[ES_JOBS_NET] Hiring Earth Lab postdocs at CU Boulder: 1) Scaling understanding of western forest disturbance & 2) Socioeconomics of extremes (due Nov. 16th)

Bamzai, Aparna abamzai at usgs.gov
Thu Nov 1 11:46:48 MDT 2018

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Jennifer Kakareka Balch <jennifer.balch at colorado.edu>
Date: Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 5:20 PM
Subject: [EXTERNAL] hiring Earth Lab postdocs at CU Boulder: 1) Scaling
understanding of western forest disturbance & 2) Socioeconomics of extremes
(due Nov. 16th)

Please help spread the word….thank you.

Earth Lab, funded by the University of Colorado Boulder’s “Grand Challenge:
Our Space, Our Future” and part of CIRES, seeks *two post-doctoral
associates* 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 data revolution through research, analytics, and
education to accelerate understanding of global environmental change to
help society better manage and adapt.

*Apply by November 16th* for full consideration (open until filled). For
general information on applying, please contact Dawn Umpleby:
dawn.umpleby at colorado.edu.
1. Earth Lab postdoc: Understanding Disturbance Dynamics: from Trees to
Earth Lab seeks a Post-Doctoral Associate who can advance a research agenda
around scaling observations from trees to ecoregions to understand
disturbance dynamics in western U.S. forests. The research goal of this
project is to advance our understanding of some aspect of forest dynamics
(e.g., carbon stocks, productivity, diversity, or resilience) after
disturbance (e.g., wildfires, beetle-kill, drought, land use/cover change,
or other) using cutting-edge technologies or sensors, machine learning
approaches, and/or data harmonization techniques. Key research questions
include: 1) how do compound disturbances alter forest dynamics and
potentially lead to state transitions; 2) how does functional diversity
change in response to disturbance; or 3) how do carbon stocks recover after
different types and combinations of disturbance? Novel approaches to these
questions could include: 1) use of machine learning approaches to derive
species- or individual tree-level information from remote sensing data
(e.g., LiDAR, hyperspectral, or other data source from Unmanned Aerial
Vehicles (UAVs), airborne, or satellite platforms); 2) scaling across
observations from these platforms and other sources to understand forest
dynamics (e.g., use of NEON data coupled with other sources); 3) experience
working with data from or based on recently launched or forthcoming
missions (e.g., GEDI, ECOSTRESS, Planet, or other) that capture information
about disturbance and forest response; or 4) novel uses of longer-term
satellite-based records (e.g., Landsat, MODIS, or other) that provide new
insights about disturbance and forest response. The desired applicant would
ideally have experience in one or more of these approaches; and note that
Earth Lab is building out capabilities in science applications of UAVs with
IRISS (www.colorado.edu/iriss). The Niwot Ridge Long-term Ecological
Research program (http://niwot.colorado.edu) and NEON field site (
<http://www.neonscience.org/field-sites/field-sites-map/NIWO>), at the
university’s Mountain Research Station (an hour west of Boulder), will
provide a potential base to test some of these approaches through existing

Specific qualifications for Disturbance Dynamics Postdoc Position:
·      Background expertise in and theoretical understanding of disturbance
dynamics in forest systems.
·      Applicant must have demonstrated interest and skills in one or more
of the approaches described above (e.g., machine learning approaches, use
of UAV-derived data/remote sensing data, data integration across multiple
sources, etc.).
·      A strong quantitative background is necessary.
·      The ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary team.
·      Ph.D. in a related field is required, such as geography, ecology,
environmental studies, forestry, or other.

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

See full ad & apply here:
2. Earth Lab postdoc: Social and Economic Impacts of Extremes
The target research area “The Social and Economic Impacts of Extremes”
represents Earth Lab’s efforts to explore natural and social system
vulnerability and resilience to global environmental change, while also
capitalizing of the diversity of data available to generate new insights.
Earth Lab seeks a Post-Doctoral Research Scholar on Extremes in Coupled
Social and Natural Systems, with a focus on economic processes and impacts.
The successful candidate must have content knowledge and data analytics
skills relevant to extremes, with emphasis on economic impacts assessment
in the U.S. context. The extremes focus seeks to build on the suite of
Earth Lab efforts to conceptualize and analyze extreme events in coupled
human and environment systems. This Post-Doctoral Associate 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, Human Health,
and Land Use and Land Cover). 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 in the U.S. context.
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 Postdoc
•      Doctoral degree in economics or related social sciences or
interdisciplinary field (economics, public policy, geography or other
quantitative social science)
•      Demonstrated interest and the skills necessary to explore the
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 modelling of direct and indirect impacts of extreme
events on the U.S.  economy at local to national scales.

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

See full ad and apply here:

*Overall Qualifications for Earth Lab Postdocs:*
• Doctoral degree in natural or social sciences related to the Earth Lab
research themes.
• 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.,
• Demonstrated contributions to open science (i.e., publicly available
and/or reproducible data, code, workflows, and/or tools) or willingness to
contribute to open science.
• 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 settings, with a
willingness to engage with Earth Lab’s Analytics Hub and Education
Initiative teams.

To learn more about Earth Lab, visit the Earth Lab website (
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