[ES_JOBS_NET] Earth Lab Post-Doctoral Research Scholars at the University of Colorado-Boulder

Christine Wiedinmyer christin at ucar.edu
Wed May 31 07:30:21 MDT 2017

*Earth Lab Post-Doctoral Research Scholars*

*at the University of Colorado-Boulder*

The Earth Lab initiative, part of the University of Colorado Boulder’s
“Grand Challenge: Our Space, Our Future,” seeks post-doctoral researchers
to join a dynamic team pushing the frontiers of coupled earth and social
system science (http://www.colorado.edu/earthlab/). Earth Lab’s mission is
to harness the wave of Earth data generated by aerospace platforms and
other sources to better understand the pace and pattern of environmental

Earth Lab will:

Ø  *Capitalize on the data deluge from space* to accelerate science;

Ø  *Reduce environmental risk and surprise* by using this wealth of data to
understand and predict both slow and abrupt Earth System change to help
society manage and adapt;

Ø  *Train a new generation of data scientists* *in Earth Analytics.*

Earth Lab’s Analytics Hub is a state-of-the-art computing facility that
leverages existing cyberinfrastructure investments at the University of
Colorado-Boulder and houses data science specialists and support staff who
assist researchers and students with data management, analysis and
visualization needs.

Earth Lab seeks four Post-Doctoral Research Scholars to lead a research
agenda in the following areas:

1.     The Natural Science of Coupled Extremes,

2.     The Social and Economic Impacts of Extremes,

3.     Human Health and Environmental Change, and

4.     Settlements and Environmental Change.

*These target research areas represent Earth Lab’s efforts to explore
society’s vulnerability and resilience to global environmental
change.* Post-Doctoral
Research Scholars are responsible for carrying out Earth Lab’s research
program. Successful candidates must have content knowledge and data
analytics skills relevant to each theme, as well as an eagerness to bridge
among the themes and interact with specialists in data analytics,
visualization, and informatics in a high performance computing or cloud
computing environment. Interest in mentoring undergraduate and graduate
students is a plus, as Earth Lab is committed to advancing education and
developing the Earth Systems data analytics workforce. Interest in
interacting with the private sector, especially with companies providing
environmental sensing data and analysis, from space, aerial, and *in
is also desirable.

*Overall Qualifications:*

   - Doctoral degree in natural or social sciences related to the Earth Lab
   research themes as described below.
   - Strong quantitative background.
   - Experience in, or willingness to learn, appropriate programming and
   data analytic tools. Ideally the candidates will have experience in
   programming languages (e.g., R, Python, or others), can work in different
   environments (e.g., Linux), and are well versed in geospatial analysis
   software (e.g., QGIS).
   - Experience in integrating and analyzing large, and/or heterogeneous
   - Experience in working with a high performance computing or cloud
   computing environment is a plus.
   - Demonstrated publication and grant-writing skills.
   - Team spirit and interest in interdisciplinary research settings.

These positions will be filled as Research Associates at the University of
Colorado-Boulder, with salary appropriate to qualifications and experience,
and with eligible employee benefits. Initial appointment will be for one
year with high likelihood of renewal for an additional year.

*1. Natural Science of Coupled Extremes: Understanding the drivers and
interactions among disturbances, position #09415*

We are seeking to better understand how fundamental processes explain
extreme environmental events and abrupt behavior across systems, including
wildfire dynamics, drought, flooding, and erosional processes, and the
coupled human-natural systems that are vulnerable to changes in these
phenomena. The successful candidate must have content knowledge and data
analytics skills relevant to extremes, with emphasis on understanding
natural systems and their responses. A desired outcome of this work is
understanding how disturbances of one type catalyze or counteract the
likelihood and magnitude of other types of disturbance events. Ideally the
candidate will be able to apply different approaches to explore the spatial
correlation and sequence of interacting disturbances and their consequences.

*Specific Qualifications for Coupled Extremes:*

·      Applicant must have demonstrated interest and skills in exploratory
approaches to system dynamics, such as extreme value theory, tipping point
theory, detection of emergent behaviors, or other related approaches.

·      Background expertise is preferred in one or several of these
disturbance processes: droughts, wildfires, and/or floods.

·      A strong quantitative background is necessary.

·      Experience using the fundamental climate data that drive many of
these phenomena is a plus.

·      The ability to work in the framework of coupled human-natural
systems and collaborate across Earth Lab’s research themes is critical.

·      Ph.D. in a related field is required.

*Contact for this theme: * Jennifer Balch, Director of Earth Lab &
Department of Geography,jennifer.balch at colorado.edu
<colleen.reid at colorado.edu>

*2. Social and Economic Impacts of Extremes, position #09414*

Earth Lab seeks a Post-Doctoral Research Scholar on Extremes in Coupled
Social and Natural Systems, with a focus on social and economic processes.
The successful candidate must have content knowledge and data analytics
skills relevant to extremes, with emphasis on economic impacts and
responses. The extremes focus seeks to build on the suite of Earth Lab
efforts, plus research findings in coupled human and environment systems,
to pursue knowledge frontiers in dynamic and emergent system behaviors
(e.g., understanding of extremes, threshold behaviors, and abrupt changes).
This Post-Doctoral Research Scholar will work in the Risk and Decision
Making project as well as bridge among other ongoing science themes at the
Earth Lab (Wildfire, Drought, Erosion, Arctic Processes, Human Health, and
Settlements). This position will focus on the impacts of extreme events on
social and environmental systems, valuation of those impacts and of
societal responses, including analyzing the value of information in
reducing impacts and vulnerability. Moreover, we are interested in how
coupled extreme events may further disrupt both ecological and social
processes and infrastructure with special attention to the existence of
threshold behaviors when the resilience capacity of a social and/or
environmental system is exceeded.

*Specific Qualifications for Social and Economic Impacts of Extremes:*
•      Doctoral degree in social sciences or interdisciplinary field
(economics, public policy, geography or other quantitative social science)
•      Demonstrated interest and the skills necessary to explore the social
and economic impacts of extreme environmental events.
•      Strong quantitative background.
•      Experience or willingness to learn how to integrate and analyze
large and/or heterogeneous datasets, including socio-economic data and
Earth observations from remote-sensing platforms.


   - Skills that enable exploratory approaches to system dynamics, extreme
   events, tipping points, and emergent behaviors, across a wide range of
   systems from natural to social.

*Contact for this theme: * William Travis, Deputy Director of Earth Lab,
and Department of Geography,william.travis at colorado.edu

*3. Human Health & Environmental Change, position #09413*

This project will explore how we can better understand the links between
environmental change and human health. The project will integrate Earth
Systems datasets (e.g., satellite-derived climate, wildfire, and/or land
use data) being created through Earth Lab with larger health datasets
(examples include data from the Rocky Mountain Research Data Center opening
up at CU Boulder in Spring 2017, electronic medical records, social media,
etc.). The successful candidate will explore one or more of the following
research areas: 1) Health impacts of smoke from wildland fire in various
ecological contexts; 2) Health impacts of drought; 3) How social media can
better inform understanding of spatiotemporal relationships between
environmental exposures and health outcomes; and 4) Projecting health
impacts of climate change using information on changing demographics, land
use, and environmental exposures. Linking to other research areas within
Earth Lab, such as Fire, Risk & Decision Making, Data Harmonization,
Settlements, and Extremes is a key goal of this project to further Earth
Lab’s goals of exploring the human dimensions of global environmental

*Specific Qualifications for Human Health & Environmental Change: *Completed
Ph.D. in epidemiology, medical geography, biostatistics, environmental
health sciences, public health, or related field. Strong quantitative
skills and experience in linking environmental data to health data is

*Contact for this theme: * Colleen Reid, Department of Geography,
colleen.reid at colorado.edu

*4. Settlements and Environmental Change, position #09412*

This project seeks to leverage access to massive data on environmental
change and property location and other attributes to advance our
understanding of interrelationships between natural hazards risks and our
built environment. Central questions are how changing settlement patterns
relate to exposure to natural hazards but also how extreme events and other
types of environmental change impact housing stock and potential value
change. The study of such bidirectional dynamics helps to advance our
understanding of social vulnerability such as housing market response to
extreme events and climate change indicators. Settlement distributions and
real estate markets are characterized by a spatio-temporal development in
response to external factors, and we are particularly interested in how
environmental events change settlement pressures and patterns through time.
Moreover, important questions of social and environmental justice arise due
to external pressure, development, and environmental risks.

Natural hazards risk analysis and exposure assessment are important
components of this project. The successful candidate will explore one or
more of the following natural hazards and the vulnerabilities in existing
settlements: 1) Sea level rise, its impact on structures potentially
affected along coast lines and how settlement and occupation has evolved
over time. 2) Changing wildfire patterns: Explore the interrelationships
between settlement distribution and fire frequency and occurrence over time
using wilderness-urban-interface (WUI) concepts; 3) Increased Droughts:
Investigate the response of urban development to persistent droughts.

*Specific Qualifications for Settlements and Environmental Change:*

·      Ph.D. in geospatial science, geoinformatics, computer science,
economics, natural hazards, or other related field

·      Strong quantitative and programming skills and knowledge in data
science, statistics, demography and coupled human-natural systems

·      Eagerness to develop models of improved understanding of
interrelationships between urban processes and environmental settings in
the context of hazards, risk assessment and extreme events

·      Interest in spatio-temporal analysis and in interdisciplinary
research, housing markets and demographic analysis

*Contact for this theme: *Stefan Leyk, Department of Geography,
Stefan.leyk at colorado.edu

*To Apply:*

Please visit the CU Careers website (https://cu.taleo.net/
careersection/2/moresearch.ftl?lang=en) to apply for these positions
(search for position #s: 09415, 09414, 09413, 09412).  Applications that
are received by *June 9th* will be given full consideration, but the
positions will remain open until filled. Applicants should provide:

1)    personal information prompted by the CU Careers website,

2)    a 1-2 page cover letter explaining relevant research background and
interest in the specific Earth Lab theme (Doc 1),

3)    complete C.V. (Doc 2),

4)    a document listing the names and contact information for two
references, who then will be prompted to submit their reference letters
(Doc 3),

5)    proof of Ph.D. degree, or formal letter from your institution stating
that all requirements for the Ph.D. degree have been completed (Doc 4).

*For general information on applying, please contact Chelsea Nagy (*
*Rachel.Nagy at Colorado.EDU* <Rachel.Nagy at Colorado.EDU>*).*

*Additional Information*

The University of Colorado at Boulder is committed to providing a safe and
productive learning, living and working community.  To achieve this goal,
we conduct background investigations for all final applicants being
considered for employment.  Background investigations for this position
include criminal history and reference checks. The Immigration Reform and
Control Act requires that verification of employment eligibility be
documented for all new employees by the end of the third day of work.

The University of Colorado is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to
building a diverse workforce.  We encourage applications from women, racial
and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and veterans.  Alternative
formats of this ad can be provided upon request for individuals with
disabilities by contacting Employment Services at (303) 492-6475.
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