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Assistant/Associate Professor of Wildland Fire Management

Apply now Job no: 520968
Work type: Instructional Faculty – Tenured/Tenure-Track
Location: San Luis Obispo
Categories: Unit 3 - CFA - California Faculty Association, Tenured/Tenure-Track, Full Time, Faculty - Agriculture

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.

Grade and salary commensurate with education and experience of the individual selected. Anticipated hiring ranges:
Assistant Professor: $82,000-$90,000
Associate: $90,504-$99,000

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.


The person holding this position is considered a 'mandated reporter' under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

Following a conditional offer of employment, a background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate may start work with Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may result in the withdrawal of the offer of employment. Note: Cal Poly cannot deny an applicant a position solely or in part due to a criminal conviction history until it has performed an individualized assessment and linked the relevant conviction history with specific job duties in the position being sought.

Please note: Current employees who are offered positions on campus will be required to undergo a background check for any position where a background check is required by law or that Cal Poly has designated as sensitive. Sensitive positions are those requiring heightened scrutiny of individuals holding the position based on potential for harm to children, concerns for the safety and security of people, animals, or property, or heightened risk of financial loss to Cal Poly or individuals in the university community.

For health and well-being, Cal Poly is a smoke & tobacco-free campus. The university is committed to promoting a healthy environment for all members of our community.

CSU requires faculty, staff, and students who are accessing campus facilities to be immunized against COVID-19 or declare a medical or religious exemption from doing so.  Any candidates advanced in a search process should be prepared to comply with this requirement. The systemwide policy can be found at CSU Vaccination Policy and questions may be sent to

In accordance with the California State University (CSU) Out-of-State Employment Policy, the CSU is a state entity whose business operations reside within the State of California and prohibits hiring employees to perform CSU related work outside of California.


The NRES Department offers B.S. degrees in Environmental Earth and Soil Sciences, Environmental Management and Protection, and Forestry and Natural Resources, and an M.S. in Environmental Science and Management. The programs enroll approximately 750 undergraduate students and 30 graduate students and are supported by 17 tenured or tenure track faculty.  The department has access to a variety of on campus and off campus field and lab resources to support hands on instruction and research, including multiple ranches and agricultural fields on campus as well as Cal Poly’s 3,000-acre Swanton Pacific Ranch in Santa Cruz county.  The department also supports strong interdisciplinary collaboration across campus including faculty participation in Cal Poly’s Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) fire institute and the new Center for Organic Production and Research, among other programs. 


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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