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Assistant Professor– Human Dimensions of Wildlife Conservation

Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan
Salary will be commensurate with qualifications. MSU offers a generous benefits package
Closing date
Aug 29, 2022

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Human-Wildlife Conflict
Job Level
Entry level
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time

Job Details

The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University invites applications for a full‐time, 9-month tenure track Assistant Professor with 40% research, 30% teaching, 20% outreach, and 10% service assignment.  The position start date is anticipated to be Jan 1, 2023.


This position is jointly funded by MSU and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources through the Partnership for Ecosystem Research and Management (PERM). The PERM agreement ( is a highly successful alliance between government agencies and MSU and is focused on applying research to natural resource management. Through the PERM agreement, this faculty position will jointly serve MSU and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) Wildlife Division.


The individual selected will join a diverse group of faculty members, post‐doctoral scholars, staff, specialists, and students who provide a vibrant, internationally recognized program of research, instruction, and outreach to achieve science-based fisheries and wildlife conservation and management. The individual will also work directly with the MDNR Wildlife Division’s Biological and Social Science Section, providing human dimensions expertise and services to managers with diverse wildlife management responsibilities. These responsibilities range from game species management, including regulation recommendations, to recovery of rare species and associated environmental concerns, including climate change and land use policies.


The successful candidate will teach an undergraduate course in human dimensions of fisheries and wildlife management every year, as well as one other three-credit course that aligns with the individual’s area of expertise, in consultation with the Department Chair (total of two courses per academic year). The candidate will be expected to develop a vibrant research, outreach, and engagement program supported by external funding from diverse sources, which includes advising graduate and undergraduate students and publishing results in journals appropriate for the field of study. The candidate’s program will be developed in consultation with, and executed in partnership with, MDNR Wildlife Division to align with the applied needs of wildlife management.


Required qualifications: An earned Ph.D. in human dimensions of wildlife, conservation social science, or a related field with demonstrated expertise in research and applications of social science to wildlife management and governance. A demonstrated record of activities in teaching, research, Extension/outreach, and service relevant to the position.  The candidate should have a publication record that is reflective of their current career stage and provide evidence of an increasing trajectory of academic productivity. A strong desire and record of collaborating with wildlife management agency personnel, especially at the state level, to confront ongoing challenges related to human dimensions of wildlife management is necessary.


Desired qualifications: Experience applying qualitative or quantitative social science techniques to numerous wildlife management issues is desired. Interest or experience in understanding how shifting demographics and outdoor recreational uses throughout the state and the country will affect wildlife conservation and management will be valuable. Experience with structured decision making or adaptive management will be a strong asset, as will experience working closely with wildlife management agencies and external stakeholder groups to develop and implement wildlife policy. Experience with implementing student-centered, evidence-based teaching and learning practices to meet desired course objectives is also desired. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated commitment to inclusion and working with underrepresented groups in advising, teaching, and outreach / engagement.


The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife: The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife is an international leader in integrating research, teaching, and engagement to positively affect local, regional, national, and global outcomes in natural resources. Our work supports stakeholder efforts to conserve, sustain and value natural resources; improves natural resource sustainability; and expands understanding of basic science. By linking physical, biological, and social sciences to solve challenges related to the environment, terrestrial and aquatic organisms, and people, our department is unique within MSU and one of the top departments of its kind in the world.


Location: The position will be based at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, USA. Michigan State University (MSU) is one of the top research universities in the world and home to nationally ranked and recognized academic, residential college, and service-learning programs. MSU is a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, and scientists that provide regional, national, and international leadership in basic and applied research and excellence in teaching. In addition, consistent with its Land Grant origins, the MSU community pursues international engagement and provides strong extension programs that partner with diverse stakeholders to provide much needed research in the areas of food, energy, water and the environment. MSU enjoys a park‐like campus with outlying research facilities and natural areas. The campus is located in the city of East Lansing, adjacent to the capital city of Lansing. The Lansing metropolitan area has a diverse population of >500,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The University is proactive about its obligations under the ADA, and provides individual accessibility plans to students and employees with disabilities. Michigan State University is also proactive in exploring opportunities for employment for dual career families, both inside and outside the University, and respects all family forms. Information about MSU’s dual career support can be found at Information about WorkLife at MSU can be found at


Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University is committed to achieving excellence by creating and sustaining an accessible and inclusive culture that values cultural and academic diversity. We are an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer. The CANR is particularly interested in candidates of all backgrounds who are committed to the principle that academic excellence is achieved through open access and proactive inclusion.  Candidates are invited to view the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife’s commitment to DEI in the strategic plan


Salary and Benefits: Salary will be commensurate with qualifications. MSU offers a generous benefits package (details at


To Apply: For consideration, submit your application online at to job number 785274. Upload the following required documents: a) letter of application (2 page maximum) describing how your interests, background, and professional experience match the position description; b) statement of your research philosophy, experience, and interests (2 page maximum), explicitly linking to needs of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and mission of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at MSU, c) teaching and student mentoring philosophy (1 page maximum), d) an explanation (2 page maximum) of how you will contribute to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (see departmental strategic plan for goals), e) statement of outreach interests (1 page maximum), e) curriculum vitae, and f) names and contact information of at least 3 professional references. Incomplete applications will not be considered.


Review of Applications: The search committee will begin reviewing applications on October 3, 2022 and continue until a suitable candidate is selected.


Questions regarding this position can be addressed to the Search Committee Chair: Dr. Scott Winterstein, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA, 


Together-we-will Statement: The university requires all MSU students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated against COVID‐19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at:‐we‐will/




Michigan State University has been working to advance the common good in uncommon ways for more than 150 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU focuses its vast resources on creating solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

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