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Native American Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship

Application Window

Open date: April 6th, 2021

Next review date: Monday, Apr 26, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Monday, Apr 26, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The University of California, Davis, in collaboration with the USGS Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (SW CASC,, invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellowship with a focus on Indigenous-led applications of fire in the Southwest for a 2-year period, beginning June 1, 2021. The postdoc will be able to work across both the Middleton ( and Safford ( research groups, with projects including cultural burning demonstration, outreach, and education (Middleton); cultural burn policy analysis (Middleton); and the ecological impacts of low-intensity fire on SW and Australian ecosystems (Safford). The postdoc will contribute to the need to understand more of the scope of, challenges and opportunities for, and multifaceted outcomes of Indigenous burning, in California and throughout the SW CASC region—in order to better identify regional or state barriers, activate opportunities, and offer support to cultural fire efforts. Following the best practices of Lam et al. ( through research, analysis, synthesis, and knowledge sharing, we endeavor to bridge Western and Indigenous knowledge for fire-focused climate adaptation in southwestern ecosystems. We work collaboratively across the CASC network to respond to research needs and develop relevant products for natural resource managers.

Possible areas of focus include the following:

  • Analyze, assess, and develop strategies to address the multi-scalar policy barriers and/or opportunities to implementing Indigenous-led traditional burning across land jurisdictions and ecosystems
  • Asses the scales at which Indigenous cultural burning may be applied to address climate change in Southwest ecosystems
  • Assess the ecological and policy potential for Indigenous burning to be recognized as a carbon sequestration strategy that provides ongoing biodiversity maintenance.
  • Evaluate impacts of cultural burning on fish, wildlife, soils, and water, with an emphasis on ecological changes in both terrestrial and freshwater aquatic habitats.
  • Examine the interacting effects of climate change and other stressors (e.g., invasive species, drought, land use change) and cultural fire, with a particular emphasis on cumulative and interactive impacts, and other potential beneficial synergistic effects of cultural burning to reduce/moderate climatic variability.

It is important for the incumbent to have experience working collaboratively with Indigenous populations and knowledge systems; demonstrated research and writing skills; a capacity for strong conceptual thinking; a commitment to staying abreast of the most recent and most robust science in Indigenous fire policy and/or ecology; and a desire to work as a member of an interdisciplinary team. Candidates must possess the ability to work harmoniously in teams with shared leadership capacity and they must be able to speak and write about complex issues for diverse audiences.

This opportunity is open to individuals who are obtaining or have obtained a PhD in ecology, forestry/wildland fire science, natural resource policy and management, Native American Studies, geography, or related fields. Candidates must have the PhD in hand by the start date.

Interested candidates should submit an application that includes CV, cover letter, and 2 letters of recommendation through the Recruit online portal at:

For full consideration applications should be completed by April 26, 2021. The position is open until filled.

This postdoctoral fellowship is part of a larger Postdoctoral Climate Adaptation Scholars (CAS) Program established by the National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers (NRCASC) to support management-relevant research and scientific synthesis of emerging research needs related to climate impacts on fish, wildlife, and ecosystems. The objective of the CAS Program is to provide regional-to-national syntheses of climate change impacts on fire regimes, fire management, and fire response; explore resulting impacts on fish, wildlife and ecosystems; and provide the scientific research necessary to help managers adapt to these changes.

Scholars will be regionally based at a CASC Consortium University (in this case, UC Davis), and will work with faculty advisors (in this case, Middleton and Safford) to lead regionally-focused research projects related to climate-fire dynamics. In addition, participants will collaborate with members of the CASC network from across the country on national-scale research and synthesis. Finally, the Scholars will participate in regular training and professional development opportunities, including training on translational ecology; mutual learning with stakeholders; iterative creative problem-solving; and interdisciplinary collaboration across academic disciplines.

The CAPF program is committed to increasing the diversity of the workforce within our network, and encourages individuals of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, gender identities, sexual orientations, disabilities, cultures, religions, citizenship types, marital statuses, job classifications, veteran status types, income, and socioeconomic status types to apply. The CASC network is committed to building inclusive research and educational programs that support people of all backgrounds.

The University of California, Davis and the Native American Studies Department are interested in candidates who are committed to the highest standards of scholarship and professional activities, and to the development of a campus climate that supports equality and diversity. The University of California is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

This position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

UC Davis is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus effective January 1, 2014. Smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes) will be strictly prohibited on any property owned or leased by UC Davis-- indoors and outdoors, including parking lots and residential space.

UC Davis supports family-friendly recruitments. See:


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

    Ph.D. or equivalent degree in relevant field.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a statement and why one is requested.

Reference requirements
  • 2 letters of reference required
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Job location

Davis, CA