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Postdoctoral Scholar

Northern Arizona University
Arizona, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted Date
Sep 22, 2023

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Research Administration
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Postdoctoral Scholar

Location: Ecosystem Science & Soc Center
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Job ID: 607453
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.
  • This position is an on-site position which requires the incumbent to complete their work primarily at an NAU site, campus, or facility with or without accommodation. Opportunities for remote work are rare.

Job Description

Northern Arizona University is seeking applications for one Postdoctoral Scholar position focused on using isotopes/radiocarbon to understand fossil fuel use in urban environments in Arizona. This person will join a collaborative team of researchers in the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (ECOSS) and the School of Environment and Sustainability (SES). The Postdoctoral Scholar will work on projects focused on measuring and mapping fossil fuel use in the urban environments of Arizona using the primary measurement of radiocarbon in annual plants. The work will include field work collecting samples, laboratory work preparing and running radiocarbon samples, and helping to develop community science sampling efforts. The Postdoctoral Scholar will have the unique opportunity to work closely with a diverse team of researchers at NAU focused on carbon cycle science (Ted Schuur, Kevin Gurney, Helen Rowe) and a larger interdisciplinary urban studies team located across multiple institutions in and out of Arizona. The positions will be based in Flagstaff, AZ.

Research & Publications - 65%
  • Work collaboratively with research team in research activities including data collection, evaluation, and designing analyses to address primary research questions.
  • Lead data analysis, modeling, coding, and interpretation.
  • Design and implement research protocols and adapt standard procedures and methods, in particular focusing on preparing and analyzing samples for radiocarbon analysis.
  • Participate in radiocarbon analysis in conjunction with staff scientists.
  • Read scientific literature, participate in scientific discussions with other members of the research team and lab, and attend mandatory lab and project meetings.
  • Co-author or author research papers and manuscripts for publication and present them at conferences and workshops.

Data Metrics - 10%
  • Collect, curate, synthesize, and analyze research data.
  • Develop code, perform data analysis, and develop efficient data analysis pipelines and/or tools as appropriate to project goals.
  • Display data for presentation in research conferences and for manuscript preparation; use graphics and statistical software to analyze and present data.
  • Document and archive code using GitHub, or other version control software.

Grant & Management - 10%
  • Work within the grant-specific project requirements.
  • Assist project PIs with managing grant funds according to sponsor specifications.

Academic/Lab/Community Liaison - 10%
  • Perform assigned lab duties to assist in the maintenance of equipment, supplies, reagents or the general operation of the radiocarbon lab, and various other duties or projects as assigned - as appropriate to project goals.
  • Work with community science efforts to develop sample collection strategy including workshops, including writing reports and public outreach documents in conjunction with other project personnel.
  • Promote an inclusive and welcoming work environment for all.

Other - 5%
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

  • PhD in Environmental Science, Carbon Cycle Science, Isotope/Radiocarbon and/or a related field.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Record of publishing peer-reviewed research in scientific journals.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

  • Familiarity with the principles of carbon cycle science in ecosystems and urban systems.
  • Expertise with quantitative statistical analyses in R or other programming languages.

  • Excellent quantitative and analytical skills.
  • Strong communication skills, as demonstrated by publications and presentations at professional meetings.
  • Organizational and project management skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

  • Ability to take initiative and complete tasks without direct supervision
  • Innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to conduct spatial analysis and manage large databases.
  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of a research team and with individuals from a variety of diverse background.

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 $61,626 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.


Post-Doctoral Scholars are hired on a contract basis, renewable each fiscal year for a maximum of 4 renewals (5 years) according to terms of the Arizona Board of Regents' Conditions of Post-Doctoral Service. NAU offers an excellent benefit package to Post-Doctoral Scholars including generous health, dental and vision insurance; 10 days of vacation and 10 holidays per year; and tuition reduction for employees and qualified family members. 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. Participation in NAU retirement plans is not available to Post-Doctoral Scholars. More information on benefits at NAU is available at the NAU HR benefits page.

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.

Application Deadline

January 31, 2024 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

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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