Research Fellow - Environmental Water Resources Engineering

Job Details

Job no: 513552
Work type: Senior/Research Fellow (Amherst Only)
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Civil & Environ Engineering
Union: Non-Unit Exempt
Categories: Research, College of Engineering

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Description

The field technician will work with other field technicians, graduate students, and the cal/val team to conduct hydrologic measurements on rivers and lakes within and outside the U.S., including measurements of discharge, velocity, and bathymetry using an acoustic doppler current profiler; water surface elevation and inundation extent measurements using survey-grade GNSS instrumentation; and water level measurements using pressure transducers. They will also work on post-processing these data, processing airborne and satellite data to extract inundation extents for rivers and lakes, and comparing the resulting field and remotely sensed observations to SWOT satellite data. Data collection will involve working from motorized and non-motorized boats and along river and lake shorelines. This position involves both domestic and international travel to field sites, some in remote environments.

The Field Technician will work closely with the overall project lead (Dr. Colin J Gleason of UMass), the lead field technician (Dr. Taylor Rowley of UMass), and will report directly to Dr. Rowley at least weekly.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Earth Sciences, Civil Engineering, Hydrology, Physical Geography, or related discipline AND at least two years of relevant experience OR Master’s degree in Earth Sciences, Civil Engineering, Hydrology, Physical Geography, or related discipline with a focus on surface water hydrology.
  • Experience in operating motorized and non-motorized boats.
  • Experience collecting scientific data in the field.
  • Ability to lift at least 50 lbs.
  • Experience writing code in at least one programming language.
  • Ability to work well in a small team environment under fieldwork conditions.
  • Ability to work independently under non fieldwork conditions.

Preferred Qualifications, Competencies, and Experience

  • Experience analyzing or processing remotely sensed optical imagery.
  • Experience with working in remote river or lake environments.
  • Experience in coordinating logistics.
  • Experience analyzing or processing lidar data.
  • Experience conducting some or all of the hydrologic measurements described in the position summary.
  • Certifications for wilderness safety/medicine (e.g. NOLS Wilderness First Responder).
  • Certifications for motorboat operation.

Additional Information

This appointment is initially four months, but may be renewed for a total appointment duration of two years, depending on availability of funding.

Application Instructions

Please provide a CV, cover letter, and the names and contact information for three professional references. Search will remain open until the position is filled.

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Advertised: Mar 28 2022 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:


The University of Massachusetts Amherst is one of the preeminent public research universities in America. Nestled in idyllic Amherst, Massachusetts—often called “The top college town in North America”—the campus is consistently ranked among the top public research universities in the nation, and offers a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers. 

As one of the nation's top public research universities – as measured by national and international rankings, academic citations, and research funding – the campus spends more than $180 million on research each year, demonstrating its contribution to the nation’s position as a technological and economic leader. The university works in conjunction with academic, government, and private partners to translate new knowledge and scientific discoveries into technical innovations and scholarly works that create opportunities for students, faculty and the public. 

Eight schools and colleges offer more than 85 undergraduate majors, 68 master’s and 48 doctoral degree programs, many counted among the top programs in the nation and world. UMass Amherst is also home to New England's premier honors college.

The 1,159 full-time faculty members are dedicated teachers and world-renowned researchers and the campus has regularly been listed among the top performers in terms of faculty awards. With over 24,000 students from all 50 states and over 70 countries, the student body is the most academically successful in the history of the campus. Students participate in 240 organizations, 21 NCAA Division I athletic teams, extensive intramurals, living-learning residence halls, community service, and internships. With one of the largest residential life systems in the nation, UMass Amherst houses approximately 12,000 students on campus. The university is enjoying a facilities renaissance, including new buildings in the sciences, the arts, and recreation. UMass Amherst is part of the Five College consortium with Smith, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire and Amherst colleges.

As an employer, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a national leader in developing family-friendly policies, benefits and amenities designed to help faculty members develop both productive careers and satisfying personal lives. The university offers one of the nation’s most generous parental leave policies. The university is also part of the Academic Career Network, a regional consortium formed to serve dual-career couples and encourage greater diversity in the academy.


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