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Postdoctoral Associate

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

We encourage applications for a Postdoctoral Research Associate position at the Department of Geography, University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), with a flexible starting date of November 2021. The initial offer is for 12 months, with strong potential for renewal contingent upon favorable progress and funding availability.

The postdoctoral scientist will have expertise in one or more areas of spatiotemporal machine learning, spatial statistics, and/or (geo)visual analytics and geovisualization.

The postdoc will join a vibrant and growing team of graduate students and postdocs in the department of Geography making methodological and applied contributions in the context of funded projects spanning environmental/cryosphere applications, machine learning-based epidemiological modeling, and spatial demography. All projects leverage either linear (e.g., spatial statistics) and/or non-linear (e.g., deep learning) models, therefore, solid foundation in statistics and machine learning is key.

Our funded projects include a CU Boulder-funded award (Recovering from a Pandemic: Unraveling Neighborhood Geographic Disparities in Consumer and Business Behavior in 2021) in collaboration with CU Boulder economists, an NSF-funded EarthCube project focused on high-resolution mapping and classification of sea ice (Data Capabilities: Enabling Analysis of Heterogeneous, Multi-source Cryospheric Data, Award# 2026962) in collaboration with remote sensing and sea-ice geoscientists, and other projects with in collaboration with spatial demographers and epidemiologists at CU Population Center and Population Council on machine learning-based predictive modeling of COVID-19 and infectious diseases. 

The postdoctoral position will be homed in the Geography Department at CU Boulder under the supervision of PI Dr. Morteza Karimzadeh, and will actively collaborate with co-PIs, scientists, students and interface with stakeholders across multiple agencies based on the specific assigned project(s), including the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), CU Denver’s Department of Computer Science, CU Population Center, Population Council, CU Boulder Economics, and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA).  

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

We are a team of geospatial scientists, making methodological and applied contributions in collaboration with domain experts and stakeholders in the context of transdisciplinary projects. Our expertise is situated between geography, computer science, GIS, and data science. We use our knowledge to bridge the physical and human sciences.

Our research spans an exceptional array of disciplines. We train our students and scholars – in a friendly, well-supported environment – to be top scientists as well as citizens of the broader world to which we are all connected.

The Department of Geography is ranked as one of the top programs among the nation’s doctoral-granting departments of geography.  CU Geography has one of the nation's highest rates of PhD placement in academic geography programs as well as one of the highest rates of external funding for graduate student research.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Design and implement algorithms, software and computational modules in collaboration with team members.
  • Draft and lead scholarly publications and reports.
  • Assist the PI with leading and managing research activities within the group.
  • Assist the PI with user evaluations and stakeholder engagement.
  • Mentor graduate and undergraduate students in the team.
  • Assist in drafting successful research grant proposals.
  • Interface with other research groups at and beyond CU Boulder.

What You Should Know

  • Starting date (flexible): November 2021. 
  • The initial offer is for 12 months, with strong potential for renewal contingent upon favorable progress and funding availability.
  • This is a unique postdoctoral research associate opportunity providing the expertise of multiple collaborators in other fields at the disposal of the postdoc for excelling in cutting-edge research.

What We Can Offer

  • The salary range for this position is $52,000-$56,000 commensurate with experience.
  • The applicant will be eligible for CU Boulder’s graduate and family housing apartment rentals with excellent rates close to downtown Boulder.


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 engaged. Be resourceful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • A Ph.D. in geography, computer science, information science, statistics, geosciences or a cognate field is mandatory.
  • Solid foundation in machine learning, applied statistics and basic skills in GIS is required.

What You Will Need

Given the transdisciplinary nature of this postdoctoral position, we expect that the candidate will possess some of the following, with interest in developing other necessary items depending on the specific projects identified for the postdoc:
  • Research background and expertise in (applied) machine learning and particularly, deep learning.
  • Background and experience working with spatial data, geographic information systems and earth observations.
  • Programming skills in Python, Scikit-learn and deep learning libraries (TensorFlow or PyTorch). Working ability with R and its spatial packages is a plus, especially for spatial stats projects.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills are mandatory.
  • Research background and expertise in spatial statistics and generalized linear models.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Remote sensing knowledge is highly desirable. 
  • Experience working with cloud storage and compute instances.
  • Interest or background in visual analytics for interactive machine learning.
  • Front-end development and visualization skills using D3.js, leaflet.js and the React framework is desirable. 
  • Familiarity with passive and active microwave imagery, airborne and spaceborne lidar altimetry is desirable (examples include SAR imagery from Sentinel-1, lidar altimetry data from Operation IceBridge and ICESat-2, and radar altimetry data from CryoSat-2).
  • Experience in working with the output of climate models.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume/CV
  2. Cover Letter
  3. Research Statement
During the application process, you will need to enter contact information for two references and we will request letters of recommendation and additional materials if needed, as the search progresses. 

Both beginning and senior postdoctoral candidates are encouraged to apply. 

Please direct your questions to Dr. Morteza Karimzadeh ( Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting September 15, 2021 until the position is 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: Dr. Morteza Karimzadeh

Posting Contact Email: