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Postdoctoral Research Associate

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

The North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center (NC CASC), a partnership between the US Geological Survey (USGS), the University of Colorado-Boulder and five consortium partners, seeks a postdoctoral researcher as part of the National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Center’s Climate Adaptation Postdoctoral (CAP) Fellows Program focused on the “Future of Aquatic Flows”. The NC CASC fosters innovative and applied research in support of tribal, federal, state, and local natural resource management and decision-making. The NC CASC is one of nine regional climate centers in the national CASC network created to help meet the changing needs of land and resource managers across the country. It serves Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas and Nebraska.  The successful applicant will be supervised by Dr. Holly Barnard and Dr. Mike Gooseff. The initial assignment will be for one year with the possibility of extension up to two years total. We strongly encourage individuals from historically underrepresented groups in Earth and environmental sciences to apply. The preferred start date is January 2, 2023, but can be sooner.

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

As the University's oldest institute, INSTAAR has a long history of responding to pressing environmental issues including climate change. Our traditional focus has been on alpine, Arctic, and Antarctic regions, where effects of global change are especially pronounced. In recent decades, our research has broadened to include environmental challenges that span local, regional, and global scales. INSTAAR’s research activities integrate field studies, state-of-the-art laboratory experiments, sample analysis, and numerical and laboratory modeling. Our field sites are located across all seven continents and the world's oceans.

Our expertise across disciplines helps us generate influential science that can inform public and policy decisions and move us toward a more sustainable society. INSTAAR's national and international research leadership is augmented by exceptional strength in graduate education and bringing undergraduates into the research process.

We aim to create an environment where individuals feel safe, heard, and encouraged to be themselves, and where all INSTAAR members understand their important roles in our anti-racism plan. We are working to dismantle systemic biases within our institute and within our larger institutional and scientific contexts, align the demographics of INSTAAR with those of our state and nation, and reduce barriers to living in Boulder and conducting scientific research at the University of Colorado Boulder.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • The postdoctoral researcher will conduct a synthesis research assessment of changing hydrologic processes, and to relate these changes to natural resource management. 
  • The scale of research can be from headwater catchment to regional scales. 
  • Possible areas of research include: 1) How do hydrologic flowpaths and consequent water quality vary with land-use and disturbance regimes; 2) How will shifts in the timing and magnitude of precipitation inputs alter low flow hydrologic processes and stream permanence; 3) Can forest management techniques, such as forest thinning, be used to manipulate key landscape positions to mitigate the sensitivity of forests and streamflow to droughts? 
  • Natural resource stakeholder input is a fundamental component of this research, and the postdoctoral researcher will be mentored by a team that consists of federal stakeholders from three different agencies (USGS, USFS, NPS).  
  • In addition, the postdoctoral researcher will collaborate with other CAP scholars from across the country on national-scale research and synthesis on how climate change will impact aquatic flows and how this information can be integrated into aquatic ecosystem management.

What You Should Know

  • 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

$55,000.00-58,000.00 per year at 100% time.


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 resourceful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Minimum requirements include a PhD degree in the natural or environmental sciences, engineering or related fields, demonstrated experience with developing novel research questions and publishing original, peer-reviewed research in journals appropriate for the field.
  • Completion of the PhD can be pending but must be completed prior to start date. Verification of defense and degree completion date will be required from the dissertation supervisor.

What You Will Need

  • Demonstrated capacity to conduct quantitative analysis with hydrological and/or geospatial data including (but not limited to) experience with modern data analytics using R, Matlab, or Python, numerical simulation approaches, and experience with physical process-based models.
  • Experience (or a demonstrated interest in) working with decision-makers and stakeholders to produce actionable science for informing natural resource management.
  • The ability to effectively communicate research findings with scientists and practitioners alike.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbally and written, including listening and responding to questions effectively.
  • Ability to respond constructively to others’ ideas and suggestions and a willingness to develop creative solutions to challenges that arise.
  • Willingness to conduct fieldwork in relatively remote locations including stream/river sampling and vegetation surveys. Including ability to walk up to 2 miles carrying up to 40lbs.
  • Proficiency with basic computer software including the Microsoft Office suite, as well as, online collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams or Google Drive.
  • Must have the ability to pay close attention to details and keep clear and accurate records.
  • Willingness to learn new methods or skills related to project goals.
  • Must be able to work effectively with minimal daily supervision.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Interest and ability to engage with others across the National Climate Adaptation Science Centers.
  • Interest and skills in engaging with historically under-represented and/or under-served communities.
  • Demonstrated leadership in research, mentoring, outreach, and/or education.
  • Valid driver's license for transportation to and from field sites.

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.
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.

Position will remain posted until finalists have been identified.

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: INSTAAR Pay

Posting Contact Email: