Research Associate

Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


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Position Summary

The Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences and The Center for Global Change and Earth Observations seek candidates who possess and demonstrate relevant interest and skills in one or more of the following topics: (1) Down scaling of landscape functions from coarse to fine resolution imagery; (2) GPS tracking of livestock; (3) Strong skills in interacting with herders; (4) Socio-ecological analysis of complex systems.

Successful applicant will play a significant role in research funded by the NASA LCLUC program. This work focuses on understanding the quantitative contributions of land cover change, specific management practices, herding behaviors, and climate changes to the Food (livestock), Energy, Water Systems (FEWS) of landscapes in Mongolia and Kazakhstan. Strong candidates will have experience with collaborative interdisciplinary work. 

Position will be based in East Lansing, Michigan with an initial 12-month annual appointment. Renewal up to two additional years may be possible subject to performance and funding availability. Salary will be based on commensurate education and experience.

Required Degree


Minimum Requirements

  • Education: PhD in environmental science, landscape ecology, geoscience, geographic information science, rangeland management, or a related field.
  • Knowledge: Applicants must have demonstrated experience in Python, Matlab and/or R.
  • Abilities: Strong writing and communication skills in English required. Candidate must be capable of performing field surveys/interviews in Mongolia and Kazakhstan.

Desired Qualifications

Candidates with advanced skills in data synthesis, visualization, agent-based human-environment modeling, land use change scenario modeling (e.g. SLEUTH, Dinamica), and big data-model integration are strongly encouraged to apply.

Required Application Materials

Applications should be submitted electronically to the Michigan State University Human Resources application system. Application package to include:

  • One to two-page cover letter and statement of career objectives and research synergies with C cycle science in managed landscapes;
  • Full current CV;
  • Names, positions, and contact information for three reference writers;
  • One published or submitted manuscript with primary authorship by the applicant.

Special Instructions

Appointment is contingent upon successfully completing a full background check. Review of applications begin December 2, 2019, and will continue until the position is filled. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. Queries may be directed to Professor Jiquan Chen at .

Review of Applications Begins On




Department Statement

The Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences, The Center for Global Change and Earth Observations, the LEES Lab, and the ERSAM Lab are all committed to promoting diversity in research.

MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.