CIRES/ EARTH LAB Social and Economic Impacts of Extremes -Post-Doc

University of Colorado Boulder
Colorado, United States
Salary Not Specified
Dec 24, 2019
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Summary

Earth Lab is seeking a Post-Doctoral Research Scholar to lead a research agenda in the following area: Social and Economic Impacts of Extremes. This targeted research area represents Earth Lab’s efforts to explore natural and social system vulnerability and resilience to global environmental change, while also capitalizing of the diversity of data available to generate new insights. All postdoc positions are for one year with the possibility of extension based on performance and funding availability.

Earth Lab seeks a Postdoctoral Research Scholar on Extremes in Coupled Social and Natural Systems, with a focus on economic processes and impacts. The successful candidate must have content knowledge and data analytics skills relevant to extremes, with emphasis on economic impacts assessment in the U.S. context. The extremes focus seeks to build on the suite of Earth Lab efforts to conceptualize and analyze extreme events in coupled human and environment systems. This Post-Doctoral Research Scholar will work in the Risk and Decision-Making project as well as bridge among other ongoing science themes at the Earth Lab (Wildfire, Drought, Erosion, Human Health, and Land Use and Land Cover). This position will focus on the impacts of extreme events on social and environmental systems, valuation of those impacts and of societal responses, including analyzing the value of information in reducing impacts and vulnerability in the U.S. context. Moreover, we are interested in how coupled extreme events may further disrupt both ecological and social processes and infrastructure with special attention to the existence of threshold behaviors when the resilience capacity of a social and/or environmental system is exceeded.
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

At CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, more than 800 environmental scientists work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES is a partnership of NOAA and the University of Colorado Boulder, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at the Earth’s poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, and solid Earth sciences. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

Earth Lab, funded by the University of Colorado Boulder’s “Grand Challenge: Our Space, Our Future” and part of CIRES, seeks post-doctoral researchers to join a dynamic team pushing the frontiers of coupled Earth and social system science ( ). Earth Lab’s mission is to harness the data revolution through research, analytics, and education to accelerate understanding of global environmental change to help society better manage and adapt.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be
  • Work with individual team to meet research goals of this position, with the expectation of submitting one manuscript for publication to a peer-reviewed journal by the end of Year 1, and contribute to and/or submit an independent funding proposal.
  • Use research agenda to develop use cases for the Analytics Hub (staff and Viz-studio) with heterogeneous and/or big data streams that require specialized data management, analysis, and/or visualization support (with emphasis on data from the Earth Observation enterprise, from ground-based to space-based sensors).
  • Contribute to discussions with industry, federal, and other academic partners, and participate in opportunities to make Earth Lab visible in the community.
  • Contribute to the open, reproducible science objectives of Earth Lab, including contributing or publishing well-documented datasets or code recipes that could serve multiple users within Earth Lab or other audiences.
  • Work on synergistic activities across the post-doc cohort and Science Teams. This could include collaboration on external proposals, papers, workshops, opportunities with industry/federal partners, or other collaborative activity and should amount to 20% effort.

What You Should Know
  • This position is located at the University of Colorado at Boulder's main campus
  • All postdoc positions are for one year with the possibility of extension based on performance and funding availability.
  • Review of applications will begin October 18. The position will remain open until filled.

What We Can Offer
  • We can offer a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package.
  • The hiring annual salary range for this position is $55,000 - $66,000.
  • There will be no relocation.


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 Statements
Be Adaptable. Be Impactful. Be Boulder.

What We Require
  • Doctoral degree in economics or related social sciences or interdisciplinary field (economics, public policy, geography or other quantitative social science)
  • Experience or ability to learn how to integrate and analyze large and/or heterogeneous datasets, including socio-economic data and Earth observations from remote-sensing platforms.

What You Will Need
  • Demonstrated interest and the skills necessary to explore the economic impacts of extreme environmental events.
  • Strong quantitative background.
  • Demonstrated contributions to open science (i.e., publicly available and/or reproducible data, code, workflows, and/or tools) or willingness to contribute to open science.
  • Demonstrated publication and grant-writing skills.
  • Team spirit and interest in interdisciplinary settings, with a willingness to engage with Earth Lab’s Analytics Hub and Education Initiative teams.
  • Skills that enable modeling of direct and indirect impacts of extreme events on the U.S. economy at local to national scales.

What We Would Like You To Have
  • Experience in, or ability to learn, appropriate programming and data analytic tools. Ideally the candidates will have experience in programming languages (e.g., R, Python, or others), can work in different environments (e.g., Linux), and are proficient in geospatial analysis software (e.g., QGIS).
  • Experience in integrating and analyzing large, and/or heterogeneous datasets.
  • Experience in working with a high performance computing or cloud computing environment is a plus (Earth Lab supports both HPC & cloud compute on AWS).

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume or CV
  2. Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.
  3. List of contact information for 3 references who will be willing to write a confidential Letter of Recommendation for you.

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 as an optional attachment.

Review of applications will begin October 18. The position will remain open until filled.

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: William Travis

Posting Contact Email:

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