The Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research is looking for a
postdoctoral associate who will:
- Analyze soils data from National Ecological Observatory Network
(NEON) sites and an ongoing leaf litter decomposition experiment
- Parameterize the Microbial-Mineral Carbon Stabilization model
(MIMICS) in order to better understand trajectories and
uncertainties in soil biogeochemical fluxes; and 3) Project
potential changes in soil organic matter storage and turnover that
may be expected under climate change scenarios.
The postdoctoral associate will lead the development of soil
biogeochemical modeling efforts using NEON observations and the
Community Land Model (CLM). Simulations will focus on soil
biogeochemical dynamics at single point scales across gradients
with and among NEON sites. Special focus for the work will be to
evaluate the fidelity of simulated abiotic (snow, soil moisture and
soil temperature), biotic (plant productivity), and biogeochemical
(soil carbon and nitrogen) dynamics using diverse NEON data streams
as well as experimental data collected as part of this project. Dr.
Will Wieder will supervise the postdoctoral associate who will be
based in Boulder to work with data and collaborators at Yale
University, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the
Applicants should have a PhD in ecology, biology, hydrology or
related field (completed degree within three months of start of
job) and firsthand experience with data harmonization and exposure
to modeling with CLM, MIMICS or other models. This position
requires an independent, organized, and motivated individual with
demonstrated research skills. The successful candidate will be
someone genuinely excited by research with a strong desire to learn
how to integrate ecological observations to calibrate model
parameterizations. Above all, the candidate must be personable and
enthusiastic about working in a collaborative group
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
As the University's oldest institute, INSTAAR has a long history of
responding to pressing environmental issues including climate
change. Our traditional focus has been on alpine, Arctic, and
Antarctic regions, where effects of global change are especially
pronounced. In recent decades, our research has broadened to
include environmental challenges that span local, regional, and
global scales. INSTAAR’s research activities integrate field
studies, state-of-the-art laboratory experiments, sample analysis,
and numerical and laboratory modeling. Our field sites are located
across all seven continents and the world's oceans.
Our expertise across disciplines helps us generate influential
science that can inform public and policy decisions and move us
toward a more sustainable society. INSTAAR's national and
international research leadership is augmented by exceptional
strength in graduate education and bringing undergraduates into the
What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be
What You Should Know
- The core of this position will be in parameterizing, evaluating
and modifying simulations with MIMICS configured to replicate
laboratory incubations, field decomposition experiments, and within
and among site variation in soil biogeochemical dynamics.
- MIMICS or CLM will be configured to run for single point
simulations for vegetation communities at focal NEON study
- Initially the project will build on existing parameter
estimation and uncertainty quantification tools built for MIMICS
with a focus on calibrating fluxes based on measurements from a
laboratory litter decomposition experiment.
- Subsequent model validation will occur using measurements from
an ongoing field leaf litter decomposition that collaborators at
Yale University are leading.
- Experience running models like MIMICS or CLM is not a
requirement for this position, but a willingness to learn how to
run the models will be critical for this work.
- As the project matures there may be an opportunity to integrate
additional data (especially from microbial community analyses) from
laboratory incubations and field samples.
All University of Colorado Boulder employees are required to comply
with the campus COVID-19 vaccine
. New employees must provide proof of vaccination
or receive a medical or religious exemption within 30 days of
What We Can Offer
$55,000 per year at 50% time plus benefits through CU
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 ambitious. Be groundbreaking. Be Boulder.
What We Require
What You Will Need
What We Would Like You To Have
- Strong attention to detail.
- The desire to work as part of a team to achieve goals.
- Demonstrated ability to self-motivate and help keep your team
motivated when challenges arise.
- The ability to remain organized and focused amidst a variety of
tasks, and creatively solve problems as they arise.
- The ability to contribute to a diverse and inclusive
Please note that while this position details both required and
desired skills and experience, applicants do not need to have all
of the desired skills and experience to be considered. If you meet
the minimum qualifications, have passion for the work and some
experience in a related field, you are encouraged to apply. We
provide on-the-job training for skills and knowledge relevant to
- Theoretical and empirical expertise in soil biogeochemistry
and/or ecosystem ecology.
- Proficiency working with large environmental datasets and
demonstrated experience with data harmonization, complex analysis
structures, online data dissemination and data publication.
- Strong quantitative and statistical skills accompanied by
programming expertise in R, Python, and spatial data analysis
- Knowledge and expertise with field and laboratory methods
commonly used to quantify plant physiological traits.
- Demonstrated ability to conduct independent research and
publish in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.
- Coding experience of any kind in R, Python, Fortran, Matlab, or
- Previous fieldwork experience.
- The ability to work on multiple projects both as part of a
team, and independently to achieve goals and solve problems as they
- Flexibility to rearrange priorities and expectations as the
research project matures.
To apply, please submit the following materials:
- Resume or CV.
- A brief cover letter with answers to the application questions
- Why are you interested in this position? Why do you think you
would be a good fit for this job? What will you bring to the job
that other applicants may not?
- Describe any relevant experience you have through, e.g. jobs,
volunteering, course work, etc.
- INSTAAR is dedicated to supporting and enhancing the diversity
of scientific communities. Please describe how you, based on your
personal background and life experiences (including social,
cultural, familial, educational, or other opportunities or
challenges) will contribute to this mission during your time at
INSTAAR (200 words or less).
- Where did you hear about this job?
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 (if applicable)
as an optional attachment.
Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Posting will
remain active until 9/29/22.
Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For
consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.
Posting Contact Information
Posting Contact Name:
Boulder Campus Human Resources
Posting Contact Email: