Postdoctoral Research Fellow
The George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication (http://climate.gmu.edu) invites applications for a full-time Postdoctoral Research Fellow to
support an NSF-funded planning grant titled Making the Global Local: Unusual Weather Events as Climate Change Education Opportunities. The goal of this project is to establish a national
network of climate and weather science organizations, and university research and teaching programs, to engage, train, and empower local broadcast meteorologists to educate and inform
the American public about climate change. The project will integrate informal learning, mass communication, and experiential learning theories to develop and test new pedagogical
approaches to informal science education through frequent mass media exposure, linked to realworld experience (i.e., the local weather). It will also adapt and test conflict resolution theory and
practice to engage meteorologists who reject the scientific consensus and climate scientists in constructive dialogue. Collaborating institutions include National Oceanic & Atmospheric
Administration, American Meteorological Society, National Weather Association, American Association of State Climatologists, American Geophysical Union, Climate Central, National
Environmental Education Foundation, and Yale and Cornell universities.
The specific objectives of this planning grant are to: (1) identify the resources, training and other forms of support that will enable weathercasters to incorporate relevant information about
climate change into their broadcasts; (2) identify why some weathercasters remain undecided about anthropogenic climate change and develop related curriculum and programs about climate
science for them; (3) develop a prototype conflict analysis and resolution process between weathercasters who reject the scientific consensus and those who accept it so as to understand
their differences, their patterns of interaction, and develop frameworks to help mediate their concerns; (4) develop linkages with existing climate- and weather-related citizen science
programs to enable weathercasters to involve their viewers in climate and weather science; and (5) identify curriculum and curriculum development needs for teaching climate science to
undergraduate meteorology students and certificate candidates. The end product of this planning grant will be a five-year implementation plan that shall be submitted to NSF for funding
Candidates must have a PhD in a relevant social or learning science discipline, and a track record of published journal articles and/or conference papers on relevant topics of inquiry including
climate change communication, science communication and/or formal or informal science education. Experience in survey research, qualitative data collection, strategic (program)
planning, professional development, and climate science is preferred. Additional skills required include competence in planning and multitasking, attention to detail, excellent organizational
skills, ability to communicate verbally and in writing, and the ability to adapt to the changing demands of a dynamic research environment.
The position begins as soon as September 15th and no later than October 1st, 2010. Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications. The position will initially be for one year,
with renewal for a second year given satisfactory performance. Members of under-represented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.
For full consideration, interested and qualified applicants must submit the online faculty application at http://jobs.gmu.edu for position #F9401z. Applications should include (a) cover
letter including a statement of research interests and career goals, and names and contact information of two professional references, and (b) a vita.
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