Postdoctoral Researcher in evaluation of ocean planning outcomes

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Sep 30, 2019
Annapolis, Maryland, USA


A postdoctoral position funded for 18 months by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Marine Conservation Initiative is available at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC). Six months of additional funding will be provided for the position by SESYNC based on performance and availability of funds. The postdoc will join an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional, and international team of experts seeking to better understand the efficacy of ocean planning (or marine spatial planning) and the degree to which intended socio-environmental outcomes have or have not been achieved. The successful candidate will provide strong technical and intellectual support to the team, and be provided opportunities to lead data analysis, manage remote collaborations as well as in-person team meetings at various locations around the country, and publish scientific results.

The team seeks a postdoctoral candidate from an interdisciplinary background who has some combination of expertise in ocean planning, ocean science, conservation evaluation, case studies, and metric or indicator development. The position is best suited to individuals who are comfortable with and have some experience working on diverse and geographically-distributed teams, synthesizing disparate data sources  and using mixed methods approaches. Ultimately, the postdoc will contribute to a novel evaluative approach that is both relevant to researchers, practitioners, and decision-makers. 

The postdoc will be based at SESYNC, which is home to 15 postdoctoral researchers independently studying diverse socio-environmental systems. The successful candidate will be encouraged to become an active member of the SESYNC postdoctoral community, including participating in all professional development and immersion training programs convened at the Center. Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation to the University of Maryland, SESYNC is a national research center that works closely with researchers from around the world who study problems related to the complex interactions between humans and the environment. The Center is located in beautiful historic Annapolis. State-of-the-art facilities, advanced cyberinfrastructure, and scientific staff provide resident and visiting scholars with a high level of support. 


A completed Ph.D. in oceanography, conservation biology, ecology, geography, or any related field to complement the interdisciplinary project and team. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated expertise and/or research interests in conservation evaluation, marine environments, data-driven synthesis, and mixed methods appraoches. A promising record of research productivity is highly valued and the successful applicant will be an independent, motivated scientist who communicates well, is highly organized, and thrives in a collaborative and dynamic setting. The ability to start as early as October 2019 is highly preferred.

How to Apply: 

Applications should be received by September 30, 2019, but will be considered until the position is filled. To apply, please prepare a single PDF containing (1) a cover letter stating your interest in the position and the relevance of your current skillset and research; (2) an updated C.V.; and (3) names and contact information for 3 professional references. Please email completed applications to SESYNC’s Assistant Director for Interdisciplinary Science, Dr. Nicole Motzer, at

The University of Maryland, College Park, an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action; all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment.  The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, age, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, creed, marital status, political affiliation, personal appearance, or on the basis of rights secured by the First Amendment, in all aspects of employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.

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