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CIRES/Earth Lab Post-Doc to Study the Social and Economic Impacts of Extremes

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Job Summary

Earth Lab, funded by the University of Colorado Boulder’s “Grand Challenge: Our Space, Our Future” and part of CIRES, seeks a post-doctoral associate to join a dynamic team pushing the frontiers of coupled Earth and social system science ( 

The target research area “The Social and Economic Impacts of Extremes” 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. 

Earth Lab seeks a Post-Doctoral 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. 

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 Joins CIRES on its 2nd Anniversary

Earth Lab will capitalize on the data deluge from space and other platforms to accelerate science; reduce environmental risk by using these data to better understand and predict Earth System change; and train a new generation of earth analytic scientists to address outstanding Earth Science questions.

Earth Lab Grand Challenge video

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

This Post-Doctoral Associate 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.

What You Should Know

This Post-Doctoral Associate position is funded for one year, with the possibility of a second year extension, depending on available funding.

CIRES commits to inclusive excellence by advancing equity and diversity in all that we do. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.

What We Can Offer

We can offer a competitive salary, commensurate with experience.


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 Driven. Be Resourceful. 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).

What You Will Need

  • Demonstrated interest and the skills necessary to explore the economic impacts of extreme environmental events. 
  • Strong quantitative background.
  • Experience or willingness to learn how to integrate and analyze large and/or heterogeneous datasets, including socio-economic data and Earth observations from remote-sensing platforms.
  • 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.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Experience in, or willingness 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 well versed in geospatial analysis software (e.g., QGIS).
  • Experience in working with a high performance computing or cloud computing environment is a plus.
  • Skills that enable modelling of direct and indirect impacts of extreme events on the U.S. economy at local to national scales. 

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume/CV.
  2. Cover letter briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.
  3. Proof of degree in either a transcript confirming highest degree or a copy of diploma.
  4. List of contact information for 3 references who would be willing to write a recommendation letter if you are selected as one of the top candidates.
    • If you are selected as one of the top candidates, we will contact you through email and request that you submit the names and emails of the references who we will then ask to submit a letter of recommendation (can be the 3 noted above). This information will be kept confidential and viewable only the search committee.
Screening of applicants will begin immediately, and full consideration will be given to applications received by November 16, 2018. However, the position will remain open until filled.

The start date will be January 1, 2019.

Posting Contact Name: Nancy Lathrop

Posting Contact Email:

The University of Colorado is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer