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SBSC has a job opportunity for a soil scientist/ecologist who is a recent graduate to work on wind erosion, land potential, restoration, and digital soil mapping.

Drylands near Moab, Utah
Photo of drylands taken near Moab, Utah, by Erika Geiger, USGS SBSC.


A soil scientist/ecologist position is available at the USGS Southwest Biological Science Center located in Moab, UT.  The successful candidate will work on collaborative projects examining wind erosion processes, understanding concepts of land potential, conducting digital soil mapping, and other applied soil and ecological research on the Colorado Plateau and southwestern US.  This position includes analysis of vegetation, soil, wind erosion, and restoration data; spatial modelling; and collection of new soil, erosion, and ecological data. Within the framework of larger studies, this position will: 1) synthesize data to explore patterns of the relationship between soils, wind erosion, and ecological dynamics; 2) effectively use complex statistical analyses and machine learning; and 3) communicate results in presentations and peer-reviewed publications.

This position offers an exciting opportunity to elucidate how climate and land use change will interact to affect the plants, soils, and ecosystem function of the Colorado Plateau and drylands of the southwestern US.  Specifically, this position will focus on 1) land use and climate change impacts on dust, vegetation, and water cycles, 2) how land treatments, restoration, and land-use history affect ecological state dynamics (vegetation community, functional indicators, soil health, and erosion); and 3) explore how these processes and interactions are likely to change under a drier and more variable climate.

A Ph.D. degree and a background in field and modeling methods in soil science, ecology, and/or range science is preferred. Moab, UT is a small town offering a variety of outdoor adventures.  More information about Moab can be found at

This is a student contract position with a compensation of $34.16 / hour and does not include benefits.  It is open to applicants who are recent Ph.D.s (within 12 months of start date) with a preferred start date between April and June 2022. Interested individuals should share a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references to Mike Duniway ( and Travis Nauman (

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