Students and Faculty managing a net at a stream

The College of Letters and Science at Montana State University seeks five tenure track faculty members across our participating departments with a demonstrated record of or potential for scholarly activity (research, teaching, service, and creative work) that promotes the wellness of underserved communities broadly defined. This cohort hiring initiative is part of a university commitment to support our diverse student body, faculty, and staff. (See Montana State University’s Diversity & Inclusion Framework and Strategic Plan: Choosing Promise.)We know that representation of a variety of backgrounds and perspectives is critical to a rich and vibrant scholarly community that supports our students’ learning and upholds our land grant mission.We envision a wide variety of scholars who qualify as contributing to this theme and are particularly interested in people from diverse academic backgrounds whose experiences will contribute to the excellence of the MSU community. We imagine candidates who focus on the wellness of underserved communities and whose scholarship may speak but is not limited to rural communities, the environment, community empowerment, community sustainability (environmental, governmental, or otherwise), health disparities (racial, gender, or rural), climate, and teaching pedagogy. 

As a participating department in the Cohort Hiring Initiative, the department of Ecology is searching for a scholar who focuses on the wellness of underserved communities by teaching, researching, engaging the community and/or mentoring students on topics related to the conservation and management of individual species, fundamental interactions between species, or the ecosystems and landscapes that sustain them. This could include, but is not limited to, incorporating underrepresented perspectives, priorities, or research approaches to understand ecological topics of importance. 

Department Overview 

The Department of Ecology at Montana State University leads in teaching and research that addresses both fundamental and applied ecological questions across diverse landscapes.  Our efforts are focused on Montana, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Northern Rockies Ecosystem, and beyond to diverse biomes across the globe. The department offers a B.S. degree in Biology with four relevant options, or focal areas (i.e., Fish and Wildlife Ecology and Management, Conservation Biology and Ecology, Organismal Biology, and Biology Teaching), and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in options that include Fish and Wildlife Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences, and Biological Sciences. With 12 tenure-track faculty members, 2 USGS Cooperative Fishery Research Unit faculty, 4 teaching faculty, 580 undergraduate majors, and 48 graduate students, the department has one of the largest and most active programs at Montana State University. The department maintains close ties with the Montana Institute on Ecosystems, and the Departments of Mathematical Sciences, Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Plant Science and Plant Pathology, and Animal and Range Science. Collaborating resource agencies include Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, USFWS Bozeman Fish Technology Center, Bureau of Reclamation, Yellowstone National Park, USGS Northern Rockies Science Center, and the Custer-Gallatin National Forest. Montana State University is a founding member of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) and affiliated with the Yellowstone NEON ecological observatory.  We also collaborate with numerous tribal partners and non-governmental organizations.  

Candidates from any relevant discipline with strong potential to form connections with ecological science are encouraged to apply. A commitment to excellence in teaching and an active research program are essential for success.  Instructional responsibilities will include a balance among teaching lower division, upper division, and graduate courses,  as well as advising undergraduate and graduate students.  As a tenure-track faculty member, a successful applicant must be able to balance the demands of teaching and advising students, conducting a research program that results in publication in high-quality venues, and seeking external funding for research and projects. Faculty members also serve on master’s and doctoral committees and participate in department and university service activities.   

How to Submit Your Application

Applicants will apply online through the Applicant tracking system on the Montana State University Website at (  For any questions or additional information, please contact Bernadette Diaz, our Search Committee Coordinator, at [email protected] or (406) 994-4481. She will be in direct contact with Laura Burkle, Associate Professor of Ecology and Chair of the Department’s Cohort Hiring Committee.