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Assistant/Associate Professor of Wildland Fire Management

California Polytechnic State University
Job Field:
Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
Water and Soil Resources
Job Type:
Experienced Professional
Location Detail:
San Luis Obispo
Job Description:

The Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences Department (NRES) in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, is seeking a full-time academic year, tenure-track Assistant/Associate Professor in Wildland Fire Management starting September 14, 2023. Candidates with industry or other professional experience are encouraged to apply. Rank and salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.  

Cal Poly has a tradition of excellence in teaching and scholarship that supports a curriculum centered on a "Learn by Doing" philosophy and focused on preparing graduates to make a positive impact on their world day one. The ideal candidate will teach courses in support of the undergraduate Forest & Fire Sciences major, undergraduate Wildland Fire Ecology and Management minor, and graduate Master of Science program in Environmental Sciences & Management.  Additionally, the ideal candidate will build a research program focused on the emerging wildfire challenges faced by the state of California and the western United States more broadly. Teaching responsibilities and opportunities include the broad scope of wildland fire science including, but not limited to, topics such as wildland fire or fuels management, fire ecology, prescribed fire, fire & societal issues, fire protection in the wildland-urban interface,  wildland fire operations, and wildfire-climate change interactions. Candidates with a background suitable to support additional teaching needs within the Forestry and Fire Sciences major such as silviculture, forest operations, dendrology, and/or forest ecology are desired. Teaching and research involvement Cal Poly’s Swanton Pacific Ranch and with local, state, and national organizations is expected. Service activities will include participation in department/college/university committees and instructionally related activities.

At California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds, experiences and value systems fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly’s values of free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. Cal Poly's commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. California Polytechnic State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.




A doctorate degree in the area of wildland fire ecology, wildland fire science, or forest ecological sciences with a background in wildland fire. Candidate must have a record of publications in peer-reviewed journals or evidence of potential as an emerging scholar.

The successful candidate must demonstrate excellence in teaching, effective communication, and interpersonal skills. The candidate must also have the ability to develop an externally funded, applied research program that involves undergraduate and graduate students and partnerships with key stakeholders.

Particular attention will be afforded to candidates who have productive records of teaching, scholarly activity, and student-involved research that would strengthen current department activities. Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in teaching, research, and/or service, and demonstrate a commitment to inclusive practices and working with a diverse student body.

Demonstrated experience and commitment to student-centered learning and teaching, as well as demonstrated ability to collaboratively work in multidisciplinary settings are required. Excellent written and oral communication skills and strong interests in undergraduate and graduate teaching are required. Demonstrated proficiency in written and oral use of the English language is required.



Preference will be given to candidates with university-level teaching experience, relevant coursework, and ability to mentor undergraduate and graduate students. Experience working with diverse populations and fostering a collaborative, supportive, and inclusive environment.

Candidates with the interest, capacity, and/or background to build a research program focusing on basic wildfire sciences, fuels or fire management, wildfire modeling, and/or wildland-urban interface wildfire issues including human-ecological interactions that have potential to involve graduate and undergraduate students are desired.

Preference will be given to candidates with experience working collaboratively with partners including local, state or national agencies, and non- governmental entities or natural resource management organizations.  Relevant professional experience in government agencies, industry, or NGO’s is encouraged.

How to Apply:

Review begin date January 13, 2023. Applicants are encouraged to submit materials by January 13, 2023 for full consideration; however applications received after this date may be considered. Interested candidates must attach: (1) a cover letter, (2) resume/curriculum vitae, (3) unofficial transcripts of the highest degree, (4) statement of teaching philosophy, (5) goals and plans for research, (6) a statement describing the candidate’s experience(s) with diversity, equity, and inclusion and how their experiences have prepared them to advance Cal Poly’s commitment to inclusive excellence ( and (7) at least three professional references with names and email addresses when completing the online faculty application.  Finalists for the position will be required to provide 3 letters of reference. The selected candidate will be required to provide official transcripts prior to appointment for final consideration.


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