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South Dakota State University
Department of Natural Resource Management
Posted: 07/18/2023
Assistant Professor - Applied Avian Ecology

The Department of Natural Resource Management (NRM) at South Dakota State University is offering an exciting career opportunity for a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Applied Avian Ecology for a candidate interested in ecology and management of upland game birds, grassland-obligate species, or waterbirds. This is a full-time, 9-month, benefit eligible position with a competitive salary and start-up package. The appointment is 50% research and 50% teaching with acknowledgement of a service component. The successful candidate will contribute to undergraduate and M.S. and Ph.D. graduate training programs and obtain competitive research funding to address research questions in their area of expertise. Candidates should have a strong quantitative research background in avian ecology and management, and an interest in addressing applied questions relating to the management of avifauna. This position is supervised by the NRM Department Head and the preferred start date is January 2024.

South Dakota State University promotes access to and opportunities for all to receive the benefit of and participate in education, research, and service and is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to this land-grant mission of access.



  • Completed Ph.D. in applied avian sciences or closely related discipline by position start date.
  • Record of research and scholarly activities with an emphasis on management of upland game birds, grassland-obligate species, or waterbirds.
  •  Publications related to avian ecology and management in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Experience applying contemporary statistical and analytical methodologies to resource management while complementing existing strengths within the department.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and strong interpersonal communication skills.
  • Experience collaborating with local, state, federal, NGO, and/or tribal entities on upland game birds, grassland-obligate species, or waterbirds.
  • Valid driver’s license, or ability to obtain one within 30 days of hire, and willingness to travel.
  • Authorization to work in the United States (sponsorship is not available)


  • A minimum of 1 year of postdoctoral or other post-graduate experience.
  •  Demonstrated success in grant writing and procuring research funding.
  •  Prior teaching at the university level with preference given to experience as instructor of record.
  •  Experience working with heterogeneous groups of varying backgrounds and life experiences.
  • Demonstrated collaboration with, scientists, natural resource agencies, or other stakeholders


The salary is commensurate with qualifications.


South Dakota State University offers a wide range of benefits including medical, dental, and flexible benefits, retirement plans, compensation packages, paid holidays, and vacation leave. Employees also have access to internal and state-sponsored training as well as reduced tuition for state-supported courses at all State of South Dakota academic institutions.


South Dakota State University is the state’s largest, most comprehensive university with more than 200 academic programs, an enrollment of approximately 12,000 students, and over $60 million annual research expenditures.

South Dakota State University offers a rich academic experience in an environment of inclusion and access through inspired, student-centered education, creative activities and research, innovation and engagement that improve the quality of life in South Dakota, the region, the nation and the world. Its employees embrace the university’s core values of being people-centered, expanding knowledge through creativity, embracing organizational and personal integrity, commitment to diversity of thought, and excellence through continuous improvement.

The NRM Department is in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences and offers B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees. The department fosters a vibrant and highly collegial environment among 20 faculty members; three USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit Scientists; four Extension Field Specialists located throughout the state; approximately 305 undergraduates; and more than 50 graduate students and postdocs. NRM faculty lead regional, national, and international research programs, securing an average of $2.1 million in grants annually. Undergraduate students are trained through five programs: Conservation Planning and Park Management, Ecology and Environmental Science, Natural Resource Law Enforcement, Rangeland Ecology and Management, and Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. The department also has research support facilities within one mile of campus and at Oak Lake Field Station, approximately 30 minutes away near White, South Dakota.

As the state’s 1862 Morrill Act land-grant institution, the work of South Dakota State University is carried out on its main resident campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre, Rapid City, and Aberdeen, and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across South Dakota.

Jackrabbits Athletics competes as an NCAA Division I member with membership in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, the Summit League and the Big XII for wrestling.

Brookings is home to approximately 24,000 residents and is located 60 miles north of Sioux Falls and 200 miles west of Minneapolis. Brookings is listed as an ideal community for families, students, young professionals and retirees, and is rated among the safest and most vibrant cities in South Dakota.

The Brookings Public School District educates approximately 3,300 K-12 students and ranks among the state’s highest academic achieving school districts. The district includes three elementary schools, an intermediate school for fourth and fifth grade, one middle school, and a high school.

The city also boasts an abundance of attractions and activities, including the Children’s Museum of South Dakota, Dakota Nature Park, South Dakota Art Museum, McCrory Gardens, South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, Outdoor Adventure Center and the Brookings Summer Arts Festival.


Position is open until filled with full consideration given to applications received by September 10, 2023.


South Dakota State University accepts applications through an online employment site. To apply, visit: https://yourfuture.sdbor.edu, search by the position title, view the job announcement, and click on “apply for this job.” This system will guide you through the electronic application form. This employment site will also require the attachment of a cover letter, which should specifically address how the candidate meets the qualifications as outlined in the advertisement, Curriculum Vitae, a statement of teaching philosophy (two page maximum, attached as other), a research statement (2 page maximum, attached as work sample) and a reference page with the contact information for three professional references. Email applications will not be accepted. Please contact South Dakota State University Human Resources at 605-688-4128 if you require assistance with this process.

Any offer of employment is conditioned upon the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to, successful completion of a criminal background check.

South Dakota State University is a tobacco free environment. It is university policy to maintain a drug-free environment and to thereby establish, promote, and maintain a safe and healthy working and learning environment for employees and students. This position is subject to South Dakota State University’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy 4:14.

For questions on the position, contact search chair, Dr. Josh Leffler at 605-688-4942 or Joshua.Leffler@sdstate.edu.

South Dakota State University promotes access to and opportunities for all to receive the benefit of and participate in education, research, and service and is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to this land-grant access mission. SDSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to, and SDSU prohibits discrimination on, the basis of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, gender identification, transgender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or any other status that may become protected under law against discrimination in the offering of all educational programs and employment opportunities. Arrangements for accommodations required by disabilities can be made by emailing HR@sdstate.edu. Individuals with concerns regarding discrimination should contact: Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator, Human Resources, Morrill Hall 100, SDSU, Brookings, SD 57007, 605-688-4128.