Assistant Professor in the Economics of Ecological Risk and Resilience

Hiring Organization: Colorado State University
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: Fort Collins, CO
Application Deadline: December 5, 2021


The Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship (FRS) in the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University seeks applicants for a 9-month, full-time tenure track Assistant Professor in the Economics of Ecological Risk and Resilience. Applicants from those interested in innovative applications of economic theory and methodologies to address pressing challenges affecting forest and rangeland social-ecological systems are encouraged to apply. We seek scholars who will develop an internationally recognized, innovative, independent and extramurally funded research program involving graduate and undergraduate students. We expect the incumbent to exhibit leadership in, and passion for, undergraduate and graduate teaching, student mentoring and curriculum development in the Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department. Applicants should clearly demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion in the department, college and the university.


The Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship at Colorado State University is an interdisciplinary academic program uniquely poised to advance education, research and outreach in forest and rangeland social-ecological systems. Existing programs of emphasis in the department include forest and rangeland ecology, natural resource management, fire science, vegetation measurement and biometry, policy and planning and restoration ecology. The Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship is housed within the Warner College of Natural Resources, which is home to five academic departments and several centers and institutes such as the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, the Colorado State Forest Service, Natural Resource Ecology Lab, the Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands and the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. These programs, institutes and centers provide a foundation for research, education, and outreach. Linkages across departments and colleges, and with federal and state, land managers and research centers, form a broader interdisciplinary foundation for increased impact. Strong relationships and partnerships with local, state and federal agencies foster significant applied research opportunities for the successful candidates. We expect the incumbent to foster opportunities for our students to become future leaders in the stewardship of forests and rangelands throughout the world.


Forest and rangeland social-ecological systems globally are undergoing constant change from climate-induced natural disturbances (i.e., drought, wildland fire, insect outbreaks), and human use and management. Sustaining the resilience of these systems involves navigating multiple risks and evaluating opportunity costs. In light of unprecedented uncertainty due to climate change and scarce resources, policymakers, ecosystem managers, and society at large require data-driven, evidence-based decision support frameworks for making informed decisions about where and how much to invest in which management strategies. Economic theories and methodologies provide uniquely valuable science-based insights to prioritize and estimate the trade-offs resulting from such investments. Research areas of interest to the department include, but are not limited to: economic impacts of climate-induced disturbances on forest and rangeland social-ecological systems (i.e., drought, wildland fire and insect outbreaks); risk analysis and decision support for forest and rangeland social-ecological systems affected by disturbances; valuation of market and nonmarket ecological goods and services derived from forest and rangeland social-ecological systems under different policy and management scenarios; and the impact of market-based ecosystem conservation and management incentives.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

The successful candidate will be expected to teach, conduct research, and contribute to the outreach and service of the institution and the professions we serve. In research, we expect the incumbent to develop an extramurally funded and innovative research program (50%) focused on developing new understandings of applied economics of risk and resilience pertaining to forest and rangeland social-ecological systems. We also expect development of collaborative relationships with local, regional and national clients. Teaching responsibilities (40%) include instruction of an undergraduate applied forest and natural resource economics course and an upper-division undergraduate course that contributes to undergraduate majors in the Department. Teaching will also include a graduate course in the candidate’s areas of expertise. Service and outreach (10%) are components of the position and includes service to the department, college, university, academic peers, and profession.


1. Completed PhD in natural resource economics or related field of applied economics by the time of appointment.
2. Demonstrated expertise in the economics of forest and rangeland social-ecological systems.
1. Evidence of potential to develop an externally funded research program advancing new knowledge of applied natural resource economics.
2. Evidence of collaborative and integrative research across topic areas in the Forest and Rangeland Stewardship department.
3. Demonstrated potential to sustain an excellent publication record.
4. Evidence of effective teaching and mentoring of undergraduate or graduate students.
5. Ability to successfully engage in outreach to managers, landowners, and other relevant stakeholders.
6. Evidence of a commitment to enhancing diversity and inclusion.
7. Postdoctoral research experience.
Salary: Commensurate with experience and qualifications.
Position available: August 16, 2022

Application procedure:

To apply, submit application material (cover letter, CV, a writing sample, statements of research and teaching philosophy, and list of four references) to by December 5, 2021, for full consideration. CSU is an EO/EA/AA employer and conducts background checks on all final candidates. The cover letter should explicitly describe the context of the applicant’s research interests and expertise, and address the preferred qualifications. The writing sample (job market paper) should showcase the applicant’s depth of understanding of a body of economic theory, sophistication in asking and answering cutting-edge applied economics research questions relevant to forest and rangeland social-ecological systems, degree of methodological sophistication, and ability to situate one’s work within the broader field. Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department's commitment to diversity and inclusion.

After notifying semifinalist candidates, application materials of the semifinalists, including letters of reference, will be made available for review by the entire faculty of the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship. References will not be contacted without prior notification to candidates.
For questions concerning the position, contact Tony Cheng, Search Committee Chair:

University and Local Community:

The Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, Warner College of Natural Resources, and Colorado State University recognizes that a sustainable natural environment is essential to human well-being and our common good. The natural environment is essential in providing material, psychological, and physical health benefits to all. Thus, we strive toward providing voice for all those affected by natural resource policies to ensure that diverse perspectives are considered in decisions that affect the natural environment. This inclusionary philosophy is embedded in our instruction, research, service, outreach, and interactions as a community. Warner College members hold themselves accountable for fostering an atmosphere that is welcoming and accepting of diverse perspectives. Warner students, faculty, and staff uphold and embrace CSU’s principles of community: respect, inclusion, integrity, social justice and service. Everyone is welcomed. The Warner community recognizes the disparities that exist within field of natural resources and therefore call on individuals whose passions and work align with our college’s effort to make change. Warner College supports an environment where identities, cultures, experiences, and ideas are recognized, valued, and appreciated.

Colorado State University, a prestigious Very High Research Activity Carnegie Doctoral University, was established in 1870 and remains inspired by its land-grant heritage and world-class faculty, staff, and students. Nationally, CSU is a Carnegie Engaged University (2008, 2014), is a member of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, and is an APLU Innovation and Economic Prosperity University (2016). CSU enrolls approximately 33,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, and is the largest employer in northern Colorado with more than 7,400 faculty and staff. Colorado State University is located 60 miles north of Denver in the beautiful city of Fort Collins situated on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains with the foothills and 14,000-foot peaks visible to residents. Fort Collins is an active and progressive community. Easy access to hiking, skiing, rafting and other outdoor sports is a great advantage to CSU students, faculty, and staff. With an average of 280 days of sunshine per year and low humidity, Fort Collins residents enjoy pleasant weather year-round. Indoor and outdoor activities are enjoyable in every season. Colorado has earned a worldwide reputation as an area that offers an unparalleled lifestyle, and Fort Collins represents the very best of Colorado with top award rankings from Forbes for Best Place for Business/Careers, Gallup Well Being Index for Healthiest Mid-Size City in America, CBS Moneywatch List of Top 10 Best Places to Retire, Outside Magazine Best Towns in America, among other recognitions:

Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

Colorado State University strives to provide a safe study, work, and living environment for its faculty, staff, volunteers, and students. To support this environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations, CSU conducts background checks. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to, criminal (felony and misdemeanor) history, sex offender registry, motor vehicle history, financial history, and/or education verification. Background checks will be conducted when required by law or contract and when, in the discretion of the university, it is reasonable and prudent to do so.