Camp Fire Professorship in Wildlife Conservation

Syracuse, New York
Nov 20, 2017
Jan 19, 2018
Job Level
Mid level, Senior level
Employment Type
Full time, Permanent
Salary Type

The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) invites applications for the newly created Camp Fire Conservation Fund Endowed Professorship in Wildlife Conservation.  We seek an interdisciplinary scientist working at the nexus of science and policy to address issues of national and international relevance in wildlife conservation, with a research emphasis on big game species, a geographic emphasis in the northeastern United States, and a home base in Syracuse, New York.  High levels of human-wildlife conflict occur in the Northeast given expanding populations of bear, deer and other wildlife across landscapes supporting among the highest urban, suburban, and rural human populations in the nation.  Innovative solutions are needed to effectively manage wildlife in such challenging environments, requiring a multi-scale understanding of wildlife population dynamics, a more inclusive understanding of diverse public interests, knowledge of relevant policies and bureaucratic processes, and an ability to translate scientific understanding into policies that facilitate effective management actions.  With major support provided by the Camp Fire Conservation Fund, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and SUNY-ESF Roosevelt Wild Life Station, this endowed faculty position provides a unique opportunity to build the interdisciplinary program needed to solve contemporary challenges in wildlife management, strengthen the role of hunters and hunting in conservation, and train the next generation of innovative and politically-oriented conservation scientists.

Responsibilities:  The professor is expected to leverage endowment and partner support into an extramurally-supported research program that involves graduate students, establishes expertise in the ecology and management of big game species, particularly, but not exclusively, in the northeastern U.S., and cultivates academic, governmental and nongovernmental partnerships in wildlife conservation within and beyond the northeastern region.  Teaching responsibilities include contributing core training in sustainable use and policy in a new introductory course in wildlife and biodiversity conservation, as well as developing upper division or graduate courses within the professor’s area of expertise that complement existing offerings at the college.  Interdisciplinary coursework that leverages existing resources at ESF and neighboring Syracuse University to integrate biological, socio-political, economic, and decision-making dimensions of wildlife management is expected.  Service expectations include advising graduate and undergraduate students, participating in departmental and college governance, remaining active in relevant professional societies, and providing support to the Camp Fire Club of America, ESF’s Roosevelt Wild Life Station, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and other conservation partners. 

Appointment and Program Management:  The professor’s schedule for tenure and promotion will be conditioned upon prior experience, and will adhere to college policies and procedures.  Separately, the position includes initial appointment to the endowed professorship on a renewable, five-year term with continuation based on recommendation by a Program Management Committee whose membership includes representatives from the Camp Fire Conservation Fund, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, ESF’s Roosevelt Wild Life Station, and ESF leadership.  The Committee will collaborate with the professor and students on program initiatives and assist in securing additional funds and other resources in support of priority initiatives.  A key element of the professor’s program will be enhancing student training in delivering policy-relevant science.  To that end, the professor’s MS or Ph.D. students in Fish and Wildlife Biology and Management at ESF have priority access to a concurrent degree program also earning a Master of Public Administration degree (MPA) from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, the top-rated program in the country.

Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in the biological sciences or relevant discipline
  • Demonstrated research emphasis pertinent to big game conservation

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Evidence of creativity, quality, and productivity in research
  • Evidence of ability to maintain an active, extramurally-funded research program
  • Demonstrated excellence and innovation in teaching
  • Prior experience working closely with or within conservation organizations
    (governmental or non-governmental)
  • Expertise in using science to inform wildlife policy, resolving wildlife conflicts, structured decision making, effective wildlife governance, or related area(s) 

The Department, College and broader Community:  The endowed professorship will be housed within the Department of Environmental Biology and Forestry at SUNY-ESF, which is also home to the historic Roosevelt Wild Life Station (, one of several research institutes and centers focused on applied conservation at the college (see  Established in 1919, the Roosevelt Wild Life Station was the earliest academic program in the U.S. dedicated to the study of game animals in their natural habitats, a program that evolved today into one of the largest combined Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology degree programs in the nation. 

ESF is a specialized college within the 64-campus SUNY system, and is a Carnegie “Doctoral Research University Intensive” Institution that consistently earns high rankings in US News and World Report, Forbes, Princeton Review, and other national college guidebooks.  With a total enrollment of about 1,700 undergraduates and 600 graduate students, ESF provides an intimate, small-college atmosphere whereas its proximity to Syracuse University, Upstate Medical University, and Cornell University provides a vibrant academic community.  ESF’s more than 25,000 acres of field stations, both close to Syracuse and across the Adirondack Park, provide numerous field-based opportunities for teaching and research. 

Located on the eastern edge of the Finger Lakes region, Syracuse is a small city in a rural region offering a diversity of natural and cultural amenities, a low cost of living, and a high quality of life – ranking among the top 10 percent of “Best Places to Live” in “The Places Rated Almanac.” Syracuse is situated with easy access to New York City, the Adirondack Park, and many other points of interest in the eastern United States and Canada.   

The Camp-Fire Club of America:  Founded in 1897 by prominent hunters and conservationists including William T. Hornaday, Ernest Thompson Seton, Dan Beard and Gifford Pinchot, Camp-Fire Club’s history is steeped in wildlife and habitat conservation. The Club led the reintroduction and recovery of the American Bison, proposed and promoted several landmark federal game protection laws, helped establish Glacier National Park as well as the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves.  The Club also played an important role in framing the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, and to this day the organization supports wise management of wildlife and wild places for future generations.  The Camp Fire Conservation Fund was founded in 1977 as a separate 501(c)(3) organization to fund scientific research and education in support of sound wildlife and habitat management.  The Club and the Fund have long collaborated with the SUNY ESF Roosevelt Wild Life Station on forest and wildlife research, and this partnership has culminated now in the Camp Fire Conservation Fund endowed Professor in Wildlife Conservation.    

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation: NYSDEC’s Bureau of Wildlife is responsible for managing all wildlife species in the State of New York and seeks to provide the people of New York, now and in the future, the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the state’s wildlife resources.  Maintaining a strong relationship with the Roosevelt Wild Life Station and other research partners, the DEC pursues scientifically sound management of wildlife in a manner that is efficient, clearly described, provides opportunity for participatory decision-making, includes equitable consideration of diverse views and values, is consistent with law, and in harmony with public need.  A leading agency in conservation, the DEC is a supporting partner of this endowed wildlife professorship, the first of its kind in the northeastern United States.     

Application Procedure: Application materials must be submitted on-line at (follow the link for Current Openings, then link to the job description).  Applications should include:  1) a cover letter summarizing qualifications and why you are interested in the position, 2) a curriculum vitae, 3) a statement of research interests and experience, 4) a statement of teaching philosophy and experience, and 5) contact information for three references.  The cover letter, research statement and teaching statement should not exceed two pages each. 

Application Deadline:  To ensure optimal consideration, all application materials must be received by January 15, 2018, although this position will remain open until filled.