Northern Arizona University – Flagstaff, Arizona
Post-doctoral Scientist for Project on “Climate Legacies and the C Cycle”

Position: Post-doctoral Scientist

Location: School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

Appointment: Up to 3-years, contingent on available funding and performance.

Position summary: An NSF Macrosystems Biology project on “Climate legacies and timescales of influence on carbon cycle processes in drylands” is seeking to hire a post-doctoral scientist to synthesize diverse data sources representing carbon fluxes at different scales across the western USA. Nearly all projects involve working with large datasets and developing and applying sophisticated statistical models to those data. Candidate datasets include tree-ring chronologies from existing networks, flux tower data (e.g., from AmeriFlux and NEON sites), remotely sensed vegetation productivity, and a variety of climate data products. The post-doctoral scientist will have the flexibility to work on projects related to different themes, including: (1) Identifying climate extremes (e.g., droughts or temperature extremes at different time scales) and quantifying the magnitude and duration of associated climate legacies on tree or ecosystem productivity; (2) Evaluating climate memory and the timescales over which climate-related drivers impact C fluxes across varied scales; and/or (3) Exploring how climate legacies and memory vary across different dryland ecosystems in the western USA. The post-doctoral scientist will be part of an enthusiastic and productive research team involving multiple faculty members and graduate students from Northern Arizona University, along with colleagues from the University of California, Los Angeles. There are opportunities to mentor students, contribute to outreach activities (e.g., involving collaborations with stakeholders, co-organizing workshops and conferences, developing educational materials for the public), and/or participating in field campaigns at NEON sites.

Required qualifications: A PhD or equivalent doctorate in a relevant field is required, such as ecology, environmental science, forestry, statistics or data science, such as informatics. Applicants should have experience in statistical modeling (e.g., Bayesian and/or machine learning), coding (e.g., in R) and computing, and working with ecological, environmental, or climate data. Applicants are expected to have a basic understanding of climate science and ecosystem ecology, and a track record of writing and publishing scientific manuscripts.

Desired abilities / qualifications: Competitive candidates should have a background in one or more areas related to dendroecology, Eddy covariance flux tower data, remote sensing of vegetation, or climate data products. They should have experience in one of more technical areas related to machine learning, Bayesian statistical modeling, high-performance computing, and data management and sharing. Experience using R, JAGS, OpenBUGS, STAN, or NIMBLE software is desirable. An ability to communicate and collaborate in research teams is beneficial.

Duties and responsibilities: The post-doctoral scientist will work with Drs. Kiona Ogle, Jarrett Barber, Kimberly Samuels-Crow, Drew Peltier, and/or Debbie Huntzinger at NAU. Expected outcomes include the publication of scientific manuscripts stemming from the post-doctoral’s work, contribution to manuscripts and products led by other project personnel, publication or dissemination of code and/or data products, and presentations of research at professional conferences.

Application procedure: Application materials must include: 1) curriculum vitae, 2) cover letter describing interest in project and background and qualifications relevant to the position, and 3) contact information for at least 3 professional references. All application materials should be submitted electronically in PDF format. To apply, go to the Careers @ NAU link (, click “Current openings,” then “Career opportunities,” then search “Staff openings” using the vacancy number 606755.

For further information, contact: Dr. Kiona Ogle ([email protected])

Expected start date: The selected post-doctoral scientist is expected to begin in spring 2023, ideally May 2023.

Deadline: For full consideration by the search committee, all materials must be received by the application review deadline of December 30, 2022.

NAU/location information: Northern Arizona University (NAU) is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. NAU is a land grant institution with an enrollment of approximately 21,000 students. NAU is located in Flagstaff, Arizona at 7,000 feet surrounded by mountains, desert, and ponderosa pine forests (, a community of 72,000 residents. The region is home to a diverse range of ecosystems and land uses with numerous outdoor recreational activities.

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