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Postdoctoral Associate

University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, Colorado

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Administrative Jobs
Institutional & Business Affairs, Institutional Research & Planning
Position Type
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
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Requisition Number:


Boulder, Colorado Employment Type:

Research FacultySchedule:

Full-TimePosting Close Date:

31-Oct-2021Date Posted:

17-Sep-2021 Close All Job Summary

We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher to work on a new project funded by the NSF that creates novel large scale geospatial data infrastructure for settlement, the built environment, and population at fine resolution and over long time periods (back to 1850). We are looking for an individual with geospatial expertise, and strong programming and data management/processing skills who is interested in innovative data integration and product design. This is a unique opportunity to contribute to an effort with the goal to describe the evolution of the built environment and population distribution in the U.S. Such new data infrastructure will have a significant impact on numerous fields where such data will allow the pursuit of emerging research questions and open new research directions centered around the change of the human footprint over more than 150 years.

The postdoctoral researcher will be located at the Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS) at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Who We Are

An inter-institutional research team committed to open science and open data that is known for the production of novel high-quality spatial data infrastructure (e.g., the Historical Settlement Data Compilation of the U.S. – HISDAC-US), and impactful research applications in an interdisciplinary setting which includes population studies, natural hazards risk assessment, urban and rural development, and land cover change.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be
  • The postdoctoral researcher (PR), based in IBS, will work with various large spatial and aspatial databases including Zillow’s ZTRAX dataset, Microsoft’s building footprints, and population census data.
  • The PR will carry out data processing tasks, implement data integration approaches, produce high-quality gridded and vector datasets for settlement and population distributions.
  • The PR will also perform spatio-temporal modeling, and implement population allocation models to create time series of population grids at fine spatial and temporal resolution.
  • The PR will also take part in the research design process, lead manuscript development and writing and act as lead and co-author. Furthermore, the PR will closely collaborate with all members of the research team across all institutions involved and get experience in student mentoring.
What You Should Know
  • Position to start ASAP, Fall 2021; if not possible, Spring 2022.
  • We are working in an interdisciplinary setting and prioritize candidates who share this interest. The candidate should be capable in data handling and management, be proficient in programming (preferably Python) and have geospatial expertise. Knowledge in the Python packages NumPy, Pandas, GeoPandas, and GDAL is desirable. Moreover, the candidate should have experience, or willingness to learn how to handle large extract-transform-load (ETL) processes using Safe Software Feature Manipulation Engine (FME). The candidate should also be able to perform and understand SQL queries on SQLite databases. Furthermore, the candidate should bring a sincere commitment to high standards in spatial data quality, and be creative in analytical applications using historical data on settlement changes and population distributions.
What We Can Offer

$52,000-$56,000 depending on experience.

BenefitsThe University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.Be StatementsBe ambitious. Be groundbreaking. Be Boulder.What We Require
  • Ph.D. in Geography, Geographic Information Science, Spatial Data Science, Geomatics Engineering or related field including Computer Science, Environmental Sciences, Sociology, etc., Expertise in geospatial science and proficiency in GIS and programming as well as experience in statistical modeling, in the processing and analysis of large amounts of spatial and aspatial data, as well as machine learning applications.
What You Will Need
  • Commitment to open data and open science, and academic excellence. Excitement about work with large geospatial data and data production as well as interdisciplinary applications related to natural hazards, demography, natural-human systems dynamics, etc.
  • Deep knowledge of analytical techniques and programming and creative and innovative thinking about modeling change in settlement, population, and the built environment.
What We Would Like You To Have

The following skills and experiences would be desirable and an advantage:

  • Python (including NumPy, SciPy, Pandas, GeoPandas, GDAL, Matplotlib)
  • Experience in processing large geospatial vector and gridded datasets
  • GIS (ArcGIS or QGIS)
  • SQL, SQLite
  • Safe Software Feature Manipulation Engine (FME) or similar.
  • A passion for data visualization and/or animation.
  • Experience in spatial statistics and uncertainty assessment.
Special InstructionsTo apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume or CV
  2. Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.
  3. List of contact information for 3 references who will be willing to write a confidential Letter of Recommendation for you.
If you are selected as the finalist, your degree will be verified by the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources department using an approved online vendor. If your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version as an optional attachment.
Applications submitted before Oct 15 will receive full consideration. Please include contact details for referees. We will request recommendation letters for our short-listed candidates and will be in touch with them.
Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.Posting Contact InformationPosting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email: [email protected]

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