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Great Lakes coastal resilience postdoctoral/post Master’s fellowship

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Aquatic Sciences Center
1975 Willow Drive - Goodnight Hall, Madison, WI 53706-1177
Salary Range
Open 9/24/2020 to 10/26/2020
Job Description

Seeking postdoctoral and post-master’s applicants for the J. Philip Keillor Great Lakes - Wisconsin Sea Grant Fellow

External Job Link

The Wisconsin Sea Grant College Program (housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Aquatic Sciences Center) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Office of Great Waters Program seek postdoctoral and post-master’s candidates interested in tackling science and policy challenges related to water resources and climate change in Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region. Together, these programs will fund this state Science-Policy Fellow position, named in honor of a longtime Sea Grant coastal engineering expert J Phillip Keillor, to celebrate his legacy in providing science to help build resilience in Wisconsin. This Fellow position will provide a unique educational and career opportunity for a recent graduate interested both in aquatic resources and in the policy decisions affecting those resources in Wisconsin. This program places a recent master’s or doctoral graduate within a state agency full-time for one year, with the Fellow bringing technical skills to benefit Great Lakes water and climate change issues while receiving valuable real-world science-policy experience from the resource professionals who will serve as mentors. These mutually beneficial partnerships will result training opportunities for new professionals entering the work force.

The Fellow will work closely with WDNR staff and work groups, other state and federal agencies, and researchers from a variety of fields to tackle the important challenge of connecting science related to climate change with natural resource managers. The fellowship mentor team will include Dr. Madeline Magee, Cherie Hagen, and Steve Galarneau (WDNR Office of Great Waters) and Drs. Adam Bechle, Titus Seilheimer, and Jennifer Hauxwell (Wisconsin Sea Grant).

There is significant flexibility in the specific questions and approaches that the Fellow will tackle and employ, and we seek applicants from a variety of backgrounds including engineering, social sciences, water resources, ecological modeling, limnology, etc.

Specific priorities for this position are:

  • Evaluate condition and resiliency of Wisconsin’s coastal wetlands and identify which wetlands are resilient to climate changes and may be priorities for restoration and/or protection.
  • Synthesize current climate change impacts and adaptation strategies for Wisconsin’s Great Lakes and lead writing of the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts Great Lakes Working Group assessment report.
  • Work with federal, state, and academic partners to contribute to development of the Great Lakes Coastal Adaptation Menu
  • Support the WICCI Great Lakes Working Group on the Lake Superior basin climate needs assessment.

This Fellow is intended to be stationed in downtown Madison at the WDNR, and will work with researchers from across the state, region and country, as well as stakeholders and policy-makers in Wisconsin. The position requires occasional travel, including overnight stays.

Work arrangements may need to be flexible and may evolve amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, adhering to all University of Wisconsin-Madison and state directives and guidance.

More detail on the fellowship is below. If you have any questions, please contact: Dr. Jennifer Hauxwell at jennifer.hauxwell@aqua.wisc.edu or Dr. Madeline Magee at madeline.magee@wisconsin.gov



Students or postgraduates who will have graduated in the past five years with a graduate degree in an aquatic sciences-related field is eligible to apply. Fellows must have completed all degree requirements before starting the fellowship.

Stipend and Expenses

Annual stipends are dependent on the Fellow’s academic background, with post master’s Fellows earning $40,000 and postdoctoral Fellows earning $55,000, both with additional benefits (see - http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/benefits/new-emp/grad.aspx). Fellows will be allotted up to $2,000 to cover fellowship-related travel and can include conferences. Additional travel associated with the fellowship may be covered by the host agency at the agency’s discretion.


Application Requirements

Application packages should be sent to jennifer.hauxwell@aqua.wisc.edu at the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute and should include:

  1. A cover letter that describes your background and abilities, your expectations from the fellowship experience and how this experience fits with your career goals (2 pages or fewer)
  2. Curriculum vitae with relevant educational, professional and volunteer experience (no length limit)
  3. Copies of all undergraduate and graduate student transcripts
  4. Up to 4 writing samples, both formal and informal (e.g., journal articles or other technical documents, popular articles, web resources, etc.)
  5. A list of three professional references with contact information, including a faculty member from your graduate institution familiar with your academic record Please use the naming convention “Last name – description of file” for all files associated with the application (e.g. “Smith – cover letter”, “Smith – cv”, “Smith – transcripts”, etc.).


Selection Process

Wisconsin Sea Grant and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff will identify a short list of candidates for interviews. Interviews will be conducted by a panel with representatives from both programs to determine the best fit for the position. It is expected that applicants will possess a strong aquatic sciences and water resources background, strong analytical skills, an ability to manage projects and work independently, and excellent written and verbal communication skills.


Length of Assignment

The length of assignment is one year with an anticipated start in late fall of 2020. This timeline may be adjusted to accommodate academic semester needs or the needs of the candidates or funding institutions.



October 26, 2020 – Deadline for submission of applications
Early/Mid November – Interviews
December 2020 (approx.) – Fellowship begins

Application Deadline: 10/26/2020 11:30 p.m.
How to Apply: Click Here to Apply