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Job Posting: Research Associate to work on maritime infrastructure resilience, climate adaptation, and decision support.

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Seeking a full time Research Associate to work with Prof. Austin Becker in the University of Rhode Island’s Department of Marine Affairs on topics related to maritime infrastructure resilience, climate adaptation, and decision support. 

Applications due by 6/10/16. Anticipated start date on/around July 1. For complete job posting and application instructions, see:


University of Rhode Island

Position Description

Research Associate II

Academic Affairs (CELS: MAF)


Create an OMB- and IRS-approved, mixed-methods, research protocol to compare climate risk across a range of ports or maritime freight nodes. Select and convene an expert group and utilize a Delphi-type method for expert elicitation around a variety of potential indicators. Conduct and supervise field research at northeast seaports using standard qualitative and quantitative research methods. Analyze and synthesize data through the creation of algorithms and quantitative methods. Contribute to and oversee the production of print and digital materials,  journal articles, and specified deliverables to the USACE based on the research. Contribute to and oversee the development of new funding proposals to support ongoing related work. 

Oversee research assistants, grad students  and/or others assigned to assist with project. Collaborate with the PI and team members, to conduct qualitative and quantitative research to develop a risk indexing tool that contributes to a deeper understanding of storm resilience for maritime freight nodes. Help to develop and test a methodology to work with an expert group to select, weigh, and aggregate indicators of storm disaster risk across the 23 high and medium-use coastal ports in the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) North Atlantic Districts coastal inlets and navigation channels.


Assist in management of graduate students. Perform additional duties as required


Computers; printers; ArcGIS; NVivo; basic statistics; word processing; data management and spreadsheet software.

ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS: This position may require exposure to adverse environmental conditions.


Required: Master's degree in relevant field, (e.g., Behavioral Sciences, Planning, Policy, Geography, Engineering, Risk Assessment); Minimum of two years' experience in one or more of the following areas: applied GIS, outreach, qualitative research1 and/or human dimensions; Demonstrated experience conducting qualitative interviews; Demonstrated publication history in academic journals; Demonstrated experience in public speaking (e.g., conference presentations); Demonstrated proficiency in written communications; Demonstrated ability to organize and coordinate; demonstrated experience supervising support staff; Demonstrated strong verbal and interpersonal skills; demonstrated ability to work with diverse groups/populations.

Preferred: Ph.D. in relevant field, (e.g., Behavioral Sciences, Planning, Policy, Geography, Engineering, Risk Assessment); Demonstrated strong background in ports, maritime infrastructure, stakeholder systems, and natural hazards research; Demonstrated experience in statistical analysis and data management; Demonstrated experience with outreach and education; Demonstrated familiarity with IRE and OMB approval process for human subjects research; and Demonstrated familiarity with relevant theory in natural hazard resilience, vulnerability, and/or the impact of climate change on social-ecological systems.


Austin Becker, PhD

Assistant Professor of Coastal Planning, Policy, and Design

Director of Graduate Programs in Marine Affairs

Departments of Marine Affairs and Landscape Architecture

College of the Environment and Life Sciences

University of Rhode Island | Coastal Institute Room 213 | 1 Greenhouse Road, Suite 205 | Kingston, RI  02881

e: | p: 401-874-4192 | f: 401-874-2156  |  w:

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