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CIRES/Earth Lab Post-Doctoral Associate

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

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.

Earth Lab is seeking a Post-Doctoral Research Scholar to lead a research agenda in the following area: Fire Dynamic Risk Mapping. We are looking to advance a fire risk research agenda in a solutions science context. Key research questions are: 1) How does the probability of human ignitions vary relative to infrastructure and development? 2) How do we redefine fire regimes based on fire impact in mixed urban-wildland environments? And 3) how do these fire regimes vary spatially and seasonally? The research goal of this project is solutions oriented science. We will use datasets from diverse sources including model-derived, remote sensing, and incident reports with innovative analytics using machine learning and bayesian statistics to develop dynamic fire risk maps. We harness the data revolution and powerful analytics to develop a dynamic fire risk map to provide situational awareness to sponsor Southern California Edison (SCE) for strategic infrastructure improvements to reduce fire danger associated with downed power lines. The purpose of this work is to develop maps that will help SCE prioritize wildfire mitigation efforts while reducing liability and impact of Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) to paying customers. The desired applicant would ideally have experience in statistics, data science, geography, and/or ecology.

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 science. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

Earth Lab, partially 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 the research team to refine methodologies and lead and submit one manuscript for publication to a peer-reviewed journal by the end of Year one.
  • Contribute to discussions with the sponsor: Southern California Edison
  • Contribute to opportunities to make Earth Lab visible in the community (e.g., blogs, conferences, etc).
  • Contribute to the open, reproducible science objectives of Earth Lab, which include creating and publishing well-documented datasets and code workflows that could serve multiple users within Earth Lab or other audiences.
  • Work on collaborative activities across the postdoc cohort and Science Teams. This could include collaboration on external proposals, papers, workshops, opportunities with industry/federal partners.

What You Should Know

  • This position is a one-year full-time appointment, with the possibility of an additional one-year extension (based on performance and funding availability), for an expected duration from June 1, 2022 - April 30, 2024.
  • June 1 start date preferred
  • The position will likely be a hybrid arrangement with some virtual work time and some in-person work time as conditions allow following Earth Lab and CIRES guidance. The in-person time will be in the Earth Lab offices in the SEEC Building on the CU Boulder East Campus.
  • For questions about the job, please contact Natasha Stavros, Director of the Earth Lab Analytics Hub, For general information on applying, please contact Dawn Umpleby, Executive Assistant,
  • To learn more about Earth Lab, visit Earth Lab’s website ( and Earth Lab’s learning portal (
  • All University of Colorado Boulder employees are required to comply with the campus COVID-19 vaccine requirement. New employees must provide proof of vaccination or receive a medical or religious exemption within 30 days of employment.

What We Can Offer

  • CIRES can offer a generous compensation package.
  • The annual hiring salary range for this position is $57,000 - $65,000. Salary is commensurate with education and experience and determined based on our CIRES internal career track classification.


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 ambitious. Be game-changing. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Ph.D. in statistics, data science, geography, environmental science, remote sensing, or other related fields.
  • Ability to work with diverse spatial datasets from satellite data to model outputs and incident records
  • Demonstrated interest and skills in one or more of the approaches described above (e.g., bayesian statistics and probabilities, machine learning for computer vision, data integration across multiple sources, etc.).
  • Strong quantitative background.
  • Ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary team.

What You Will Need

  • Doctoral degree in natural, social, or data sciences.
  • 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.
  • Experience in integrating and analyzing large, and/or heterogeneous datasets.
  • Experience in working with a high performance computing or cloud computing environment or a desire to learn (Earth Lab supports both HPC & cloud compute on AWS).
  • Demonstrated publication writing skills.
  • Team spirit and curiosity about 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 with 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). 

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  • Resume or CV
  • Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.
  • List of contact information for 3 references who will be willing to write a confidential Letter of Recommendation for you once asked after interviews.

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.

Applications submitted by the end of the day on 3/31/2022 will receive full consideration. The position will remain open until filled. Applications will be screened as they are received.

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: Natasha Stavros

Posting Contact Email: