Assistant Professors - Climate Adaptation

University of Washington School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
Washington, United States
Competitive Salary
Posted date
Oct 21, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Science, Technology & Mathematics, Biology & Life Sciences, Biotechnology & Bioengineering, Computer Sciences & Technology, Engineering, Geology & Earth Sciences, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Geography
Employment Level
Tenured/Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time

The School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (SEFS) at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, Washington invites applications for three full-time tenure-track Assistant Professors (100% FTE, 9-month appointments) working in the area of climate adaptation. The positions are anticipated to start in September 2022; negotiable within reasonable bounds. We seek to form a diverse and inclusive faculty cohort that will advance and transform the research, teaching, and community engagement within SEFS and across the allied disciplines and scholars within the College of the Environment, the UW, and the multiple communities that we serve.


Climate adaptation science is rapidly evolving. The field spans natural and social science disciplines and is focused on identifying historical, contemporary, and future approaches to guiding natural and human systems to adapt to ongoing and projected climate impacts.  Designing effective, socially just, and equitable climate adaptation strategies requires a deep understanding of physical, ecological, social, and biological implications of climate change, and the inequities it creates. Cultural and social priorities must be considered within adaptive strategies to enhance the sustainability and resilience of the lands in which people live, work and play.   These positions will work on creative, sustainable, and adaptive solutions to the multi-dimensional challenges of climate change through collaborative and convergent research, teaching, and service in alignment with the SEFS mission, vision and commitment to Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI). In partnership with all SEFS faculty, staff and students, they will fully support and advance our commitments to equity, inclusion, and access work, including diversification of our curricula, faculty expertise, and School-wide programming,and perform research that incorporates transdisciplinary approaches, Indigenous perspectives, engagement with stakeholders and underrepresented communities, and social justice and equity implications. Scholars who do not see themselves historically represented in academia are especially encouraged to apply.


These positions will pursue high-quality, impactful, and inclusive research, teaching, and engagement on social, natural, and/or engineered systems, in environments and communities ranging across a gradient of human population density and development. They may specialize in one or more of the following themes (listed in alphabetical order):


Chemical Engineering: Chemical Engineers who develop processes utilizing bio-based resources, such as waste biomass, and biomass used for ecosystem services and/or for restoration purposes, to produce valuable, environmentally responsible products, that provide multiple societal benefits for climate adaptation such as infrastructure growth in economically impoverished areas and living wage employment opportunities.


Data Science and Discovery: Data scientists who ask novel questions within the fields of physical/biological/social/economic sciences and integrate big datasets (e.g., remote sensing, crowd-sourced, field observations including forest inventory) to pioneer data exploration, visualization, data-driven decision making, and modeling to develop innovative solutions to climate adaptation challenges.


Ecological Restoration and Management: Scholars engaged in ecological restoration, management, and/or social science who develop innovative methods for effectively, efficiently and equitably designing and managing terrestrial ecosystems (e.g. forest, urban) that are diverse, resilient, and adaptive to climate change while mitigating its impacts on human and natural systems.


Ecosystem Science and Management: Ecosystem scientists who apply modelling, field-based investigations, laboratory and/or greenhouse experimentation to identify mechanisms and controls of ecosystem function, dynamics and drivers of change, resilience, and adaptation to climate impacts.


Environmental Governance: Scholars who examine interactions among societal actors and institutions (within and across public and private sectors, civil society, and the citizenry) aimed at securing collective interests surrounding climate change and adaptation, or who explore how new environmental governance arrangements may be directed towards climate change and adaptation across local to global scales.


Environmental Social Science: Scholars trained in indigenous studies, sociology, anthropology, ethnic studies, geography, or other related disciplines who examine the anthropogenic influences driving climate change and climate adaptation, or who investigate how people, including Indigenous communities, engage with the political and cultural conditions that influence ideas and tensions about land, geography, and nature.


Responsibilities: All UW faculty engage in teaching, research, and service. Selected scholars will be expected to establish and/or maintain an active agenda of scholarly pursuits including, but not limited to, externally supported research and creative and/or professionally-associated practice. The selected scholars will teach departmental and interdepartmental courses, with the potential to teach at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Assigned classes may include lectures, seminars, and studios, and the opportunity to teach new and innovative courses related to climate adaptation. Additional responsibilities include student mentoring of both undergraduate and graduate students, and departmental or College level service.


Qualifications: Applicants must hold a Ph.D. or foreign equivalent in a field related to climate change adaptation research, including but not limited to: Chemical Engineering, Data Sciences, Ecology, Environmental Sciences, Forest Resources, Social Sciences, or other relevant fields.  Applicants must demonstrate potential for an academic career at a national/international level with an active program of research and teaching, and a record of work related to issues of social justice and DEI.


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