University of Alberta

Postdoctoral Position in Human Dimensions of Wildlife

Kinesiology, Sport & Recreation - Research & Innovation

Competition No.  -    A103842464
Closing Date  -    Will remain open until filled.

The human dimensions of wetlands and waterfowl conservation:Developing measures of stakeholder involvement in conservation activities and nature-based recreation.

We are seeking a 2-year postdoctoral fellow to join a national human dimensions research project examining the conservation of waterfowl and wetlands. The position will be based at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and will be supervised by Dr. Howie Harshaw (Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, & Recreation). The anticipated start date for the position is July/August, 2020. The program of research integrates several fields of research, including outdoor recreation, environmental sociology, and wildlife management using a human dimensions[1] approach.

The North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) is an international partnership that works to conserve abundant and resilient waterfowl populations and sustainable landscapes. Through work with their partners on four NAWMP Joint Ventures, Ducks Unlimited Canada collaborate on waterfowl and habitat management initiatives, including social issues that are relevant to wetland and waterfowl conservation. Two goals frame this program of research:

  • Raise the human dimensions capacity of the Joint Venture community; and
  • Understand the attitudes, beliefs, and preferences of stakeholders (i.e., conservationists and citizens who enjoy and actively support waterfowl and wetlands conservation) regarding waterfowl and wetland to support decision-making.

Throughout this program of research, the postdoctoral fellow will work closely with Ducks Unlimited Canada and other Joint Venture partners to increase knowledge about, and application of, human dimensions approaches to understanding people's relationships with wetlands and waterfowl and their conservation. Developing repeatable measures of conservation and nature-based recreation involvement, and raising the capacity of the Joint Ventures to address human dimensions issues will represent significant milestones for the implementation of the NAWMP in Canada.

Four studies contribute to this program of research:

  • Characterize existing stakeholder groups who are interested in/have concerns about wetlands and waterfowl conservation (uses existing data).
  • Identify and characterize new stakeholder groups that have interests in/have concerns about wetlands and waterfowl conservation (uses existing data).
  • Establish repeatable indicators of conservation and nature-based recreation involvement that are applicable across all four Joint Ventures.
  • Administer a national survey of relevant stakeholders to implement indicators of conservation and nature-based recreation involvement and preferences (collection of new data).

This 2-year position is funded by Ducks Unlimited Canada and Mitacs (Accelerate Fellowship). The salary is $50,000 (CDN)/year, plus benefits.

Qualifications: The candidates must hold a PhD degree, have (co-) authored publications and have a strong background in sociology, environmental psychology, or human dimensions. Prior expertise in survey administration, multivariate statistics, working in applied settings, or wildlife/habitat conservation will be advantageous. Excellent oral and written communication skills are required.

To Apply: Applicants should send a cover letter, CV and short statement (1-2 pages) of research interest to Dr. Harshaw ( Initial review of applications will begin on June 15, 2020

Dr. Howie Harshaw
Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation
University of Alberta
2-130J Van Vliet Complex (University Hall)
Edmonton, AB T6G 2H9
T: 780-907-4955 (Ư if outside Canada)

[1] The term human dimensions refers to how and why people value natural resources, how people want resources managed, and how people affect or are affected by natural resources management decisions. Human dimensions inquiries strive to understand human traits and how to incorporate that understanding into management planning and actions (Decker, Brown & Siemer, 2001).

How to Apply