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USGS Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program

17-26. Multi-Resource Analysis - Integrating Energy, Mineral, and other Natural Resource Assessments

An interdisciplinary USGS team in coordination with other bureaus in the Department of the Interior, other federal agencies, and with stakeholders, has initiated a research agenda to develop methods and tools for Multi-Resource Analysis (MRA). MRA is a next-generation suite of analytical products that can be used to inform land use and resource management decisions by integrating scientific information about natural resources and explicitly recognizing changes to those resources caused by natural events and human decisions, including energy and minerals development decisions. MRA focuses on the effects of change on multiple natural resources, interrelationships among natural resources, and the economic and societal consequences of these changes to humans. The USGS has a growing body of work on MRA and related topics (Jenni et al., 2018; Haines et al., 2013; Martinez et al, in review; Diffendorfer et al., 2017). The focus of this Research Opportunity is to further advance MRA via integration of energy, mineral, and other natural resource assessments. The Mendenhall Fellow’s research may be centered on any of the physical, economic, or decision science aspects of the MRA. To that end, we solicit proposals touching on one or more of following research areas which are the primary components of an MRA described in Jenni et al. 2018.

  1. Baseline natural resource assessment: USGS energy and mineral resource assessment procedures have been in place for many years, but there are no equivalent procedures for collectively assessing the many other natural resources in a region, nor an established means of integrating geologic, biophysical, and socioeconomic resource assessments. An innovative methodology to synthesize co-located natural resource data in a study region is needed.
  2. Scenarios and scenario analysis: Natural processes and events and human decisions can change landscapes, their natural resources, and the benefits those resources provide. Resource managers need to make decisions despite significant uncertainty and there is a need for robust techniques that can provide an improved understanding of future conditions that could occur under a set of decision-relevant scenarios.
  3. Integrated, Dynamic Models of Physical and Biological Interrelationships: Understanding how stressors, disruptions, and decisions can change future conditions of co-located natural resources requires an understanding of the interrelationships among those resources. Research is needed to develop integrated, dynamic models of the physical and biological relationships among resources.
  4. Economic Analysis: MRA provides additional information by considering the connection between natural resources and people via economic analyses. Research is needed on methods to evaluate how the biophysical changes modeled under different scenarios affects and is valued by the people who live in the region or rely on the resources.

We seek a Mendenhall Fellow to investigate and advance MRA using USGS energy and mineral resource assessments. The research should fall within one or more of the four categories described above. Possible topics include:

Applicants are expected to have strong technical skills in economics, decision science, geology, geophysics, geography, ecology, or another relevant physical science along with computational skills associated with the proposed work and a desire to contribute to advancing MRA; however, experience in applying the skills towards MRA is not necessary.


Diffendorfer, J.E., Beston, J. A., Merril, M. D., Stanton, J. C., Corum, M. D., Loss, S. R., Thogmartin, W. E., Johnson, D. H., Erickson, R. A., Heist, K. W. 2017. A method to assess the population-level consequences of wind energy facilities on bird and bat species. 65-76 in “Wind Energy and Wildlife Interactions: Presentations from the CWW2015 Conference”. Springer, New York, New York. ISBN: 9783319512709

Haines, S.S., Diffendorfer, J.E., Balistrieri, L., Berger, B., Cook, T., DeAngelis, D., Doremus, H., Gautier, D.L., Gallegos, T., Gerritsen, M., Graffy, E., Hawkins, S., Johnson, K.M., Macknick, J., McMahon, P., Modde, T., Pierce, B., Schuenemeyer, J.H., Semmens, D., Simon, B., Taylor, J., and Walton-Day, K., 2013, A framework for quantitative assessment of impacts related to energy and mineral resource development: Natural Resources Research, v. 23, no. 1, p. 3–17.

Jenni, K.E., Pindilli, E., Bernknopf, R., Nieman, T.L., and Shapiro, C., 2018, Multi-Resource Analysis—Methodology and synthesis: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1442, 81 p.,

Martinez, C., S. Haines, S. Garman, J. Diffendorfer, D. Semmens, Dorning, M., Jenni, K., in review. Quantifying potential future effects of developing oil and gas resources on ecosystem attributes: A demonstration in the Piceance Basin, Western Colorado. Natural Resources Research.

Proposed Duty Station: Denver, CO; Reston, VA

Areas of Ph.D.: Economics, decision science, geosciences, geography, landscape ecology, hydrology or related fields (candidates holding a Ph.D. in other disciplines, but with extensive knowledge and skills relevant to the Research Opportunity may be considered).

Qualifications: Applicants must meet one of the following qualifications: Research Economist/Economist, Operations Research Analyst, Research Social Scientist, Research Physical Scientist, Research Geologist/Geophysicist, Research Ecologist, Research Geographer. (This type of research is performed by those who have backgrounds for the occupations stated above. However, other titles may be applicable depending on the applicant's background, education, and research proposal. The final classification of the position will be made by the Human Resources specialist.)

Research Advisor(s): Karen Jenni, 303-236-5766,; Emily Pindilli, 703-648-5732,; Seth Haines, 303-236-0459,; Darius Semmens, 303-236-1420,; Jay Diffendorfer, 303-236-5369,

Human Resources Office Contact: Emilyn Claycomb,, 703 648-7481

Go back to Summary of Opportunities

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
URL: Jenni.htm
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Last modified: 17:05:25 Wed 14 Nov 2018
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