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Research Specialist – Land Systems Science / Economics | Santa Barbara, CA

Website econ_servation University of California, Santa Barbara

The Environmental Studies Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara invites applications for an Assistant or Associate-level Specialist position to join Professor Robert Heilmayr’s lab. Specialists are academic appointees who engage in specialized research, professional activity, and University and/or public service, and who do not have any teaching responsibilities.

The successful candidate will support a new research initiative exploring the impacts of corporate commitments to end deforestation. The research project will combine remote sensing and econometrics to both advance science as well as improve social and environmental outcomes on the ground. Assistant Specialists enable research as part of a team and may provide some independent input into the planning and execution of the research. Associate Specialists normally provide considerable independent input into the planning and execution of the research, have a record of academic accomplishments, including contributions to published research in the field, and a demonstrated record of University and/or public service.

Key responsibilities for this position will be data collection, organization, and analysis of commodity supply chains and their spatial footprints in tropical landscapes. The specialist will have a geographic focus on oil palm production in Southeast Asia, however, they will have the opportunity to support additional research in South America. The successful applicant will have strong data analysis and management skills along with experience in conducting academic research.

Minimum Qualifications:
– Master’s in economics, statistics, geography, environmental science or related field, or a minimum of 5 years of experience conducting applied economics or spatial research.

Additional Qualifications:
– Experience collecting, wrangling and analyzing large datasets;
– Academic or applied research experience developing econometric or statistical models;
– Contributions to published research required for Associate rank.

Preferred Qualifications:
– Fluency in Python and/or Stata;
– Familiarity with remote sensing and/or geographic information systems;
– Record of effective scientific communication;
– Knowledge of academic literature on oil palm production landscapes and their impact on local livelihoods and the environment;
– Familiarity with scientific literature on the economics of land use change;
– Fluency in Bahasa Indonesia or Bahasa Malaysia.

To apply: Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, three (3) references with contact information only, 3-4 sample publications (for Associate rank), and a CV online at The cover letter should clearly state how the candidate meets the desired qualifications.

The search will remain open until the position is filled. For primary consideration, applications should be completed on or before September 29, 2017. Questions can be directed to Professor Robert Heilmayr (, Step, and Salary are dependent upon the candidate’s academic record. 100% time appointment for one year from start date, with possibility for additional year(s) of employment. The position qualifies for full benefits through the University of California.

This position will be based in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Bren Hall provides an incredibly rich community of interdisciplinary scholars tackling pressing environmental challenges, while Santa Barbara offers inspiring natural surroundings.

The department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community. The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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