Postdoctoral Research Associate - Coffee Berry Borer

Organization
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Reference Code
ARS-DKIPBARC-2016-0194
How to Apply

A complete application package consists of:

  • An application
  • Transcript(s) – For this opportunity, an unofficial transcript or copy of the student academic records printed by the applicant or by academic advisors from internal institution systems may be submitted. Selected candidate must provide proof of completion of the degree before the appointment can start. Proof must be sent to ORISE directly from the academic institution including graduation date and degree awarded. All transcripts must be in English or include an official English translation. Click here for detailed information about acceptable transcripts.
  • A current resume/CV
  • Two references – While two references are requested, applications will be considered without reference information. It is preferred that a complete application package contains a minimum of one reference.

If you have questions, send an email to USDA-ARS@orau.org. Please include the reference code for this opportunity in your email.

Description

A postdoctoral research opportunity is available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research Unit (TCCPRU) at the Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (DKIPBARC) in Hilo, HI. 

Since its introduction in 2010, Hypothenemus hampei (Coffee Berry Borer, or CBB) has rapidly spread to nearly all of an estimated 790 coffee farms on Hawaii Island. Farms left un-managed or ill-managed have infestation levels in excess of 90% and can contribute to the infestation levels on neighboring farms. Damage from this new pest can have a major impact on the economic viability of coffee agriculture in Hawaii. Control measures are centered on improving harvest methods and increasing sanitation and cultural control practices, in parallel with well-timed applications of the microbial control agent, Beauveria bassiana (Bb).

Combinations of these tactics produce a synergistic effect and have been proven effective in other countries, especially in Central and South America. These tactics however, need to be assessed and adapted for Hawaii growing conditions due to differences in environment, methods of production, and labor costs associated with harvesting.

The postdoctoral research associate will conduct research and coordinate data collection from multiple locations across the coffee region and assist with model development and validation using insect biology, coffee phenology, environmental, management, and economic parameters. The research project will provide coffee growers with the knowledge, confidence and tools they need to improve the production and quality of coffee in Hawaii, while reducing CBB populations to manageable levels.

The appointment is full-time for 12 months and may be renewed based upon recommendation of the ARS and availability of funding. The selected applicant will receive a stipend as support for their living and other expenses during this appointment. Stipend rates are determined by ARS officials, and are based on the applicant’s academic and professional background. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE. The participant will not enter into an employee/employer relationship with ORISE, ORAU, USDA, ARS, or any other office or agency. Instead, the participant will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment.

While participants will not enter into an employment relationship with ARS, this position requires a pre-appointment check and a full background investigation.

This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation.

For more information about the ARS Research Participation Program, please visit the Program Website.

Qualifications

To be eligible, applicants must have received a doctoral degree in biology, ecology, agriculture or similar field, and have a background or accomplishments in project coordination, informatics, field research, or long-term natural experiments.

A strong quantitative orientation is desirable, as is any experience in coffee agriculture. The ideal candidate will have experience with Integrated Pest Management theory and practice, as well as with Area Wide data collection. Background in GIS would be helpful.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Degree: Doctoral Degree.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Earth and Geosciences (2 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (13 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (10 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (1 )