Postdoctoral Fellow in Farmer Adoption of Climate-Smart Practices - University of Vermont

Post Date: 11/15/2022
Opportunity Type: Job
Organization/Grantor: University of Vermont
Position/Title/Fund: Post-Doctoral Fellow in Farmer Adoption of Climate-Smart Practices
Deadline: December 15, 2022
Location: University of Vermont, VT
Contact Info: Rebecca Mitchell, Food Systems Research and Action Coordinator:

A two year post-doctoral position (with potential funding for a third year) is available at the University of Vermont under the mentorship of Dr. Meredith Niles, in collaboration with Dr. Jennifer Jo Thompson at the University of Georgia.  The expected start date is negotiable, with a preferred start date by February 1, 2023.  This post-doctoral position will contribute to two USDA-funded projects focused on enabling farmer adoption of climate-smart agriculture practices that help farmers mitigate and adapt to climate change. 

The first project is a USDA Sustainable Agricultural Systems grant working across dozens of institutions and states focused on cover crop precision agriculture.  Additional information about the project and team can be found here:  In collaboration with Dr. Thompson at University of Georgia, this “science in society”-oriented project involves characterizing, mapping, and analyzing the information ecosystem of a large-scale, transdisciplinary sustainable agriculture research collaboration using mixed social science methods, including participant observation, qualitative interviewing, social network analysis, and farmer survey data analysis. The majority of data for the project has been collected, including farmer surveys, a survey of the research team, and in-depth interviews with cover crop adopters in nine states.

The second project is a USDA Interdisciplinary Engagement in Animal Systems (IDEAS) grant, in collaboration with researchers at Colorado State University and UC Davis, which seeks to characterize and model the expected impacts of climate change on the US Dairy system, and the mitigation opportunities.  The post-doctorate will work with Dr. Niles to implement a nationwide US dairy farmer and consumer survey, develop outreach and engagement materials for the dairy industry, and develop educational materials for high school and university students.  The farmer survey will focus on farmer perceptions and adoption of climate change adaptation and mitigation practices, as well as barriers and opportunities for dairy farmers for climate-smart practice adoption. The consumer survey will focus on perceptions of the US dairy industry, dairy industry climate-smart agriculture practices, and understanding of the sector.

In addition to these projects, the post-doctorate will also have the potential to contribute to other international projects including those in New Zealand and with smallholder farmers across low and middle-income countries, exploring adoption of climate-smart practices.

How to Apply:

To apply for this position please submit:

  • A cover letter that details experience and interest in the position including experience working on survey development, network analysis, and across large teams
  • A full CV
  • At least one, and up to three peer-reviewed publications
  • Contact information for three references