[ES_JOBS_NET] Postdoctoral Research Fellow Position, George Mason University - Storm Surge Attenuation by Wetlands

Viviana Maggioni vmaggion at gmu.edu
Thu Mar 26 07:44:33 MDT 2015

Dear Colleagues,
Please circulate to potential candidates.
Ref: Postdoctoral Research Fellow Position
The George Mason University, Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering within the Volgenau School of Engineering invite applications for a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for the project “Quantifying Storm Surge Attenuation by Wetlands,” recently funded as part of the Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) http://www.nfwf.org/hurricanesandy/Pages/home.aspx#.VO50jvnF98G/
The ongoing project directed by Dr. Celso Ferreira (http://frg.vse.gmu.edu/) is investigating the potential of natural wetlands to attenuate storm surge in the Chesapeake Bay region. Preliminary research indicates that the capacity of wetlands to attenuate storm surge is dependent not only on spatial extent but also on microtopography, geomorphology, and flow-resistance characteristics of vegetation. We are currently striving to bridge this knowledge gap through the monitoring of hydrodynamics in Virginia’s coastal wetlands using in-situ data recorders coupled with high-performance computer modeling. We propose to expand upon our current research on protected wetlands in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (VA DCR), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), increasing data collection and capability to perform extensive hydrodynamics monitoring in sites representative coastal wetlands in the Mid-Atlantic region. Additionally, seasonal surveys of microtopographic and vegetation community biomechanics will improve parameterization of roughness for model calibration and validation. Coupling results from field studies with multidimensional hydrodynamic modeling on a geospatial framework will quantify storm surge attenuation rates (e.g., spatial scales for effective coastal resilience) in coastal wetlands. Analyses and assessment of the risk to storm surge under sea level rise to protected areas will provide natural resources managers and coastal communities with information for management actions and resilience planning. Preliminary data can be found athttp://www.mwdis.org/Extra/Project/Detail/1/ and additional project information can be found at http://frg.vse.gmu.edu/wetlands-storm-surge/. This postdoctoral position is supervised by Dr. Celso Ferreira (http://frg.vse.gmu.edu/) in cooperation with the USGS, and National Research Program (NRP) scientists Jud Harvey and Jay Choi (http://water.usgs.gov/nrp/jharvey/).
The successful candidate will lead the field activities of the project that include a detailed monitoring campaign for the characterization of the hydrodynamics from tidal and storm surge flow in coastal wetlands ecosystems that are part of protected areas in the lower Chesapeake Bay and coastal regions of the Delmarva Peninsula. As part of the research team, the successful candidate will lead key analysis components and publish findings that relate coastal vegetation biomechanical properties (i.e., stem density and diameter, stiffness, bending, and tensile strength) with storm tide and storm surge hydrodynamics over coastal wetlands including the impacts of seasonal variability in vegetation properties (e.g., winter and summer), and tidal cycles and storm characteristics (e.g., tropical cyclones, hurricanes, nor’easter, or winter storms). The successful candidate will also work closely with the modeling team to calibrate hydrodynamic and wave models, develop numerical meshes, and prepare data using geographic information systems. The candidate will also have the opportunity to develop teaching skills through participation in graduate and undergraduate classes taught by Dr. Ferreira, as well as interact closely with researchers at USGS National Research Program in Reston, Va.
Required Qualifications:
Qualified applicants will have an earned Ph.D. in civil/water resources/hydrology/coastal engineering, environmental sciences, oceanography, or related disciplines. The successful candidate is expected to have experience in fieldwork, including GPS and ground-based surveying, and field or laboratory experience with acoustic velocimeters (i.e., ADCPs or similar instrumentation) and other equipment and techniques relevant to the project; programming experience to work with large data sets; and ability in techniques to characterize vegetation biomechanics. The candidate will work closely with Ph.D. advisors and graduate students on the team, and supervise undergraduate students during field surveys. The position requires significant maturity and team leadership ability to conduct fieldwork in a challenging work environment located in coastal wetlands of the lower Chesapeake Bay region. Ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment is highly desirable. Ability to work within protected areas and highly sensitive ecological environments is necessary, as is the ability to successfully interact with reserve and protected area managers and staff.
Special Instructions to Applicants             
For full consideration, please complete the online application at http://jobs.gmu.edu for position number F9899z. Applicants should attach a cover letter summarizing their research experience and interests in the project, as well as discuss their fit to the project need; a curriculum vita; and a list of three professional references with contact information. Funding is initially available to support one year of work and opportunities will be pursued to extend the support. For questions about this position, please contact Dr. Celso Ferreira at cferrei3 at gmu.edu.
Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled; however the target start date is May 2015.
Great Careers Begin at Mason!
George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in both academics and research. Mason holds a top U.S. News and World Report “Up and Coming” spot for national universities and is recognized for its global appeal and excellence in higher education.
Mason is currently the largest and most diverse university in Virginia with students and faculty from all 50 states and over 135 countries studying in 200 degree programs at campuses in Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William, as well as at learning locations across the commonwealth. Rooted in Mason’s diversity is a campus culture that is both rewarding and exciting, work that is meaningful, and opportunities to both collaborate and create.
If you are interested in joining the Mason family take a look at our current opportunities and catch some Mason spirit at jobs.gmu.edu/!
George Mason University is an equal opportunity employer encouraging diversity
Warm regards,

Viviana Maggioni, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Dept. of Civil, Environmental & Infrastructure Engineering
George Mason University
4400 University Drive, MS-6C1
Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: 703-993-5117
Fax: 703-993-9790

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