Postdoc Position at The University of Arizona: Assessing the sensitivity of semiarid ecosystems to hydroclimatic variability.

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Start Date: 
Friday, October 5, 2018 - 09:15 to Thursday, November 1, 2018 - 09:15

Postdoc: Assessing the sensitivity of semiarid ecosystems to hydroclimatic variability.

The University of Arizona and at the Southwest Watershed Research Center seeks a Postdoctoral Research Associate to study semiarid ecosystem response to hydroclimatic variability. Research activities will include substantial ecophysiological field work and opportunities for linking site-based observations to cutting-edge remote sensing and modeling techniques.  The position will be jointly advised by Joel Biederman, Research Hydrologist at the Southwest Watershed Research Center, and Bill Smith, Assistant Professor in The School of Natural Resources and the Environment. 

The researcher will lead the design and implementation of a field experiment using rainfall manipulation shelters to simulate future climate.  Response variables to be measured include soil hydrology, ecosystem structure, productivity, and gas exchange of CO2 and water vapor at the leaf- and plot-levels.  This experiment will serve as a test bed for development of sensors and methods to remotely sense ecosystem function under variable climate conditions, especially drought, including NDVI, EVI, PRI, thermal, and sun-induced fluorescence (SiF). Beyond the primary focus, collaborative opportunities will be encouraged to integrate field and remote sensing data across a collaborative network of ecosystem research sites in the Western US and Mexico. 

Research will be conducted in one or both of Southeast Arizona’s long-term hydro-ecological research sites: the Santa Rita Experimental Range and the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed.  The postdoc will have the opportunity to work closely with a diversity of top research labs at the University of Arizona, including the Arizona Remote Sensing Center, Terrestrial Vegetation and Climate Lab, Terrestrial Ecology Lab, and Laboratory of Tree Ring Research.  Initial funding is in place for 18 months, with strong potential for renewal, depending upon satisfactory performance.

Required Qualifications:

  • Candidates must have earned their Ph.D. by 01/01/2019.
  • Demonstrated experience in ecosystem science or ecohydrology and a broad perspective on ecosystem processes and climate feedbacks.
  • Experience with field work, measurements and sensors
  • Peer-reviewed publication record appropriate to career stage.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Ability to collaborate with an interdisciplinary team.
  • Organizational and communication skills (both oral and written).
  • Prior experience with spatiotemporal data and geospatial analysis using R, Python, MATLAB and/or other computer programming languages
  • A proven publication record in peer-reviewed scientific journals and a demonstrated high level of productivity.

The postdoc will be hosted jointly in the state-of-the-art Environment and Natural Resources 2 building at the University of Arizona and at the Southwest Watershed Research Center, where completion of a new research building is anticipated during 2019.   Tucson is a unique, diverse and fun-filled university town. This mid-sized city strikes an excellent balance between outdoor and urban opportunities.  Tucson is surrounded by forested sky island mountains and  a diversity of unique desert ecosystems. As such, it is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream town (cycling, hiking, running, climbing, etc.). Meanwhile, city enthusiasts will find ample choices for multi-cultural foods, public events, live music and entertainment.

To apply, please 1) contact Joel Biederman (joel.biederman[at]ars.usda[dot]gov); and 2) apply through the University of Arizona UACAREERS web portal: Applications should consist of a full curriculum vitae, a 1-page cover letter outlining the candidate’s suitability for the job (including both prior experience and future research interest), a pdf-file of one publication, and the contact information for three references. Initial review of applications will begin November 1, 2018 and continue until the position is filled.


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