Assistant Research Professor, Ecosystem Service Assessment & Valuation

Desert Research Institute
Reno, Nevada
Starting salary is commensurate with experience and education.
Closing date
Feb 5, 2022

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is accepting applications for an Assistant Research Professor in Ecosystem Services (ES) Science. The successful candidate will have a strong background in ecosystem service assessment and valuation (monetary or not) and interest in advancing the field of ecosystem services valuation (e.g., novel ES modeling approaches, ecosystem services credit implementation, carbon credit valuations, landscape adaptation and resilience). The ecosystem of interest (e.g., desert environment, tropical, urban, etc.) is open. Experience working with issues of water quality/quantity, ecosystem resilience to climate change, and sustainable land management is a plus, but other areas of specialization (e.g., bioenergy systems, fire impacts on ecosystems, cultural ecosystem services, and biodiversity) are also welcome. Although the incumbent will be housed in the Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences (DEES), they will have the opportunity to work with colleagues in the Division of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) and the Division of Hydrological Sciences (DHS). A combination of technical and interpersonal communication skills is required. Experience conducting ecosystem services assessment and valuation using a variety of approaches (e.g., models, stakeholder workshops, survey), and experience working with the public, and state and federal agencies are preferred but not required. Exceptionally qualified candidates may be appointed at the Associate Research Professor rank. The position can be located in Reno or Las Vegas, NV. 

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in appropriate field (e.g., geography, environmental sciences, ecology, environmental management, economics) – All But Dissertation (ABD) applicants will be considered as long the Ph.D. degree is completed by the time employment starts.
  • Strong knowledge and experience assessing and valuing ecosystem services at the ecosystem scale through novel ES modeling approaches.
  • Experience integrating environmental science and ecosystem service approaches to support landscape scale conservation, restoration, and climate adaptation efforts 
  • Demonstrated experience engaging diverse stakeholder communities using participatory or collaborative modeling and/or other community engagement methods.
  • Demonstrated ability to publish in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Strong potential to secure external research funding.
  • Demonstrated ability to work individually or part of a team.
  • Due to the current health and safety emergency declaration, anyone hired must receive a complete (and verified) COVID-19 vaccination series or an approved medical or religious waiver request as a term and condition of employment prior to any start date at any Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) institution.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Direct experience conducting ecosystem service assessment and valuation.
  • Direct experience working with a variety of stakeholders and/or models in order to assess ecosystem services.
  • Strong record of publications in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Strong record of obtaining competitive federal funding (e.g., DOE, NASA, EPA, etc.)

Conditions of Employment

Ability to travel for fieldwork, meetings, conferences, and workshops.

Due to the current health and safety emergency declaration, anyone hired must receive a complete (and verified) COVID-19 vaccination series or an approved medical or religious waiver request as a term and condition of employment prior to any start date at any Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) institution.

Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time but may involve walking or standing for brief periods of time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally, and all other sedentary criteria are met.


Starting salary is commensurate with experience and education. Early career Scientific Staff receive compensation support and start up packages as they develop their independent research portfolios.

DRI offers a benefits package that includes health, dental, vision, and life insurance; including 15.50% retirement match, 24 annual leave days, beginning balance of 30 sick leave days, 11 paid holidays, educational benefits, and the choice of three health insurance plans that can be supplemented with flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts. Additionally, there is no state income tax and no social security deduction. This position is eligible for relocation assistance.

Organizational Summary

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is a recognized world leader in basic and applied environmental research. Committed to scientific excellence and integrity, DRI faculty, students who work alongside them, and staff have developed scientific knowledge and innovative technologies in research projects around the globe.

Since 1959, DRI’s research has advanced scientific knowledge on topics ranging from humans’ impact on the environment to the environment’s impact on humans. DRI’s impactful science and inspiring solutions support Nevada’s diverse economy, provide science-based educational opportunities, and inform policymakers, business leaders, and community members.

With campuses in Las Vegas and Reno, DRI serves as the non-profit research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Required Attachments

Please upload the following documents in the specified section:

  • A cover letter detailing how your experience and professional qualifications prepare you to succeed in this role at DRI.
  • A current curriculum vita.
  • Contact information for three professional references who will be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant permission.

Qualified individuals are encouraged to apply immediately and provide all required attachments by January 31, 2022 to receive full consideration. Recruitment will close once a hiring decision has been made.

For more detailed information about DRI and DRI faculty, research projects, and publications, please visit us at For questions regarding this position or assistance with your application, please call the recruiting office at 775-673-7319.

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