Research Opportunities: A USDA-ARS fully funded postdoctoral research opportunity is available at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center (EOARC) in the research group of Dr. Rory O’Connor, Rangeland Research Ecologist, based in Burns, OR. The O’Connor research group investigates how global and local factors – in particular climate variability, grazing, fire, and invasive species – influence carbon dynamics in rangeland systems. The postdoctoral scientist can choose to conduct research in 1 of the 2 following areas:
1) Using eddy covariance flux towers to monitor how carbon fluxes change in sagebrush rangelands with and without livestock present throughout the year. This project is part of a larger research project that is addressing how we can quantify and efficiently manage carbon emissions from livestock on sagebrush rangelands. The postdoc will work in conjunction with cattle nutritionists, plant ecophysiologists, and Oregon State University Extension personnel.

2) Conduct research on above- and below-ground carbon storage in sagebrush rangelands based on different vegetation states and grazing management practices. The postdoc will be part of a larger regional working group that is addressing carbon dynamics in the Sagebrush Steppe, determining best practices for sampling soil carbon on rangelands, and providing guidance to land managers about carbon storage and carbon security for conservation.
Dr. O’Connor will provide research mentorship and training in line with the postdoc’s professional goals, including presenting research at conferences, writing for scientific publications, and communications with various stakeholders. The postdoc will have opportunities to interact with a diverse group of NGO, state and federal scientists, and extension personnel to create a broad network of future collaborators.

Preferred skills:
• Academic background in biogeochemistry, soil science, or ecosystem ecology, particularly related to the carbon cycle
• Interest or experience with soil carbon analyses
• Interest or experience with eddy covariance flux towers
• Interest or experience in rangeland or dryland ecosystems

Expected salary: Anticipated salary is approximately $69,107 to $82,830 (GS11/12) depending on experience, and includes full benefits (Medical/Rx, Dental/Vision) and ability to start retirement savings.
Appointment information and eligibility: Anticipated appointment start date is April 2024 but is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors. The appointment will initially be for one year, but may be extended for up to two more years with satisfactory job performance. Must be a U.S. Citizen, with a Doctoral Degree in Biology, Ecology, Agronomy or related fields that has been received or is anticipated to be received prior to appointment start.

Date to apply: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through January 31, 2024.

How to apply: Please send inquiries about the nature of the research and/or application to Rory O’Connor,

Application: Please send an email with a letter of interest, CV, college transcripts, and contact information for at least 3 references. Please include the phrase “Carbon PostDoc” in the email subject line.

About Burns ARS: Co-located with Oregon State University and The Nature Conservancy, the Burns ARS Location uses research as a tool to address rangeland management issues and publishes the results of those efforts in the form of peer-reviewed journals articles, applied management guides, and decision support tools. The general focus of our work is on restoring and maintaining sagebrush plant communities, and pre-emptively mitigating non-desired change agents such as wildfire and invasive plant species. We are also heavily invested in using science as a tool to inform management within ongoing regional natural resource collaboratives. (

USDA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Provider

  • Close Date:
  • Additional Dates: Rolling application review starting November 20th, 2023; position open until filled.
  • Contact: Rory O'Connor email
  • Link to full posting not provided.