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Assistant Professor of Geography

University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, ND
Position Information: Description

The Department of Geography & GISc invites applications for a tenure track position in Transportation Geography/Geospatial technologies at the rank of Assistant Professor, contingent upon available funding. A geographer whose scholarship uses conceptual, critical, empirical, experimental, and/or theoretical work in geospatial technologies and transportation geography will be well suited for this position. This includes scholars whose research and teaching contributes to any of the following areas:  geovisualization of big data, drone data, sensor data, geoanalytics, autonomous systems/geoAI, and web mapping.

UND has recently invested considerable resources in establishing cross-disciplinary research clusters, including in the areas of advanced computational methods (e.g., “Big Data”); Autonomous Systems; and Energy and Environmental Sustainability, which present exciting opportunities for collaborative, interdisciplinary research and teaching. Applications from candidates whose research and teaching contributes to areas such as the geovisualization of big data (including data obtained from drones and remote sensors), artificial intelligence, geoanalytics, and web mapping are particularly welcome. The faculty member will make significant contributions to the appropriate institutional research clusters, many of them significantly involving faculty in the College of Engineering and Mines and/or the Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. Additional opportunities exist for collaborations in public health, hazards, vulnerability, and crisis mapping.

Established in 1883, the University of North Dakota is the oldest research university in North Dakota. It is the state’s flagship university and is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as having high research activity. Founded with a strong liberal arts foundation, UND has grown into a prominent scientific research university and was recently ranked among the top 100 public and top 25 most innovative universities in the country by U.S. News and World Report, and is widely regarded as among the top universities in the American Northern Plains region. UND offers degrees in more than 225 fields of study with nearly 14,000 students. It is the home of the state’s only School of Law. The School of Medicine has major initiatives in rural and public health, and Aerospace is home to one of the first and largest unmanned aerial vehicle programs in the world.

UND is located in Grand Forks, North Dakota, a vibrant college town of over 57,000 people located on the border of North Dakota and Minnesota. Short commutes, a great public-school system, high quality medical facilities, low crime, ample parks and theaters, and a cost of living below that found in large American cities are some of Grand Forks’ advantages. Ranked as one of the top 5 Best Small College Towns, and America’s Best Hockey Town, Grand Forks offers stellar quality of life without the metropolitan hassles.

Position Benefits

Benefits include single or family health care coverage (UND pays the full premium), basic life insurance, employee assistance program, retirement plans with generous employer contributions, and 10 paid holidays.

Optional benefits include supplemental life, dental, vision, flexible spending account, supplemental retirement plans.

UND also offers an employee tuition waiver and a variety of professional development opportunities.

Find out more about UND's great benefits and perks here!

Duties & ResponsibilitiesThis is a new position in the Department of Geography & GISc and is strongly aligned with the UND research initiatives, collectively called the Grand Challenges, and commensurately has an effort allocation of 60% research, 30% teaching (2/1 courseload), and 10% service. The teaching load emphasizes instruction related to geospatial and transportation planning, and has the opportunity to develop courses in GISc such as GIS Big Data Applications to Transportation Planning and Urban Geography and Planning. The successful candidate is also expected to teach one introductory section of Geospatial Technologies or Human Geography with a strong Geospatial Technology Component each year. Expertise of the successful candidate will contribute to the department’s recently launched MS GEOG Professional Science Master’s Program (online non-thesis professional master’s curriculum).

This position will be aligned with the Transportation Technology Research Initiative, led from the College of Engineering and Mines, as well as the Big Data and UAV Grand Challenges. As such, this Department of Geography & GISc faculty member will be expected to generate individual as well as collaborative grants and contracts. Additional areas of potential collaboration include the UND Energy and Environmental Sustainability Grand Challenge and/or the UND Rural Health & Communities Grand Challenge requiring expertise in transportation routing, geospatial data analysis and application. These and other aspects of transportation geography-based projects can lead to enhancing conditions for the people of North Dakota and elsewhere.

Office space is centered within the Department of Geography & GISc already, and this individual will have research space in the department’s Contract Research Lab (Ireland Hall 167) for housing the two GRAs who would be part of this faculty member’s initial research team.

Required Competencies
    Perform work in data science and visualization that requires the use of complex methodologies, challenging datasets, and close coordination with research project managers/stakeholders.Conduct data analysis and develop data visualization components of assorted research projects and development efforts.Develop and apply a variety of methods for the analysis of complex transportation and geospatial data sets.Keep abreast of trends in technology and finding ways to connect them to solving challenges to mobility and access to opportunities. Ability to work effectively on teams and a desire to grow professionally as a technical expert.Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to teach, inspire, and mentor students.Effective interpersonal skills, including the ability to collaborate effectively with faculty, staff, and students.Ability to adapt to current methods of teaching, including online delivery.Ability to work with and engage diverse students and colleagues within and outside of the Department of Geography and GISc.
Minimum Requirements
  • Ph.D. in Geography, Geographic Information Science, Transportation Planning, City and Regional Planning, or an allied discipline by August 15, 2023.
  • Successful completion of criminal history records check.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the US and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire. 

Preferred Qualifications
  • Trained in and able to teach transportation geography and geospatial courses that include web mapping, geo-visualization of big data, drone data, and environmental remote sensing.
  • Experience with ESRI GIS software and programming experience (e.g. Python) and working with large datasets.
  • Experience with transportation data specifications like GTFS, AVL, APC, GBFS, OSM.
  • Strong record of publications in well-regarded peer-reviewed journals.
  • Focus in transportation, especially transit, and improving access to mobility in urban, suburban, and rural communities.
  • Experience with web development (JavaScript, HTML, CSS).
  • Experience with advanced statistical/machine learning techniques (e.g. regression, simulation, scenario analysis, modeling, clustering, random forest, etc.).
  • Evidence of successful teaching.
  • Demonstrated ability or potential to successfully attain grants and contracts.
Minimum Hiring SalarySalary is competitive and commensurate with experience. A competitive start-up commitment is available.

Contract Period/Start DatePosition is full-time, benefitted and exempt. Dates of initial contract are August 16, 2023, to May 15, 2024.

To ApplyFor full consideration, applications must be received by January 1, 2023, and include the following materials:

    Cover letter (to include a description of experiences and commitment to engaging a diverse student body)Curriculum VitaeTeaching statement (max. 2-3 pp)Research statement (max 2-3 pp)Contact information for a minimum of three professional referencesUnofficial transcripts. Please note that the selected candidate will be required to submit official transcripts upon hire.Further information may be requested later (e.g., letters of recommendation, a graduate transcript, teaching evaluations)
Position is open until filled. Questions about this position can be directed to Dr. Douglas Munski, Chairperson, Department of Geography & Geographic Information Science:

Additional Information

To find out why living and working in Greater Grand Forks is way cooler, check out Grand Forks is Cooler.

All information listed in this position announcement will be used by Human Resources, the Hiring Department, and EO/Title IX for screening, interviewing and selection purposes.

Confidentiality of Application Materials

Pursuant to NDCC 44-04-18.27, applications and any records related to the applications that identify an applicant are confidential, except records related to the finalists of the position, which are open to the public after the search committee has identified the top three or more finalists who will be invited to campus.

EEO Statement

The University of North Dakota is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or other protected characteristic. Women, minorities, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and members of other underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants are invited to provide information regarding their gender, race and/or ethnicity, veteran’s status and disability status as part of the application process. This information will remain confidential and separate from your application.

Veteran’s Preference

Veterans claiming preference must submit all proof of eligibility by the closing date. Proof of eligibility includes a DD-214 or NGB 22 and if claiming disabled status, a current letter of disability from the VA dated within the last 12 months.

Clery Statement

In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the University of North Dakota publishes an Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. The report includes the university’s policies, procedures, and programs concerning safety and security, as well as three years of crime statistics for our campus. As a prospective employee, you are entitled to a copy of this report. The report and statistical data can be found online at You may also request a paper copy of the report from the UND Police Department located at 3851 Campus Road, Grand Forks, ND, 58202.

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