Job Opportunities

Research Scientist

Application deadline: May 26, 2022

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The Jornada Experimental Range/New Mexico State University seeks a Research Scientist to develop spatial/telecoupling models of agricultural supply chains to test hypotheses about agricultural sustainability and resilience with multi-scale and multi-factor perspectives. The scientist will collaborate with other researchers, extension specialists, and producers as part of the Sustainable Southwest Beef Coordinated Agricultural Project.


Job duties and responsibilities

The scientist will use data mining, information analysis, and spatial modeling to forecast the effects of alternative agricultural supply chains on environmental and socioeconomic outcomes at multiple scales. A major focus will entail quantifying causes and effects of alternative beef supply chains originating on ranches of the southwestern US in a telecoupling framework being co-developed by other researchers, producers, and extension specialists in the Sustainable Southwest Beef Coordinated Agricultural Project and Long-Term Agroecosystem Research network (LTAR). The scientist will use computational models to link ecological and socioeconomic patterns and processes at multiple spatial and temporal scales.



Required knowledge includes: proficiency in data mining technologies, information management and analysis, and spatial modeling of coupled ecological and socioeconomic patterns and processes. Preferred knowledge includes: demonstrated interest in the structure of agricultural industries and regional change; practical understanding of ranch and farm production in dry regions of the western US; familiarity with agricultural data.



Proficiency in collating and applying primary and secondary datasets to analytical questions about US agriculture,  geospatial modeling (e.g., with GIS, remote sensing products, R/Python, Google Earth Engine), statistical analysis of large datasets, and experience with model applications in coupled human-natural systems is required. With geospatial technologies changing rapidly, the incumbent must maintain currency in data visualization, collection, and analysis methods to integrate human and natural dynamics.


The incumbent must also show an ability to publish peer-reviewed papers, initiate and lead research projects, conduct sound statistical analysis, and interpret results. 



Ability to direct and publish research as first author, to work both independently and interact with a team of scientists and students, and to present data at conferences and grant proposals are required. The research area requires a high level of innovation and ingenuity to link research conducted at multiple scales of spatial and temporal resolution; this requires great flexibility in thought and the ability to work in multiple areas of expertise outside the boundaries of the incumbent’s formal training.


Required education

A Ph.D. is required with experience in modeling systems.


Preferred qualifications

Research assignment requires professional knowledge of data mining technologies, information management and analysis, and spatial modeling of coupled ecological and socioeconomic patterns and processes (e.g., with GIS, remote sensing products, R/Python, Google Earth Engine).   


Employer and main collaborators 

New Mexico State University (NMSU) is a comprehensive land-grant institution classified as a Hispanic-serving institution that is committed to building a culturally diverse educational environment. 


The Jornada Experimental Range is a collaborative research unit comprising USDA-Agricultural Research Service and New Mexico State University scientists and staff. Offices are located on the NMSU campus, with an experimental range located 25 miles north of Las Cruces.  


The incumbent’s activities are expected to enhance multi-disciplinary collaboration and contribute to synthesis of research results among NMSU, the Sustainable Southwest Beef Coordinated Agricultural Project, USDA-ARS, and the Long-Term Agroecosystem Research Network (LTAR).