UAS/Wildlife Post Doc Research Fellow

Grand Forks, ND
Mar 24, 2021
Position Type
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
Position Information: DescriptionThe Department of Biology at the University of North Dakota is seeking a productive and dynamic candidate to fill a postdoctoral research fellow position leading a project evaluating unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drones) applications in wildlife that facilitates energy and agricultural needs. The initial appointment is for one year and is renewable for a second year, pending annual review of performance and continued availability of funding. This project has collaborations with Dr. Susan Felege (primary supervisor; University of North Dakota), Dr. Page Klug (U.S. Department of Agriculture – APHIS), Kaylan Kemink (Ducks Unlimited, Inc), industry partners in agriculture and energy (e.g., Xcel Energy, National Sunflower Association), as well as local start-up software company Airtonomy. The postdoc will be developing and refining protocols that facilitate behavioral ecology assessments of wildlife to drones and collaborating with engineers and computer scientists to develop sensors and AI approaches to facilitate wildlife assessments needed in a variety of industry applications from energy and aviation to agriculture.  The successful candidate will gain experience in multiple projects that all have common methodological approaches but different applications.  

Duties & Responsibilities
    Lead research focused on sensor selection and AI development for drone swarms used to deter blackbirds from agricultural fieldsContribute to research associated with extending current wildlife assessment and carcass detection models developed from drone imagery for energy applications to other applications (e.g., general wildlife monitoring surveys, airport runways)Assist in field data collection Format and analyze dataCraft manuscripts for publication and reports for the various partnersDisseminate findings through peer-reviewed publications and wildlife conferencesLead and contribute to extramural funding applications
The postdoc will have the opportunity to mentor graduate and undergraduate students assisting with field data collection and review of drone imagery.

Required Competencies

Competitive candidates will have a background in spatial analysis and statistical modeling as well as a successful track record in publishing.  Preference will be giving to applicants that possess the ability to multi-task and creatively solve problems. The successful candidate should enjoy working both independently and in teams, especially through interdisciplinary collaborations with multiple stakeholders.

Minimum Requirements
    Ph.D. in wildlife ecology or closely related field, must be completed prior to projected start dateDemonstrated evidence publishing in peer-reviewed journals Demonstrated experience in spatial and/or statistical modeling, including ArcGIS and R
  • Successful completion of criminal history records check.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the US and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire. 

Preferred Qualifications
    Experience with Unmanned aerial systems (UAS)Experience with Remote Sensing Data Experience with Image Science and/or Computer VisionFirst-author peer-reviewed publicationsExperience with Grant Writing
Minimum Hiring Salary/Position Classification$46,000, full-time, benefitted, exempt

Work Schedule/Start Date

The desired start date is June 1st but must be no later and July 1, 2021. 


Includes single or family health care coverage (premiums paid for by the university), basic life insurance, EAP, retirement plan, tuition waiver, annual and sick leave. Optional benefits available: supplemental life, dental, vision, flexible spending account, supplemental retirement plans.

To ApplyFor full consideration, applications must be received by April 1, 2021 and include the following materials:

    Cover letter (max 1 page) describing research interest and suitability for positionCVContact information for three references
Position is open until filled. Questions can be directed to Dr. Susan Felege at [email protected].

Additional Information

To find out why living and working in Greater Grand Forks is way cooler, check out Grand Forks is Cooler.

All information listed in this position announcement will be used by Human Resources, the Hiring Department, and EO/Title IX for screening, interviewing and selection purposes.

Confidentiality of Application Materials

Pursuant to NDCC 44-04-18.27, applications and any records related to the applications that identify an applicant are confidential, except records related to the finalists of the position, which are open to the public after the search committee has identified the top three finalists who will be invited to campus.

EEO Statement

The University of North Dakota is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or other protected characteristic. Women, minorities, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and members of other underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants are invited to provide information regarding their gender, race and/or ethnicity, veteran’s status and disability status as part of the application process. This information will remain confidential and separate from your application.

Veteran’s Preference

Veterans claiming preference must submit all proof of eligibility by the closing date. Proof of eligibility includes a DD-214 or NGB 22 and if claiming disabled status, a current letter of disability from the VA dated within the last 12 months.

Clery Statement

In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the University of North Dakota publishes an Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. The report includes the university’s policies, procedures, and programs concerning safety and security, as well as three years’ of crime statistics for our campus. As a prospective employee, you are entitled to a copy of this report. The report and statistical data can be found online at You may also request a paper copy of the report from the UND Police Department located at 3851 Campus Road, Grand Forks, ND, 58202.

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