The DFWS carries out high quality research and education at an international level in close collaboration with the South African plantation-based forest industry, which intensively and sustainably harvests 18 million m3 annually from a resource base of 1.3 million ha using short, management-intensive rotations. The industry depends heavily on well-informed forward operational planning, which is an essential part of good forest management to ensure profitable, sustainable resource supply. Such current and future decision-making across the full forestry value chain must be supported by high quality, well understood data.
Within DFWS, we view forest planning as having a fundamental role in integrating the data generated from measurements (increasingly from remote sensing) and models. We link closely with the new and developing Agro-Informatics initiative within the faculty, and are adapting our focus to ensure that data-driven decision support is in line with trends in the revolutionary changes in use of remote-sensing and field-based technologies.
The incumbent will contribute to training Forest Science graduates with strong skills in the area of forest resource planning and management
and will develop a research direction to underpin and support best practice in this important area of forest science. Specifically, he/she must integrate informatics initiatives and research in DFWS, the Faculty of AgriScience and the wider University and industry, with teaching and research that pertains to forest management and planning.
- Responsible for undergraduate teaching in compliance with general focus of DFWS, specifically in regard to forest planning and resource management and with a role in teaching of forest economics;
- Undertaking high quality, relevant research leading to publications in internationally recognised peer-reviewed journals;
- Supervising PhD and M.Sc. students;
- Developing regional, national and international academic networks;
- Being involved with administrative service delivery at departmental, faculty and university level;
- Actively seeking and managing external research funding;
- Working collaboratively with the South African and international forest industries;
- Working collaboratively with relevant researchers and groups at Stellenbosch University.
The duly qualified candidate is someone who can demonstrate both academic and teaching skills and has:
- A PhD degree in Forest Science or a related field;
- At least three years’ experience in forest management and planning research;
- Experience and skills in the area of informatics, particularly pertaining to decision support for forest management;
- Relevant peer-reviewed research publications commensurate with the level of appointment;
- Relevant student or employee supervision experience related to research objectives;
- Proven ability to work within a multi-disciplinary team;
- Language proficiency for meeting the requirements of a multilingual university.
- Experience teaching undergraduate level University courses;
- Experience with analysis and acquisition of remotely sensed data;
- Experience in the area of forest economics;
- National and international recognition within the broader field of forest planning;
- Proven administrative and managerial skills;
- Strong networks in the broader academic community and the forest industry.
The University is committed to employment equity (EE), and appointments will be made in line with the EE plan for the specific environment as well as Stellenbosch University’s institutional EE Plan.