Research Associate

Boulder, CO
May 10, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

CIRES/Earth Lab Post-Doctoral Research Associate

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) in Boulder, Colorado and

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 ( 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 change.

Earth Lab will:
Capitalize on the data deluge from space to accelerate science;
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;
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.

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 situ platforms, is also desirable.
Theme 1. Coupled Extremes: Understanding the drivers and interactions among disturbances
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.

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.

Applications received by June 9th will receive full consideration, but the position will remain open until filled.


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,

Special Instructions to Applicants:The University of Colorado Boulder conducts background checks on all final applicants being considered for employment, prior to the issuance of an offer letter. The University of Colorado 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 include a criminal history record check, and an EPLS (Excluded Parties List System) check. 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 and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, the University of Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, political affiliation or political philosophy in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. Inquiries may be directed to the Boulder Campus Title IX Coordinator by calling 303-492-2127. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, alternative formats of this ad can be provided upon request for individuals with disabilities by contacting Human Resources at

Application Materials Required:Cover Letter, Resume/CV, Reference Letters (Not Confidential), Unofficial transcript(s)

Application Materials Instructions:Applicants must complete the Faculty/University Staff and EEO Data (application) form, and upload the following required documents: 1 - Cover Letter; 2 - Resume; 3 - The document uploaded for Proof of Degree can be a Transcript which shows the date the degree was conferred; Copy of Diploma; or official letter from the Registrar or the Dean of the School or College conferring the degree; 4 -One letter of recommendation This position is eligible for medical, dental and life insurance, retirement benefits programs, and is eligible for monthly vacation and sick leave accruals.

Job Category: Faculty

Primary Location: Boulder

Department: B0001 -- Boulder Campus - 10080 - Coop Inst Res/Envrm Sci - Dir

Schedule: Full-time

Posting Date: May 9, 2017

Closing Date: Ongoing

Posting Contact Name: karen dempsey

Posting Contact Email:

Position Number: 00676327