Skip to content
Nov 22 / BARD CEP

Research Associate- Syracuse, NY

Research Associate Position: Social Dimensions of Biofuels Development in the Northeastern U.S.

SUNY ESF, Department of Environmental Studies, Syracuse, NY


A two year research associate position is available starting January 2014 for a USDA-funded interdisciplinary study, the Northeast Woody/Warm-season Biomass Consortium (NEWBio), which is focused on building sustainable value chains for biomass energy in the Northeastern US. The research associate will be responsible for project management, data collection and data analysis on the human factors and barriers related to regional development of bioenergy in NY and PA. The research associate will work with faculty at ESF and several other universities in the region (NY, Pennsylvania, West Virginia) to identify and describe the knowledge, attitudes, risk perceptions, ownership motivations and behaviors of local landowners, as well as to determine perceived barriers and willingness to engage in production; test the effectiveness of communication techniques in encouraging landowners to participate in the market; and evaluate opportunities and challenges for consolidating bioenergy crop management across multiple land parcels. The research associate will be expected to conduct independent field research in the region, collaborate with an interdisciplinary team of scientists, and publish high quality papers from the project. Travel funds are available.


PhD in Environmental Policy, Geography, Sociology, Environmental Studies, or similar fields is preferred, but post-MS and ABD with relevant training and experience will be considered. Desired skills are qualitative research methods (interviewing, ethnographic and document analysis) and survey research skills. Background and interest in social and political dimensions of land use change, biomass energy development, public participation in environmental decision making, political ecology, or social sciences related to agriculture or natural resources, would be valued. Statistical and GIS skills are also desired.   


The Research Associate would be based in the Department of Environmental Studies, at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY-ESF, a doctoral granting university with a high level of research. With a total enrollment of about 1,700 undergraduates and 600 graduate students,  ESF provides an intimate small-college atmosphere while hosting several graduate programs. SUNY-ESF and Syracuse University (SU) have adjacent campuses.


Syracuse is a mid-sized city centrally located in the NY state. Re-emerging from its industrial past, the city promotes a growing green technology sector, strong health care and higher educational systems, and is a leader in urban green infrastructure. The region possesses numerous physical, cultural and recreational amenities that make it a stimulating place to live. The Adirondack and Catskill Mountains, St. Lawrence and Hudson Rivers, Finger Lakes, Erie Canal and Great Lakes regions, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal are all within easy travel distances.


Application Procedure: Applications should include a cover letter summarizing qualifications and research interests, curriculum vitae, a writing sample (a journal article or thesis chapter), and contact information for three references. 


Applications will be reviewed starting December 1, 2013.  Position available to start in January 2014.


For more information about the position and the project, please contact:


Dr. Theresa Selfa Associate Professor  Department of Environmental Studies SUNY-ESF  E-mail:
Leave a comment