Visiting Research Scientist - Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (144939)

Job description




Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching, and public engagement. We serve the state, the nation, and the world by creating knowledge, preparing students for lives of impact, and addressing critical societal needs through the transfer and application of knowledge. Illinois is the place where we embrace difference. We embrace it because we value it. Illinois is especially interested in candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the Illinois community.

PRIMARY POSITION FUNCTION/SUMMARY: The Visiting Research Scientist will lead research projects on sustainable agriculture and global environmental change regarding the carbon, water, and nutrients cycles in agroecosystem across a variety of scales from the field, regional to the globe using the tools of advanced ecosystem models, machine learning, and high-performance computation, with the constraints from the satellites observations and in-situ measurements; publish research output in academic journals and conference; and support the team lead on project management and student mentoring.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: The Visiting Research Scientist will . . .


  • Lead and manage research projects.
  • Conduct the agroecosystem carbon-water-nutrients-energy balance simulations using the advanced ecosystem model with the constraint of in-situ observations, satellite products across spatial scales.
  • Assess the impacts of different land management practices on crop productivity and environmental sustainability in the U.S. croplands.
  • Build surrogate models to integrate the satellite observations and mechanistic model at field scale, and assess the benefits of remotely sensed products on cropland carbon balance estimation.


  • Publish and disseminate research outputs in journals and at conferences.
  • Write proposals to secure continuous research funds.
  • Support research team management and student mentoring.


Education: Required – PhD. Preferred - PhD in Ecosystem modeling or Geospatial Science

Experience: Required – 1. Experience with using advanced agroecosystem models, ideally the ecosys model, for agricultural crop productivity and carbon balance quantification in the U.S. Midwest with the constraints of observed carbon components. 2. Experience with using advanced agroecosystem models for the impacts of tillage, cover crop, and nutrients management on crop productivity, soil carbon dynamics, and environmental sustainability assessment. 3. Experience with developing and using satellite products (land surface temperature, air temperature, downward shortwave radiation, downward long wave radiation, precipitation, etc.) in hydrological/agroecosystem modeling. 4. Experience with using the crop models for crop yield risk assessment under current and future climate scenarios . 5. Experience with using multi-source satellite products and land surface model outputs for large-scale crop monitoring (i.e. agricultural drought monitoring). 6. Experience with machine learning, deep learning, and high-performance large-scale computation. 7. Experience with the U.S. corn-soybean cropping systems and bioenergy crops, and other major crops (i.e. winter wheat, sorghum.) 8. Experience in student mentoring. 9. Publication in domain leading journals.

Preferred - More than 5 years of research experience on remote sensing and hydrological/agroecosystem modelling

Training, Licenses or Certifications: Required: US driver’s license

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Advanced agroecosystem modelling; Large-volume remote sensing data processing; High-performance computation. In-depth knowledge on agroecosystem modelling and remote sensing; Crop physiology.

Environmental Demands: Work may be occasionally conducted in a field setting. Most work performed in general office setting.

SALARY: Commensurate with experience and qualifications

APPOINTMENT STATUS: Full-time, visiting academic professional, grant-supported appointment renewable annually pending continued funding and satisfactory progress within the position for up to three years. Qualified individuals will be eligible to receive vacation, sick, and personal leave; retirement through the State Universities Retirement System; and group health, dental, vision and life insurance.

START DATE: As soon as possible after the close date

TO APPLY: Applications must be received by April 30, 2021. To apply, all candidates must submit an online profile through by the close of the posting period. Qualified candidates must upload a letter of which details qualifications noted above, resume and the names and contact information of three professional references. All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. For further information, please contact Erica Hanson, Human Resources, at [email protected].

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

College Name or Administrative Unit:OVCRI Category:6-Research Title:Visiting Research Scientist - Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (144939) Open Date:04/16/2021 Close Date:04/30/2021 Organization Name:Inst for Sustain, Enrgy, and Env




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Job No:
Posted: 4/18/2021
Application Due: 4/30/2021
Work Type: Full Time