Research Scientist (Grassland Ecology), Rocky Mountain Research Station

Rapid City, South Dakota 

Organization: Rocky Mountain Research Station

Type of opportunity: Full-time, permanent

Contact: Dr. Deborah Finch, Program Manager, Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program, (505) 724-3671,

Duties: The scientist will be a member of a team of researchers and practitioners from the Forest Service, universities, and other state and federal agencies and non-government organizations involved in interdisciplinary investigations on the ecological consequences of climate change and other disturbances on arid and semi-arid ecosystems.  The scientist’s expertise in grassland ecology will be used to investigate and interpret responses of herbaceous vegetation to global change that includes climate change, land-use changes, and invasive species acting separately and interactively with drought, fire, and grazing by small and large animals.  The personal research assignment of the successful applicant will focus on identifying and studying the critical belowground vegetation dynamics that determine population and community level resilience to disturbance processes. Some part of this research may involve developing effective concepts, tools, and approaches to restore disturbed populations and communities, evaluate the ecological trade-offs of restoration, and monitor restored ecosystems to ensure sustainability, diversity, and resilience. The results of these studies are expected to contribute to the basic understanding of grassland ecosystems while providing a range of sustainable alternatives consistent with the compromises inherent in simultaneously managing a landscape for multiple-use.  The scientist will be responsible for actively disseminating research results through peer-reviewed publications, technical and non-technical presentations, workshops, and consultations.

Desired qualifications: Those who are interested must meet the qualification requirements for the GS-0408 series that are covered by the U. S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions – Professional and Scientific Positions.  The OPM Qualification Standards Handbook Manual is available for review at any federal personnel office or on the Internet at:

Link to more information: View the job announcement and Outreach Notice Form.

How to apply: If you are interested in this opportunity, please fill out the Outreach Notice From and send it to or fax to (505) 724-3688.

Application deadline: April 29, 2016