Collaborate

Are you interested in analyzing, extending, building upon, or writing about our enormous collection of large-scale, long-term datasets in the Yellowstone ecosystem to gain a deeper understanding about the inner workings of an ecosystem? If so, then join us to translate these efforts into adaptive, informed decision-making and sustained policies to make your ecosystem a model for the rest of earth's biosphere.



Here are collaborative positions to match with the many Projects at YERC:



Graduate Students: we have enormous datasets that needs to be analyzed and projects in mind that would be ideal for new graduate students, whether they are across the road at Montana State University or across the world at another academic institution.  Having access to worldclass datasets is also a way to get ahead of the competition for those coveted graduate student positions, and can be used to leverage funding and sponsorship by an advising professor.   Take a look at our past and current work on the PROJECTS pages to see what appeals to you, then contact us to find out about data available for your project.
Post-Masters: we have identified a unique niche of experienced, forward moving ecologists fully charged with potential on the career path towards academia, agency work, or private research in our post-masters degree program.  Even if we do not have paid positions available, post-masters ecologists who can contribute their expertise in exchange for a per diem and housing can obtain both career and life changing opportunities taking a leading position on one of our current projects or proposing and running a project of their own using one of our datasets.  We are always welcome to experienced, independent, career motivated individuals who can benefit our research as well as their own careers.
Post-Doctoral: we also offer classic post-doc positions, yet ours focus on the transdisciplinary approach of Adaptive Ecology.  Funded post docs can likewise find a wealth of opportunities to explore our data, expand their careers, and experience Yellowstone.  Please contact us if Adaptive Ecology meshes with your PhD research.
Advanced Careers: professors on sabbatical, retired or mid-career agency professionals, NGO scholars, folks with years of experience in the field—if your career has given you the skills and experiences needed to rise to the top of your field, but has yet to provide the kind of personally fulfilling experiences you have always dreamed of, come join us in Yellowstone.  More than just work, your ideas, wisdom, insights, and professional connections can be a significant and greatly appreciated contribution to YERC.
Remote Collaboration: not all of our needs are in the field or are capable of being accomplished at our lab/office, but rather require an interdisciplinary community of experts who may be anywhere around the world.  Computer programming, website maintenance, even artistic interpretations or contributions to help our work reach a wider audience are just some of the ways people can collaborate with YERC remotely.  If you have a passion for Yellowstone and the idea of Adaptive Ecology, we can find an opportunity for you to be involved, whatever your skills are and wherever you may be.



Featured Collaborators:

Jeff Strohm & Melissa Braschel

The professional experience Jeff gained working for YERC had as much to do with politics as it did with science: the politics of working with carnivores like wolves in the American West, the politics of coordinating with state and federal agencies on transboundary research issues, the politics of life in a small, rural, mountain community.

"A tip for getting on the locals' good side: talk to them about fishing," Jeff suggested after spending a summer with his partner, Melissa, volunteering for YERC in Cooke City, Montana. "Folks who can seem grumpy after too many winters will light up when you ask them about the local waterways."

Learning to flyfish Tenkara style—and coming in second place in a contest with buddies across Canada to see who could catch the greatest diversity of species over the summer—added personal experience to the professional experience Jeff gained that summer.

After finishing their master's degrees at the University of Guelph in Ontario in genomics and statistics, respectively, Jeff and Melissa were looking for more professional experience. They reached out to dozens of groups across North America through the Organization of Biological Field Stations (www.obfs.org), offering to volunteer their skills in exchange for the experience needed to build stronger resumes, and YERC was among the first to jump at this golden opportunity. From the offers they received, Jeff said that they were impressed with the diversity of YERC's research program, its long establishment in Yellowstone and corresponding longterm datasets, and, of course, with the opportunity to experience Yellowstone for themselves.

Jeff and Mel worked both in the field—assessing sapling regeneration following Yellowstone's 1988 wildfires—and on computational projects—modeling where wolf packs might colonize outside of the Rockies and how local herd animals might react. This gave them on-the- ground skills and exposure to science in action, which included seeing "the value of maintaining long term datasets, like those collected and curated by YERC," Jeff said. But the personal experience was just as valuable.

"Most people never get to spend this much time in the park," Jeff said, describing the wonder of the changing seasons and how they affect "the ungulate herds, wolf packs and wildflowers," telling of a time when he and Mel watched a pack of wolves feeding on a bison carcass until grizzly bears showed up, "having awkward stand offs with the wolves as they feasted."

This summer, Jeff and Mel are back in Canada—Jeff is doing bioinformatics with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Mel started a new job at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence doing statistics for HIV/AIDS research—but our door is always open for when they come back to Yellowstone.