Postdoc Position Description

Science staff with the US Forest Service’s Institute of Pacific Island Forestry (IPIF), located in Hilo, Hawaii, lead basic and applied research efforts on the conservation, management and restoration of tropical forests in Hawaii and the US Affiliated Pacific (Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, the Marshalls, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau). For the post-doctoral fellow, research activities will focus on large-scale permanent forest plots in the Pacific, including forest dynamics plots in Hawaii (Hawaii Permanent Plot Network; HIPPNET,, and in Palau (Palau Permanent Plot Network (PIPPNET;, both formally part of the Smithsonian’s Center for Tropical Forest Science-ForestGEO permanent plot network ( The successful candidate will be based in Hilo, Hawaii at the IPIF offices in Hilo. The IPIF has funding to support this fellowship for up to four years.

The goal of these networks and the position is to use long-term and species specific observations to understand forest dynamics within and across sites. Through these long-term observations and analyses, insights about forest responses to environmental change can be used to inform conservation and management, while training the next generation of ecologists. Specifically, the researcher will examine large-scale and spatially-explicit data on vegetation, climate, topography, and plant physiological traits, and publish the results of these analyses in international journals. Relevant research focus areas for the position include studies of Hawaiian and global forest dynamics and physiology, including comparative studies of growth, mortality, and biomass change, emphasizing comparative studies among forests.

We are seeking applicants that have strong analytical training, and a promising record of scholarly research, including publications in international journals and ability to generate funding via collaborative proposal submissions. We require that applicants hold a PhD in ecology, forest ecology, or environmental science at the time of hire, and that they possess research experience that is relevant to the goals of the position described above. The researcher will need strong written and communication skills, a demonstrated ability to work in a team environment, and interest in collaborating with an interdisciplinary team of collaborators. 

Salary is at the GS-11 level with location-based pay adjustment.

The appointment is for four years, preferably beginning in November 2018.

To apply, send a single PDF file containing a cover letter including a statement of research interest, CV, contact information for three references, and three relevant publications or manuscripts to Susan Cordell, USFS-IPIF Director,

For further information, contact Susan Cordell, USFS-IPIF Director,

Required Abilities

  • Strong analytical background, especially of large data sets and spatial data
  • Ability to conduct field work in rugged conditions
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with an interdisciplinary team
  • Mentor graduate and undergraduate students
  • Broad background in ecology
  • Honesty/integrity
  • Ability to address reviewer comments

Desirable Abilities

  • Experience with Center for Tropical Forest Science data, questions, methods, and literature.
  • Experience with comparative studies

Job duties

  • Analysis and publication of existing data in scientific journals 60%
  • Develop new lines of research inquiry within existing plots, including identifying research questions, writing proposals, and collecting data 20%
  • Project Management and Administrative duties 20%
Job Locations: 
Hilo, Hawaii