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Research Associate

Northern Arizona University
Arizona, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted Date
Dec 5, 2022

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Research Associate

Location: SICCS
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Job ID: 606800
Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Workplace Culture

NAU aims to be the nation's preeminent engine of opportunity, vehicle of economic mobility, and driver of social impact by delivering equitable postsecondary value in Arizona and beyond.

Special Information

This position is subject to the availability of funding. The incumbent is not eligible for Service Professional non-renewal notice, or Classified Staff layoff or recall status.

Job Description

The objectives of this NSF-funded project are 4-fold: (1) Quantify the magnitude and duration of climate legacies on C fluxes in the western US. (2) Evaluate climatic memory and the timescales over which climate drivers impact C fluxes. (3) Determine how such legacy and memory responses vary across drylands in the western US. (4) Evaluate the importance of legacies and memory (timescales of influence) for the C cycle. The research associate will assist with project management (project communication, data / document sharing, organizing meetings, etc.), oversee data management and data wrangling efforts, and will assist with programming / coding, statistical modeling, and using high-performance computing tools. The research associate will manage project collaboration platforms (e.g., Google tools, GitHub, etc.) and will oversee archiving and sharing of project data and results.

Data Management and Data Wrangling - 35%
  • Acquire and prepare publicly available datasets.
  • Prepare datasets for subsequent statistical analysis.
  • Create meta-data and document works flows involving data.
  • Oversee data sharing and data publication; contribute to documentation and preservation of new data.
  • Develop, manage, document project databases.
  • Assist with publishing project data in public data repositories.

Statistical Modeling and Computation - 30%
  • Assist with coding and running of statistical models (e.g., hierarchical Bayesian and/or machine learning) involving climate, tree-ring, flux tower, and/or satellite remote sensing data.
  • Assist project researchers with implementing computationally intensive models (e.g., using high-performance computing tools).

Trains and Assists Project Personnel - 10%
  • Help to train project personnel in
    • Relevant coding, programming, and high-performance computing methods,
    • Data documentation, archiving, and management techniques, and
    • Use of project collaboration and data/document tools.

Plans and Coordinates Project Activities - 10%
  • Oversees the organization and planning of project meetings.
  • Assists in coordinating project activities (e.g., workshops, mini-conferences, training activities, outreach activities).

Project Management - 10%
  • Assist project PI with management of project (e.g., hiring student workers, organizing meetings, implementing project communication plans, etc.).

Other - 5%
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Masters or similar degree in a relevant field is required, such as ecology, environmental science, forestry, statistics or data science, informatics, computing, or similar.
  • 4-6 years of research support experience.
    • Statistical modeling and coding experience.
    • Experience working with large and varied datasets.
    • Project management or coordination experience.
  • ¿A combination of related education, experience, and training may be used as an equivalent to the above Minimum Requirements.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bayesian statistical modeling experience.
  • Experience applying machine learning methods.
  • Knowledgeable of coding languages, particularly R.
  • Experience using high performance computing techniques.
  • Experience working with tree rings, flux tower data, and/or remote sensing data.
  • Excellent data management skills.
  • Good collaborative skills and team-working abilities.
  • Good oral communication skills.
  • Experience training, teaching, or mentoring students, staff, or employees.
  • Experience working with large datasets.
  • Organized, responsive, and reliable.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

  • Knowledge of the principles and techniques of the subject disciplines.

  • Organizational and project management skills.
  • Leadership, coordination, and/or supervision skills.
  • Data collection, processing, and analysis skills.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Google Suite (documents, sheets, etc.)

  • Establishes and maintains effective working relationships.
  • Communicates effectively.
  • Possesses strong problem solving, organizational, and analytical capabilities.

Background Information

Northern Arizona University requires satisfactory results for the following: a criminal background investigation, an employment history verification and a degree verification (in some cases) prior to employment. You may also be required to complete a fingerprint background check. Additionally, as an employer in the state of Arizona, NAU is required to participate in the federal E-Verify program that assists employers with verifying new employees' right to work in the United States. Finally, each year Northern Arizona University releases an Annual Security Report. The report is a result of a federal law known as the Clery Act. The report includes Clery reportable crime statistics for the three most recent completed calendar years and discloses procedures, practices and programs NAU uses to keep students and employees safe including how to report crimes or other emergencies occurring on campus. In addition, the Fire Safety Report is combined with the Annual Security Report for the NAU Flagstaff Mountain Campus as this campus has on-campus student housing. This report discloses fire safety policies and procedures related to on-campus student housing and statistics for fires that occurred in those facilities. If you would like a free paper copy of the report, please contact the NAUPD Records Department at (928) 523-8884 or by visiting the department at 525 E. Pine Knoll Drive in Flagstaff.


Anticipated salary range is $54,779 to $68,474. Annual salary commensurate with candidate's qualifications and related experience.

FLSA Status

This position is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefore will not earn overtime or compensatory time for additional time worked.


This is a Service Professional (SPF) position. NAU offers an excellent benefit package including generous health, dental and vision insurance; participation in the Arizona State Retirement System or the Optional Retirement Program; 22 days of vacation and 10 holidays per year; and tuition reduction for employees and qualified dependents. More information on benefits at NAU is available on the Human Resources benefits website. NAU is a tobacco and smoke-free campus. Service Professionals are hired on a contract basis, renewable each 6 months according to terms of the Conditions of Professional Service. Employees offered a position will be eligible for state health plans (including NAU's BCBS Plan). New employees are eligible for benefits on the first day of the pay period following their enrollment, after their employment date. Employees will have 31 days from their start date to enroll in benefits. If a new employee chooses the ASRS retirement option, participation in the Arizona State Retirement System, and the long-term disability coverage that accompanies it, will begin on the first of the pay period following 6 months after the new employee's start date. New employees who choose to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), which is an alternative to the ASRS plan for faculty and other appointed staff, will begin to participate on the first day of employment. Additionally, the long-term disability plan that accompanies the ORP will begin on the first day of employment.

Learning and Development

Your career at Northern Arizona University includes the opportunity for professional development. New employee on-boarding training includes courses to be completed within the first 30 days.

Immigration Suppt/Sponsorship

NAU will not provide any U.S. immigration support or sponsorship for this position.

Application Deadline

January 3, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please click on the "Apply" button on this page. You must submit your application by clicking on the "Submit" button by midnight of the application deadline. If you need assistance completing your application there are instructions available on the Human Resources website or in person in the Human Resources Department located in Building 91 on the NAU Campus - on the corner of Beaver and DuPont Streets.

If you are an individual with a disability and need reasonable accommodation to participate in the hiring process, please contact the Disability Resources Office at 928-523-8773,, or PO Box 5633, Flagstaff AZ 86011.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Northern Arizona University is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. NAU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

Know Your Rights Poster and Supplements

NAU is an Employer of National Service. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other National Service alumni are encouraged to apply.

To apply, visit


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