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CIRES/ NSIDC Permafrost Mercury Modeling Post-Doctoral Associate

University of Colorado Boulder

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CIRES/ NSIDC Permafrost Mercury Modeling Post-Doctoral Associate

Requisition Number: 42279
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Employment Type: Research Faculty
Schedule: Full Time
Posting Close Date:
Date Posted: 25-Aug-2022

Job Summary

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), within the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) welcomes applications for a Permafrost Mercury Modeling Post-Doctoral Associate. The Post-Doctoral Associate (Postdoc) will develop cutting-edge models of mercury dynamics in the terrestrial biosphere in permafrost regions leveraging existing models of carbon biogeochemistry. Northern hemisphere permafrost represents the largest pool of mercury on the planet, bound to frozen organic matter. The Postdoc will build a process-based, terrestrial mercury model needed to understand the impacts of permafrost thaw on the Arctic and global mercury cycles. The Postdoc will integrate the mercury model into a full-physics, land surface parameterization with coupled carbon, water, and energy cycles representing the terrestrial biosphere. Only three such models exist today, offering a unique opportunity to expand the frontiers of terrestrial biogeochemical modeling.

This position is a three-year appointment. The Postdoc will report to Kevin Schaefer, PI for the project. The successful applicant will engage the broader scientific community with our results by presenting results at conferences and meetings. The Postdoc will participate in working groups, conferences, and similar meetings focusing on improving the global mercury cycle. The Postdoc will participate in and help write new research proposals to expand their research beyond the three-year term of this position.

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

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC),, part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado at Boulder, serves as a national information and referral center in support of snow and ice research. Our mission is to make fundamental contributions to cryospheric science and excel in managing data and disseminating information in order to advance understanding of the Earth system. NSIDC is a trusted source of cryospheric data and services, and is a leader in research and development within this field. We enjoy a broad stable funding base which collectively supports our infrastructure and provides growth in numerous technical fields.

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) is an internationally recognized leader in innovative environmental science and research and is located at the University of Colorado Boulder. At CIRES, more than 800 environmental science professionals work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES is a partnership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado Boulder, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at Earth’s poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, solid Earth sciences, and more. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Add mercury biogeochemistry to a full land surface parameterization.
  • Run the mercury model on a global scale in a parallel processing environment.
  • Validate the mercury model against available observations.
  • Help integrate the mercury model with a global atmospheric transport model.
  • Assist in development of an online tool to display the mercury model results.
  • Write scientific papers and future proposals.

What You Should Know

  • This position is a three-year appointment.
  • The anticipated start date for this position is October 1, 2022.
  • This will be a hybrid position with some in person work and some remote work. Hybrid work arrangements will follow current CIRES and university guidance and policies.
  • All University of Colorado Boulder employees are required to comply with the campus COVID-19 vaccine requirement. New employees must provide proof of vaccination or receive a medical or religious exemption within 30 days of employment.

What We Can Offer

  • CIRES can offer a generous compensation package.
  • The annual hiring salary range for this position is $60,000-$65,000. Salary is commensurate with education and experience and determined based on our CIRES internal career track classification.
  • A modest amount of relocation funds are available for this position following CIRES and the University of Colorado’s relocation processes and procedures.


The 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 Statements

Be ambitious. Be encouraged. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Completed Ph.D. in Biogeochemistry, Ecology, Atmospheric science, or related field.
  • Experience modeling the terrestrial carbon cycle.
  • Experience using supercomputers.

What You Will Need

  • Excellent oral and written communications skills.

What We Would Like You To Have

Please note that while the position details both required and preferred skills and experience, we invite applicants to apply even if they do not have the preferred skills and experience outlined in this “What We Would Like You To Have” section. If you have a PhD the required experience and passion for the work, you are encouraged to apply. We encourage on the job training for any additional skills or knowledge that become relevant to the position.
  • Background in either biogeochemistry, permafrost, or land surface modeling.
  • Programming experience, preferably using Fortran.
  • Experience with Python, or similar data analysis languages.
  • Experience with Unix or Linux.

Special Instructions

  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 professional references (name, title, professional relationship, email) who may be contacted on your behalf for a professional reference. You don’t need to include letters of recommendation with your initial application. If you are selected as a finalist for this role, the search committee will request one letter of recommendation at a later time.

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 received by September 15 will be given full consideration. The position will remain open until filled.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

To apply, visit

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