Postdoctoral Associate, Waterfowl eBird Data - Lab of Ornithology

Postdoctoral Associate, Waterfowl eBird Data - Lab of Ornithology

Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.


As part of the university's comprehensive vaccination program, all Cornell employees are required to have and provide proof of an FDA-or WHO-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine or have obtained a university-approved disability/medical or religious exemption, regardless of their role and work location.

New hires are required to provide documentation showing full vaccination status (that is, completion of two shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one shot of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) before their first day of work. If a new hire's vaccination is not complete or information is not received by their start date, the first day of work will be delayed. It is possible in some cases that an offer of employment may be withdrawn.

For additional information on Cornell’s Vaccination Compliance Program click here.



Postdoctoral Associate

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

College of Agriculture & Life Sciences

Ithaca, NY

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

About Us

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is the world's leading resource for conservation, research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. The Lab is a vibrant unit within Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), where full-time faculty and other renowned professionals direct twelve world-class, mission-driven programs. Staff at the Lab teach undergraduate courses, advise graduate students, collect and disseminate world-famous digital resources on biodiversity, and engage with partner organizations and citizens around the world to conduct scientific research and conservation actions. Our management and staff are committed to the highest standards of ethics and excellence in all areas of our work, and our Board leadership includes faculty from Cornell and other universities, successful entrepreneurs and managers from the business and non-profit sectors, and conservation-minded citizens from the United States and beyond.

The Cornell Lab is currently home to a vibrant community of several dozen postdoctoral associates working across all twelve programs, and we strive to provide a supportive and collaborative environment for this community that fosters personal growth and career advancement. The Center for Avian Population Studies (CAPS) is one of the major programmatic units at the Lab and collects and disseminates biodiversity data and information with the goal of enhancing the information and decision-making tools available to conservationists and scientific researchers.  We achieve this by producing scientific, computational, and big data resources that transform how we understand and protect the world around us. 

The Lab is an inclusive community and we recognize that diverse, inclusive communities create more innovative and impactful work to address global challenges and benefit humanity and nature. The Cornell Lab is committed to fostering and sustaining a healthy workplace that values diverse and inclusive perspectives and backgrounds as well as supporting growth and advancement opportunities. The Lab believes that every member on our team enriches our diversity by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and to discover, design and deliver solutions. The Lab welcomes staff who are still learning in their careers and who are motivated to take on new challenges.

What We Need:

We are seeking to hire a Postdoctoral Associate to explore using eBird Status and Trends (S&T) products and eBird raw data to inform waterfowl conservation and management planning in support of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP). Specifically, the project will:

  • Evaluate the level of agreement between professionally collected data and eBird or eBird S&T products across multiple geographies, spatial and temporal scales, and species. Use this to assist in evaluating USFWS breeding population and habitat survey.
  • Evaluate the use of eBird and/or eBird S&T to provide migration chronologies for use in bioenergetics models that inform regional waterfowl conservation planning, such as those employed by migratory bird joint ventures. We will also compare the output of these models to those run with traditionally collected data to determine how management decisions may change depending on the data set analyzed.
  • Explore any differences in the information provided by each data set and use the lessons learned to integrate the data in distribution, population density, and bioenergetics models.
  • Explore how the current eBird S&T models perform on species that form large aggregations during the annual cycle. Test alternative models that may provide more accurate predictions than the current eBird S&T modeled product.
  • Explore methods for integrating eBird S&T and/or estimates from newer models developed under objective 4 with independent data sources for analyses aimed at informing conservation action.

Additional activities include participating in weekly analysis meetings; working extensively with avian biologists in the Information Science and Technology, Bird Population Studies and Conservation Science programs within CAPS; promoting interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration; participate in writing peer-reviewed publications, disseminating results at conferences. The position will require collaboration with external partners in academia, government, and industry.


  • Develop methods for and applications of eBird, eBird Status and Trends, and professionally collected survey data to meet project goals (50%).
  • Present results at professional meetings, conferences, and popular seminars. Prepare peer reviewed papers and other research products, including reports and relevant information to partners. (20%)
  • Research and identify potential funding opportunities. Engage with potential funders. (10%)
  • Engage in ongoing academic and intellectual life within the Conservation Science and Information Science Programs at the Lab of Ornithology and at Cornell University, Ducks Unlimited, Forbes Biological Field Station, Louisiana State University, and NAWMP Science Support Team. (10%)
  • Participate in general project management and working directly with internal and external project collaborators. (5%)
  • Perform related projects and special duties as assigned. Establish and maintain a safe, productive, and respectful working environment that fosters a culture of inclusivity and teamwork. Create and foster an environment that fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion in all endeavors.   (5%)

Term of position:

This is a full-time appointment for one year, with the second-year conditional on satisfactory performance.

Required Qualifications:

  • PhD in quantitative ecology, applied statistics, or a related field with strong background in statistics and model development.
  • Experience with R and other statistical languages.
  • Ability to apply quantitative methods to answer ecological questions or hypotheses.
  • Strong record of success conducting research and scholarly activities, including publication in peer-reviewed journals.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience related to using wildlife survey data, experience with citizen science data is preferred but not required.
  • Experience in ornithology is a bonus, but not required.

Salary or Rewards/Benefits:

Commensurate with experience.

Cornell provides great benefits that include professional development, access to wellness programs, employee discounts with local and national retail brands, broad range of comprehensive health care options, and generous paid leave provisions:  3 weeks of vacation, 13 holidays (including end of year winter break), paid family leave, and superior retirement contributions.

Application Instructions:

Please send a letter of application outlining qualifications and interest in the position, curriculum vitae, 1 example publication and appendix code, and the names and contact details for two references, and a statement of contribution to diversity, equity, and inclusion via Academic Jobs Online at the following link: If you have questions about this position, please email Dr. Orin Robinson (  Review of applicants will begin June 6, 2022 and continue until the position is filled.


Employment Assistance:

For general questions about the position or the application process, please contact the Recruiter listed in the job posting or email

If you require an accommodation for a disability in order to complete an employment application or to participate in the recruiting process, you are encouraged to contact Cornell University's Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX at voice (607) 255-2242, or email at

Applicants that do not have internet access are encouraged to visit your local library, or local Department of Labor. You may also visit the office of Workforce Recruitment and Retention Monday - Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. to use a dedicated workstation to complete an online application.

Notice to Applicants:

Please read the required Notice to Applicants statement by clicking here. This notice contains important information about applying for a position at Cornell as well as some of your rights and responsibilities as an applicant.

EEO Statement:

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.


About Us

Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery and engagement. With our main campus located in Ithaca, NY, Cornell's far-flung global presence includes the medical college's campuses on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Doha, Qatar, as well as the Cornell Tech campus located on Roosevelt Island in the heart of New York City.

We offer a rich array of services, programs and benefits to help employees advance in their career and enhance the quality of personal life, including: employee wellness, workshops, childcare and adoption assistance, parental leave, flexible work options.