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CIRES/ EARTH LAB Frontiers in Teaching & Learning Earth Data Science Post-Doc

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Job Summary

Earth Lab is seeking a Post-Doctoral Research Scholar to lead a research agenda in the following area: Frontiers in Teaching & Learning Earth Data Science. 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.

About the Earth Analytics Education Initiative

The Earth Lab Earth Analytics Education Initiative provides cutting-edge, collaborative, scientific discovery skills to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Our programs teach core skills surrounding four areas at the intersection of science and data science including: 

  1. Integrating heterogeneous data.
  2. Technical data and data science skills to support reproducible scientific workflows. 
  3. Scientific communication and collaboration.
  4. Core science domain knowledge. 

The education initiative program is dedicated to open source software and open education and includes:

  • A professional certificate and forthcoming master’s program in Earth Data Analytics. 
  • A leadership role in pyOpenSci  (modeled after rOpenSci), a community that is devoted to well documented and peer reviewed Python software for scientists.
  • An undergraduate internship program.
  • A growing online learning portal ( with open education resources that has over 50,000 unique global users a month.
  • A suite of tools that support teaching technical data skills to diverse audiences in blended online and in person learning environments.
  • Research surrounding best practices in teaching earth data science skills to diverse audiences in online and in person environments.

We seek a motivated post doctoral researcher, who is enthusiastic about studying best practices for teaching data intensive science and who has demonstrated experience teaching technical data skills for science using new and innovative approaches. This candidate will push forward a research track on data-intensive teaching and learning that has been underway in our team. The ideal candidate will support proposal and publication development as well as teach workshops and courses, tool development and documentation of tools as it fits. The successful applicant has demonstrated higher education and/or teaching experience with technical education groups (e.g., the Carpentries) and has worked in or is comfortable working in highly collaborative teams. Ideally this candidate has technical data skills including scientific programming and experience with evaluation and assessment of data science training and education initiatives. This is a one year position with the possibility of extension based on performance and additional funding support from proposals and workshop development. Further, as the education initiative grows, there is the possibility of this position over time joining the education team as a full-time staff. 

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. To learn more about Earth Lab, visit Earth Lab’s website ( and Earth Lab’s learning portal (”

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Develop and pursue research on questions related to earth analytics education.
  • Develop survey instruments independently, with our team and with external evaluators as needed to support assessment and evaluation efforts.
  • Write and contribute to publications associated with data-intensive education.
  • Collaboratively teach data-intensive workshops which include topics including git / GitHub, Python, R and open reproducible workflows.
  • Teach or support courses in the earth analytics professional program.
  • Work on other technical projects including tool development as it fits.
  • Support proposal development surrounding data-intensive education.

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 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 Impactful. Be Proactive. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • PhD in the natural or social sciences, Learning Sciences and/or STEM education.
  • Background and experience with evaluation and assessment of data science training and/or education initiatives.
  • Data-intensive teaching experience, preferably in the sciences.
  • Experience with IRB and developing human subjects research.
  • Demonstrated experience and dedication to teaching.

What You Will Need

  • 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.
  • Demonstrated background in education research or keen interest in this area.
  • Demonstrated skills developing survey instruments and research tracts and/or working with evaluators.
  • Ability to work well in a collaborative team setting.
  • Working knowledge of scientific programming. 
  • Background evaluating online education programs.
  • Strong technical skills.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Experience using Git/ Github.
  • Experience using qualtrics or other survey development tools.
  • Experience with online instructing and online lesson development.
  • Experience in, or ability to learn, appropriate programming and data analytic tools. 
  • 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 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: Leah Wasser, Director, Earth Analytics Education Initiative

Posting Contact Email:

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.